Our Favorite Spooky Season Book Tropes (With Recs)

Witches. Cold Cases. Haunted Houses. Final Girls. Indulge in everything spooky season with this round-up of Halloween reads broken down by popular book tropes!

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‘Tis spooky season (AKA my favorite time of year)! The season of cool breezes, trips to the pumpkin patch, horror movie marathons, and perhaps even a graveyard stroll? Top it all off with a Halloween read, and the fall festivities are truly unmatched!

As the countdown to Halloween commences, you may be yearning for a new fall read or two. Well, Bookstr has your back with this assortment of recommendations organized via spooky season book tropes. Pick your poison!

Slasher Scares

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

Lynnette Tarkington and five other final girls come together to process their past trauma in a support group. The stage is set for group healing until one of the girls goes missing, and the survivors are thrust into another fight for their lives.

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

A house party on Henry Island turns sinister upon the discovery of a menacing DVD promising vengeance. With no escape, the group of teens are picked off one by one at the hands of a mysterious killer.

Security by Gina Wohlsdorf

Someone is always watching at the palatial coast-side retreat that is Manderley Resort. The unlucky staff has no idea that they’re under constant surveillance, and over a 12-hour period, each will have to fend for their lives.

Witty Witches

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

Young witch Vivienne Jones cursed her ex-boyfriend, Rhys Penhallow, not intending or expecting anything severe to come of it. However, when the heartbreaker himself returns, Vivi realizes her ex-hex might not have been as harmless as she thought.

Cunning Women by Elizabeth Lee

Circa 1620, Sarah Haworth and her family are outcasts by local villagers during the day but sought out for their healing powers by night. One day, a magistrate arrives to look into some strange deaths, and his suspicion inevitably falls on Sarah and her kin, which heralds dangerous accusations.

The Witches of Moonshyne Manor by Bianca Marais

Queenie is the head of a group of five modern-day octogenarian witches determined to save their home, Moonshyne Manor, from an angry mob. With the help of an unlikely friend, they may just pull it off (and smash the patriarchy in the process).

Haunted Houses

The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

Elsie married the wealthy young heir, Rupert Bainbridge, expecting a life of luxury. However, when her husband perishes just weeks into their marriage, Elsie is left to meander her cavernous estate, The Bridge, and finds much more than she bargained for.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Maggie Holt’s half-forgotten youth took place in a house of horrors – a Victorian estate to rival Amityville. After inheriting the haunted house from her past, Maggie moves in to renovate, emboldened by her disbelief in ghosts. That is until things start to go bump in the night.

Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn

Washed-up crime writer Lucas Graham would do anything for a literary comeback. The opportunity arises when he gets exclusive access to pick the brain of a murderous cult leader. There’s just one catch: he has to stay at the scene of the crime.

Missing Person’s Case

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Reporter, Camille Preaker, returns to her Missouri hometown after a stay at the psych ward. The small town is buzzing about a second missing girl following a previous cold case – a true crime search that Preaker becomes intimately involved in while simultaneously facing her own demons.

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

Shelby, Meredith, and her eleven-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish in quick succession within the same few blocks. Over a decade later, the missing girl returns after escaping her captors, reigniting the investigation into the longstanding mystery.

All Good People Here by Ashley Flowers

Wakarusa, Indiana has never forgotten the unsolved murder of January Jacobs. When Margot returns to Wakarusa to take care of a sick relative, the town is eerily secretive, as news breaks about another missing girl who’s disappeared in similar circumstances to the decades-old cold case.

Modern Gothic

White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

The vast, cliffside estate in Dover, England, is home to the Silver family (including the generations of women inhabiting the walls). After the loss of her mother on a trip abroad, young Miranda begins to suffer from strange ailments, and hears the house’s family secrets.

Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield

Miri is eager to have her wife, Leah, back home after a traumatic deep-sea mission that ended in disaster. The shrouded details of what happened on the ocean floor have, evidently, followed her back home.

Gallant by V.E.Schwab

Olivia has grown up at Merilance School for girls, with only one tie to the past: her mother’s journals. After receiving a letter to come home, she arrives at the seemingly deserted manor, Gallant, which is haunted by family secrets.

Vampire Romance

Court of the Vampire Queen by Katee Robert

Mina is half human, half vampire, locked in her father’s control and torn between two worlds. When her father sends her off to the formidable Malachi Zion as a political maneuver, Mina winds up in a seductive relationship further complicated by the love of Malachi’s two closest friends.

Sunshine by Robin McKinley

In a post-apocalyptic world where a slew of supernatural creatures roam free, Rae Seddon (nicknamed Sunshine), is abducted by a gang of vampires and expects her imminent death. Yet, when dawn breaks, and she wakes unharmed, she realizes there’s another prisoner locked up with her – one with whom she must make a careful alliance.

King of Battle and Blood by Scarlett St.Clair

Isolde de Lara considers her wedding day as the beginning of the end. She seeks to end to the war by marrying the vampire king, Adrian, only to assassinate him. However, her attempt to take his life fails, and he threatens to raise her as the undead if she tries anything else. Thus, Isolde must seek out other ways to defy him and still survive her new life at court.

For more fall reading recommendations, please click here!