10 Dark Books Written by Women You Should Read This Halloween

10 dark books written by women you should read this halloween

It’s October, which means it’s time for Halloween reading! And since the month is now more than halfway over, I thought I’d share a few books that I think would make great Halloween reads and also happen to be written by women. Because I feel like we should read more female authors, and why not read them during the spooky season?

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett. This book is so much darker than I was expecting. The pink cover is kind of misleading, because this book is BRUTAL. I finished it earlier this month, and I still can’t stop thinking about it. It’s basically The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Hunger Games, so I’m sure you can imagine how much this book will mess with your head. It’s amazing and you should read it.

Alice by Christina Henry. This is the book that spurred my obsession with Christina Henry’s books. I read this, and have picked up every single book she has released since then. This book is loosely based on Alice in Wonderland, and is actually one of the darkest books on this entire list. If you can’t handle a little gore, maybe don’t pick this up. Lost Boy is also a great choice if you want something that will mess you up a little bit less.

The Impossible Girl by Lydia Kang. This book might be the least traditionally scary on this list, but the plot is pretty dark. It’s about a girl named Cora Lee who works as a resurrectionist – she dresses as a man, poses as her own brother (who doesn’t exist) and exhumes dead bodies to sell as cadavers. When she starts to get orders for abnormal bodies (like the man with a tail), and not just for medical purposes (she comes across PT Barnum at one point), her life get’s a little more complicated. Because everyone is willing to kill to get their hands on the rumored girl with two hearts, but no one knows that girl is Cora.

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll. This is a collection of graphic short horror stories. I know this has gotten some mixed reviews because the stories are all open-ended. Personally, I really liked that, but just something to note if it’s going to drive you insane. If you’re looking for something creepy, but not too scary, I’d recommend this one. Plus, it’s a pretty short read made up of short stories, so if you’re really busy this month and still want to read something for Halloween, Through the Woods would be perfect.

Wilder Girls by Rory Power. I honestly didn’t have very high expectations for this book, but I ended up absolutely loving it. I have read a lot of books this year and I think this might be one of my favorites. It’s creepy, weird, sci-fi is my jam. There’s a lot of hype surrounding this book, but it is definitely deserved in this case. 10/10 would recommend.

Vicious by Victoria Schwab. Victoria Schwab is the queen of everything. She’s a great writer and a great human and I will love everything she does. Including this sci-fi book about supervillains and the battle between good and evil. I’ve read this twice so far, and I loved it both times. Definitely Halloween-appropriate, but also just plain brilliant. Go read it.

City of Ghosts by V. E. Schwab. If you want more Schwab or super-villains aren’t your thing, this middle-grade novel about a girl who can see ghosts is also pretty amazing and surprisingly creepy for a book meant for younger readers. Like, I was honestly kind of scared, and I’m thirty years old. (I didn’t want to dominate this list with V. E. Schwab books, but you should definitely also check out The Archived, a YA novel about a girl who hunts ghosts.)

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl. No ghosts, no dead bodies, no sci-fi here. Just a group of friends trapped in the Neverworld Wake, where they’re doomed to repeat the same day over and over until they come to a unanimous decision about which one of them will survive the car accident they were in. Because there can only be one survivor.

The Darkling Bride by Laura Anderson. If scary books aren’t quite your thing, but you still want to read something a little bit spooky for Halloween, pick this up. There’s some dark family history, maybe a ghost, and a fair amount of mystery. I really enjoyed it, and I think it deserves more attention so go pick it up!

The Diviners by Libba Bray. This book has a wonderfully diverse cast of characters with supernatural abilities. Also a super creepy ghost who is also a serial killer. Do I need to say more? It’s nearly six-hundred pages, but it’s so addicting I still finished it in a single sitting.


I hope I inspired you to pick up some spooky books written by these great female authors for Halloween this year! I really enjoyed all the books on this list, and would be thrilled to read them again to get me in the mood for Halloween.

What’s your favorite scary book written by a woman? Are you reading any books for Halloween this year? Let me know in the comments!

Also check out: 10 Gothic Novels You Should Read This Fall

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11 thoughts on “10 Dark Books Written by Women You Should Read This Halloween

  1. Brilliant list! I *need* to pick up The Diviners, I’ve owned it for so long and still somehow haven’t read it. I hear the audiobook is super creepy so I might try that out. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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