It might not be Halloween, but that doesn’t mean haunted houses aren’t in style. As long as I don’t have to live there, that is. As much as I would love to explore a spooky abandoned mansion in person, I’m too much of a chicken. Instead, I’ll live vicariously through the characters in these books.
‘The House That Death Built’ by Mel Stone
When Joy moves into her new husband’s home, everything she thought she knew about him turns out to be wrong. He essentially traps her there. While she searches for a way to escape, she finds out about his past wives that died in the house. But the farther she ventures into the past, the more dangerous it gets.
The House That Death Built might have started as a sweet love story, but it turned sour quickly. It’s like a reverse Sour Patch Kid.
‘Anna Dressed in Blood’ by Kendare Blake
Cas rids the world of ghosts and things that go bump in the night. In Anna Dressed in Blood, he goes up against a spirit wearing a wedding dress stained with blood. She’s not like the other ghosts Cas has killed. And despite her slaughtering everyone that enters her Victorian home, Cas is left alive.
Anna Dressed in Black is the first in the Anna duology. The second book is Girl of Nightmares; it follows Cas as he tries to move on from the first book’s events and looks for answers about Anna’s life and death.
‘The Haunting’ Books by Darcy Coates
Darcy Coates has written several paranormal books, but their best is by far their “Haunting” books. Though not a series, these three books are thematically linked. In The Haunting of Blackwood House, Mara and Neil are starting their new life far from Mara’s past. But when they move into their new home, Blackwood House, the ghosts she never believed in prove to be very real.
In The Haunting of Gillespie House, Elle couldn’t have been more excited to house-sit and explore the many, many rooms of the old manor. She’s even intrigued with the graveyard in the back. But when she comes across Jonathan Gillespie – who was supposed to have died years ago – house-sitting isn’t as easy as she was hoping.
Before the events in The Haunting of Ashburn House, Edith never let anyone visit. After her death, however, the new owner, Adrienne, moves in. As paranormal activity surrounds her, she sets out to find the truth behind the ghosts. Whether she gets to the bottom of it or not is up to how fast she can find it.
‘The Girl in the Locked Room’ by Mary Downing Hahn
If you liked Netflix’s take on Haunting of Hill House, then you need to grab this book. Mary Downing Hahn’s novel offers similar mysteries, thrills, and vibes.
When Jules and her family move into an abandoned house, she can’t help but feel unsettled. There’s a locked room, and though she sees a face in the window, there’s nobody else in the house. Will unlocking the door be the key to living peacefully–or will it unleash something truly terrible?
‘The Women in the Walls’ by Amy Lukavics
Lucy grew up in her aunt’s Victorian home with her cousin, Margaret. But when Lucy’s aunt disappears one day, Margaret starts spending time in the attic. Lucy can’t do anything while Margaret obsesses about hearing her mother’s voice in the walls. Then she starts hearing voices, too.
The Women in the Walls sounds like a murder mystery, but it’s so much more than that. Instead of following a murderer’s tracks, Lucy is following a ghostly trail. Driven by grief and curiosity, she teams up with her cousin to find out why they’re hearing their mothers in the walls.
‘The Year of Shadows’ by Claire Legrand
Olivia’s father just moved their entire family into the concert hall where his orchestra plays. That’s weird enough, but the problems don’t stop there in Claire Legrand’s charmingly spooky middle-grade novel. Just when things couldn’t get worse, Olivia comes across ghosts who need her help. She offers to help them move on by saving her new home, but it just might cost her life.
‘Spirit Hunters’ by Ellen Oh
Harper is new in town, but the ghosts she’s hunting aren’t. When she moves into the new house, she knows something’s wrong. When her younger brother starts acting weird, she figures out he’s being haunted. And it’s up to her to help rid of the spirits.
Spirit Hunters is the first book in the series following Harper and her ghostly adventures. There’s only one other book in the Spirit Hunters series so far, but I’m hoping Ellen Oh writes more soon. The second book takes Harper and her family to an island paradise that is a bit too picture-perfect.
‘The Dead House’ by Dawn Kurtagich
When Elmbridge High burned down, Carly Johnson disappeared. Twenty-five years later, she’s never been found, but her twin sister’s diary has. The only problem: Carly wasn’t a twin. Who is this mysterious diary owner, and what happened to Carly in the fire?
Trust me, you won’t be able to figure out the truth until it’s finally revealed. The Dead House is followed by a novella titled The Naida Tapes about the person who set the fire. Both are creepy and will keep you tossing and turning at night.
‘Amity’ by Micol Ostow
I know I said I wouldn’t want to live in any of these houses, but if I had to choose between this or any other, I’d stay literally anywhere else.
When Connor lived at Amity, he was haunted by dreams and nightmares of destruction. Then when Gwen moves in, she’s haunted by the same dreams. The difference between the two: Gwen doesn’t want to do what she dreams about. Amity is a living house that wants to drive the world crazy.
‘Just Like Home’ by Sarah Gailey
Though Just Like Home isn’t out until mid-July, I can already tell it’s going to be great. The sneak peek drew me in, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the whole novel. It’s sure to be creepy but not too much that I won’t be able to sleep. (Hopefully.)
Vera comes home when her mother asks her to. But when details about her father’s serial killer days start coming back to haunt her and notes in his handwriting pop up around the house, she can’t help but feel unsettled about the place she grew up.
‘House of Echoes’ by Brendan Duffy
Ben and Caroline moved their family to Swannhaven to get a fresh start in life. But the more they restore their new home, the worse life seems to get. From strange occurrences in the surrounding forest to the Swannhaven’s past catching up to it, Ben and Caroline might have bit off a bit more than they can chew.
After reading this book, I was terrified of going into forests for a while. Thankfully, I’ve gotten over that fear, but I’m still wary of abandoned houses near the woods. House of Echoes is creepy and haunting. You won’t be able to stop reading until you finish the book.
‘Kill Creek’ by Scott Thomas
When I read Kill Creek’s synopsis, I was reminded immediately of a Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated episode where the gang must survive a night of horror characters coming to life. This novel takes that same concept, but this time, you won’t be able to predict whether the protagonist will survive the night.
Finch House is one of the most haunted houses in the country. Sam McGarver is a famous horror novelist looking for inspiration. When the two collide one Halloween, his books start coming alive. He’ll have to survive the kind of stuff he writes about if he wants to make it to November.
‘White Smoke’ by Tiffany D. Jackson
If you loved Get Out or The Haunting of Hill House, you’re going to adore this YA novel. Tiffany D. Jackson weaves a tale where not everything is as it seems, but you still want to believe what you see.
White Smoke follows Marigold running from her past. After her mother moves their family to a beautiful home, her ghosts start catching up to her. Despite the danger, Marigold dives headfirst into the secrets of the house.