Once October comes, I get requests from students looking for something scary to read. Most readers are familiar with Stephen King and Dean Koontz, and there are well-known classics like Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, but there are many other books that will send shivers up your spine!
One of the scariest books I have read is Lockdown: Escape from the Furnace by Alexander Gordon Smith. Fourteen-year-old Alex is framed for murder and given a life sentence in the Furnace Penitentiary. The Furnace is filled with brutal inmates, sadistic guards, and mysterious happenings. Inmates are dragged out of their cells in the middle of the night never to return, or do they? Some of the rats and monsters in the Furnace seem to resemble inmates. Alex is determined to escape, but no one has ever succeeded in leaving Furnace Penitentiary. This book is truly horrifying and spine tingling! Once you read it, you will want to read others in the series.
In Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey, a boy is happy to earn an apprenticeship with Dr. Warthrop, who is a scientist. His happiness soon turns to horror when he learns that the Doctor hunts and steals real-life monsters and then uses them in his experiments. This book is truly creepy, so beware!
Tom, the seventh son of the seventh son, is also in for a surprise when he earns and apprenticeship with the village spook. In Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delany, Tom learns how to protect people in the town from ghohls, boggarts, and wicked beasts, and it is not an easy job. There are plenty of scary events to keep you reading this one! If you like this book, there are several others in the series.
In Clay by David Almond, a new boy who comes to live in an English town. He likes to build clay figures that resemble real people. But, he also claims that he has supernatural powers and can bring these figures to life. No one believes him until people start diappearing. Something truly sinister is going on in the town, but what, and how can it be stopped?
If you like haunted houses, read Daemon Hall by Andrew Nance. Famed writer R.U. Tremblin (get it?) holds a short story contest and invites the five finalists to spend a terrifying and deadly night with him in a haunted house. As you can guess, this does not end well!
An amusement park turns deadly in Full Tilt by Neal Shusterman. Blake and his brother Quinn receive an inviation to a phantom carnival. When they arrive, Blake must survive seven different rides that make him face his deepest fears and darkest secrets. Can he survive the night, or will he be scared to death?
If these books aren’t enough to satisy your need to read something scary, try All Hallow’s Eve, a collection of short stories editied by Vivian Vande Velde, featuring vampires, ghosts, witches, werewolves, and goblins. This is the perfect read for anyone who loves Halloween!