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Spooky season is here–time to curl up with a scary story while the wind howls outside and the neighborhood goblins roam the streets. Need some ideas for what to read this All Hallow’s Eve? Here are 13 stories old & new that are guaranteed to send a shiver up your spine.

I love a good scary story. Not Stephen King scary, more like Shirley Jackson scary. Stephen King’s stories jump out at you and shriek in your face. Shirley Jackson’s stories creep up behind you and run a cold finger down your spine. In honor of Halloween, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite spooky reads. You won’t find much blood & gore in these books, but there are frights aplenty.

All these, however, were mere terrors of the night, phantoms of the mind that walk in darkness; and though he had seen many spectres in his time, and been more than once beset by Satan in divers shapes, in his lonely preambulations, yet daylight put an end to all these evils.

Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Classic Scares

People, it seems, have always enjoyed being frightened, especially if they could do it while safely curled up at home under the blankets. These classic tales have stood the test of time and still pack a spooky punch.

God! Whose hand was I holding?

Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House

Contemporary Frights

Looking for something a little more modern? These scary tales were all written in the past few years and all but one feature a contemporary setting, reminding us that things that go bump in the night haven’t been banished in the internet age.

There you have it–13 spooky stories to keep you up late. What
are your favorite scary stories? Do you prefer blood & guts
scary or spooky, keep-you-looking-over-your-shoulder scary?
Let me know in the comments.

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