1. Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrines Home for peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow - impossible though it seems - they may still be alive.
What's a better read than a series that morphs haunting images and chilling tales all into one? I can't think of much. The images alone are enough to keep you up at night, but thread is something else entirely. If you haven't already, this is definitely a series to read to get you ready for the spookiest time of the year.
2. Nightfall by Jack Halpern and Peter Kajawinski
On Marin's island, sunrise doesn't come every twenty-four hours - it comes every twenty-eight years. Now the sun is just a sliver of light on the horizon. The weather is turning cold and the shadows are growing long. Because sunset triggers the tide to roll out hundreds of miles, the islanders are frantically preparing to sail south, where they will wait out the long Night. Marin and her twin brother, Kana, help their anxious parents ready the house for departure. Locks must be taken off doors. Furniture must be arranged. Tables must be set. The rituals are puzzling - bizarre, even - but none of the adults in town will discuss why it has to be done this way. Just as the ships are about to sail, a teenage boy goes missing - the twins' friend Line. Marin and Kana are the only ones who know the truth about where Line's gone, and the only way to rescue him is by doing it themselves. But Night is falling. Their island is changing. And it may already be too late.
Night is one of the spookiest times of day. You can't see what lurks in the shadows cast by street lights or see the monster under your bed. Halpern and Kujawinski have ten this ideal an turned it into something great instead f just a scare tactic used in horror films. A definite fall must read.
3. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price - and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. kA is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off along...
A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive in the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kay's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction - if they don't kill each other first.
This is one of the most talked about books on social media. Everyone is excited. Everyone is talking. And everyone should be. This isn't your momma's story. It's dark, but exciting. It's not going to scare the crap out of you, but it is going to take you on a journey you won't soon forget. If you're not wanting a horror read, but something dark all the same, this is your book.
4. Asylum Series by Madeleine Roux
For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program - it's a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learn that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum - a last resort for the criminally insane. As Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, explore the hidden recesses of their creepy summer home, they soon discover it's no coincidence that the three of them ended up here. Because the asylum holds the key to a terrifying past. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.
Taking the photo approach that Riggs did, this is another haunting tale that will probably have you sleeping with the lights on.
5. White Rabbit Chronicles by Gena Showalter
Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. But that's all it takes. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone. Her father was right. The monsters are real. To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn't careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies.
An Alice in Wonderland inspired story with zombies? YES! We've all dressed up as Alice or a zombie for Halloween, so it's no surprise that this series made the list. It's a twisted take and a fun one too! It'll get you ready to dress up with you friends for Halloween. Who knows, maybe this series will inspire a costume.
6. Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie
Something freaky's going on with Sunshine's new house...there's the chill that wraps itself around her bones, the giggling she can hear in the dead of night, and then the strange shadows that lurk in her photographs. But the more weird stuff that happens, the less her mum believes her. Sunshine's always had a quirky affiliation with the past, but this time, history is getting much too close for comfort...If there is something, or someone, haunting her house, what do they want? And what will they do if Sunshine can't help them? As things become more frightening and dangerous, and the giggles she hears turn to sobs and screams, Sunshine has no choice but to accept what she is, face the test before her and save her mother from a fate worse than death.
What's spookier than an actual haunting? Ghosts are terrifying for a number of reasons and being trapped in a house with one is not something I plan on doing any time soon. If getting scared is on your fall rad bucket list, then this one should be on your shelf.
7. Survive the Night by Danielle Vega
Julie lies dead and disemboweled in a dank, black subway tunnel, red-eyed rate nibbling at her fingers. Her friends think she just off with some guy - no one could hear her getting torn apart over the sound of pulsing music. In a tunnel nearby, Casey regret coming to Survive the Night, the all-night underground rave in the New York City subway. Her best friend Shana talked her into it, even though Casey just got out of rehab. Alone and lost in the dark, creepy tunnels, Casey doesn't think Survive the Night could get any worse...until she comes across Julie's' body, and the party turns deadly. Desperate for help, Casey and her friends find themselves running through the putrid subways system, searching for a way out. But every manhole is sealed shut, and every noise echoes eerily in the dark, reminding them that they're not alone. They're being hunted. Tapped underground with someone - or something - out to get them, Casey can't help but listen to her friends' terrified regain: "We're all gonna die down here...." in this bone chilling sophomore novel by the acclaimed author of The Merciless.
This is one is cary because it doesn't deal with the paranormal or the unexplained. It make the fall reading list because it is a different approach than the aforementioned stories, but it will still give you chills. And not the good kind of chills. The chill of a some psychopath's breath on your neck.
8. Blood and Salt by Kim Ligget
"When you fall in love, you will carve out your heart and throw it in the deepest ocean. You will be al in - blood and salt." These are the last words Ash Larkin hears before her mother returns to the spiritual commune she escaped long ago. But when Ash follows her to Quivira, Kansas, something sinister and ancient waits among the rustling cornstalks of this village lost to time. Ash is plagued by memories of her ancestor, Katia, which harken back to the town's history of unrequited love and murder, alchemy and immortality. Charming traditions soon give way to a string of gruesome deaths, and Ash feels drawn to Dane, a forbidden boy with secret of his own. As the community prepares for a ceremony five hundred years in the making, Ash must fight not only to save her mother, but herself - and discover the truth about Quivira before it's too late. Before she's all in - blood and salt.
This read brings romance to the horror table. And let's be real. There's nothing more terrifying than falling in love. That set up against a horror-esque backdrop will have you wanting more.