Classics with a Creepy Vibe (that are PERFECT for October!)

I started a neighborhood book club last year. Last fall, to be exact. Our first book? Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

I had a strong desire to read something kinda creepy, but not overtly evil since we were getting together in October to discuss our first book. I had watched the old black-and-white movie when I was a teenager in the 80's (the 1940's one by Alfred Hitchcock) because I was totally into black-and-white movies back then. And that one? That one creeped me out!

I was so excited to get the book and dig into what I assumed would give me just enough of a thrill & chill to feel all Halloween-y without making me lose sleep like...well, like the movie Halloween.

This year I'm going for that same vibe - a thrill and a chill - with both of my book clubs & you can, too!  Choose one of these Classics with a Creepy Vibe (that are PERFECT for October!) and get reading, my friend.

truman capote's in cold blood book cover

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

I knew nothing about In Cold Blood except that it was considered the original true crime novel. I contemplated choosing it for Pretty Literate's Classics Book Bag for October, but ultimately I went another way. Instead, I convinced my neighborhood book club to choose it for October - and it did not disappoint! I cannot remember the last time I read a book like it was a paying job, but I could not put down this Capote classic last weekend.

This book? I highly recommend adding it to your TBR pile for October.

book cover of brom stoker's dracula

Dracula by Brom Stoker

Dracula is a classic that everyone and their brother has read. Except for me. I've never been into paying to be scared, so I've never picked it up. My husband, on the other hand, has started it several times and his feedback to me was that it was one of those books that people say, "If you can get to chapter 11..." to which he replies, "then it should have started on chapter 11." He's kind of cheeky like that, but Dracula is one of those classics with a creepy vibe that I will {one day} read and join the throngs of others that declare it the perfect creepy classic.

frankenstein book cover by mary shelley

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein is another one of those classics with a creepy vibe that is on my TBR list as an October read. Like you, I have known the gist of the story from childhood & saw that even the moviemakers thought it a tale worth retelling on the big screen. It is heralded as the mother of science fiction and as someone who is a fan of the genre (as well as AMC's The Walking Dead), I know that I will eagerly make the acquaintance of Shelley's Doctor & his monster - probably (hopefully?) on a cold, dark, wet October night. Soon.

the legend of sleepy hollow book cover by washington irving

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

Pumpkins and October go hand-in-hand. Am I right? I cannot fathom a better classic with a creepy vibe to get you into the spirit of the season (pun intended) than Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - which is one of the reasons I chose this book for our October Classics Community this month. (I have a couple left + an AWESOME novel treasure to accompany it. Check it out as a one-time purchase and get a feel for what it is like to be in The Classics Community.)

Start date on this one? October 1, baby! 🎃

the picture of dorian gray book cover by oscar wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde is one of my husband's absolute favorites, but someone I have never read. I have always assumed he just wasn't my jam...until I heard about The Picture of Dorian Gray

✔️ Orphan.

✔️ Heir to a great fortune.

✔️ A painting that pays the price for the sins of his dark soul. 

Definitely has potential to top my TBR pile.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

A tale told by a lawyer. Enough said. 🤐

Just kidding! This classic may have the creepiest of vibes because it delves deeply into the inmost being of humanity and wrestles with the idea of good v. evil in the heart of every person. Yeah, that's chilling.

What about you?

Which creepy books would YOU recommend reading this month?



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  • I would like to suggest a couple more creepy reads- The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova makes the possibility of vampires seem not only real but also creepy and slightly sinister rather than horrible. The story also makes me long to travel to the Croatian coast and to wander the streets of Buda and Pest.
    Another story by Daphne DuMaurier that is extremely creepy is The Birds. Yes, the Hitchcock movie is based on it, but the story is creepier in ways both subtle and obvious.
    I have read several of the books mentioned in your blog and they are indeed creepy; Frankenstein left me with a thought that continues to make me shiver. Happy reading!

    Lynda A
  • We read “Head Full of Ghosts” by Paul Tremblay last October and I’m still thinking about it. Also “Verity” by Colleen Hoover is super creepy.


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