-By Emma Bilsborough, Shop and Darwin Team Leader

October brings us cold weather, multicoloured leaves and trees, and spooky carved pumpkins, and for us here at Bookbarn, it means entertaining all of our little half term visitors to the best of our ability.

We've had lots of painted faces, silly headbands and scary masks visiting us this week, so we've being seeing out the season in a brilliant way. Before we move into Winter, which for us means Craft Fayre planning, recommending Christmas presents and putting up our Book Tree, we wanted to (belatedly) celebrate All Hallows' Eve in our own special way, by making a list of our favourite spooky/horror/thriller books. We hope you've got a cushion to hide behind...

The Woman in Black, Susan Hill

woman in black

It says it right there on the cover, 'The Classic English Ghost Story'. Chilling, full of suspense and perfectly gothic, it's a must read during spooky season.

A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

christmas carol

Now we know what you're thinking, A Christmas Carol? Haven't we got the wrong season? But sitting in a dark room in miserable weather reading about the ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is bound to give anyone chills.

IT, Stephen King


We have nothing to add to this one. It's terrifying and we don't want to talk about it.

Shutter Island, Dennis Lehane

shutter island

This thriller is about as thrilling as it gets - with incredible twists and turns that you won't see coming, unless you've already seen the movie.

Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte

wuthering heights

Dark, misty moors? Mysterious, brooding Heathcliff? Curl up with this classic Gothic novel for a perfectly creepy tragic romance.

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte

jane eyure

As before, except swap Heathcliff for Mr Rochester and misty moors for hidden lunatic wives.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson

we have always

When compiling this list, we caught this title on plenty of other similar lists. So we've added it to ours, and have also added it to our TBR pile. Isolated family with a tragic past, living in a big ol' house. Sounds brilliant to us.

Coraline, Neil Gaiman


Weird and wonderful, with beautiful illustrations that only give us nightmares a little bit.

And of course the Monster classics:

Dracula, Bram Stoker


If you don't already know the story of Dracula, then read this. If you do, still read it, because it's spooky season and that's the rules.

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley


Dr Frankenstein, alongside Dr Watson, is one of literature's best known doctors. And his monster is still one of the most popular Halloween costumes of all time.

Here's a few for the kids...

Funny Bones


A family of skeletons and their little skeleton dog? Yes please!

Room on the Broom

room on the broom

Julia Donaldson's talent in creating beloved Children's characters knows no bounds, and her witch is no exception.

The Gruffalo


He has knobbly knees and turned-out toes, and a poisonous wart at the end of his nose...

The Witches


Roald Dahl has given us many characters to love, but also many to loathe. Miss Trunchbull, The Twits, and the eponymous witches. But despite its spooky characters, The Witches is an adventure that you can join in with, thanks to Roald Dahl's wonderful words and Quentin Blake's ever-brilliant illustrations.

Where the Wild Things Are


Do we put this on every book list we make? Almost. Is it because we adore it? Absolutely. Max and his world of wild things may not be all that scary, but it has monsters so it's going on the list.


Did you enjoy this list? We have many more on our blog, like our Man Booker Prize Favourites, our Summer Reading list (don't worry, we'll be bringing you the Winter list very soon), our Diverse Reading list, and many more.