21 Creepy Halloween Thriller Books to Read Now

Halloween thriller books

Table of Contents

**Halloween Thriller Books Updated on 9/25/23**

Halloween Thriller Books are different than regular thrillers. They are creepier, more realistic, and can haunt you well after you have finished the last page. Pun intended.

Every year, at the end of September, I start stocking up on thrillers to prepare for Halloween. My TBR stack fills up with creepy thrillers as I put away my lighter, summer fare.

Below you will find our favorite thriller books for Halloween. We hope you find something to get your through this haunting season.

To see all our Halloween books, book lists, movie suggestions, and literary costumes, head to the Halloween Hub!

*The Halloween thriller books Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you. Some books have been gifted. All opinions are our own.

The Best Halloween Thriller Books for 2023

The Only one left

The Only One Left: A Novel by Riley Sager

Is there a chance that a new Riley Sager would not appear on a list of new-release books? I don’t think so. If you have been following us for a while you know we love Riley Sager enough to create The Best Riley Sager Books Ranked by Super Fans!

In this new mystery thriller book, Kit McDeere has taken a position as a home health aid for Lenora Hope who was accused of murdering her whole family years before. With no evidence, Lenora was never convicted and has lived in her home without leaving all this time. Lenora can only move her one finger and communicates with a typewriter.

Kit feels like there may be more to the story than anyone knows and wants to leave the crumbling mansion, but she has nowhere else to go. This is a perfect thriller book for fall.

The Angel Maker

The Angel Maker by Alex North

Katie Shaw had everything she wanted until a stranger changed the fate of the family forever. Now, with a child of her own, Katie is having a hard time differentiating between real vs imagined threats. Then, she gets a call that her estranged brother Chris, once the victim of violence has gone missing.

Why I Like It: There are so many twists and turns in this serial killer thriller. It is one of the most disturbing psychological thriller books I have read and is completely terrifying and I have to say that I loved it. I did not know that I enjoyed scary books so much!

Find This Book In Serial Killer Books

How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix and more January 2023 book releases

How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix

I loved this haunted house book. When Louise finds out her parents have died, she does not want to pack up the house of the people who loved her the most. She also does not want to ask her brother for help with the house because the two siblings never got along.

When the will is finally read, Louise is shocked but, even more shocking are the strange things that start happening in the house. This is by far the scariest book I have ever read and one of the best horror thriller books around.

Grady Hendrix does not disappoint! Every one of his books is more terrifying than the last. This thrilling horror was a pure adrenaline rush from the first page to the last.

Best Halloween Thriller Books for 2022

Paris Apartment

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

An apartment haunted house book? Yes, please! Jess has arrived in Paris to stay with her half-brother, Ben while she gets back on her feet. While he reluctantly agrees to help, he doesn’t answer the door when she shows up to move in.

Soon she gains entry into his apartment and begins the hunt to find out what happened to her brother. With secrets lurking around every corridor and the other residents being shady and elusive, Jess begins to think something sinister happened to Ben.

The first half of this story was a little slow while the character groundwork was laid out, but once the big reveal comes halfway through, I was reading the rest of the chapters at lightning speed. This is the only thriller on our list of books set in France and it’s a doozy! Lucy Foley is always a great pick from Halloween thriller books.

Stay Awake

Stay Awake by Megan Goldin

Megan Goldin is quickly becoming a go-to thriller writer for me. In her latest, a murder witness has amnesia and can’t remember anything once she falls asleep.

Now, Liv’s wanted for murder and she must work as hard as she can to prove her innocence before the real murderer catches up with her… if only she could remember who the murderer is!

This reminded me of Memento in all the best ways. It got a little repetitive at certain times because as the narrator, we needed to rediscover information alongside Liv. But overall, I was really into the story and it is a perfect for this list of thriller books for Halloween.

Lisa Jewell Books Ranked

The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell

Of all the Lisa Jewell books, this is the one that I was most looking forward to reading. I put it third on this list after much debate. I loved The Family Upstairs and I think in order to get the full experience with this sequel, I think you need to that book first.

