Spooktacular reads: cozy up with a book that will chill you

Spooktacular Reads 2021

The spooky season is upon us again! I love dark and creepy fiction all year long, but really ramp it up for October. Make a warm drink and cozy up; here is a list of my favorite spooky reads of 2021 to inspire those Halloween vibes.

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix is absolutely one of my top reads of 2021. What happens when a wolf in sheep’s clothing infiltrates a southern lady’s true crime book club and then their neighborhood? You’ll have to read it to find out…  I loved everything about this book!
It is spooky, but not overly scary and definitely filled with southern charm. It has enough paranormal elements to be interesting while not over the top. While it is catalogued as horror, deep down it is a book about friendship, trusting yourself and best of all, women taking care of business!
Trigger warning: There is a scene of sexual assault about half way through this book that sensitive readers may want to skip over.
Spook rating: 3\5

Daughters of the Lake by Wendy Webb

Any time I can find an author who writes in the gothic style I am on board! If you’ve never read Wendy Webb before, I cannot suggest her enough. Her 2018 book, Daughters of the Lake has all the spooky season high points I look for;  a haunted house, a century old mystery, a ghost story, a mysterious being in the lake, secrets, and a murder and it all takes place in Minnesota! Plus, it is not at all scary enough to warrant sleeping with all the lights on. If you’re looking for a Minnesota author to round out your fall reading list, Wendy Webb might be just who you’re looking for!
Spook rating: 1\5

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

You know those homes that pop-up on the market at an unbelievably low asking price there must be something wrong with them? Riley Sager’s Home Before Dark explores just what happens when you take the plunge and buy the house despite your apprehensions only to find the house is indeed haunted. Or is it…? If you enjoyed The Haunting of Hill House or The Amityville Horror this book is for you! Believers and skeptics alike will enjoy this classic ghost story with a twist for all those Halloween chills.
Spook rating: 3\5

American Predator : the hunt for the most meticulous serial killer of the 21st centry by Maureen Callahan

Looking for some real life terror? Look no farther than American Predator : The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century by Maureen Callahan. Truly one of the scariest books I have ever read, it had me getting out of bed to check all the doors and windows were locked.  Yet, I’ve read it three times cover-to-cover because it is so unbelievable. Maureen Callahan does an excellent job of keeping the details of Israel Keyes’ crimes respectful and limited while still managing to convey what an absolutely terrifying person he was. If you can handle a walk on the dark side of human behavior, lock all the doors and turn on all the lights then settle in with American Predator.
Spook rating: 4\5

For extra spooky season fun, sign-up for our Spooktacular mini challenge on Beanstack and don’t forget to come back for more book recommendations in the light of day!