Discover Dark Or Thrilling Reads With Bookstagrammers! – Halloween Week

Welcome to our second Bookstagrammer post of Halloween Week, where we’re talking to some of our favorite Bookstagrammers with thriller, horror, or spooky recs!

Book Culture Bookstagram Horror Recommendations Thriller & Mystery

Welcome to our second Bookstagrammer post for Halloween Week, here on Bookstr! We can’t believe how fast this month has flown by, but remember, there’s always time to start reading some of the spooky books on your TBR!

Today, we’re talking again to some of our favorite Bookstagrammers with a particular taste for thriller, horror, or just plain spooky books! You won’t regret checking out these wonderful Bookstagrammers, and you’re sure to find your next spooky or chilling read in one of their interviews.

Hannah from @horror_han_

IMAGES VIA @HORROR_HAN_ ON INSTAGRAM

Why did you start your Bookstagram account? Back in 2019, I was obsessively researching the Hodder Rainbow Stephen King collection and started my Bookstagram account to document my progress collecting them! When lockdown hit in the UK early 2020, I started focusing on my Bookstagram and it really was a saving grace for me during such a hard time. 

Fun fact about you? I have a Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology and studied a lot of horror content in relation to psychopathy – turns out, horror can make you go a little crazy! I’m also a bit of an adrenaline junkie and have done a skydive, I’d love to do one again… maybe in a nicer environment than over the fields of the UK. 

What are your favorite horror/thriller books or authors? Of course Stephen King must be mentioned on this list: Salem’s Lot, The Shining, Misery and Desperation are among some of my favourite of King’s. My favourite horror book is The Troop (quite often mentioned on my page) which is perfect for getting under your skin and making you squirm. If you’re after some horror manga, Junji Ito is your go-to guy – Uzumaki and Shiver are my favourites from his large collection! Notable mentions to: The Burning Girls, Clown in a Cornfield, Bunny, The Last House on Needless Street, Battle Royale, Home Before Dark, and Goth

Spooky books on your TBR? I recently purchased the horror behemoth that is House of Leaves and I’m so intimidated to read it, but I can’t wait to dive in and see what it’s all about. I’ve loved Grady Hendrix’s books previously and Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires sounds perfect for my taste and it has the most gorgeous cover. Also, Chasing the Bogeyman, Nothing but Blackened Teeth, and The Book of Accidents are new horror releases that I can’t wait to sink my teeth into!

What do you enjoy most about horror/thriller/spooky books? I love it when a book has a visceral impact on me – books that literally give me goosebumps or make my heart beat faster are the best. Books that have given me that feeling are The Troop, The Ruins, Clown in a Cornfield, or anything by Junji Ito. The suspense in horror books just leaves you waiting with bated breath anticipating what horrific fate will befall our characters, and how bloody the climax is going to be! I just think it’s so fun to go on a reading journey through something you (hopefully!) won’t experience in your lifetime… and when better to do it than Halloween?!

Any additional Halloween or bookish things you’d like to share? I’d love to use this space to mention some of the spooky bookish small businesses I’ve had the pleasure of working with, or know the amazing owners of! Here are their Instagram handles – do check them out if you want some spooky goodies! 

@groovysaracoffins, @bookmarkedbeth, @loudmouthreads, @sharp_infant, @thesmelloffear, and @massiveheedcompany

Follow Hannah on Instagram for plenty of horror recommendations!

Chelsea from @thrillerbookbabe

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Why did you start your Bookstagram account? I started my Bookstagram to meet other book lovers. I love talking about books and when I found out there was a whole world out there that was book related I was so surprised. Most of my friends only like romance or historical fiction, so I also wanted a place to connect with spooky book lovers as well. 

Fun fact about you? A fun fact about me is I LOVE costume parties. My husband and I always get very invested in costume parties and dress up for everything. We love couples costumes but I would also dress up just for fun. Some of our past costumes have been Dexter and DeeDee, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, a birthday girl and a pinata, a hippie and a mime (peace & quiet), and a barista and a frappuccino. 

What are your favorite horror/thriller books or authors? I have so many! Some of my favorites are Simone St. James, Riley Sager, Alice Feeney, Samantha Downing, and Ashley Winstead.

Spooky books on your TBR? I am excited for so many books! Some I can’t wait for are Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins, This Might Hurt by Stephanie Wrobel and The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James. 

What do you enjoy most about horror/thriller/spooky books? Being surprised! I love unreliable narrators that make you think one thing when it’s really another. I love when I have no idea how a book will end and when there is a huge twist! Some of my favorites are Verity and Behind Her Eyes.

Any additional Halloween or bookish things you’d like to share? I am so lucky to be the host of Thrillers by the Bookclub which is an all thriller/mystery book club. We have online chats every single month, as well as 25 in real life chapters all over the country. It has been so fun to connect with other spooky book lovers and make friends in real life! 

Follow Chelsea on Instagram for some great thriller recommendations!

Colby from @colbywilkens

IMAGES VIA @COLBYWILKENS ON INSTAGRAM

Why did you start your Bookstagram account? It was more of an accident? I’d started posting more photos about books and book reviews, and I used a couple of hashtags and people started following me. I honestly had no idea what Bookstagram was! And I guess I just never stopped. 

Fun fact about you? I’m a full time writer!

What are your favorite horror/thriller books or authors? V.E. Schwab is a favorite. I was lucky enough to read Gallant back in July and it’s definitely topped the list! I’ve also really enjoyed Kendare Blake’s novels. As far as sub-genres go, I love gothic and dark academia as well! Anything by Erin C. Craig, and Victoria Lee.

Spooky books on your TBR? So many!I just bought the audiobook for White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson. I’m also planning a Practical Magic Readalong with a friend for the end of this month! A few others include a reread (well, listen) of Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice, and hopefully Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo and My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones. 