The book begins with the discovery of bones in the Thames River that is related to a 30-year-old cold case.

Rachel Rimmer is shocked to discover that her husband has been found dead in his cellar and Rachel has to answer questions that delve into Michael’s past. He is connected to Lucy Lamb who is trying to settle her family after leaving London 30 years ago. We love this Halloween thriller book!

For more books like these, check out our list of Lisa Jewell Books Ranked

The House Across the Lakew

The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager

Casey Fletcher is an actress who is fleeing bad press after the death of her beloved husband. She retreats to the family’s lake house, despite the fact that this is where he husband drowned.

Casey spends her days drinking and spying on the house across the lake. When she saves former supermodel, Katherine Royce from drowning, the two strike up a friendship. It becomes clear that Katherine and her husband are having some serious issues

Some points in the story moved slowly for me and at one point, the story nearly lost me. But, I am so glad that I kept reading this pick from Lake Books. There were definitely surprises that I did not see coming. Everything about this book screams Halloween so much that this is one of the Halloween thriller books that appears on our list of ghost books as well.

For more creepy books like these, check out our list of Riley Sager Books Ranked

Haunted House Thriller Books for Halloween

The Grown Up and other Halloween thriller books

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

When a woman pretending to be a psychic is hired to do an exorcism on a house, she learns that she just might believe in the supernatural after all.

It’s only 64 pages, but this Halloween thriller book will keep you up at night.

Why I Liked It: A short and C-R-E-E-P-Y haunted house book, I wanted to put down and continue at the same time.

Find this book in Best Short Stories / Books about Con Artists / Haunted House Books / Halloween Thrillers

The Girl Before by JP Delaney

The house the story was set in is utterly fascinating. The female characters I loved, but I hated the architect. He was creepy in such a subtle way, but it totally made my skin crawl.

I was compulsively turning pages and staying up late into the night to find out what happened to Emma and Jane. Oh, and the ending was perfection. I can’t wait to see this adapted to the big screen! If you love haunted house books, you must read Halloween thriller.

Home Before Dark and other July 2021 Novel Ideas books.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

It is so strange that I have read four paranormal fiction this month! Maggie Holt spend three weeks in a house that became the subject of a best-selling novel written by her father.

During the three weeks in the house, the family was haunted by ghosts before there were eventually forced to flee. 25 years later, Maggie is shocked to learn that her father still owned the house when he died and the house is now hers.

As Maggie returns to the house to find out what really happened, she might be in for more than she bargained for. Even though this is last in our list of Riley Sager books, it was definitely a fun read that we would highly recommend.

For more books like these, check out our list of Haunted House Books

Creepy Books with Serial Killers

the maidens

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

Mariana is a therapist who is still grieving the loss of her husband when she gets a call from her niece, Zoe. Zoe’s best friend Tara is missing and Zoe is afraid something has happened to her. When women start dying at Cambridge, Mariana gets deeply involved as she tries to solve the mystery. 

Why I Love It: What an amazing thriller. Alex Michaelides did it again! This secret society book was insane with twists and turns. It kept me on the edge of my seat and my heart beating a little faster! 

Find This Book In: Dark Academia Books / Creepy Halloween Thrillers / Books Becoming TV Shows / Serial Killer Books

Survive the Night

Survive the Night by Riley Sager

Riley Sager is back with a heart-pounding read about a girl who took a ride from a stranger to get home. She’s leaving college after finding out her best friend was murdered by an unknown serial killer.

But as the night progresses, she begins to think that the stranger giving her a ride is actually the serial killer. Can she survive the night? This is one of the creepier Riley Sager Books.

Why I Love This: The creep factor in this book is off the charts. I was not sure what was going to happen and I loved the feeling.

Find This Book In: Serial Killer Books / Riley Sager Books

The Family Plot

The Family Plot by Megan Collins

The Lighthouse children are named after famous murder victims. They live in a creepy house, known as murder mansion to locals, and live an isolated life.

