13 scary good Canadian books for Halloween

Get into the Halloween spirit with these spine-tingling reads.

Whether you're in the mood for a thrilling mystery or an otherworldly adventure, here's a list of 13 spine-tingling Canadian books to read for Halloween this year.

The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson

Craig Davidson is the author of several books, his most recent being the novel The Saturday Night Ghost Club. (Knopf Canada/Craig Davidson)

The Saturday Night Ghost Club follows a 12-year-old boy named Jake who is invited to spend the summer in a ghost club with his beloved misfit uncle Calvin. As the two investigate the macabre myths of Niagara Falls, Jake discovers some chilling truths about his uncle's past.

White As Milk, Red As Blood by Franz Xaver von Schönwerth, translated by Shelley Tanaka and illustrated by Willow Dawson

White as Milk, Red as Blood is a collection of Bavarian horror fairy tales. (Knopf Canada)

Franz Xaver von Schönwerth was a 19-century collector of Bavarian fairy tales who faithfully recorded reams of oral stories, but only published one volume of them. His archives were unearthed in 2009 and revealed a collection of shockingly violent tales that had nearly been forgotten. Canadian translator Shelley Tanaka and illustrator Willow Dawson bring these racy stories to light in this newly published collection of fairy tales for adults.

Half Spent Was the Night by Ami McKay

Half Spent Was the Night is the latest novel by Ami McKay. (Ian McKay/Knopf Canada)

Three witches of New York gather in the nights between Christmas and New Year's to roast chestnuts and read their fates. Invitations to a New Year's Eve masquerade from a woman they've never met arrive on their doorstep. The three witches attend the ball under a cloud of suspicion, uncertain whether the invitation is welcome or sinister.

Find You In the Dark by Nathan Ripley

Nathan Ripley is the author of the thriller Find You in the Dark. (Simon & Schuster)

This thriller by Naben Ruthnum, under his pen name Nathan Ripley, follows a family man obsessed with digging up the undiscovered remains of a serial killer's victims. His actions inadvertently catch the attention of a murderer in the streets of Seattle.

Spectral Evidence by Gemma Files

Award-winning author Gemma Files collects some of her best horror stories in Spectral Evidence. (

Gemma Files's collection of horror stories features vampires, a blood-servant's revenge, monster-hunting sisters and forgotten cosmos architects. This book is the first of two volumes that will collect the Shirley Jackson Award-winning author's best stories of the decade.

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A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay

Linwood Barclay is the author of several thrillers, including The Noise Downstairs. (HarperCollins/Bill Taylor)

In this psychological thriller by Linwood Barclay, Paul Davis is awoken in the night by the sound of a manual typewriter. Only eight months prior, Paul had discovered that a colleague was forcing women to typewrite apology notes before murdering them. The next morning Paul finds a note that reads: "We typed our apologies like he asked but he killed us anyway."

The Winters by Lisa Gabriele

The Winters by Lisa Gabriele is inspired by Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. (Doubleday Canada)

A young woman moves into her fiancé Max's ostentatious Long Island home after a short and fiery romance. But there's no domestic bliss waiting for her at the mansion, as Max's recently deceased wife Rebekah seems to haunt the place, while his teenage daughter Dani openly despises both of them. Dark secrets swirl between Max and Dani, as their new housemate becomes a pawn in a twisted game.

Sodom Road Exit by Amber Dawn

Amber Dawn won the 2012 Dayne Ogilvie Prize for emerging LGBTQ authors. (Arsenal Pulp/

Amber Dawn's sophomore novel, Sodom Road Exit, is a supernatural thriller that revels in themes of sexual orientation, economic disenfranchisement and family dynamics. Set in Crystal Beach, Ont., the novel follows a woman named Starla who moves back in with her mother and becomes possessed by a ghost from her hometown's decrepit amusement park.

Trickster Drift by Eden Robinson

Eden Robinson's sequel to Son of a Trickster, Trickster Drift, was released Oct. 2, 2018. (Laughing Red Works, Knopf Canada)

The second book in Eden Robinson's Trickster trilogy returns to Jared at age 17, living in Vancouver with his formerly estranged Aunt Mave. Jared has been sober for a year in attempts to keep magic out of his life — but as the son of a Trickster and a witch, this proves nearly impossible. Things take a turn for the harrowing when David, his mom's violent ex-boyfriend, starts stalking him around the city.

The Grimoire of Kensington Market by Lauren B. Davis

Lauren B. Davis is the author The Grimoire of Kensington Market. (Wolsak & Wynn/Helen Tansey at Sundari Photography)

Toronto is in the grips of a drug called Elysium, which sends its users past the edges of the world. Recovering addict Maggie is the proprietor of a magical bookstore called The Grimoire and one day begins to receive notes that say simply "follow me." Maggie comes to realize that the notes are from her brother Kyle, whose Elysium addiction has taken him deep into the Silver World.

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

An Unwanted Guest is a novel by Shari Lapena. (Facebook)

Mitchell's Inn, nestled in the Catskills woods, is the perfect spot for a winter getaway. When a blizzard knocks out the electricity, guests and staff rally by lighting candles, starting a roaring fire and getting cozy under layers of blankets. Things take a turn for the murderous when a dead body turns up, followed up by a series of suspicious deaths.

Careless Love by Peter Robinson

The 25th Inspector Banks mystery novel by Peter Robinson. (Paul Hansen/McClelland & Stewart)

Peter Robinson marks a milestone with Careless Lovehis 25th Inspector Banks novel. This time, Banks and his colleague Annie are investigating two mysterious deaths: a young student found in a car on a country road and a man in his 60s discovered partially devoured in the wild moorland.

It All Falls Down by Sheena Kamal

It All Falls Down is a thriller by Sheena Kamal. (Malcolm Tweedy, Raincoast Books)

In this thriller by Sheena Kamal, protagonist Nora Watts decides to face her grief and investigate the circumstances of her father's mysterious death by suicide. Sam Watts was one of thousands of Indigenous children to be forcibly separated from his family by the government, a policy that started in the 1950s. As Nora digs into her father's early life in Detroit, she discovers troubling truths surrounding his upbringing and death.