5 Not-So-Scary Halloween Reads for the Faint-Hearted

Just because you don’t like gore and goosebumps doesn’t mean you need to sit out spooky season. Get into the Halloween spirit with these 5 not-so-scary books!

Book Culture Bookish Trends Fiction Horror Recommendations Thriller & Mystery
Not-So-Scary Halloween Reads

In theory, it sounds super fun to stay up all night reading horror books during the Halloween season. That is, until you finish and can’t fall asleep without checking the locks twice and leaving the lights on (totally not speaking from experience here). Even as adults, we still sometimes swear we hear strange noises and see apparitions in dark corners after reading something scary. So, save your sleep schedule (and your sanity) this spooky season with these five not-so-scary novels instead.

1. Motherthing by Ainslie Hogarth

Not-So-Scary Halloween Reads: Motherthing by Ainslie Hogarth Cover

After Ralph and Abby Lamb move in with Ralph’s mother, Laura, Abby hopes she and her mother-in-law will finally forge a connection. Due to a traumatic childhood, Abby never really had a mother figure in her life. Now that she and Ralph are trying to become parents, she is especially desperate to have a relationship like that for herself. However, Laura would rather torment Abby than bond with her. When Laura takes her own life, her ghost remains, haunting Abby and Ralph in different ways. In order to save everything she loves, Abby must break Laura’s hold on the family for good. How? A lot of determination and a potent chicken à la king.

2. The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

Not-So-Scary Halloween Reads: The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling Cover

Nine years ago, Vivienne Jones had her heart broken. Naturally, like any other young witch, she mended her heart with vodka, sad songs, bubble baths… and a curse on her terrible ex-boyfriend. Sure, she shouldn’t use her powers this way, but it will only give him a bad hair day or two. Or so she thought. When Rhys Penhallow returns, Vivi begins to realize her silly little Ex Hex may not have been as harmless as she had originally believed. Suddenly, Graves Glen is under siege by numerous dark forces, including an angry spirit and possessed wind-up toys. Now, Vivi and Rhys must ignore their undeniable chemistry and team up to save the town before it’s too late.

3. Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

Not-So-Scary Halloween Reads: Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero Cover

Back in the summer of 1977, the Blyton Summer Detective Club solved their final mystery. Turns out, the Sleepy Lake monster had just been another low-life hunting for the rumored treasure in the haunted Deboën Mansion. And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids. Flash-forward to 1990, and the former detectives have all moved on with their lives, growing apart over the years. However, each remains haunted by disturbing nightmares of their final night at the estate. With many strange encounters and unexplainable events, the gang decides to team up once more in order to discover what actually happened all those years ago.

4. Be My Ghost by Carol J. Perry

Not-So-Scary Halloween Reads: Be My Ghost by Carol J. Perry Cover

Maureen is on the brink of bankruptcy when she receives a mysterious property inheritance. Nestled in Haven, Florida, the inn might just be Maureen’s chance at a fresh start. So, Maureen and Finn, her golden retriever, make the move down. But, unbeknownst to them, they are getting much more than they bargained for. Upon their arrival, they discover a dead body. Not only that, but the inn is also inhabited by some colorful ghostly tenants. In order to solve this mystery, Maureen will definitely be needing their otherworldly assistance.

5. Grave Secrets by Alice James

Not-So-Scary Halloween Reads: Grave Secrets by Alice James Cover

Honestly, Toni Windsor really just wants to lead a quiet life. Ideally, her days would consist of mastering croquet, acquiring a perfect boyfriend, and succeeding in selling houses as a real estate agent. However, all of that has to wait. Why? Well, zombies are quite literally taking over the town, vampires are sneaking into the country, and there’s a murder to solve. Not only that, but Toni is the one raising the dead, albeit it’s accidental. And, she might just fall in love with one of the vampires… he is super pretty, after all.

For more not-so-scary recommendations, keep reading here.