For fans of all things spooky, Halloween is the best time of the year, and there’s no better way to celebrate than by visiting corn mazes, haunted houses, and other creepy sites. But if you can’t get away, then you can always travel to one of the eerie, atmospheric, or just plain scary locales featured in these brilliantly unnerving books. From labyrinthine and shadowy mansions to isolated and mysterious islands, these novels all take place in locations guaranteed to give you the shivers for Halloween!
10 Spooky Literary Locations to Spend Your Halloween
Travel to a ruinous and sprawling Scottish estate on a small island where a woman is shocked to discover human remains. Are the remains related to a long-dead distant relative whose wife disappeared? Or is something more sinister at play? This stark, suspenseful debut is perfect for fans of the moody novels by Daphne Du Maurier.
Follow one of literature’s greatest detectives on what shoud have been a tranquil cruise down the Nile River when a beautiful woman is mysteriously murdered. Hercule Poirot must find the killer amid a group of eccentric and colorful guests on a claustrophobia-causing luxury cruise in this classic mystery from the “Queen of Crime.”
Furniture stores may seem dull, but you haven’t been to Orsk. In an effort to find out who or what has been mysteriously destroying products, three employees decide to stay in the store overnight—a night that none of them will forget. As funny as it is spooky, this story is a clever breath of fresh air for the horror genre.
HORRORSTÖR is a contemporary haunted-house story set in an Ikea-like furniture superstore and told in the format of a glossy mail-order catalog—complete with product illustrations and a map of the labyrinthine showroom.
Five young boys discover that their Midwestern town and its school are home to something dark and evil. And it has the power to obliterate the boys, their family, and everything they know. Terrifying in its realistic writing, SUMMER OF NIGHT is a brilliant and stellar thriller for anyone who remembers the terrors of childhood.
The eponymous Hitchcock film scared people out of motels—and out of the cinema. But did you know that PSYCHO was a book first? It’s a disturbing novel that has influenced countless writers. Mary Crane has no idea that when she checks in to the Bates Motel one rainy night, it houses a dark and bloody secret. This thriller is still captivating and capable of inducing shivers after nearly 60 years.
Norman Bates loves his Mother. She has been dead for the past twenty years, or so people think. Norman knows better though. He has lived with Mother ever since leaving the hospital in the old house up on the hill above the Bates motel. One night Norman spies on a beautiful woman that checks into the hotel as she undresses. Norman can't help but spy on her. Mother is there though. She is there to protect Norman from his filthy thoughts. She is there to protect him with her butcher knife.
A mysterious carnival appears suddenly after midnight a week before Halloween—surely that can’t be a bad sign. But in this classic tale of good and evil by Ray Bradbury, the carnival has something sinister amid its smoke and mirrors, and it’s the stuff of nightmares.
The show is about to begin.The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween a week early. The shrill siren song of a calliope beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And two boys will discover the secret of its smoke, mazes, and mirrors; two friends who will soon know all too well the heavy cost of wishes. . .and the stuff of nightmare.
Can an entire town be haunted? In this Dutch novel, the answer is yes. A scenic Hudson Valley town has been haunted since the 1600s by a terrifying witch. Local teens decide to reveal their town’s curse, setting off a thrilling and bloodcurdling chain of events. A whip-smart and modern take on witches, HEX is exceptionally original.
A moody thriller from the author of MYSTIC RIVER, SHUTTER ISLAND combines death and despair with Cold War paranoia. Two US marshals are investigating a disappearance at a hospital for the criminally insane, and soon they realize nothing is what it seems. Full of twists and turns, this novel will keep you enthralled well after you turn the last page.
Multiple murderess Rachel Solando is loose somewhere on Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, and U.S. Marhsal Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule are on the case. As a killer hurricane bears down on the island, hints of radical experimentation and covert government machinations add darker, more sinister shades to an already bizarre case. Just as deliciously un-put-down-able and full of twists and turns as a Gillian Flynn favorite.
How well do we really know the people in our family? Catherine Burns expertly explores this question in this unsettling tale of two siblings and their secrets. What does John do in the locked cellar and why does Marion continue to ignore the signs of something sinister at play in her home? A disturbing novel with a shocking conclusion.
Few English estates are as famous as Manderley, but the narrator—the second Mrs. de Winter—can’t help but feel a claustrophobic sense of foreboding in the labyrinthine mansion. From the empty rooms, untouched since the first Mrs. de Winter’s death, to the sinister housekeeper, REBECCA is a modern gothic novel with a haunting presence that will stay with you forever.
I watched the classic Hitchcock film of Daphne Du Maurier’s gothic masterpiece starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine for the first time in years the other night, and in loving it was reminded of how much I also loved the book. Is there a first line of a novel more evocative than “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again”? Only Hitchcock could do justice to the moodiness and plot twists of Du Maurier’s genius work.