Tuesday, October 20, 2015

If You Love Scary Stories (But Not Too Scary!)

Guys, I love a spooky story around Halloween, but I can't handle anything TOO scary. I just really like an eerie atmosphere without too many elements from the horror genre. If you are like me and you are looking for a book that fits this description, here are some of my favorites:


Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen - I loved the 1845 setting and who is more creepy than Edgar Allan Poe? I loved this adult read.

The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle - This one had some great fantasy elements and was just spooky enough for me.

Blythewood by Carol Goodman - This historical fantasy series has it all: great atmosphere, an eerie setting, magic, and romance.


The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters - There's a great historical setting, many visions of darkness, hypnotism and fantastic atmosphere in this page-turner.

Made for You by Melissa Marr - This YA novel has a Southern Gothic vibe and includes an edge-of-your-seat mystery involving a killer.

The Diviners by Libba Bray -  I almost didn't add this novel to my list, because this novel did scare the bejesus out of me, but it's so well written.  If you like your novels a bit scarier than I do, you'll enjoy this historical fiction/fantasy novel that kept me turning the pages late into the night.


Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready - This is my kind of ghost story. It's one of my favorites and I enjoyed the entire series.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin - This one is a creepy paranormal novel that kept me glued to the pages. It's very haunting and very creepy.


Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin - Here's another ghost story that is right up my alley; plus, it's set during the Civil War time period. I loved the scrapbook portion with illustrations as well!

Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head by Lauren Oliver and H.C. Chester - This novel is a fun who-done-it middle grade mystery with a great historical NYC setting.

What are some of your favorite not-so-spooky novels? Share with me in the comments below.


  1. I will have to keep Mrs. Poe in mind for next fall's book discussion selections. This month we are reading This House is Haunted by John Boyne which is a gothic historical with a spooky vibe. A young woman becomes a governess at a creepy mansion after her father dies. So far it has the right spooky atmosphere :)

    I was surprised you included The Diviners because I couldn't read that one at night! Especially after watching the creepy and haunting book trailer. I've read a number of the other books on your list and they are perfect Halloween reads without being too spooky. I think Beautiful Creatures might fit the bill too.

    1. I think you would like Mrs. Poe, Christina. It was one of my favorite reads a few years ago. I will have to check out The House is Haunted.....sounds fun!

      I know....The Diviners really spooked me at times, but not as much as say Stephen King or adult novels from the horror genre, so I decided to include it. Great idea including Beautiful Creatures---that one would work as well! Thanks for visiting!

  2. Oooooh, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer looks GOOD, Christina! Yikes!! :) Thanks for sharing these; it is definitely that time of year!!

    1. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is really, really good.....yes, perfect for this time of the year. Thanks for visiting, Tara!

  3. I LOVE scary stories. I prefer atmospheric scary over gory scary! Have you read The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield? It is one of my faves - a great, atmospheric Halloween read in the Gothic tradition. I think you wold really like it! I'm currently reading Daughters Unto Devils - but I think this one might get a little gory!

    1. I will have to check that one out! Thanks for the recommendation, Leanna! Haha....even the title of the one you are currently reading sounds a bit too scary. haha. I will check out Thirteenth Tale though. Thanks for visiting!

  4. Great list! I actually love a good creeper--the scarier the better. I did love The Diviners and have been meaning to read the rest of the Mara Dyer series for ages. I enjoyed the first book and then just never followed up with the rest.

    1. If you love creepy reads, definitely check out The Diviners. I could only read it during the day! Thanks for visiting, Natalie!


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