What do you enjoy most about horror/thriller/spooky books? I find that they’re not as scary for me as TV and movies. I’m a true scaredy cat, but I’ve always enjoyed spooky things despite it. With books, the ghosts or things can be whatever I imagine them to be, which is often less scary than how they appear on the television. I guess, in general, I just really like a good scare that doesn’t make me lose too much sleep!

Any additional Halloween or bookish things you’d like to share? If you haven’t given it a chance, and even if you are a scaredy-cat like me, I just cannot recommend Netflix’s The Haunting of Bly Manor enough. I watched the show at the beginning of September, and while it could be scary, I’m glad I finally gave it a chance!

Follow Colby on Instagram for spooky photos and spooky recs!

Mitch from @bookswithmitch

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Why did you start your Bookstagram account? I started my bookstagram during quarantine in 2020. The pandemic brought a sense of loneliness and isolation to my life and I was in desperate need of a creative outlet. I was truly starting to feel down with everything going on in the world and my bookstagram simply just gave me something to do and look forward to. My intentions were to create a book account where I could simply share and review all the books I have ever read in my lifetime; a place where I could go back to and see all my favorite books in one place. I originally thought it would just be an account a few of my friends would follow. I never in a million years imagined it would evolve into what it is today!

Fun fact about you? Fun fact about ME? Oh man. I am not sure if it is considered “fun” but I was a teen mom! I had my child when I was a senior in high school. I was only seventeen years old when I became a mother. I know so many people out there would not consider this a “fun” fact but for me, it’s the funnest thing about me and the funnest thing I have ever done in my life. There is such a stigma in our society regarding teen pregnancy so again, by sharing my experience with it, I hope to shatter at least a little bit of the silence regarding it. Motherhood is fun, it is hard as heck of course, but it is fun… and mothers all around the world should be supported and appreciated, no matter their age.

What are your favorite horror/thriller books or authors? Some of my fave thriller books are: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager, The Whisper Man by Alex North, Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica, Verity by Colleen Hoover, & honestly The Road by Cormac McCarthy scarred me for life. My fave thriller author is probably Gillian Flynn — she needs to write some more books soon because I love her!

Spooky books on your TBR? NOS4A2 by Joe Hill, The Shadows by Alex North, The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher, One by One by Ruth Ware, The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal, & everything written by Stephen King!

What do you enjoy most about horror/thriller/spooky books? I love a good scary movie and I love a scary book even more. My fave type of thriller book is the one that makes the reader feel like it could really happen in real life. I LOVE true crime so when true crime is converted into a fictional story, I am hooked. I have just always been someone who finds entertainment from watching or reading things that make me scared, so thrillers are definitely one of my fave genres! Also, what better time to read a spooky book than OCTOBER?!?

Any additional Halloween or bookish things you’d like to share? If you are new to the thriller world, there is no better time to try out this genre than right now! October is full of spooky things & it makes reading a good spooky book, even spookier! There are so many different types of thrillers; you have books about the paranormal, true-crime based, murders, missing persons, & so much more! You are bound to find a book that you love in this genre! Happy spooky reading!

Follow Mitch on Instagram for great spooky thriller recs!

Tali from @escapereality4now

IMAGES VIA @ESCAPEREALITY4NOW ON INSTAGRAM

Why did you start your Bookstagram account? I have always been a reader. Anyone could find me at a Barnes and Noble browsing shelves. In fact, I went into labor inside a Barnes and Noble. In 2010, when I had my first child, I read The Passage by Justin Cronin. It took me six months to read it because I was so overwhelmed with being a new Mom. The following year, I bought A Discovery Of Witches by Deborah Harkness and finished it in a year. I bought the second book in the series but did not read it. I found it hard to balance life with reading. Additionally, I had no bookish friends so the support was not there. As a result, reading was pushed aside for work and kids. 

Forward to 2018, eight years and another two children later, I picked up Maleficent from the Disney villain series and really enjoyed it. Each word was like a parched person drinking water so I bought the next book in the Disney villain series. Then someone suggested that I start a bookstagram account to share my love of reading and it encouraged me to read again. It has been three years that I started and I have read more than ever. Every free moment that I have is spent reading and I am having the time of my life. 

Fun fact about you? I speak Hebrew fluently.

What are your favorite horror/thriller books or authors? Some of my favorite horror authors are Kristopher Triana, Ania Ahlborn, Gemma Amor and Stephen King. My favorite thriller authors are Lisa Jewell, Wendy Walker and J.T. Ellison!

Spooky books on your TBR? Some of the horror books on TBR are: Dark Across The Bay by Ania Ahlborn, Slewfoot: A Tale of Bewitchery by Brom, Summer of Sons by Lee Mondelo, Come With Me by Ronald Malfi, and Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon.

What do you enjoy most about horror/thriller/spooky books? The darkness and scariness of horror books serves as a destressor for me. It helps me cope with whatever life throws at me. I realize my problems are not as bad as they seem after reading horror. Horror is my happy place.

Any additional Halloween or bookish things you’d like to share?

1. I used to dislike audiobooks and now I am hooked. I listen to them when I clean or work. 

2. Even Though I have a ton of bookmarks, I rarely use them. I use whatever flat object is easily accessible.

3. I prefer to read in the late afternoon or night time. Reading helps me unwind.

4. I do not stick to a TBR. I am a mood reader. I read what I want, when I want. 

5. I prefer hardcovers to paperbacks.

Follow Tali on Instagram for tons of book recommendations!

FEATURED IMAGE VIA @ESCAPEREALITY4NOW / @BOOKSWITHMITCH / @COLBYWILKENS / @THRILLERBOOKBABE / @HORROR_HAN_