Young adult fiction for the spooky season


October is known for many things — cool, crisp days and falling leaves, candy, and pumpkin spice everything. It is also the start of the spookiest time of the year. There has been a spike in young adult fiction spooky stories; this collection is full of terrifying books to introduce you to the horror genre. And who doesn’t love a good scary story? Whether you’re well versed in the horror genre or just dipping your toes into this big frightening swamp, we’ve got something just for you.

Here is a list of some recent young adult horror books available at Neill Public Library; books ranging from psychological thrillers to horrific hauntings to the occasional funny fright. There is no better way to keep yourself awake at night.

“Horrid” by Katrina Leno: A haunting contemporary horror novel that explores themes of mental illness, rage, and grief, twisted with spine-chilling elements of Stephen King and Agatha Christie.

“Clown in a Cornfield” by Adam Cesare: Caught in a battle between old and new, Quinn Maybrook finds herself in the middle between tradition and progress — that just may cost her life.

“The Mary Shelley Club” by Goldy Moldasky: Rachel prefers the company of horror films to the trust fund babies at her school. But, when a prank puts her in the spotlight of a mysterious student society, “The Mary Shelley Club,” they subject her to several escalating Fear Tests, which eventually puts them on the radar of a serial killer.

“The Companion” by Katie Alender: The other orphans say Margot is lucky to survive the accident that killed her family, to have her own room because of her nightmare that keeps her awake, and lucky to be chosen to live with a prestigious family in the countryside. Margot’s bad dreams may have stopped when she came to live with her new family — but the real nightmare has just begun.

“The Missing Season” by Gillian French: Every October, a child goes missing from the old factory town of Pender. There’s a monster out in the marshes called the Mumbler. As Halloween gets closer, tensions build in the town. It’s hard to shake the feeling that there is something dark and dangerous in Pender lurking in the shadows and waiting to bring the stories to life.

Suppose you prefer to listen to your scary tales. In that case, we have a large selection of young adult fiction spooky eAudio books through Washington Anytime Library, or for mobile access, download the Libby app from your phone’s app store.

“House of Hollow” by Krystal Sutherland: It is a dark, twisty modern fairytale where three sisters discover they are not exactly all that they seem, and evil things do go bump in the night.

“The Taking of Jake Livingston” by Ryan Douglass: Jake Livingston, age 16, sees dead people everywhere. He can’t decide what’s worse, being a medium that’s forced to watch the deceased repeatedly reenacting their last moments of life or being one of the few Black students at St. Clair Prep at the mercy of racist teachers.

Also available are “Our Last Echoes” by Kate Marshall, “White Smoke” by Tiffany Jackson, and “Hold Back the Tide” by Melinda Salisbury.

Want to browse at the library? Come inside where we have several hair-raising book displays for all ages to get you in the spooky spirit, whether you are in the mood to scare up some fun with a classic horror flick, bake some ghostly cookies or learn how to sew your own spine-chilling costume. Neill Public Library has hundreds of terrifying tales in various frightening formats waiting for you.

Ritter is the youth services librarian for Neill Public Library in Pullman.

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