6 Chilling Classics to Read This Halloween


Have you got your pumpkins ready? In just over one week, Halloween will be upon us! There’s a noticeable chill in the air and there’s nothing better than curling up under a blanket, lighting some candles, and digging into a spooky read at this time of year.


What better place to start than with Bram Stoker’s original that birthed many of the subsequent codes of the vampire genre? Dracula is a popular villain that appears time and time again both in adult and children’s stories but I get the impression that a lot of readers are yet to dive into the story where it all began. This gothic novel was published way back in the nineteenth century but it’s lost none of scariness since then. If you’re only going to read one book this Halloween, make it this one.

Buy Dracula on Amazon here.

The Picture of Dorian Gray

I’m sure many of you will know the story of Dorian Gray, a beautiful, young man who indulges in just about every sin you can think of before his hedonistic lifestyle leads to his death. What sets this book a little apart from the others featured on this list is that it has a philosophical element to it. I absolutely love this style of nineteenth century literature that analyses and critiques the impulses of the upper classes of previous centuries and hope you will too!

Buy The Picture of Dorian Gray on Amazon here.


Frankenstein is one of my favourite classics ever. A common misconception is that Frankenstein is the monster, but he is actually the scientist operating on the monster (though I suppose, metaphorically he is the monster of the story). Whilst the portrayal of the monster in popular culture seems to revolve around a large green entity with bolts holding his brain together, what you’ll find in the book is a much more complex and heartbreaking story.

Buy Frankenstein on Amazon here.

The Hound of the Baskervilles

I studied this novel at school a long, long time ago and it gave me both nightmares and a fear of the English countryside. Sherlock Holmes and Watson are called in to investigate the death of Sir Charles Baskerville of Baskerville Hall. The backdrop to this story is Dartmoor, the sort of place that’s always shrouded in mist and is home to creatures of the dark (supposedly). The story is inspired by the legend of a supernatural Hound on the moors and, of course, there’s a mystery to be solved. This is the only Holmes novel I’ve read by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle but it’s a damn good place to start.

Buy The Hound of the Baskervilles on Amazon. 


Obviously with the recent film release, I had to include Stephen King’s IT. Would you believe this cult classic is actually King’s 22nd book? I had no idea he’d written such a large volume of books! IT follows the story of seven young children who are terrorised by Pennywise the Dancing Clown, aka IT. The novel alternates between two time periods dealing with childhood trauma and how that follows us into our adult lives. The film has been a big hit at the box office so if you haven’t seen it yet, I suggest you grab the book and then book your tickets!

Buy IT on Amazon here. 

Short Stories and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe

Poe is widely regarded as the pioneer of romanticism. His short stories and poems are well renowned for their gothic quality and he writes a lot about death and mourning. Start with “The Raven” and see what takes your fancy from there. These are perfect if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands but want to read something really good in really short bursts.

Buy this collection by Edgar Allan Poe here. 

Are you a fan of the horror genre? What spooky or gothic reads would you recommend?

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  1. Melanie Edjourian
    25th October 2017 / 6:25 PM

    I do love to read and horrors are some of my favourites. I must try and grab some of these I tend to watch more horrors than I read.

  2. Bex Smith
    25th October 2017 / 10:54 PM

    Some really good picks here – some of my favourite stories!

  3. Jinzo_2400
    26th October 2017 / 1:26 AM

    I have read all those stories listed and only would swap out IT for another Stephen King story called “The Long Walk” which is quite excellent!

  4. 26th October 2017 / 9:38 AM

    Dracula was the best book I read through the whole of my school education. I can’t remember if I’ve actually read Dorian Grey I might have to give it another go x

  5. 26th October 2017 / 10:59 AM

    I remember realising that Frankenstein wasn’t the monster when I studied the book at school.. I was shocked lol!

  6. Melanie
    26th October 2017 / 1:02 PM

    Looks like 6 good reads here – great list. I remember Dracula and Frankenstein, maybe I will have to give them a whirl 🙂 x

  7. 27th October 2017 / 1:54 AM

    I read Dracula and Dorian Gray this year- the books were way more terrifying and thrilling then I expected!

  8. 28th October 2017 / 9:29 AM

    I love The Picture of Dorian Grey, however IT is one of my favourite books ever. I read it around 25 years ago and was scared rigid. It still scares me now x

  9. Kara
    28th October 2017 / 9:41 AM

    IT was one of my first horror stories I read and I love it.

  10. 28th October 2017 / 1:21 PM

    I´ve never read IT or seen the films. I think I´ll start with the book. I love reading Poe, but haven´t read most of the others on the list. Will add them to my Goodreads!

  11. 28th October 2017 / 3:53 PM

    Oh I love a good spooky tale at Hallowe’en 🙂 . People keep telling me to read IT, clearly I need to!

  12. 30th October 2017 / 8:28 AM

    The PIcture of Dorian Gray is one of my favourite books! I may need to pick it up again soon!
    C x

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