11 Scary Haunted House Books to Keep You Up at Night

Scary Haunted House Thrillers
11 Scary Haunted House Books to Keep You Up at Night 15

These scary haunted house books are the perfect books to keep you up at night. With Halloween right around the corner, we cannot wait to add a little fright to our reading. These haunted house novels will be sure to make you look in dark corners, turn on lights and lock your doors.

While you may not believe in ghosts or haunted houses, we dare you to read these books without having your heart skip a beat.

*the haunted house novels 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.

Best Haunted House Book of 2023

starling house

Starling House for Alix E. Harrow

October 2023 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

I read this book from the New York Times best-selling author of Ten Thousand Doors of January and I absolutely loved every minute of it. Opal is a high school dropout who would do anything for her brother Jasper. She is determined to get him out of Eden Kentucky- the small town that is plagued with bad luck.

When Opal finds a job working at Starling House, the home of E. Starling, the author of The Underland who disappeared more than one hundred years ago, it seems too good to be true. The house is steeped in rumors of hauntings and strange things happening. And many of these rumors surround the house’s mysterious owner Arthur Starling.

This is an adult fantasy book that has a little bit of everything. It is part haunted house book, part fairy tale, part love story, and entirely a fast-paced, page-turning delight.

The Best Haunted House Books

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? This is such a great blizzard book for mystery book lovers and is perfect for anyone who loves locked room mysteries or isolation novels.

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.

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!  

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 summer reads 2023 and a great book for fall.

More Haunted House Books

The Grown Up and other Halloween thriller books

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

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

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.

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 in this paranormal book.

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.

The Family Plot

The Family Plot by Megan Collins

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

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.

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 horror novels I’ve ever read and its perfect for our list of winter books!

Riley Sager’s Best Haunted House Books

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.

We LOVE Riley Sager. Be sure to check out The Best Riley Sager Books Ranked by Super Fans. This haunted house book is such a great pick from our ultimate beach reads 2023 and is a perfect pick from paranormal books.

lock every door

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

Riley Sager is quickly becoming a must-read author for me. I absolutely loved this last book, The Last Time I Lied, so I was eager to pick this one up. The story is told via a dual timeline about 4 days apart.

Jules is hired to apartment-sit at a ridiculously wealthy building in NYC. But there are strange rules to protect the residents of The Bartholomew – no visitors, no disturbing the neighbors, and no spending nights away from the apartment.

There are also some concerning urban legends surrounding the lush residence. It was fun to read a haunted house book that was set in an apartment.

Let’s just say I was glad I was not alone while I was reading this thriller horror book. If you love disturbing psychological thriller books, don’t miss our entire list of The Best Riley Sager Books Ranked by Super Fans!

Is your favorite haunted house book on the list? Which haunted house novels are you planning to read?


Ultimate List of Thrillers

Love Thrillers? We created this list and carefully divided it by sub-genre. These will definitely keep you on your toes.

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