Classic Spooky Reads that *Gave Me the Shivers*

spooktacular reads

Hello all! Just a quick post today to celebrate spooktober! In the last year (and beyond), I’ve been reading quite a few classic spooky read and some of them really hit the spot (and by hit the spot, I mean made my blood run cold, freaked me out and made me duck under my duvet for cover!) Here’s some books you may have heard of that really live up to the hype:

we have always lived in a castle

We Have Always Lived in a Castle– oh man, Shirley Jackson reallllly nailed the creepy vibes with this one. The mystery builds and builds and you don’t get total closure… which is exactly how it should be in the best scary stories! Speaking of which…

turn of the screw 2

Turn of the Screw– this is one of the *best* gothic tales I’ve ever read and there are multiple ways to read it. Ambiguous, brilliantly written and so terrifying I had to turn on my big lights so I could finish it!

the woman in black

The Woman in Black– ooh this one was freaky! This ghost story will definitely keep you up at night. An unsettling mist descends from the moment I turned the first page and doesn’t let up until long after you’ve turned the last. I’m just hoping she never makes an appearance in my life…

rebecca

Rebecca– on the note of enigmatic women, the titular character is too dead to make an appearance in this book, yet that doesn’t stop her making her presence felt 😉 This book has a hint of the gothic and is a wonderfully atmospheric read!

haunting of hill house

Haunting of Hill House– this was another solid book from Shirley Jackson and perfect if you’re too chicken to check out the Netflix version (like me 😉)

wieland

Wieland– this is a weird book… and yet isn’t that perfect for this time of year? A strangely captivating gothic tale, I was taken aback the first time I read it and it still haunts me to this day.

confessions

Confessions of a Justified Sinner– this mad little Scottish classic is a hidden gothic gem and guaranteed to take you to a dark place… which of course meant I had to include it 😉

frankenstein

Frankenstein– in many ways, this isn’t as scary as the other stories on this list. While it does venture into the subject of monsters, it’s more about humanity and hubris and the terrible things we’re capable of… so in many ways it’s the scariest book on this list by far.

jekyll and hyde

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde– coming back to London, this classic tale is pure entertainment and a sign that sometimes the darkest creatures can be closer to home than we think…

And on that note, I’ll be bringing this list to an end… *MWHAHAHAHA*! Don’t know if that’s the most appropriate place for a “MWHAHAHAHA”… Moving swiftly on! Have you read any of these? Do you love any classic scary stories? Let me know in the comments!

35 thoughts on “Classic Spooky Reads that *Gave Me the Shivers*

  1. okay, now I want to read all of these! I’m reading The Woman in White right now, and while it isn’t “scary” so far, it’s certainly creepy at some points (and, on a completely unrelated note, hilarious). 🙂

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  2. Several years ago I went on an Edinburgh ghost tour that included the tale of a man named Deacon Brodie, a highly respected cabinet maker whose access to the town’s wealthiest citizens allowed him to rob them. He was hanged on gallows he helped build, and his story was part of the inspiration for The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
    On the other side of the pond I just reread The Legend of Sleepy Hollow which is not only a spooky story but set around Halloween, although the holiday wasn’t widely celebrated at the time.

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  3. Oooh..I watched the Woman in black and it scared me! I loved the show Haunting of hill house more than the book to be honest. Freaked the crap outta me!! But it was SO good!!

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  4. Ooh I need to get caught up on my classic spooky books! Frankenstein is the only one on this list that I’ve read, but I would love to read some Shirley Jackson at some point, and Rebecca also sounds fantastic 😀 Thanks for these recommendations!

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  5. I’ve read Woman in Black (good), The Haunting of Hill House (strange) and Rebecca (brilliant). You got me interested in Turn of the Screw.

    Oh, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde I wasn’t even planning to read because I was sure I know the story already. Well, it turned out I found it scary on completely different level than I was expecting. Definitely Dr Jekyll terrifies me more than Mr Hyde.

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  6. Of those that I’ve read, you are absolutely right. I think Jekyll & Hyde is just brilliant. I’ve never heard of the Justified Sinner book, but if it’s coming out of the same Scottish Reformed tradition, it’s sure to be powerful.

    Speaking of, have you read any George MacDonald? His stuff isn’t exactly scary, but it is similar. I remember he had a short ghost story about a ghost that returns just to keep re-counting its money.

    Rebecca was amazing.

    As for Frankenstein, I never plan to read it again because it is too SAD.

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    1. Really glad you think so! Confessions a very unique book- it’s incredibly atmospheric and more bonkers than I was expecting!

      And yes I have (can’t do a degree in Scotland without reading Phantastes 😉 ) But I haven’t read that ghost story! Now I’m really curious!!

      It is!

      Ahh I understand that.

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  7. The stage version of the ‘The Woman in Black’ seems to be permanently on tour in Britain. The last time I saw it a group of teenage girls in the front row spent a large part of the show hiding under their coats!

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  8. I really need to read some books by Shirley Jackson! I have read a short story collection by her and it was amazing, I can only imagine how great her books are. 😀 The Woman in Black is amazing and I’m really happy to see it on your list. Great post! 🙂

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  9. I adored We Have Always Lived At The Castle and Rebecca. Both really nail an unsettling atmosphere. All the classics on this list are winners and I really need to read The Women in Black at some point.

    Have you read any of Vernon Lee’s short stories? They’re brilliantly spooky!

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  10. The Woman In Black is one of my favorite books as is Rebecca! Both are so full of atmosphere and interesting characters they give me the shivers every time! Thanks for the recommendation of Wieland and Confessions of Justified Sinner. I’d actually never heard of them before so I am eager to check them out!

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  11. The Classics and I…we don’t get along well. But, I picked Frankenstein up from the library, and I’m currently working my way through it. I think it’s been almost two decades since I read it (and by “read”, I mean I read Cliffs Notes). It’s really slow going. And you’re right, it’s not outright scary or creepy, but horrific all the same. I actually kind of appreciate it? I’m taking away so much more from the novel now than I did back in 9th grade.

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