There's plenty on offer at the silver screen this Halloween, with Annabelle and The Babadook ensuring audiences will be quivering in their seats.
But for true, spine-tingling terror, you can't beat the immersive experience of a scary book.
From ghost stories such as The Woman in Black and The Haunting of Hill House, to classic Gothic novels like Dracula and Frankenstein, to novellas and short stories including The Turn of the Screw and The Tell-Tale Heart, there are plenty of narratives guaranteed to leave you checking under the bed and sleeping with the light on.
Here's our selection of 13 spooky tales to give you a fright on 31 October.
13 spooky tales
13 spooky tales
1/13 The Turn of the Screw, Henry James
No Halloween reading list would be complete without this terrifying novella.
Is the governess a seer or a disturbed sexual predator? Over the years critics have debated endlessly about the true meaning of James’ narrative.
However, it is this very ambiguity that has kept generations of readers hooked.
2/13 The Woman in Black, Susan Hill
This traditionally Gothic novel pivots on a mysterious ghost woman who roams a small English town, causing children to die prematurely.
With a haunted house, malevolent spectre and a horrifying conclusion, this story really is the stuff of nightmares.
3/13 Man-Size In Marble, E Nesbit
When a newly-married couple move into a cottage, they hear rumours that the marble knights in the local church come to life once a year.
This short story builds to a terrifying conclusion.
4/13 The Tell-Tale Heart, Edgar Allan Poe
In this short story an unnamed narrator attempts to convince the reader he is sane as he describes a murder he committed.
A disturbing study of paranoia and mental deterioration, the narrative blurs the boundaries between fantasy and reality.
5/13 The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks
16-year-old narrator Frank Cauldhame is violent and depraved. He tortures insects and animals and has previously murdered three other children.
While not traditionally spooky, this book is guaranteed to keep you up at night.
6/13 The Mezzotint, MR James
The mezzotint at the centre of this short story changes to reveal a terrifying figure making its way across the lawn to a country house.
But who - or what - exactly is it? Prepare to be scared.
7/13 Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
People often mistake Frankenstein for the monster of this tale, but the title actually refers to eccentric scientist Victor Frankenstein.
A classically Gothic novel, this narrative forces the reader to question what monstrosity really is.
Also known as The Modern Prometheus, it reveals the horrors that can occur from humanity’s uncompromising quest for knowledge.
8/13 Dark Matter, Michelle Paver
The bleak landscape of the Arctic is the setting for this ghost story, as the protagonist prepares to spend the winter shrouded in darkness.
But Jack is not alone...
9/13 The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson
Considered one of the best literary ghost stories published during the 20th century, this novel deals in terror rather than horror.
The house itself is the central character, overwhelming the humans with its supernatural powers.
10/13 The Shining, Stephen King
Jack Nicholson’s sinister face peering through a doorway may be the image most associated with The Shining, but Stephen King’s original novel is just as – if not more – terrifying.
Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic, becomes the off-season caretaker at a hotel in the Colorado Rockies.
But when he and his wife and son are snowed in, things take a horrifying turn…
11/13 At Chrighton Abbey, Mary Elizabeth Braddon
With the spookiest of settings, this atmospheric short story takes place at Christmas.
Sarah Chrighton returns home from Europe to her family, whose lives have been marred by tragedy over the years.
As you can guess, history is about to repeat itself…
12/13 Dracula, Bram Stoker
Count Dracula is the epitome of Halloween.
You’ve undoubtedly seen one of the many film adaptations, but this is the original Gothic novel – and the inspiration for most vampire literature since.
13/13 The Amityville Horror, Jay Anson
Based on a true story, the novel sees a newlywed couple and their three children move into a large house on the coast of New York’s Long Island.
The property was witness to a series of murders and a series of supernatural events show that the horror still lives within the bricks and mortar.
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