Read All About It: It’s Halloween!

We asked Librarians to recommend some scary Halloween stories. You are warned!

It’s that time again to get reading and get scared! And courtesy of the Librarians at the Los Angeles Public Library.

The last few years, Alive! has reached out to Librarians at our favorite library, Los Angeles Public Library, for their recommendations for awesomely scary Halloween reads and watches. We’re excited for another go-round in 2023, so here are fresh recommendations for you and your family this Halloween, traditionally the first event of the holiday season.

Thanks to the Librarians for their suggestions, and for their service and dedication to the City.

Enjoy these spooky stories, everyone! (Some are available via digital download; some are physical books available for checkout. Search at

Recommendations by: Teen’Scape, Los Angeles Public Library; Literature and Fiction Dept., LAPL; Children’s Literature Dept., LAPL; Compiled by Susan Lendroth, LAPL

For Adults:

London Séance Society
Sarah Penner
In 1873, spiritualist Vaudeline D’Allaire conducts a séance at an abandoned chateau near Paris. Even though she is skeptical how occult powers could conjure up the dead, Lena Wickes attends a séance seeking information about her sister’s death. Eventually both women go to England to work with London’s Séance Society to solve a mystery but find themselves involved in something even more sinister.


Going Zero
Anthony McCarten
Surveillance and security cameras have become a routine part of modern life. What would happen if 10 people had been selected to test a new type of spyware called FUSION? Anthony McCarten’s plot shows “how difficult it is to disentangle oneself from the digital web we have collectively created.”
Reviewed by Daryl M. for LAPL Reads


The Monster of Elendhaven
Jennifer Giesbrecht
“This is a bleak, somber tale, grim with flashes of menace and violence. For those who relish the shadows and prefer to linger in the darkness rather than immediately turn on the lights when entering a room, this could be the novella for you.”
Reviewed by Daryl M. for LAPL Reads

For Teen/Young Adult Reader:


Art of Being a Vampire
Kate Karyus Quinn
The Art of Being Vampire follows Shelby, a teen girl troubled by her mother’s drug use. After the death of her mother, she goes to live with her aunt and turns to photography as her means of coping. But Shelby is in a dark place and feels fit for rebellion. She meets Brandt, a boy she doesn’t know is a vampire.
Summary from Goodreads



Breakup from Hell
Ann Dávila Cardinal
Miguela Angeles is tired: tired of her abuela keeping secrets, especially about her heritage, and tired of her small Vermont town and hanging out at the same places with the same friends she’s known forever. So when another boring Sunday trip to church turns into a run-in with Sam, a mysterious hottie in town on vacation, Mica seizes the opportunity to get closer to him.
Summary from Goodreads


Four Found Dead
Natalie D. Richards
At the movie theater where Jo works, the last show has ended. But the nightmare is just beginning.
Summary from Goodreads

The Cherished
Patricia Ward
For fans of Claire Legrand, Rory Power and Danielle Vega comes a visceral horror thriller in the vein of Midsommar, as one girl inherits a mysterious house from her estranged grandmother—and a letter with sinister instructions.
Summary from Goodreads




Haruto Ryo, translated by Paul Starr
Urban legend has it that a girl in Gothic Lolita garb will sometimes appear at local garbage drops in the middle of the night, putting a question to passersby – “Would you have a little sister?” To reply is to seal one’s fate and meet with a diabolical death at the hands of none other than this twisted sister! And tonight, another man will fall prey to the horror.
Summary from Goodreads

Sadako at the End of the World
Koma Natsumi; translated by Caleb Cook; lettered by Lys Blakeslee
After the world comes to an end, a pair of sisters plays a certain infamous video tape, but Sadako appears. They’re just happy to meet another girl in this post-apocalyptic world.
Summary by Goodreads

Shiver: Selected Stories
Junji Ito
This volume includes nine of Junji Ito’s best short stories, as selected by the author himself and presented with accompanying notes and commentary.
Summary from Goodreads

Tomoki Izumi
This is a comedy about a girl who sees scary/gross-looking ghosts and has to pretend she doesn’t.
Summary by Goodreads

Nicnevin and the Bloody Queen
Helen Mullane
Something strange has been unleashed in the north of England. A modern-day druid commits a series of ghastly murders in an attempt to unleash the awesome power of the ancient gods of Great Britain. But all hell really breaks loose when his latest would-be victim, Nicnevin “Nissy” Oswald, turns out to be more than she seems.
Summary by Goodreads


Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa; illustrated by Robert Hack
On the eve of her sixteenth birthday, the young sorceress Sabrina Spellman finds herself at a crossroads, having to choose between an unearthly destiny and her mortal boyfriend, Harvey. But a foe from her family’s past has arrived in Greendale, Madame Satan, and she has her own deadly agenda.
Summary by Goodreads

For Young Readers:

A Super Scary Narwhalloween (A Narwhal and Jelly Book)
Ben Clanton
Narwhal is excited for Halloween, but Jelly is nervous and doesn’t enjoy scary stuff. What are two friends to do?


Bruce and the Legend of Soggy Hollow
Ryan T. Higgins
Bruce doesn’t like holidays and he is not looking forward to Halloween. His family decides that the best way to get him into the Halloween spirit is by telling a scary story!

Got Me a Cat
Darcy Pattison
A cat appears in Benjy’s front yard on Halloween and he is certain it is meant to be his, but his parents say no pets. Turns out the cat belongs to his next door neighbor’s granddaughter, Erika, who stays with her grandma during the week to attend a local school for the deaf. Erika and Benjy strike up a friendship and together they take care of her cat Fluffy.

If Your Babysitter Is a Bruja
Ana Siqueira
When you get a new babysitter the night before Halloween, it’s a good idea to make sure she’s not a bruja (witch)! Does she wear a black sombrero and cackle like a crow? Better read this book so you’ll know what to do next! 

Nina Soni, Halloween Queen
Kashmira Sheth
Hoping to make some money, Nina Soni decides to use the large stack of boxes in her family’s basement to create her very own scary haunted house – but she doesn’t have a lot of time to do it. Nina and her American-Indian family are very busy preparing to celebrate Diwali just three days before Halloween. She’ll need to get her friends and family’s help to pull off this haunted house in time.