Tricky Treats: Scary and Not-So-Scary Seasonal Reads

Sometimes we like a good scare. Other times we just want a good laugh. Here are some seasonally themed books which just may provide both.
For your convenience I've included a "rating" system of sorts. (Note: I haven't read all the posted titles, so use your own discretion about whether it looks to be something that would suit your particular tastes. Ratings are provided by the authors.)

  1. Casper, the Friendly Ghost. These stories are mostly harmless and good for all ages.
  2. Afraid of the Dark. Slightly scarier stories or those containing content more appropriate for preteens and up.
  3. Sleeping with the Lights On. Good for those who really want a good scare or who can handle a little darker/mature content. 

Casper, the Friendly Ghost

This short story is more funny than frightening, 
but with a trick or treat theme, it might just put you in the holiday mood. Free to download at time of posting.

Three For Hallowe'en

It's perfect for those who like the fun of Hallowe'en but don't want to be creeped out. Three light, amusing stories, with twists. Free to download at time of posting. 

A lonely girl, a desperate ghost boy, a saw-playing street musician, a psychic, and an oddball library page: friendships are formed that will change the lives of all—here and in the hereafter.

Ghost Whisperer Pepper Connelly has only two weeks to prove her friend Willie’s innocence, and she discovers the key lies with four ghosts who have their own haunting agenda.

West Virginia's Dark Tourism

"Travelogue of Horror brings the elements of fall scares into living color with over 70 vivid photos and amusing (and sometimes creepy) anecdotes. It reveals a vista of scenes from the world's creepiest movie sets, including The Exorcist, Silence of the Lambs, The Shawshank Redemption, and The Evil Dead. Urban's travelogue documents his journey to see each of these sets with brilliant story-telling, creating the perfect setting for your October scare-o-meter."

Afraid of the Dark

This book features a house of horrors complete with killer robot. While it has limited gore, there are some creepy thrills within. 


A young Russian expat on a trip home stumbles into an underground casino, to discover a winning streak he never knew he had. But it’s not the kind of “golden jackpot” story you might expect… or ever want. Compared to the chilling narratives of Franz Kafka, “Bakaly” reads unforgiving and raw, just like the hard, cutting vodka its two main characters drink during the fateful game of roulette they play on that dark, dark night.

If a half-Fae fighting human predators for the lives of children is not enough, try tackling the task during the country's oldest and largest Halloween festival. The first story in this set was nominated for both the Pushcart Prize and Year's Best Fantasy.

Zombies aren't real, but when Pranthi photographs a man turning zombie, everything changes.

Robots, vampires, werewolves, and an epic love story between a teenage zombie and an ordinary girl. What could be better? Imagine Twilight meets Divergent and throw in a huge helping of sarcasm.

A collection of spooky and spoofy short-stories, just perfect for the whole family.

Haunted (or not) house.

As Halloween looms, friendships are tested when magic and first love collide. The perfect October page-turner. 

Five retellings of Beauty and the Beast - ranging from cursed pirates and vengeful mermaids to ghouls and living gargoyles to a curse that turned all the inhabitants of the castle into living stone to a talking jaguar and ending with a more traditional retelling set in Scotland complete with a witch/druid.

Sleeping with the Lights On

A Coon Hollow Coven Tale is about a 20-yr-old female witch who must fight a cursed banshee before Samhain ends.

Violetta Tancetta thinks that her parents were killed in a freak accident by an escaped tiger, but actually lives in a town where zombies, vampires and werewolves are the more likely culprits. On All Hallow's Eve, the darkness will begin. Werewolves will turn, and only the league of Butchers will be able to hold them back.

Hollow is perfect for women who like a cup of creepy and a pinch of gore in their cozy romantic mystery.

Leopard's Heart

Shapeshifters, elves, and half-elves fight assassins to prevent the exposure of the Therian race. But even Therians might not win against the monstrous Wendigo. A perfect page-turner for the things that go bump in the night. 

The Pinocchio Factor

Do you like to dress up for Halloween? The Pinocchio Factor has a masked ball near the beginning (including an automaton costume that comes to life and tries to kill its wearer) and people who are disguised as Pinocchio and the Blue Fairy.

Thicker Than Water

What would you do if the one you loved was turned into a monster?