The 22 Best Ghost Books: Spooky and Not So Spooky
There is something about ghost books that I love to read in the fall. Colder nights, crunchy leaves, and Halloween all scream ghost stories to me. This year, we read so many great books with ghosts that we could not wait to share them with you.
Whether the ghosts in these books are the main characters or make a small appearance, we read and loved every book on this list.
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Best Ghost Books of 2022
The Witches of Moonshyne Manor by Bianca Marais
I am a huge fan of Ms. Marais’ writing. I read her previous two books and was so excited to read this one because fantasy is my favorite genre. This book did not disappoint. The writing is beautiful and very much Marais’ style and the witches in this book are hilarious. They are witty and funny and there is never a dull moment in the Manor.
The magic in this book is woven seamlessly into the story that has non-stop surprises. The book begins with the people of the town descending onto the manor with a wrecking ball to destroy it and the distillery and leave the witches homeless. They are left with less than two weeks to save their house but in order to do so, they must reveal long-kept secrets.
I do not want to give anything away. This family drama book made me laugh out loud often and shed a few tears as well. I absolutely loved this witch book and it is a definite must-read from our list of ultimate beach reads 2023.
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- after all, you find out a lot of things when watching the neighbors all day through binoculars.
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 book is such a great pick from our ultimate beach reads 2023.
Paranormal Romance Books
The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston
This book was a complete delight to read from the very first page. Florence day is a ghostwriter for one of the most successful and well-known romance authors in the industry. The name is apt seeing as how she can also see ghosts. But, after a terrible break-up, she no longer believes in love.
When her new editor will not give her an extension on her deadline, she is in a panic and is on the verge of losing her career. Now, the unthinkable has happened. Her beloved father has died and she must return home to bury him. When she sees the ghost of her editor outside the funeral parlor, she cannot understand why he is there with her, and her life is turned upside down. This is one of my favorite ghost books and could easily be in the best of 2022 as well.
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
I absolutely loved Casey’s first book and had very high hopes for this one.
August moves to NYC and into a house filled with weird roommates. When she meets Jane on the subway, sparks fly immediately, and riding the subway becomes the best part of her day. The twist? Jane is displaced from the 1970s and cannot get off the train.
I enjoyed this one from our list of ghost books, but I felt that there were some parts that dragged on a bit. It is very hard to find new ways to talk about a relationship that can only take place on the train. I loved the premise of this uniquw book.
Award-Winning Ghost Books
Beloved by Toni Morrison
HOW HAVE I NEVER READ TONI MORRISON BEFORE? I swear I thought I had read this book, but after reading The Toni Morrison Book Club, I realized I hadn’t. When my library hold finally came up for this one, I realized I was so excited to read this book about motherhood.
Morrison is easily one of the most gifted writers I’ve ever read. Beloved haunted me while I was reading it. I can’t wait to read more of her work.
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
This book is an award winner and the writing is undeniably wonderful. The story itself has elements of magic that added to the difficult subject matter. The story deals with drugs, violence, and poverty- all of which are completely relevant in today’s society.
The characters did not develop throughout the story as much as I would have liked but, when added to the wonderful writing, this book in our list of ghost books is a worthwhile read.
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Strange, but probably one of the most imaginative novels I have ever experienced. It’s about the night that Abraham Lincoln buried his son and takes place entirely in the cemetery.
I listened to this full-cast audiobook which was great because it used 166 voices including David Sedaris, Lena Dunham, Ben Stiller, Julianne Moore, Susan Sarandon, Kat Dennings, and Don Cheadle among others. As ghost books go, this one is not to be missed!
Under the Whispering Door by T.J Klune
How many stars can I give? T.J Klune has done it again with the wonderful book. House on the Cerulean Sea was my favorite book last year and I am not sure that anything will top it. I read it in a day and loved every minute of this wonderful book.
Wallace is dead. When the reaper collects him at his funeral and brings him to a strange tea shop, Hugo is waiting with the promise of helping him cross over. This is one of the ghost books I can read over and over!
Christmas Books with Ghosts
Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle
If you only read one Christmas book this holiday season, let it be Just Like Magic. I adored this funny romance from Sarah Hogle. The premise is amazing. Down-on-her-luck Bettie Hughes accidentally summons the magical Holiday Spirit, who can’t leave her until he raises her spirit level.
So going by the name of Hal, he poses as her boyfriend for her week-long family Christmas vacation. His use of magic throughout the week is hysterical. It also helps that the chemistry between Hal and Bettie crackles. It’s unlike any other Christmas story I’ve read in the best way possible! I can imagine this book as a movie and it would be a classic. Ghost books and Christmas in one? Amazing!
The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand
This YA book was quite clever as a modern retelling of Dicken’s classic. 17-year-old Holly was visited by the ghosts of Christmas because she was a total scrooge.
But she woke up unaffected by the visit and died shortly thereafter. Now she has to work for Operation Scrooge as she tries to help other poor scrooges like herself.
She’s been the ghost of Christmas past for 5 years now but this year is different…this year something changes…and it might just be her!
More Ghost Books
The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand
This is my favorite Elin Hilderbrand EVER. As usual, Elin’s storytelling revolves around a large cast of characters, this time employees of The Hotel Nantucket.
