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How to Build a Perfect Spooky Season TBR

Spooky Season is upon us and we've been training all year for this.

spooky season tbr

Our time is here, witches! The Pumpkin Spice Latte is back. There’s a crisp breeze in the air. It is SPOOKY SEASON. The only thing more important than planning our costume for Halloween is planning the PERFECT TBR for Spooky Season. We wait all year for this opportunity. We need to set the scene, cue the ambiance, have spooky vibes oozing through our veins and onto our pages. Let's make sure we don’t waste one moment of our precious time and create the most perfect Spooky Season TBR. It’s easy! Just pick one book (or more!) from each category and TADA: SPOOKY PERFECTION.

Related: 12 Halloween Horror Books Set on the Spookiest Night of the Year

Haunted Houses

scariest books ever

The Haunting of Hill House

By Shirley Jackson

If you want something timeless & iconic: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson — “No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.” 

One of my favorite books of all time. I have three editions of it. That’s how much I love it. Or I’m crazy. Either way, this is a classic for a reason.

horror books about witches the good house

The Good House

By Tananarive Due

If you want a fresh take on a haunted house: The Good House by Tananarive Due — “Angela Touissant’s Fourth of July party began well enough, but no one would remember that because of the way it would end.”

I recommend this book a LOT. It’s scary, it’s set in the Pacific Northwest (where I’m from, hehe) and there are demonic forces at work, what more could you ask for? 

Related: 10 Essential Books by Black Women in Horror

The Hacienda by Isabel Canas

The Hacienda

By Isabel Cañas

If you want something gothic with a Mexican backdrop: The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas — “The low sweep of the southern horizon was a perfect line, unmarred by even the smudge of horses tossing their heads in the distance.”

If you loved Mexican Gothic or Rebecca, you will fall in love with this “debut supernatural suspense novel, set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence, about a remote house, a sinister haunting, and the woman pulled into their clutches...” This book is definitely going to be in my top reads of 2022.

Vampires

scariest stephen king books salems lot

Salem's Lot

By Stephen King

If you want a classic: Salem’s Lot by Stephen King — “Almost everyone thought the man and the boy were father and son.”

Salem’s Lot brings us the iconic vampire known as Barlow. There are some seriously chilling scenes. I’ll probably never look out a window at night again.

Woman Eating by Claire Kohda

Woman, Eating

By Claire Kohda

If you want a literary spin on the vampire trope: Woman, Eating by Claire Kohda — “The guy from Kora is standing outside the building in the sun.”

Woman, Eating is also on my spooky season TBR this year. I kept seeing it on Instagram and the cover called to me. It’s described as “tragic, funny, eccentric and so perfectly suited to this particularly weird time.” — Okay, I’m sold.

suffer the children

Suffer the Children

By Craig DiLouie

If you want something that’ll give you nightmares: Suffer the Children by Craig DiLouie — “The children were driving Joan Cooper bananas.”

OMG, I was not prepared for how good this book was going to be. In this story of apocalyptic fiction, there’s an illness that is killing children around the world BUT they quickly come back to life and there’s one thing they’re after… BLOOD!

Witches

devils call

Devil’s Call

By J. Danielle Dorn

Devil’s Call by J. Danielle Dorn — “Before I leave you in this world, my dear, I aim to record what came to pass when your momma rode from the Nebraska territory to Louisiana to the frozen Badlands to bring to justice the monster who murdered your father.”

Hands down the best dark witchy fiction I’ve ever read. Please read it. 

the year of the witching

The Year of the Witching

By Alexis Henderson

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson — “She was born breech, in the deep of night.”

A perfect blend of culty AND witchy. That’s right.

top 10 women in horror

White Is for Witching

By Helen Oyeyemi

White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi — “Miranda Silver is in Dover, in the ground beneath her mother’s house.”

You’re in for a treat with this quirky little number. You’ll be alternately mesmerized and confused but in the best way.

Related: Horror Books That Grapple with Trauma

A Twist on a Classic

what-moves-the-dead_t-kingfisher

What Moves the Dead

By T. Kingfisher

If you want a spin on Edgar Allan Poe’s, The Fall of the House of Usher: What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher — “The mushroom’s gills were the deep-red color of severed muscle, the almost-violet shade that contrasts so dreadfully with the pale pink of viscera.” 

Please don’t shame me but I’ve never read Poe’s story. With that being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed T. Kingfisher’s novella. It was short and sweet and delightful.

the children on the hill

The Children on the Hill

By Jennifer McMahon

If you want a spin on Frankenstein: The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon — “Her smells sends me tumbling back through time to before.” 

At this point in our lives, I’m sure we’re aware that the real monsters are human… or are they?

halloween fiend

Halloween Fiend

By C.V. Hunt

If you want a spin on Shirley Jackson’s, "The Lottery": Halloween Fiend by C.V. Hunt — “No one knew where Halloween came from.”

This book is such a fun read. It’s super short and I think it’s perfect to reread every Halloween. It is strange but that’s part of the charm.