Yes, it's that time of the year. Oh how I love Halloween. To get properly in the spirit of things, here's some scary books that can be read in the run up to the big day/night so that the whole month is spent in terror mode
Any Stephen King Book:
Or short story for that matter. He's not called the master of horror for nothing. I would suggest any of the classics- Misery, Carrie, Salem's Lot, Pet Sematary, It and my personal favourite- The Shining. Short story wise- the Mist is pretty great. King's books tend to be massive tombs of things so it may be unrealistic to put these on a list of books to read before the end of the month, but nonetheless they are worth reading in general.
The Woman in Black- Susan Hill
This is a gothic horror (written in 1983, interestingly enough) about a sinister ghost (i.e not a friendly one) in a small English town who foreshadows the deaths of children. Shudder. Recently this was made into a film starring yer man from Harry Potter and before that had been adapted into a play. I've seen both and believe me when I say that this story is bloody terrifying. Well worth reading the book if you haven't yet.
Rosemary's Baby- Ira Levin
If you haven't read this or seen the film of the same name (which is also rather brilliant), it's the story of a young married couple who move into their apartment in an old Gothic (yes more gothic) building in New York, a building with a disturbing history of witchcraft and murder- this can only lead to bad things, which inevitably it does. I won't give away any more than that. I've read all of Levin's books (including the Stepford Wives and the Boys from Brazil) and although this one in particular is out and out horror, his others all have a general air of creepiness too so would also qualify for some good Halloween reading.
Something Wicked This Way Comes- Ray Bradbury
Two boys visit a creepy travelling carnival that comes to their town one October, run by the terrifying "Mr Dark". Nothing scarier than a nightmarish carnival, I always say. There's nothing else I can say about this one really, you just have to read it and find out!
Other good options include The Passage by Justin Cronin (a dystopian vampire thriller), old school classics like Dracula, Frankenstein and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, modern classics like The Silence of the Lambs, Interview with the Vampire and unexpected offerings like American Psycho and We Need To Talk About Kevin (to be fair, the last two aren't actually "horrors" as such, but are fairly scary in parts, ideal if you like your horror more diluted. Although, having said that, American Psycho is seriously disturbing..you have been warned). Enjoy!