spooky reading list

Chills and Thrills: Peep Our Spooky Reading List

spooky reading list

Halloween is still a few weeks away, but everyone at ModCloth is so excited for the season, this spooky reading list became a must! What says “fall” more than curling up with a spiced cider and a chilling read? Below, get the scoop on Team ModCloth’s favorite spine-tingling picks.

Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
Recommended by Elizabeth, Customer Care Advocate

“This is my favorite spooky tale to kick off the beginning of the holiday season. The story is more of a mix between a Christmas and a Halloween story, with a bit of the tooth fairy thrown in, along with a scythe-wielding Death who TALKS LIKE THIS. It’s a little creepy, a lot of funny, and reminds me of the things that are most important during the holidays, like family, and laughter, and maybe a pork pie. Happy Hogswatch! “

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Recommended by Kat, Marketing Copywriter

“Not to spoil a book from the mid-19th century, but there’s something (or someone) locked in an attic at Thornfield Hall that haunts our heroine, Jane, and still gives me chills to this day!”

In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz
Recommended by Meredith, Senior Technical Designer

“The best Halloween book is In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories. It’s everyone’s favorite children’s spooky storybook. No one ever forgets “The Green Ribbon.”

The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
Recommended by Sam, Customer Care Advocate

“If you are ready to be spooked, and don’t mind getting some decent reading hours under your belt, this is the novel to devote some time to!  Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour will push you head-first into an account of the Mayfair Witches of New Orleans. If you love legends, witches, and an insanely illustrative writing style, this spooky suggestion is for you!”

Night Film by Marisha Pessl
Recommended by Turi, Lead Copywriter

“I wouldn’t describe Night Film as traditional horror (it’s more of a thriller), it definitely has a spooky, must-read-with-the-lights on vibe. I couldn’t put it down and had creepy-crawlies the whole time I was reading it. But while a lot of horror books might seem kind of down-market, Marisha Pessl’s book is super smart. It’s a must read any time of year!”

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
Recommended by Jared, Senior Manager of Customer Retention

In this book, horror killer mermaids from the bottom of the ocean stalk, kill and often eat a boatload of scientists. Slime, blood and a horrible fishy odor— it’s disgusting. This is my new Halloween favorite. It’s especially creepy to think about when I’m surfing Northern California, where we have this seaweed called bull kelp (officially called nereocystis, which is Greek for “mermaid’s bladder”). It’s like regular kelp that attaches to rocks and grows up in columns, making a good home to seals and otters, but bigger and way creepier. The air bladders of the kelp are around the size and shape of a football, and they occasionally brush my feet underwater or pop up without warning after a wave has passed. Starting in October, the ocean can take on a spooky and foreboding tone—the water is cold, dark, and opaque with heavy winter waves to match. All it takes is one mystery bump underwater and things get very uncomfortable. Also, if you break the pods open, they are filled with the grossest mucus-like slime, similar to the slime excreted by mermaids in the book.” 

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, by Alvin Schwartz
Recommended by Savannah, Senior Merchandise Copywriter

Growing up, I think my mom acquired the series from different yard sales and flea markets until my sister and I wound up with the complete set. At school, I remember the books being really popular with other children, which is jarring to think about, because those tales were dark. How scary could short stories for children really be? I encourage you to find out for yourself. Twenty or so years later, I’m still haunted by the inky illustrations and The Big Toe.”

Be right back—I’ve gotta run to the bookstore and snag each of these (and that cider) for myself!

+What’s your go-to spooky read?


About Savannah

If something's happening on stage, you can probably find Savannah there, from house shows and dramatic theater productions to faraway metal gigs and full-on festivals. Otherwise, she spends her days elbows-deep in carb-heavy meals, rattling about years spent overseas, and testing the creative limits of an all-black wardrobe.

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  1. Avatar
    Jenny 10/03/2018 at 3:35 pm #

    The novel Night Film had me looking over my shoulder all night. Definitely scary. I also recommend Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link, a collection of short stories like read like spooky fractured fairy tales. Also – A Good and Happy Child by Justin Evans – yikes!!

    • Avatar
      Turi 10/19/2018 at 1:55 pm #

      OMG I’m so glad you liked Night Film, too. It was soooooooo goood!!

  2. Avatar
    Rebecca 10/08/2018 at 10:01 am #

    Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark… remember it like it was yesterday! Was one of my favs….So creepy for a kids book…not to mention those illustrations! Great recommendation, Savannah!

    • Avatar
      Savannah 10/08/2018 at 11:43 am #

      Thanks, Rebecca! I recently discovered the book is available online in PDF form (for free!), so if you feel brave enough to revisit it, ’tis the season.

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