After their father dies, Dahlia and her two siblings return home for the first time since her twin, Andy, disappeared 9 years earlier. When they bury their father, they find Andy’s body already in his family plot.

Dahlia vows that she won’t leave again until she uncovers Andy’s murderer, but the family secrets she unearths might turn her into the next victim.

Why I Love This: CREEPY THRILLER VIBES ALERT. The premise of this haunted house book is perfect for true-crime documentary fanatics. 

Find This Book In: Domestic Noir / Halloween Thrillers/ Serial Killer Books / Best Books of 2023

Survival Thriller Books for Halloween

the shining

The Shining by Steven King

Steven King has a way of finding just the right blend of reality to add to his books to make them truly terrifying. The Shining is no exception. I don’t think there is anyone who has read this haunted hotel book who can think of an isolated cabin as a relaxing retreat ever again.

Jack Torrence is a recovering alcoholic with anger issues. He accepts a job as a winter caretaker at the Overlook Hotel in the hopes of writing his first novel.

He brings his wife and son with him in the hopes of reconnecting with them. Obviously, things go terribly wrong. This 70s book is one of the scariest thriller books for Halloween.

The Sanatorium

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

February 2021 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

Oh boy, was this a creepy haunted house book! I wish I had chosen to read it during the wintertime instead of the summer because seeing snow while reading it would have made it that much creepier.

With dead bodies piling up, and a blizzard keeping the guests of the fancy sanatorium-turned-hotel stuck inside, will Elin be able to solve the mystery before she becomes a victim herself?

Why I Love This Book: This is such a great blizzard book for mystery book lovers. It is creepy and everything else you want in a thriller.

Find This Book In: Fiction Serial Killer / Locked Room Mystery / Isolation Book /

one by one

One by One by Ruth Ware

As a creepy thriller, this book is fast-paced and heart-thumping as one person after another winds up dead.  As a mystery, I had a problem with the fact that I knew who the killer was from the very beginning. 

Where does that leave my feelings on the book? Although there were no surprises for me, this survival thriller had me cringing throughout. If you love novels about blizzards, check this isolation novel out!

Rock Paper Scissors

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

This newest book by Alice Feeney is another great read.  Her books always have me turning the pages.  This hotel novel starts with Adam and Amelia Wright headed to a weekend away in a remote Scottish getaway to save their marriage. It turns into one of the locked-room thrillers you will not be able to put down.

Told from the point of view of both Adam and Amelia, it is clear that one weekend away may not be enough.  Each year of their marriage, Adam and his wife exchange traditional wedding gifts and she writes him a letter that she will not let him read.  

When reading a domestic noir you expect twists and turns because that is part of the fun. While I expected a few, some of the ones in this stalker book were completely unexpected!  

Stalker Halloween Thriller Books

the woman in the window

The Woman in the Window: A Novel by AJ Finn

If you love old movies, you will adore this book. It is a spin on Hitchcock’s Rear Window and features an agoraphobic narrator who is often unreliable.

Anna Fox lives alone in her house. She is agoraphobic and cannot leave, so she sits at her window and watches everyone in the neighborhood. 

When she sees something across the street, she is sure there has been a crime but, what is real and what is imagined? Amy Adams stars in the Netflix adaptation of this Halloween thriller book.

The Doll Factory

The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal

This Halloween thriller book is for the historical fiction lovers. It’s about art and is part mystery, part love story, and part thriller. MacNeal’s debut takes place in Victorian England during the time of The Great Exhibition.

Iris dreams of learning to paint like a true artist, while she tolls away with her twin sister in a doll shop. Silas is a curiosity collector who can’t seem to get Iris out of his head after their chance meeting, and Albie is the rag-a-muffin street urchin I wanted to take home.

Their stories weave together in a slow burn until the blood-pumping, heart-racing conclusion. This stalker book made our list of the best books of 2019.

Goodnight Beautiful

Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Molloy

I was in the mood for a good thriller for Halloween when I stumbled across this story about a therapist and someone who is obsessed with him. Certainly. unique story on our list of books with stalkers.

