Three Great Horror Reads for Halloween 2021

I can’t remember the last time it hasn’t rained on Halloween in Seattle. But right now it’s cold and crisp and the sky is clear and the sun is out. It’s a pretty incredible fall day. Should be good weather for tonight’s trick-or-treaters. But we’re not here to talk about Seattle weather, we’re here to talk horror books! It’s now become a tradition for me to recommend three horror novels to spook up your Halloween season.

This is the third year I’ve done this, if you want to see my previous recommendations check out my selections from 2019 or from 2020. All the links below will go to IndieBound (Support your local indie book store!), and author links will go to their website or blog.

So, what are my choices for this year? Well, I am glad you asked…


Whispers in the Dark

by Laurel Hightower

What begins as a police procedural quickly reveals itself to be much more. Part ghost story, part urban fantasy, yet somehow grounded in a pulse-pounding realism. An engaging tale that subverts standard tropes while also exploring the ramifications of abuse and how the echoes of its trauma that can extend through generations. After finishing I immediately went and picked up Hightower’s latest novel, Crossroads.


The Beauty

by Aliya Whiteley

This was recommended by M. R. Carey during our panel for TBR Con earlier this year and I’m glad I picked it up. The Beauty is a dark thought-provoking heart-of-mankind story about history, myth, and the stories we tell all set in a future world without women. It’s a bit of an allegory which isn’t something I typically enjoy, but it works well here and the story told stuck with me for months. A small but powerful novel that is very much worth your time.


The Worm and His Kings

by Hailey Piper

This novella landed late last year and I was glad I gave it some attention. Set in New York in the 90s when the Freedom Tunnel was an underground homeless encampment Piper weaves a unique cosmic horror story that explores gender identity, personal relationships, and poverty. A fresh and welcome voice that both brings something new to the genre and still sits solidly within the cosmic horror tradition.


So there are three more great horror novels for this year. If you’re looking at spooking up your Fall, I recommend checking one of them out. Now, how about you? What are your favorite horror novels from the last few years? Leave a comment below and let everyone know!


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