Spooky Stories and Halloween Books for Adults

Spooky stories come in all shapes and sizes, whether you're looking for some twisted thrillers to unnerve you, deadly horrors to shock you or creepy Gothic novels to enthral you, we've got them all. There are many horror classics and exciting, new scary stories to grip you this Halloween so if you're stuck for choice, then look no further. We've put together a list of the best spooky stories and Halloween books for adults that are sure to keep you up all night long...

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1. Before I Go to Sleep

S.J. Watson

This deeply creepy psychological thriller, turned into a film of the same name in 2014, sees Christine Lucas suffer with a form of amnesia that causes her to forget all her memories every time she goes to sleep. Every day Christine is rediscovering her identity with the help a journal she's kept but, with her journal warning her of things she doesn't recall, who can she really trust and what will happen when she falls asleep?

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2. Dracula

Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker's classic horror novel is the standout vampire novel of literature. When Jonathan Harker travels to Transylvania to do business with the creepy Count Dracula, little does he know the chaos and danger that is about to unfold as the novel swifts back to Victorian London with the elusive vampire on the loose. Why not rediscover or delve into this spooky classic this Halloween to explore the original story for yourself?

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3. American Psycho

Bret Easton Ellis

This sinister black comedy about Patrick Bateman, a successful New York businessman and violent serial killer, is an exploration of the darker side of humanity. The novel is narrated by Patrick and through his words you can see into the mind of a psychopath. Deeply disturbing and unnerving, this creepy story shows what it really means to be evil.

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4. I Saw a Man

Owen Sheers

Michael Turner moved to London after the death of his wife and developed a close bond with the family that live next door. Through them he experiences the love and warmth of the family he may never have, but then something bad happens and Michael finds himself dealing with more grief and guilt than ever before. In this edge-of-your-seat thriller you will find yourself questioning the limits of redemption and struggling to ever put the book down.

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5. The Witchfinder's Sister

Beth Underdown

This eerie historical thriller tells the story of Matthew Hopkins, the self-titled Witchfinder General and man responsible for the deaths of over 100 people, from the point of view of his sister Alice. Beth Underdown puts a feminist spin on one of England's darkest moments in English history as Essex transforms into a place of fear and betrayal and the number of executions continues to rise...

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6. I Am Legend

Richard Matheson

After a pandemic that has turned nearly the entire human race into vampire-like creatures, Robert Neville stands alone as the last man alive on Earth. He is both the hunter and the hunted as the vampires aim to feast upon him. Dive into this frighteningly fascinating science fiction horror story to find out if Robert can survive in this dangerous and lonely world.

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7. The Woman in Black

Susan Hill

This popular ghost story tells the story of Arthur Kipps' visits to the sinister Eel Marsh House to organise the affairs of the recently deceased Mrs Drablow. Once there spooky activity begins to occur as Arthur learns the chilling story of The Woman in Black. The stage play and film have been thrilling audiences for years and now you can discover where it all began in this creepy Gothic ghost story.

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8. The Winter Children

Lulu Taylor

Olivia and Dan are excited to move their young family into Renniston Hall after finally having twins following years of IVF. The Elizabethan Hall that used to be a boarding school is a beautiful place but hides a dark truth, and the family have a secret of their own that is about to come out...

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9. Carrie

Stephen King

Rediscover Stephen King's debut novel about Carrie, a misfit teen with the telekinetic powers. She takes revenge on those that have wronged her in this frightening and shocking horror novel by one of the greatest horror writers the world has seen. This controversial book is a must when you're in need of some creepy Halloween reading.

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10. We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Shirley Jackson

This twisted tale of murder and love sees family ties tested in what is often considered to be Shirley Jackson's best book. After their whole family are poisoned, sisters Merricat and Constance go and live with their Uncle Julian. After being accused of the murders, Constance is acquitted but those around her still believe her to be guilty and with the arrival of their dangerous cousin Charles, Merricat takes it upon herself to protect her sister whatever the cost. This dark and haunting novel has been captivating readers for years so check out this sinister story for yourself.

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11. The Snowman

Jo Nesbo

Jo Nesbo's heart-pounding thriller, now a film starring Michael Fassbender, sees detective, Harry Hole, on one of his most frightening cases yet. One night a boy wakes up to find his mother has disappeared and in the garden he sees his mother's scarf draped around the neck of a single snowman. As more women disappear, Harry becomes more disturbed by the complicated web this mysterious serial killer has started weaving. Eerie and atmospheric, The Snowman is sure to put chills down your spine this Halloween.

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If you love spooky stories then check out our full range of horror and ghost stories or, if you prefer thrillers for your creepy reading, then take a look at all our crime, mystery and thriller books.

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    After a fatal dose of arsenic in a sugar bowl wiped out many of the Blackwood family, sisters Merricat and Constance have been happily living in isolation with their uncle Julian in the family estate. Many villagers believe Constance is to blame for her relative's deaths, despite her being acquitted of the murders, meaning Merricat has to protect her from the curiousity and hostility of the rest of the village. Soon, their cousin Charles appears, determined to woo Constance, but Merricat does not trust him and can see the danger he brings. She must act swiftly to keep Constance from his grasp. We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a classic dark tale of family loyalty from Shirley Jackson.

