By Orrin Grey

Halloween is almost here, and the chill of fall is beginning to creep into the air. That means it’s the perfect time to curl up with spine-chilling mysteries or scary stories, and we’ve picked out 11 creepy books to help you get in the spirit.

The Whisper Man - NYT Bestseller

The Whisper Man by Alex North

Twenty years ago, “The Whisper Man” killed five residents of Featherbank. Then Frank Carter was brought to justice, and since that time the sleepy town has been quiet. Peaceful. The perfect place for a grieving father and son to start a new life. Sure, there were rumors that Carter was working with an accomplice all those years ago, but nothing has happened in two decades … until Tom Kennedy and his son Jake move into their new house. Now the disappearances have begun again, and Jake hears a whispering at his bedroom window …

Spook Factor: Spine-Chilling Suspense

Halloween Fiend

Halloween Fiend by C.V. Hunt

The small, quiet town of Strang is haunted by Halloween. Not metaphorically, either. Every night, a creature called Halloween stalks the streets—and if it doesn’t find treats left for it from every home, then the townsfolk are the victims of its horrible tricks. For the people of Strang, every night is Halloween—but as the actual night draws closer, they begin a desperate struggle for survival against the creature’s terrible demands.

Spook Factor: Spine-Chilling Suspense

institute-stephen-king

The Institute by Stephen King

Do we really need to sell you on a new Stephen King novel? The Institute picks up one of King’s favorite themes—kids with special powers like telepathy and telekinesis—and plunges them all together into a sinister institute that seeks to use them for its own nefarious ends. What are those, and what happens to those kids who are taken to the Back Half? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

Spook Factor: Hair-Raising Horror

The Silent Patient US Cover

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Alicia Berenson committed a shocking crime—one that shattered her seemingly perfect life. That isn’t what made her infamous, though. People would soon have forgotten the murder had it not been for the fact that Alicia refused to speak another word after committing it. Now, her paintings are skyrocketing in value, while the “silent patient” sits uncommunicative in a secure forensic unit.

This novel of twists and turns by Alex Michaelides follows the psychotherapist who becomes obsessed with unraveling the mystery of Alicia’s actions—and obsession that will force him to confront his own secrets. Entertainment Weekly called this New York Times Bestseller, “A mix of Hitchcockian suspense, Agatha Christie plotting, and Greek tragedy.”

Spook Factor: Heart-Racing Thriller

The Isle by John C. Foster

The Isle by John C. Foster

U.S. Marshal Virgil Bone is a man haunted by his own past, and he’s just been dispatched to a foggy and desolate island in the North Atlantic to retrieve a body. Of course, things on the island are much worse than they seem, and Bone is up against the forces of nature, lethal locals, the island’s horrifying history—and an ancient curse that should not go ignored. This unnerving, gothic horror story will leave you chilled to the bone.

Spook Factor: Hair-Raising Horror

The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup

The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup

Søren Sveistrup created the hit show The Killing, and now he’s turned his attention to a chilling Nordic thriller in prose form. In The Chestnut Man, a terrifying serial killer is stalking Copenhagen, leaving behind handmade dolls of matchsticks and chestnuts at his crime scenes. These dolls point investigators in the direction of the cold case of a government minister’s daughter, who was kidnapped and murdered. What’s the connection between this case and the killer known as the Chestnut Man? Read the book before it becomes a Netflix original series.

Spook Factor: Spine-Chilling Suspense

A Nearly Normal Family by M.T. Edvardsson

Stella’s father is a pastor. Her mother is a defense attorney. They’re a nice, normal family, with one catch: 18-year-old Stella is accused of the brutal murder of a shady local businessman. This taut, emotional legal thriller not only delves into why Stella might have committed the grisly deed, but examines how far we will go to protect ourselves and the ones we love, and what it means to be a family.

Spook Factor: Heart-Racing Thriller

The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt Och Dag

The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag

It begins in 1793, when a mutilated body is pulled out of a bog in Stockholm. The quest to identify the corpse is only the beginning of the mystery, however. Soon, the watchman who found the corpse is teamed up with a dying lawyer to peel back the layers of Stockholm’s society at the end of the 18th century in an effort to not only solve the murder, but understand “the crimes we commit in the name of justice, and the sacrifices we make in order to survive.” When it was first released in its native language, The Wolf and the Watchman was named the best debut novel of the year by the Swedish Crime Writers’ Academy.

Spook Factor: Spine-Chilling Suspense

The Last by Hanna Jameson

The Last by Hanna Jameson

Can’t decide if you want to read a post-apocalyptic thriller or a cozy Agatha Christie murder mystery? Why not have both with The Last, a novel by Hanna Jameson in which the survivors of a nuclear war hole up in a Swiss hotel with a dark history of murders and suicides—only to discover that there is a killer in their midst. In the wake of global annihilation, how important is it to solve the mystery of the death of a young girl whose body is found in the hotel’s water tank? For those who survive, the answer might mean life or death—or it might mean the only way of hanging onto what’s left of their own humanity.

Spook Factor: Heart-Racing Thriller

Black Mountain Laird Barron

Black Mountain by Laird Barron

A small-time hood shows up in the Ashokan Reservoir in New York’s Hudson Valley missing his head and his hands, and mob-enforcer-turned-private-eye Isaiah Coleridge is on the case. What seems like a straightforward revenge killing turns into something bigger than Coleridge could have imagined, however, and the case may see him squaring off against a powerful and secretive corporation and a serial killer who has been “honing his skills since the Vietnam War.” Barron made a name for himself as a horror writer before turning his attention to noir novels, and so who better to write a spooky thriller perfect for the witching season?

Spook Factor: Heart-Racing Thriller

Spectral Hue

A Spectral Hue by Craig Laurance Gidney

Something grows in the marshes around Shimmer, Maryland. A rare flower called the saltmarsh orchid, which produces a unique hue somewhere between purple and pink. Generations of African American artists have come to Shimmer in search of this hue—incorporating it into everything from quilts to dolls to landscape paintings. Now, Xavier Wentworth has come to Shimmer. He’s looking for something—something that he felt when he first saw a tapestry made using the saltmarsh orchid hue as a child—but he may find more than he bargained for waiting for him in the marsh.

Spook Factor: Spine-Chilling Suspense

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