31 Books to Get You in the Mood for the Spooky Season

The temperature maps are finally starting to edge toward the cool tones again. The leaves are thinking about a new color scheme, iced coffee season is coming to a close, and it’s time to think about pulling your favorite cozy blanket out of the closet and keeping it handy. More importantly, the spooky season and its glorious aesthetic is (finally) upon us.

For me, fall is the time for me to dive into the ethereal, preternatural, and atmospheric. I want to read books that feel like walking through the fog filled mountains, mist filling every breath with ominous crags looming over top of me. Anything could be lurking around the bend, be it friend or foe, trickster or savior, but only by walking on can I find out. The Spooky Season is about possibilities; finding out whether those voices only you hear are inside you or the walls around you and confronting them. It’s about walking into a cold patch of air where the leaves dance and only you can feel it, and then going home to a hot cup of tea, a Miles Davis record, and your coziest blanket. It’s the catch and release of your breath and the catharsis of a fear-tinged adrenaline spike.

These books encapsulate those feelings. Some are legitimately spooky, though most are as much about the demons inside you as the ones lurking under your bed. All of them are journeys of self-discovery, and more often than not they’re breaking of chains we and society place on ourselves. Some are as comforting as a fuzzy pair of socks and your first fire of the year, while others tap into the fear of what’s staring back at you from the flames. They’re not always about good people, but without delving into the darkness, the light loses its power to heal.

So grab a few of these for your next cloudy day, pull up your favorite atmospheric playlist and pot of Darjeeling and get to reading.

Practical Magic & Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning 

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Weak Heart by Ban Gilmartin 

Melmoth by Sarah Perry

Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

The Warlow Experiment by Alix Nathan

The Poison Thread by Laura Purcell

Things We Say in the Dark by Kirsty Logan

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Wilder Girls by Rory Powers

The Invited by Jennifer McMahon

The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling

See Also
woman holding her face

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Turn of the Screw by Henry James

The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Vicious by V.E. Schwabb

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Dare You to Lie by Amber Lynn Natusch

Caravall Series by Stephanie Garber

Witch Born by Nicholas Bowling

The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

The Dark Vault by Victoria Schwab

Wuthering Heights by Emile Bronte

The House Between Tides by Sarah Maine

Once Upon a River by Dianne Setterfield

Thank you to everyone who sent in recommendations for the list! If we missed anything tweet us @litdarling or DM us on Insta @literallydarling.

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