There’s nothing quite like curling up with a scary book as a frightfully fun way to get into the spirit of Halloween. Inside NAU asked seniors in professor Ann Cummins’ fiction writing seminar which books they turn to when they want a good scare. Here are some reads they guarantee will send shivers up your spine.

danielewski

House of Leaves
by Mark Danielewski

This is a dark and mysterious novel that twists the boundaries of non-fiction and fiction. It progresses in a documentary style, pushing us to question what is real. I love it because it is so unique, in both how it is written, but also how it focuses its attention on genuine characters struggling with their grasp on reality in a very ominous setting.

Florian Dotti

The Tell Tale Heart

The Tell Tale Heart
by Edgar Allen Poe

What I always like about Poe is the way he used such poetic language. He made scary things sound so pretty. In Tell Tale Heart, the best thing is the suspense. The beating heart just keeps pounding and pounding inside the narrator’s head, and that suspense really affected me as a reader.

Tobby Moran

Graveminder

Graveminder
by Melissa Marr

Marr intertwines romance with chilling horror of dead people coming back to life and eating the living.

Angela Simms

Imajica

Imajica
by Clive Barker

It’s not a horror novel per se, but it’s just really good and it scared me with its weirdness. Gross, bizarre, scary…just a great novel.

Ben Tillman

The Exorcist

The Exorcist
by William Peter Blatty

The scariest book I ever read was also still my scariest movie. I’ll go so far as to say that it’s one of those books that after you’re done you ask, “Why did I just do that to myself?”

Ben Tillman

Pet Sematary

Pet Sematary
by Stephen King

Just plain scary. Chills all around.

Erin Hanks

Let the Right One In

Let the Right One In
by John Ajvide Lindqvist

A perfect combination of supernatural horror and gritty realism.

Nykii Ryan

The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones
by Alice Sebold

This story, while not classically scary, is beautifully written and has moments which made me feel genuinely afraid.

Tanner Stuff

Coraline

Coraline
by Neil Gaiman

Coraline is written for younger readers but the frightening situations are incredible and the overall atmosphere of the story is deliciously chilling for readers of all ages.

Tanner Stuff