YA Horror/Halloween Recommendations

ya horror rec

It’s almost October and that means that everyone is picking out their TBR’s and lots of people are daring to dive into the horror section a little more.  As someone who adores anything horror, this makes me very happy.  I’m constantly asked for recommendations in YA horror, and since Halloween is coming up, it seems like the perfect time to do this post.  I know YA horror doesn’t have an amazing selection of decent horror, but I promise there are a few gems in among all the junk!

Little disclaimer, I’ve been watching and reading horror since I was very young and what scares someone is VERY subjective. I’ll do my best to give any thoughts on spookiness/scare level.  I’ve rated the spook factor of the books with, of course, candy corn!

horror (1)

Slasher Girls and Monsters by April Genevieve Tucholke
The anthology is full of well known YA authors such as Jay Kristoff, Leigh Bardugo, and Marie Lu. The stand-out story being In the Forest Dark and Deep by Carrie Ryan, an incredibly creepy Alice in Wonderland re-imaging.  I get the heebie jeebies just thinking about that story.
Spooky Factor: candycorn4

Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics
If your family decides to take up and move to a rural cabin in the middle of nowhere that is full of blood and gore when you get there, turn around – just saying! This story is all kinds of disturbing and NOT for the faint of heart.  It’s not a fast paced story by any means, it builds the tension and horror very slowly and by the end it’s an all out blood bath.  There is very graphic violence, gore and child death in this.  Be prepared, no really.
Spooky Factor: candycorn5

And the Trees Crept In (Also known as The Creeper Man) by Dawn Kurtagich
Dawn is one of my favorite YA horror writers for a reason, her books are always a complete mind f*ck!  Don’t go into this one looking for a balls-to-the-walls splatter fest, this is a psychological horror.  The atmosphere and character building drive this book, it’s a very slow burn and you will question everything.  Possibly your own sanity by the end!
Spooky Factor: candycorn3

Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich
Another Dawn book makes an entry on this list! Dead House is told to you through articles, past interviews and videos and diary entries.  I loved the formatting and getting little bits of information fed to me over time.  Another book that will leaving you guessing until the very end and does have a bit of an open ending, so if that frustrates you then it might not be the book for you.
Spooky Factor: candycorn3


Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell
Want some creepy dolls in your life? Pick up this little underrated gem.  I came upon this one by accident and it was such a pleasant surprise.  Delightfully messed up and creepy.  Want to know how disturbing this one is? Well, one of the children (a five year old) is so terrified of bones that she attempts to remove her own skeleton on a regular basis.  That disturbing enough for you?
Spooky Factor: candycorn4

The Merciless by Danielle Vega
You’ve likely heard Danielle Vega’s name around, she is quite popular in the YA community for writing horror books and her Merciless series is her most popular.  This isn’t a nice book, this is a mean spirited book and I loved it for it.  A bunch of girls think one of the girls at their school is possessed and they are determined to save her soul.  Things get really violent, really fast.  It certainly makes you question who are the real monsters in this story.
Spooky Factor:  candycorn2

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
The only graphic novel recommendation here (hopefully I will have some more next year).  Good god this one is so creepy – the artwork is stunning and horrifying all at once.  This is a collection of short stories and I’m sure at least one of them will keep you up that night!
Spooky Factor: candycorn5

Asylum by Madeline Roux
Who doesn’t love a creepy book that takes place in an old asylum? It’s one of my favorite type of settings.  This is a good one for beginners that want a little scare but nothing TOO much.  It’s a fun, little scary story with lots of actual photographs to help give the book the right atmosphere.
Spooky Factor: candycorn2


The Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco
A spirit that gets revenge on those who harm children? Sign me up! If you liked The Ring and/or The Grudge then this is probably going to be a book you’ll want to check out.  It has a unique take on a popular horror theme.
This is also the October group book for the fantastic Dragons & Tea Book Group, if you are interested in reading it next month.
Spooky Factor: candycorn3