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    This Bram Stoker's chillingly brilliant classic is now in a gorgeous new clothbound edition. When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula with the purchase of a London house, he makes a series of horrific discoveries about his client. Soon afterwards, various bizarre incidents unfold in England: an apparently unmanned ship is wrecked off the coast of Whitby; a young woman discovers strange puncture marks on her neck; and the inmate of a lunatic asylum raves about the 'Master' and his imminent arrival. In "Dracula", Bram Stoker created one of the great masterpieces of the horror genre, brilliantly evoking a nightmare world of vampires and vampire hunters and also illuminating the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.
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    First published in 1983, The Woman in Black is Susan Hill's best-loved novel, and the basis for the UK's second longest ever running stage play, and a major film starring Daniel Radcliffe. Arthur Kipps, a young lawyer, travels to a remote village to put the affairs of a recently deceased client, Alice Drablow in order. As he works alone in her isolated house, Kipps begins to uncover disturbing secrets - and his unease grows when he glimpses a mysterious woman dressed in black. The locals are strangely unwilling to talk about the unsettling occurrence, and Kipps is forced to uncover the true identity of the Woman in Black on his own, leading to a desperate race against time when he discovers her true intent...
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    An exciting reissue of Stephen King's debut novel about an outcast teenager with a frightening power which put him on the map and set him on his journey as a household name.Carrie White is no ordinary girl.Carrie White has the gift of telekinesis.To be invited to Prom Night by Tommy Ross is a dream come true for Carrie - the first step towards social acceptance by her high school colleagues.But events will take a decidedly macabre turn on that horrifying and endless night as she is forced to exercise her terrible gift on the town that mocks and loathes her ...
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    'VIVID AND TERRIFYING' Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train 'At once a feminist parable and an old-fashioned, check-twice-under-the-bed thriller' Patrick Gale 'A tense, surprising and elegantly-crafted novel' Ian McGuire, author of The North Water 'The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six...' 1645. When Alice Hopkins' husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives. But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women's names. To what lengths will Matthew's obsession drive him? And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan? Based on the true story of the man known as the Witchfinder General, this exquisitely rendered novel transports you to a time and place almost unimaginable, where survival might mean betraying those closest to you, and danger lurks outside every door. 'A richly told and utterly compelling tale, with shades of Hilary Mantel' Kate Hamer, author of The Girl in the Red Coat 'Anyone who liked Cecilia Ekback's Wolf Winter is going to love this' Natasha Pulley, author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street 'Beth Underdown grips us from the outset and won't let go...at once a feminist parable and an old-fashioned, check-twice-under-the-bed thriller' Patrick Gale, author of Notes from an Exhibition 'A tense, surprising and elegantly-crafted novel' Ian McGuire, author of The North Water 'Beth Underdown cleverly creates a compelling atmosphere of dread and claustrophobia...Even from the distance of nearly four hundred years, her Matthew Hopkins is a genuinely frightening monster' Kate Riordan 'Superb: dark, terrifying and utterly compelling' Tracy Borman
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    Behind a selfless act of kindness lies dark intentions ...Olivia and Dan Felbeck are blissfully happy when their longed-for twins arrive after years of IVF. At the same time, they make the move to Renniston Hall, a huge, Elizabethan house that belongs to absent friends. Living rent-free in a small part of the unmodernised house, once a boarding school, they can begin to enjoy the family life they've always wanted. But there is a secret at the heart of their family, one that Olivia does not yet know. And the house, too, holds its darkness deep within it ...
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    Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love - all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story. Welcome to Christine's life.
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    With an introduction by Irvine Welsh A cult classic, adapted into an award-winning film starring Christian Bale. Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do? Patrick Bateman has it all: good looks, youth, charm, a job on Wall Street, reservations at every new restaurant in town and a line of girls around the block. He is also a psychopath. A man addicted to his superficial, perfect life, he pulls us into a dark underworld where the American Dream becomes a nightmare ...Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho is one of the most controversial and talked-about novels of all time. A multimillion-copy bestseller hailed as a modern classic, it is a violent black comedy about the darkest side of human nature.
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    An acclaimed SF novel about vampires. The last man on earth is not alone ...Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth ...but he is not alone. Every other man, woman and child on the planet has become a vampire, and they are hungry for Neville's blood. By day he is the hunter, stalking the undead through the ruins of civilisation. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn. How long can one man survive like this?
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    The event that changed all of their lives happened on a Saturday afternoon in June, just minutes after Michael Turner - thinking the Nelsons' house was empty - stepped through their back door. After the sudden loss of his wife, Michael Turner moves to London and quickly develops a close friendship with the Nelson family next door. Josh, Samantha and their two young daughters seem to represent everything Michael fears he may now never have: intimacy, children, stability and a family home. Despite this, the new friendship at first seems to offer the prospect of healing, but then a catastrophic event changes everything. Michael is left bearing a burden of grief and a secret he must keep, but the truth can only be kept at bay for so long. Moving from London and New York to the deserts of Nevada, I Saw a Man is a brilliant exploration of violence, guilt and attempted redemption, written with the pace and grip of a thriller. Owen Sheers takes the reader from close observation of the domestic sphere to some of the most important questions and dilemmas of the contemporary world.