Best horror books to read this Halloween

Here's your Halloween horror, served up in book form with ghosts and gore for sides. Mumsnetters are -sadistic- pretty keen on creeping themselves (and their kids) out so turn down the lights, lock the doors, and read on… if you dare

The Ice Twins by S K Tremayne

A disturbing and creepy tale about a family who moves to a remote island after the death of one of their twin girls. But which girl died? It's got so many twists you won't be able to keep up.

The ice twins

“Bloody hell it was scary! I started reading this at bedtime and finished about 2 am.”

“A real page-turner with an unexpected twist at the end… The atmospheric setting and its isolation really adds to the power of the story.”

Buy the book for £6.04

Behind Closed Doors by B A Paris

If you're more into thrillers that straight-up horror, this is the book for you. A fast-paced novel about the lies and secrets that are hidden just beneath the suraface of an apparently perfect marriage.

behind closed doors

“I literally didn't put it down! It's disturbing and chilling but it's the best book I've read in a while.”

“I was chilled to the bone reading it!”

Buy the book for £5.59

Want more thrillers? Try these

Collected Ghost Stories by M R James

M R James is one of Mumsnetters' favourite spooky authors. His talent for conjuring up stories that make your blood run cold has stood the test of time.

original ghost stories

“No one has ever written more chilling and terrifying tales, even all these years later.”

“You can't get scarier than M R James. The stories build insidiously to tap into your worst fears. Once read, never forgotten!”

Buy it now for £6.29

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

The eerie, tense and enormously atmospheric novel from which many TV and film adaptations have been made. This is a ghost story you won't forget.

the woman in black

“Extremely atmospheric and tense and the ending still makes my hairs stand up!”

“Truly terrifying. I could only listen to the audiobook during the day, because the actual text would give me nightmares!”

Buy it now for £6.29

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Brilliant writing paired with a killer plotline, The Little Stranger is frequently recommended by Mumsnetters as the book to read to give yourself the creeps.

the little stranger

“The best ghost story for adults I've read in years. Intelligently written, a real page-turner with some disturbing aspects that make you question the narrator.”

“Lots more going on beyond the ghost story. A fantastic read.”

Buy it now for £7.21

The Shining by Stephen King

From the master of horror fiction, this novel is one of The King's best. When five-year-old Danny's father becomes the caretaker of an isolated hotel, the young boy begins to experience disturbing visions.

stephen king the shining

“This really got to me. I read it in one sitting when I was alone in an unfamiliar house. I was so drawn into it that when I finished it took me a while to come back to reality, work out where I was. Very, very unnerving!”

Buy it now for £6.99

Last Days by Adam Nevill

Indie filmmaker Kyle Freeman decides to make a documentary about a notorious cult in the Arizona desert, but his naivety about the group's hideous legacy lands him in trouble.

last days

“The Last Days is the only horror novel I've ever read that actually made me sleep with the light on. Adam Nevill's stuff is well written and worth checking out if you like scary.”

Buy it now for £0.01

The Magpies by Mark Edwards

If you're not a fan of actual birds, the proverbial kind (nicks your stuff, brings sorrow) might be more up your street – although hopefully The Magpies' neighbours from hell live nowhere near you.

the magpies

“The Magpies was proper scary, I read it in three hours and didn't sleep a wink that night. I'm not sure if I'd call it horror but it's the type of story you could imagine happening in real life. I loved it and hated it!”

Buy it now for £7.64

Want more? Check out our top spooky stories for kids this Halloween, and win a bundle of books!

All prices correct at time of publication