The Best Haunted House Books, recommended by Kylie Whitehead

Looking for a scary story this Halloween? Us too. We asked Kylie Whitehead, author of the acclaimed literary body horror Absorbed, to select five of the best haunted house books. Here she discusses her spine-tingling recommendations, which include Anne Rivers Siddons’s cult hit The House Next Door and Michael McDowell’s Southern Gothic novel The Elementals.

Best Horror Novels for 9-12 Year Olds, recommended by Jennifer Killick

Adults sometimes worry that horror novels are too scary for children, but children’s author Jennifer Killick is a fan. Here she picks out five fantastic horror books for 9-12 year olds and explains that in addition to the sheer fun of reading a thriller, horror books can help kids develop courage and often appeal to reluctant readers.

The Scariest Books for Kids, recommended by Jack Meggitt-Phillips

Scary children’s books give kids the pleasure of immersing themselves in an exciting page-turner, and are an excellent way to get reluctant readers to read novels. As long as you pay attention to individual children’s sensibilities, it shouldn’t be hard to find books that give them thrills rather than nightmares. Children’s author Jack Meggitt-Phillips talks us through his favourite scary books for kids.

The Best Edgar Allan Poe Books, recommended by Shawn Rosenheim

You can’t turn on a television or pass an airport bookstore without seeing the influence of America’s most generative writer, Edgar Allan Poe. He orginated true life crime and detective fiction, sci-fi and horror story tropes, and wrote unforgettable poems. Poe expert Shawn Rosenheim, a professor at Williams College, recommends where to start with Poe, as well as the best books about his influence.

The Best Ghost Stories, recommended by Will Maclean

If you love to get scared silly then we have reading recommendations for you. Will Maclean, author of the unsettling new novel The Apparition Phase, selects the best ghost stories to read at Halloween, including writing from the queen of screams Shirley Jackson, and a four-page, pitch-black nightmare that might just be the perfect ghost story.

The Scariest Books, recommended by Xavier Aldana Reyes

Whether you’re scared most by graphic body horror, the uncategorisable, or the blurring of boundaries between supernatural menace and psychological unraveling, this list will have something for you. Reflecting on the complex nature of fear, Xavier Aldana Reyes surveys the best modern horror and explores whether the genre might offer consolation as well as terror.

The best books on Witches and Witchcraft, recommended by Diane Purkiss

For centuries, the witch has been an index not only of what we fear most in others, but also what we cannot cope with—the powerfully abnormal, strange and often irrational elements—in ourselves. And the best way to understand the history of witches and witchcraft is to first understand the supernatural, according to Diane Purkiss, Professor at Keble College, Oxford and author of the lauded book The Witch in History.