scary books to read for october

Now that all the fall feels are in full swing, it’s time to start prepping for spooky season! And what better way to get in the mood for Halloween than by settling in with a hot cup of tea, some candles, and a scary read! We’ve rounded up a list of spine-tingling thrillers the Lulus office has been reading. Read ahead for a few of our fave horror and true crime novels and get ready to sleep with the lights on!

Frankenstein by Mary Shelly:

Is it really October if you aren’t reading Frankenstein? A classic that inspired countless writers of horror and suspense and has been recreated in so many different iterations (recent recreations worth mentioning include the series Penny Dreadful). There’s no better way to set the tone for a festive month of monsters and ghouls than with the OG “creature,” so cozy up with this classic if you haven’t already, or revisit it for a frightful thrill!

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware:

A suspenseful page-turner about a young journalist going through some tough times who finds herself on a work-sponsored cruise. Quickly things get spooky when she is positive she sees a murder take place on the deck next to hers. When it turns out all passengers are accounted for, we’re thrown into a spiral to find out who is crazy, who can be trusted, and who is a MURDERER, with twists that do not disappoint. This book is best read curled up with a blanket in bed and all the lights on.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote:

The original true crime book, it’s a must for anyone who is into the genre. It tells the story of a murder in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas while maintaining respect for the victims, and empathy for the perpetrators. Since it’s based on the true story of the 1959 murder of the Clutter family in Kansas, you’re sure to get a little creeped out – but in a good way!

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt:
About a 1981 shooting in Savannah, Georgia, this book is just as much about the rich history and social scene of the city as it is the murder itself, and comes highly recommended if you love the setting of the Deep South. The book was also adapted to a movie in 1997 and was on the New York Times Bestseller list for more than four years (setting the record for most time spent on the list), so you know it’s gotta be good.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss:

If you’re looking for something that’s less scary and more mystical, try this book out! It isn’t new to anyone who consistently reads fantasy (most of us in the Lulus office stick to thrillers and romantic comedies for before-bed reading) but if you give it a chance, we promise you won’t regret it. This novel is well-written and engrossing, with similarities to Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and other popular fantasy novels to help ease you into the genre if it isn’t your usual preference. The book is fairly long and there is an even longer sequel out (which is equally engaging), with a planned third book that is yet to be published – so this series will keep you occupied for a long time!

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson:

Shirley Jackson (who also wrote The Lottery, which most of us probably read in middle school) is hands-down one of the best horror writers because this is one of the scariest books ever – for real. Bonus: Netflix is releasing a series based on the book on October 12, which is supposed to be equally terrifying. Trust us, if you can make it through the book, the show will probably be that much better.

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand:

Okay, not going to lie…we haven’t read this book yet. Keyword being YET! After reading a review describing it as a “more mature and creepier Stranger Things,” we knew it was going to the top of our reading list! Sawkill Girls is the fictional tale of Sawkill Island, where girls have been disappearing for decades due to a lurking monster that no one has seemed to bother to confront. Three girls who are seemingly disconnected (and have varying personalities that set them apart) come together to TCOB and banish this so-called monster. Can’t wait to see how it all plays out!

Which spine-chilling suggestion will you read first? We’d love to hear from you. Let us know your fave October read below in the comments so we can check it out!