Top Ten Halloween Reads

Halloween is not big in South Africa – did you know that? I’m not sure why, it seems it just never took off. Most of us know what it’s about though, but trick-or-treating doesn’t happen, and neither does dress-up on a large scale (apart from college parties). A large number of Christians here condemn it, there’s an article about that here.

I always wanted to go trick-or-treating when I was little, and it all seemed so FUN, so I feel a little bummed. That and I’m a total scaredy-cat, so I’m not entirely sure that I’d survive a fully-fledged Halloween in one piece. Regardless, here is a list of my Top Ten Books for Halloween.

The Last Vampire by Hall Willis

This is a kiddie-book about a family lost on holiday who discover Castle Alucard. Their son, Henry, notices that Alucard backwards spells Dracula, and investigates. It’s a very cute story and a little thrilling too. Child-friendly and not gory.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I wasn’t sure that I would enjoy this one, because the whole Frankenstein-thing always seemed so overdone. I didn’t really enjoy it all that much, but it certainly made me think. It wasn’t too scary either, but the Gothic element is definitely there, and I did look under my bed a handful of times to be sure no monstrous murderer was stalking me.

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Another one I was hesitant to read. It started off slowly, but about a quarter into it I was thoroughly spooked. Definitely one of my favourites.

Let’s Get Invisible! by R.L. Stine

I hated these books because they scared me so much, but I couldn’t drag myself away from them! Eventually I stopped checking them out at the library because I couldn’t sleep. Told you I’m a scaredy-cat. I loved this particular one though – invisibility appealed to me.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Perhaps not entirely spooky, but aliens invading our brains? Yeah… freaky much.

The Witches by Roald Dahl

Guys, I was used to cute and bubbly Dahl-books and then this one came along and spooked me right out of my socks! I viewed my teachers with suspicion for weeks after reading it. It is witty and funny as always, though.

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

This series is so… dark and gloomy and freaky. I don’t think I would re-read it, but it is definitely Halloween-worthy.

Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reichs

The books which brought about the series Bones. I don’t care how scientific or life-like these are, these books scare the living daylights out of me.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

You can’t say this didn’t scare you the first time you read it. Not? Okay, it scared me. Witches and wizards and all sorts of creatures, and of course the evil. This was of course also a series that people tried to ban as it apparently had links to the occult.

Deadlands by Lily Herne

Zombies in Cape Town! Government, conspiracies, and the undead. Read my review here.


  1. Love how you included the classics – Dracula & Frankenstein – it’s been too long since I read those.

  2. emziixgx says:

    Matilda is a really popular book today. I haven’t read it but think I will need to get it for reading next week.
    great list

    1. Read ALL the Roald Dahl books! 😀

  3. I never read The Witches but I loved the movie when I was a kid. I agree that aliens invading our brains is super freaky. Great list!

  4. Inger-Kristina Wegener says:

    “The Halloween Tree” by Ray Bradbury came to my mind, too. I loved it as a kid though I haven’t read it since. For a while I absolutely loved Bradbury, and then, as sometimes happens with a favorite thing, I didn’t and I passed some pretty harsh judgements the way only a former fan would. “Dated”, “predictable” etc. but now I think I should reread some of his work and maybe reconsider. I have noticed recently (rereading Hermann Hesse, for example) that I had discarded some authors prematurely and maybe more due to a kind of ill attitude on my side. Maybe this halloween I will reread “The Halloween Tree”. Thanks for the inspiration. Oh, and congratulations on completing your Fourth Year exams! I hope you are content with your results.

    1. I’m definitely going to look for The Halloween Tree – it seems awesome! Thanks 🙂

  5. readerbuzz says:

    I honestly thought everyone celebrated Halloween. It’s the day before my birthday so, when I was little, I thought everyone was dressing up and coming over for me! I still love to dress up.

    Here’s my Ten Ten Books to Get You in the Halloween Spirit. I hope you’ll stop in!

    1. That’s adorable! I tried to get my parents to change my birth date to closer to Christmas.
      One day I’ll get my kids to dress up for Halloween. It seems so fun.

  6. Great list, I see a few I read and loved myself (Harry Potter of course!) and a few I still have to conquer 🙂

    My TTT

  7. love the host, and the witches.. pretty much all of your picks! great post!
    Check out our TTT !
    Katie @ Inkk

  8. Liesel Hill says:

    I had Dracula and Frankenstein on my list too. Witches by Roald Dahl is a good one! Totally forgot about that one. The movie used to scare the crap out of me as a kid! 😀
    My TTT. Happy Tuesday! ;D

    1. Everyone is mentioning the movie and I didn’t even know that there was a movie of the Witches. Neeeed to see it!

  9. It makes me sad that you’ve never been trick or treating! Halloween was one of my favourite holidays as a kid, and I still invite myself to my brother’s house on Halloween so that I can see my nieces dressed up and hand out candy.

    1. I know right?! I could have attended a rare trick-or-treat in Cape Town this weekend, but since I am away on my elective that is now not happening after all.

  10. nightmareonbookstreet says:

    I LOVE me some halloween. Great picks, I love The Host, The Witches (the movie) and of course, it’s not Halloween without a little Harry Potter 🙂
    My TTT:

    1. I didn’t even know there was a movie of the Witches! I’ll have to find it somewhere.

  11. I’m a total scaredy-cat too! But I loved The Host, and agree it was completely creeptastic if you really thought about it. And Frankenstein’s a good read too, can’t believe I forgot that one for my own list.

    1. Ah, great to know that I’m not the only person who jumps at her own shadow 😉

  12. A series of Unfortunate Events and Harry Potter (specifically the first two books) both made it onto my list too! They’ve both got creepy scenes and The Death Day Party is just classic! I love it so much!
    Great Top Ten!

    1. Thanks for stopping by – great to hear you agree!

  13. I have never read any reviews of the Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reichs. I love the show though.

    1. The books are amazing. Fast-paced, descriptive, awesome.Well worth a try if you’re looking for something to read!

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