The ghost, often haunting a house or a person, is a pervasive presence in the horror genre. Most ghosts are malevolent, but some are just sad or plaintive. In honor of Halloween–the night where the dead are said to walk and the living dress in costume to avoid them–we give you these ten haunted novels. Filled with eerie spaces and creepy encounters, you won’t want to be alone when reading. Happy Halloween!
Nazareth Hill by Ramsey Campbell: In a haunted apartment complex a teenager finds herself with her father, locked into a virtual reenactment of the terrible events that occurred there years earlier.
Homebody by Orson Scott Card: Don Lark is a widower who drowns his sorrow in renovating old houses. When he comes upon a sturdy old Victorian treasure, he finds himself dealing with the house, an attractive squatter who refuses to leave, and a trio of naysaying neighbors who claim it houses something far more evil.
Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson: Jackson is inarguably the mother of the modern horror story. A ghost-hunting scholar, his young assistant, a shy, lonely young woman with previous paranormal experience, and the heir of Hill House settle in for a stay as they search of evidence of a haunting. The classic Haunted House tale.
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James: The governess of two enigmatic children fears their souls are in danger from the ghosts of the previous governess and her sinister lover.
The Shining by Stephen King: In an isolated Rocky Mountain hotel, a writer, the father of a psychic son, is being driven insane by forces of evil.
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski: A young family moves into a house with an odd characteristic: it’s larger on the inside than it is on the outside. This unique and terrifying debut is a cult classic.
The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer: my life at Rose Red by Ridley Pearson: Diary of a young socialite in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Seattle and her life in a seriously haunted house.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman: Nobody Owens is a normal boy, except that he has been raised by ghosts and other denizens of the graveyard.
Help for the Haunted by John Searles: Struggling with the loss of her parents, who helped haunted souls find peace, Sylvie Mason pursues the mystery, moving closer to the truth of what happened that night as she comes to terms with her family’s past.
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill: A collector of obscure and macabre artifacts, unscrupulous metal band musician Judas Coyne is unable to resist purchasing a ghost over the Internet, which turns out to be the vengeful spirit of his late girlfriend’s stepfather.