The nights are getting darker, the air is getting frostier and the supermarkets have shelves of limited edition treats we can’t wait to be reduced on Wednesday, even the green doughnuts they dished up in the hope that green would look ‘spooky’ rather than mouldy or just… weird.

You might be doing a Halloween pub crawl or just good old fashioned trick-or-treating, covered in fake blood and hopefully more than just a ripped up t-shirt, but we want to know if you have a reading list to make your skin crawl too!

 And just in case you don’t, we have 13 scary suggestions collected from the helpful people of twitter, our own catalogue of spookiness and of course, some personal faves:

  • 1. The Landlady by Roald Dahl

Suggested by @vmpiremoonwitch

From Dahl’s ‘Tales of the Unexpected’, 17 year old Billy Weaver finds a cosy looking bed and breakfast on his way from London to Bath. But the landlady sure seems creepy, and the names in the guest book aren’t adding up. At least her collection of stuffed animals looks great, right?


Read it online here!

  • 2. The Monkey’s Paw by WW Jacobs

Suggested by @bothwick_cro

What would you do with three wishes? The White Family think they know what they want, but it all comes at a rather unexpected price. Is it really worth it in the end? Read this supernatural classic and decide for yourself.

Read it online here!

  • 3. Ringing the Change by Robert Aickman

Suggested by @NoShoSto

A couple stay in ‘The Coffee Inn’ where there is no coffee to be served. That is probably the least odd thing to occur in Aickman’s creepy tale – and things aren’t as black and white as they seem.

Listen to it here!

  • 4. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Have you ever spent so long staring at a wall that the pattern has started to move? Well there’s not much else to look at when the windows are barred, but what happens when the only place you feel safe, starts to taunt you?

Read it online here!

the yellow wallpaper


  • 5. Beyond the Wall of Sleep by HP Lovecraft

Suggested by @racheljrowlands

A lot of things come with being an intern. Making tea, coffee, shadowing and stapling. But what if you’re an intern in a mental hospital? And what if you are in the shadows of a murderer?

Read it online here!

  • 6. The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

This Poe classic is as dark, lyrical and compelling as a horror story can get. Poe puts you right into the narrator’s head as he grows increasingly disturbed by the eye of an old man, until he can’t take it anymore. Will you say that he is mad? Yes, yes you might.

Read it online here!

  • 7. Royal Jelly by Roald Dahl

The baby isn’t eating, Mabel is getting worried. Can you blame her beekeeper husband for adding a little bit of royal jelly to the baby’s formula? The magazines say it can work a treat, but Mabel doesn’t get the buzz.


Read it online here!

  • 8. Don’t Look Now by Daphne Du Maurier

Suggested by @andyhedgecock

On a vacation to Venice to ease the pain of a recent loss, John and Laura feel watched by two elderly twins sitting near them in a cafe. Do you believe in the supernatural? John didn’t, and look what happened to him.

Read it online here!

  • 9. The Erl-King by Angela Carter

Suggested by @andyhedgecock

You can get lost in a story and lost in the woods all in one go with Angela Carter’s story, all whilst hidden inside The Bloody Chamber. Here, a narrator visits the eerie Erl-King, drawn by his bird call, before she is forced to make a decision.

the erl king

Read it online here!

  • 10. The Signal Man by Charles Dickens

Suggested by @moiragauthor

The signal man at a railway station is hearing warnings no one else can hear. If no one else can hear them, does this mean the danger isn’t there? As horrible accidents keep occurring, the signal man starts to think the supernatural force needs to be listened to.

Read is online here!

  • 11. Dolls’ Eyes by A S Byatt from The New Uncanny

A reception-class teacher lives alone with nobody to keep her company except her vast collection of antique dolls, nothing creepy about that, right? But then a house-less colleague moves in with her rambunctious dog, and the teacher realises that the quiet house, and the strange force within it, is becoming disturbed.

Buy it here for 99p!

monkeys paw

  • 12. The Sorting Out by Christopher Priest

A female writer living in an isolated country house starts to feel that she is not alone. Are the mysterious happenings the work of her estranged lover or is there a more sinister explanation?

Buy it here for 99p!

  • 13. Seeing Double by Sarah Maitland

A boy growing up in a palace is unaware of his rare medical condition, and even less aware of the mysterious stranger he is yet to meet. What’s more disturbing is that this stranger is all too familiar. Do you talk to strangers?

Buy it here for 99p!


If you love a scare or just want a collection of Spook Friendly (or unfriendly) finds, here are some of ours:

Phobic: Modern Horror Stories

The Ghost Who Bled 

The New Uncanny: Tales of Unease

Happy Halloween!

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