As we spend a summer with the staff and select hotel guests, we get to see what goes on behind the scenes of a luxury hotel. We see romances unfold and fall apart multiple scandals, demanding guests, and a ghost story!
I love how everyone’s stories folded together while revolving around the glorious hotel. If only I could visit this beach town resort this summer!
Girls of Brackenhill by Kate Moretti
Holy gothic thriller, batman. This 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.
Broken Girls by Simone St. James
The story moves back and forth between Vermont in the 1950s and 2014. Idlewild Hall is a school where girls were sent to be forgotten. It was shut down decades ago and is rumored to be haunted but, is suddenly bought by an unknown benefactor who intends to restore it and reopen it.
Fiona Sheridan is a journalist, whose sister died on the property of Idlewild in the 90s. She cannot let go of the past and decides to write a story about the school and its history.
What they discover on the property of Idlewild takes the reader on a thrilling mystery and Idlewild slowly gives up its dark secrets. I loved the mystery and could not put the book down. The paranormal component wasn’t over the top which made it readable with just the right amount of fear factor. There is something about ghost books that take place at schools that are extra creepy.
Ghost Books for Teens
House of Yesterday by Deeba Zargarpur
In this paranormal story, Sara is the descendant of Afghan-Uzbek refugees dealing with the impact immigration has had on her family for generations.
Whilst experiencing the divorce of her parents, she begins helping her mother flip a home. But whenever Sara goes into that home, she is literally confronted by the ghosts of her past.
She can’t stop searching for answers from the ghost she realizes is a much younger version of her grandmother, Bibi Jan. But as she tries to untangle the secrets her grandmother has held tight to her chest, her own grib on familial relationships starts to unravel.
While I was frustrated at Sara numerous times for acting like a teenager (which she is as is the audience for this book) I found the story to be a lovely tribute to the bonds of family and the traditions we never leave behind.
The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould
Something is dark and scary in Snakebite, Oregon where teenagers go missing and the weather is wonky. When Logan Ortiz-Woodley travels to her father’s hometown to film their ghost hunters television show, her dad becomes a suspect and is certainly acting strange.
This YA paranormal fiction was a really different read than anything I had read before and is one of our favorite fantasy books for teens.
Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout
I loved the Disney cartoon Gargoyles when I was a little girl, so when I saw a YA Fantasy book about creatures, I knew I needed it. I read this to help ease me out of my House of Earth and Blood book hangover and it was a perfect read.
It’s actually a spin-off of one of Armentrout’s other series, which I didn’t know until after I read the story. I didn’t feel like I missed anything having read this first. Gargoyles are Wardens out to fight demons and protect humans, and one special human in particular. This urban fantasy is as much romance as fantasy.
Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas
I loved this unique Peter Pan story that had me thinking about the true meaning of Neverland and the stories of the lost boys. Wendy Darling and her parents have never been able to move on after her brothers disappeared mysteriously five years ago.
Wendy has no memories of the 6 months she was gone and no explanation for why she came home and her brothers didn’t. Now, as children start to go missing again, it feels too similar to be a coincidence. This is a smart, well-written, well thought out twisted Peter Pan story. Thank you to Lobro.fm for my copy of this book.
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
This book started so strong for me, I was completely enraptured with this world. As the story continued, I found the story changed tones. What was once a hopeful story, slowly became a story of unreachable love.
200 years ago Weep was cut off from the world so much so that nobody can even remember the city’s real name. When Lazio starts dreaming of a blue-skinned woman, he cannot forget her.
This YA fantasy has paranormal elements, warriors and magic. It is unlike any other.
Middle-Grade Ghost Books
Winterhouse by Ben Guterson
We like to listen to books as a family when we are in the car together or doing a puzzle. The standout book for me this month was Winterhouse. It’s such a fun hotel novel!
This middle-grade mystery was as enthralling to me as it was to my boys. I loved the slight bits of magic in the story and the captivating setting of an expansive ski hotel on a snowy mountain at Christmas time. If you love a cozy mystery book, pick this one up!
City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
While this is technically a middle-grade book, it was SCARY. I absolutely loved it but, it should not be read by anyone who is afraid of ghost stories or ghost books.
When Cass is rescued from drowning, she is suddenly able to maneuver between the land of the living and the other side of the veil. The boy that rescued her is a ghost and he becomes her best friend.
Her parents are ghost hunters and then they get a job filming a tv show in Scotland, they all pack up and go, including Cass’s ghost. What they find is scary, creepy and a fabulously fun read
Greenglass House by Kate Milford
This middle-grade mystery reminded me of Harry Potter in some ways. A child is trying to uncover the secrets of Greenglass House, a hotel for smugglers and spies before the adults do.
We read this as a family read-aloud and it was wonderful.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K Rowling
I was in university when this book was published and the first four were sitting on my younger brother’s bookshelf before I picked it up to see what the fuss was about.
I read all four books in as many days and was married with a child before the final book was published.
This book is so much more than just a book. It is a vernacular that is used in our house. It is the book that changed all books and our culture forever.
I am so grateful for the world of Harry Potter because I think it opened up the world of books to people who may never have known they love to read. Harry Potter shows up on our list of books like Percy Jackson too! And if you love Harry like we do, check out our 17 Books like Harry Potter for Kids Obsessed with Magic or 21 Adult Books Similar to Harry Potter for Fans of Magic.