The best horror stories told in novels, ranked from scary to terrifying

Fancy reading something scary this year, but not sure which level of creepiness to go for? Here are the best ghoulish reads, ranked in order of thrill.

An illustration of a horror scale of spooky books, from 'ghost emoji' to 'skull and crossbones' emoji.

There are some Hallowe’en traditions we leave behind with adulthood – trick or treating is just plain weird if you’re not accompanied by a small ghost, for instance – but books offer a fantastic way to get into the spirit. Not a big one for scares? We’ve got books for that. Only interested in the bone-chillers? We’ve got books for that too. Here’s a rundown, rated by scariness:

Unsettling books for the easily scared

Slightly scary books

Very frightening tales

Books to keep you awake at night

Absolutely terrifying

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