On the set of The Shining
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The Best Scary Stories To Read In Time For Halloween

Francesca Herring September 23, 2022

With Halloween fast approaching, now is the time to start reading some of the scariest stories there are. From classics to current, here are some of the best spooky stories to read this autumn.

The Woman in Black, by Susan Hill

You’ve probably seen the movie version of this. Admittedly, it is pretty scary. The book is just as scary too. It was written in 1983 by Susan Hill and is classed as a gothic horror novel. The plot is similar to the film, but here’s a run down if you haven’t seen it.

A young solicitor called Arthur is called to a coastal town to settle an estate of a young woman. The woman, Alice, has recently died, and the solicitor attends her funeral. At the funeral, Arthur spots a pale woman dressed in black (scary), and the children at the funeral can’t stop looking at her (even scarier). As the story goes on, Arthur learns that the woman in black is a ghost who haunts the town. When she is seen, it means a child with die. 

Without spoiling too much, this book is definitely a scary one. It has death, ghosts, and creepy noises. What more could you want from a scary story?

The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James

Another scary horror for you. This one has been adapted into a Netflix series under a different name, The Haunting of Bly Manor. Quite similar to The Woman in Black, this scary stories involves ghosts, children, and a very big, scary house.

An unnamed governess begins to care for two children at Bly Manor in Essex. Shortly after she begins her work there, she starts to see people in the house that she believes are ghosts. The governess soon learns that the two people, a young man and woman, are the ghosts of previous employees at Bly Manor. The children are very close with the ghosts and are controlled by them. 

This is another scary story that will leave you feeling spooked this autumn.

The Shining, by Stephen King

Perhaps one of the most classic scary stories, but nevertheless a great read. Stephen King nails scary stories every time. Once again, this book has a scary child in it. Bit of a theme, isn’t it? Jack Torrance, his wife Wendy, and son Danny, move into a hotel over winter. Danny has ‘the shining’, which (unknown to his parents) is the ability to read minds, have premonitions, and talk to the dead. 

The hotel has a scary, horrific past and it soon begins to control Danny’s father, Jack. The result? Not good. Not only is this a scary story, but it’s also a gory horror too. So, if you’re looking for something strictly supernatural, perhaps stick with the books above. But, if you like a little gore in your stories, Stephen King may be just the author for you. 

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I'm an English Literature student at the University of Birmingham, and I'm obsessed with anything literature related! I love reading, watching F1, and listening to music. I've always loved writing articles on my interests and can't wait to get stuck into more journalism.