Book Recommendations for All Your Favorite Halloween Movies
Spooky season has arrived, and we think it’s one of the best times of the year. Seriously. We love the ghouls, goblins, costumes, and horror films. Normally, Halloween is all about the joy of trick-or-treating, costume parties, and apple bobbing. However, in the spirit of social distancing, we have some book alternatives that could up the ante here. Here are books to pair with some of the best, most frightening, and suspense-filled horror films to keep those late-night reads as spellbinding as possible.
If you’re a fan of witches, raise your wand! This second book in the Babysitters Coven series features teenagers, witches, a magical dose of comedy, and some good ol’ teenage angst. In Hocus Pocus, the Sanderson sisters are after our teenage protagonists, whereas in the Babysitters Coven, two witches—babysitters—fight evil on broomsticks. Both make for a spell of a good time.
This one’s for the slasher crowd. If a good thriller and a small measure of gore are your thing, chances are you love the Scream films, and if you love the Scream films, The Cheerleaders should become an instant fave. The plot of both of these slashers is simple: there’s someone preying on high school students. Both become a race against the clock to figure out who that is before it is too late. In The Cheerleaders, the victims are all cheerleaders, and one of them manages to escape the killer. So what happens next? Well, we don’t believe in spoiling a good thriller, but you’ll need popcorn for this page-turner.
Crimson Peak’s visual iconography and the stellar performances from both Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain make it a modern-day gothic horror classic. The story centers around a beautiful but naive bride who moves into a haunted mansion with her husband (Hiddleston) and his sister (Chastain). House of Salt and Sorrows features an equally creepy mansion—home to twelve sisters who have been dying, one by one. We’d normally advise staying away from such a haunted house, but a read this good is too chilling to pass up.
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is an older tale, but it remains a revered classic for a reason. The headless horseman, the creepy yet enchanting town, and the legend that took on a life of its own have allowed it to become both a literary and a cinematic masterpiece. The Lantern’s Ember is a more fantastical version of the same story. In this iteration, Jack is a Lantern tasked with guarding Otherworld, a realm the witch Ember finds herself attracted to. What ensues is an epic tale of suspense, magic, and romance.
Carrie, based on the revered classic by Stephen King, is a cautionary tale about what happens when you push someone over the edge. Especially when that someone is a telekinetic. Watch You Burn doesn’t feature any mysterious abilities, but it does feature Jenny, a young girl whose constant urge to light something on fire begins to spread like wildfire. Both tales are mysteries waiting to be unraveled. Extinguisher not included.
The ’90s teen horror classic I Know What You Did Last Summer centers around an unforgivable mistake, a secret pact, and a mysterious killer ready to reveal the mistakes of every teen involved. Fright Night is a suspenseful tale of a party in the woods gone awry. Guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat, there’s a reason why slashers are the go-to tales for Halloween.
Gremlins are a great example of the ghouls and goblins that make us love Halloween. They get to be fun and silly and offer a vibrant energy that’s refreshing in a monster movie. Pet by Akwaeke Emezi focuses on another monster—Pet, a creature who sprang to life from a painting and a drop of blood. Pet’s mission is simple: to hunt a monster, and Jam, our hero, must aid in the process.
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein takes the tale we’ve grown so familiar with and tells it from the perspective of a woman who needs to keep Dr. Frankenstein happy. But, this version of the story will leave you wondering, who is the real monster anyway? We’ll still be reading it for some grade A spooks.