I absolutely loved this one. There were many twists and turns that I just did not see coming! I gasped out loud on more than one location as I watched this creepy book unfold. It’s easily one of my favorite Halloween thriller books of the year. I did not see the ending coming at all!!! #gifted

If you are looking for more Halloween thriller books like these, you can check out our list of the best books with stalkers.

Paranormal Thrillers for Halloween

Girls of Brackenhill

Girls of Brackenhill by Kate Moretti

Holy gothic thriller, batman. This haunted house book is literally the stuff of paranormal legend.

Missing girls, ghosts, murder, and a legit creepy castle where it all goes down? Cue images of me staying up past my bedtime as I tried to get over the scary things happening in this book. I had chills a few times while reading and is one of the scarier books on this list of ghost books.

I wish I had a few more answers at the end, but I think that’s part of the point, to leave the reader to decide what they think happens next. This is the perfect paranormal Halloween thriller book.

plain bad heroines

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily Danforth

I started Plain Bad Heroines and I did not know what to think.  I was debating giving up on the book for a little while because I just wasn’t sure where the book was going.  Fast forward. I loved it and I am glad I stuck with it. This YA fantasy book is unlike any other book I have ever read. It has all the makings of cult horror. It is scary, complex and so well-written.

The lines between reality and fiction are perfectly blurred. It is a book about a book and making a movie about that same book. ( follow that? Lol) The story intertwines the lives of all those that read the book and the mystery and supernatural that follows them 🐝. I don’t usually read horror but I loved this Halloween thriller book. If you’ve read this dark academia novel, I have to talk to someone about it!!!

If you love this halloween thriller book, we have 20 more Dark Academia book recommendations here.

Urban Halloween Thriller Books

When No One is Watching

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

Sydney Green lives in Brooklyn where she has lived for almost her whole life.  Her neighborhood is quickly changing as old neighbors move away.  What starts off as fiction about gentrification and neighborhood dynamics quickly becomes a fast-moving thriller. 

Is Sydney being paranoid or are people out to get her?  To make matters worse, Sydney’s mother is sick and she does not want to put all her burdens on her best friend.  The only person Sydney can turn to is Theo but can she trust him? How far will people go to get what they want? I loved this thriller-horror book. This situation is totally plausible which makes this one of the more disturbing Halloween thriller books on this list.

The Family Upstairs

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

I love Lisa Jewell. As I read her books I find each one creepier than the last. This book starts with Libby’s 25th birthday when she inherits a multi-million dollar home. She knows that she was adopted at 10 months old but, she doesn’t know the truth about what happened to her family. She is shocked to find that the story that she was told is not what happened to her family.

25+ years ago Henry, his sister, and his parents are living a very privileged life. When he is 12 years old, things change when David moves into the house with his wife and kids with no plans to leave. He is charismatic and alluring to everyone except Henry.

This Halloween thriller book moves between past and present until the two stories come together and you finally understand what happened in the house all those years ago. I love listening to full cast audiobooks and this popular thriller book was no exception. If you love Lisa Jewell, check out our post: The Best Lisa Jewell Books Ranked: Complete List

The therapist

The Therapist by B. A. Paris

I listened to this book and I have to say that I think it added so much to the suspense! I love the way the narrators added to the story.

Alice and Leo move into a house on “The Circle”, an exclusive gated community. When Alice discovers a hidden drawer containing letters from a woman named Nina, who was a patient of the previous owner—a therapist, she decides to find out more about the therapist who lived there before.

As Alice becomes obsessed with the past, she is met with lies and confusion until she is unsure what is true. It’s the perfect Halloween thriller book!

Find this book in Halloween Thrillers / Psychological Thriller Books

Love Halloween thriller books? You’ll probably love this swag too!

What are your favorite Halloween Thriller Books?


Ultimate List of Thrillers

Love Halloween thriller books? We created this list of thrillers and carefully divided it by sub-genre. Each of these will definitely keep you on your toes.

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