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
This is a bit of an odd choice for me to include because it reads a lot like a romantic contemporary with a gruesome setting.  This wasn’t a lot of people’s favorite book, but I thought it was a lot of fun.  I liked the chemistry and the romance didn’t bother me at all.  It was a fun, campy, 90s-like slasher book.
Spooky Factor: candycorn2

Campfire by Shawn Sarles
If you are looking for some cheesy, 90s fun with a death count then look no further.  Campfire is reminiscent of films like I Know What You Did Last Summer.  It’s just a good time, if you can put your brain away for a few hours and go with it.
Spooky Factor: candycorn2

Mary: The Summoning (Bloody Mary #1) by Hilary Monohan
Did the Bloody Mary urban legend scare the shit out of you as a child as well? This book plays on that legend.  Four girls start messing around with calling upon Mary with some freaky results.  This is just a fun, quick read that is perfect for October (or if you are like me – anytime of the year!).
Spooky Factor: candycorn3

Have you read any of these? Are you planning on reading any for October? Have any recs for me? Let me know in the comments below! Also, don’t worry – I have a recommendation list coming for the scaredy cats among us!


45 thoughts on “YA Horror/Halloween Recommendations

  1. I’m very easily scared so I rarely read horror (and therefore haven’t read any of these you’ve recommended), but I thought Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough was really good! (And terrified me into several sleepless nights.) I’m planning to read The Deathless Girls next month, should be creepy but hopefully not TOO much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a trilogy and it’s much more tame in the horror department. It’s a good starter. I can’t say if YA horror would be any better for you – I guess it depends why you aren’t into horror. If it’s because of scares then YA is usually tamer – but that depends too.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a really creepy book! I never know how to rate the spooky factor because you can’t really say how scary something will be to someone. I have friends that don’t scare at anything and others that scare at spooky picture books LOL I didn’t like the rest of the books as much as the first. I plan on doing mini reviews on the series in October!


  2. This post was all I needed, honey! You’re the best, I’m writing down every book to have in mind, I haven’t yet created my TBR for next month, but I have so many books in mind, your list will help me a lot ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. OOooooooooooOooooOoOOo!! JUST READING ABOUT THESE GAVE ME A SERIOUS CASE OF CREEPS *shudders* and damn the cover on every single one of them…AND GOD HELPS THE PEDSON WHO READS THESE PAST MIDNIGHT! 😱😱

    Yeah who am I even kidding! I am STILL gonna his nd read these despite the fact that I will be sleeping with my lights on and my heart in clutches for many many nights to come afterwards! 🤣🤣🤣


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahahaha omg this post made me so happy! These covers are pretty creepy! Some of them are downright scary!

      You might need some extra lights on at night but so worth it – it’s good to get a few goosebumps for the fall season!!!

      Thank you so much for the amazing comments!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahh, I love this list! YA horror is such a fun micro-genre. I definitely need to read some of these as Halloween grows closer. 🙂


  5. THIS LIST IS MAKING MY TBR NEVER-ENDING but nevertheless I love me some really good horror recs and these books seem like the perfect reads for spooks! Happy to see Rin Chupeco here (I adored The Girl From The Well) ! I also read Asylum a while back and while I agree that it wasn’t much scary, the photographs kinda added to the creep factor! Amazing list! ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I’m so glad you liked the list! Yes, Asylum is more of a beginners horror book I think. Fairly tame, it’s always hard to figure out how to rate the books because some people scare so easy and some (like myself) don’t scare easy at all.

      Rin Chupeco is fantastic! Although the theme wasn’t really for me, I loved the writing and thought it had some really strong elements and anyone who enjoys the theme would likely love it, so I couldn’t leave it off!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve read The Dead House and Someone’s Inside Your House and they were both kind of meh to me.
    I will check out some of these though. After reading Wilder Girls and #murdertrending, this is a genre that’s interesting me more than I thought it would.


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