The 23 Best Ghost Books: Spooky and Not So Spooky

Ghost Books
The 23 Best Ghost Books: Spooky and Not So Spooky 31

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 paranormal books 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 of paranormal books.

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Best Ghost Books of 2023

on fire island

On Fire Island by Jane L Rosen

I absolutely adored this magical realism book. It is a delightful magical realism book. Do not let the fact that it is a paranormal book throw you off if this is not your usual genre. The book is narrated by Julia Moore, a book editor who died at thirty-seven.

She follows her husband to Fire Island, her happy place, to spend one last summer with him and their friends on the Island. I absolutely loved this book. This is a powerful story about love, friendship, and happiness. It is one of the best picks for Ultimate Beach Reads 2023. This paranormal book is a heart-warming, feel-good book rather than spooky or creepy.

The Library of Shadows

The Library of Shadows by Rachel Moore

This romantic, paranormal book is a great YA debut. Este Logano has enrolled in Radcliffe Prep, the third spookiest school around, on a mission to uncover the truth about her deceased father.

Along the way, she encounters Mateo, a charmingly annoying ghost, and together they embark on a wild journey through trapdoors, hidden passages, and ghost-filled halls to solve a mystery that started decades before.

If you love books set in a library, we have an entire list for you as well! Some of this young adult fantasy novel was definitely creepy and I could not stop turning the pages.

The Witches of Bone Hill

The Witches of Bone Hill by Ava Morgyn

Cordelia and Eustace are sisters who have inherited a large Victorian mansion. The catch? In order to collect their inheritance, they must live inside the quirky mansion.

With a dash of mystery, a touch of romance, and a sprinkle of spooky ancestors, the sisters must navigate the house, a captivating groundskeeper, and the secrets that have been haunting their family for generations. The sisters will need to embrace the powers that they have been taught to ignore in order to mend their bond, uncover the truth, and save themselves.

This is one of the witch books that is not only spooky but completely captivating from the first page.

Best Ghost Books of 2022

Ghost 19 by Simone St. James

Ghost 19 by Simone St. James

This is the first short story by Simone St. James and I loved it. Ginette Cox has moved to a suburb of NY from NYC. Her doctors have told her that she needs a break. Slowly, she becomes obsessed with watching the people in her neighborhood all the while feeling that she cannot leave her house.

As time goes by, Ginette cannot figure out of she is suffering from severe anxiety or if it is the house that has a hold on her. This short, paranormal book is perfect for Halloween. It is also perfect for isolation books with unreliable narrators- is she agoraphobic or is there something else going on?

The witches of moonshyne manor

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. And, what would a book about witches be without a ghost or two haunting the manor? This is why we included it on our list of ghost 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.

Paranormal Romance Books

The Dead Romantics

The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston

GMA Book Club Pick July 2022

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.

If you are looking for a book for fall, I love this adorable paranormal book that is one of the best romances of the season. Ashley Posten is quickly becoming my go-to for summer reads.

One Last Stop and other May 2021 Novel Ideas books.

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. As paranormal romance books go, this one is not to be missed.

I enjoyed this book 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 time travel romance book.

the medium

The Medium: A Romantic Historical Fantasy Ghost Story by CJ Archer (Emily Chambers Spirit Medium Book 1)

These are such a guilty pleasure for me.  They are quick, paranormal books with a little bit of paranormal activity and not a lot of substance.  The books are fun with a little bit of action and a little bit of romance as well.  What do you do when you fall in love with a ghost?

This is just one of the paranormal books that is perfect as a guilty pleasure read.

Award-Winning Ghost Books

beloved

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 it.

Morrison is easily one of the most gifted writers I’ve ever read. Beloved, which is based on the true story of a runaway slave, haunted me while I was reading it. I can’t wait to read more of her work.

Find this book in Magical Realism Books / Best Classic Books / Books about Motherhood / Ghost Books

sing unburied sing


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 add 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 this ghost book is a worthwhile read when considering the wonderful writing. The paranormal aspect makes this a great book for fall.

lincoln in the bardo

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! it’s truly one of the best fantasy audiobooks ever! If you are looking for a book for fall, this pick is fantastic.

Under the Whispering Door and more family drama books

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 this paranormal book in a day and loved every minute of this wonderful family drama book that is truly about found family.

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 light fantasy will make you smile until the last page.

Christmas Books with Ghosts

Just Like magic and more Christmas romance books

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 paranormal romance book and it is one of the best holiday books ever! 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! If you are looking for reverse grumpy sunshine books, this should be at the top of your list. Gifted by Putnam

The Afterlife of Holly Chase

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! This paranormal book is such a great read and a perfect YA book for Christmas.

More Ghost Books

The Hotel Nantucket

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!

The narrator of this book is the ghost that haunts the hotel. This is one of the most original paranormal books we have ever read!

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.

Broken Girls

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

House of Yesterday by Deeba Zargarpur

In this paranormal book, 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.

storm and fury

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 that is also a paranormal romance book, 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. This pick from fantasy romance books for

It’s actually a spin-off of one of Armentrout’s other YA fantasy book 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

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 fairy tale retelling. This pick is perfect for a list of the best teen fantasy books and it is also one of the best paranormal books for teens.

strangethedreamer

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 book has warriors and magic, but is it also a completely original paranormal book. It is unlike any other.

Middle-Grade Ghost Books

winterhouse

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 for a 10-year-old, pick this one up! We also included this in our list of paranormal books and it is one of the best.

City of ghosts

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

While this is technically a middle-grade book, this paranormal book 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 young adult fantasy novel.

Greenglass House and more family audiobooks for road trips

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. It’s one of the books for an 11-year-old that younger readers might struggle with.

Harry potter and the sorcerer's stone and more fantasy books for tweens

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 is the book that introduces us to Harry, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger; our fearless trio.  We also meet the other favorite beloved and detested characters that make the Harry Potter book series so special. After all, what would Hogwarts be without Hagrid, Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, Professor Snape, and Draco Malfoy?

Find this book in Books like Harry Potter / Books Like Percy Jackson / 21 Adult Books Similar to Harry Potter for Fans of Magic / Harry Potter Books in Order

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Ultimate List of Best Adult Fantasy Novels to Read

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Ultimate List of YA Fantasy

If fantasy books are your favorite books, then these are the perfect book lists for you. We carefully divided them into sub-genres.

YA Fantasy Header 1
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What is your favorite ghost book?

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