The temperature maps are finally starting to edge toward the cool tones again. The leaves are thinking about a new color scheme, iced coffee season is coming to a close, and it’s time to think about pulling your favorite cozy blanket out of the closet and keeping it handy. More importantly, the spooky season and its glorious aesthetic is (finally) upon us.
For me, fall is the time for me to dive into the ethereal, preternatural, and atmospheric. I want to read books that feel like walking through the fog filled mountains, mist filling every breath with ominous crags looming over top of me. Anything could be lurking around the bend, be it friend or foe, trickster or savior, but only by walking on can I find out. The Spooky Season is about possibilities; finding out whether those voices only you hear are inside you or the walls around you and confronting them. It’s about walking into a cold patch of air where the leaves dance and only you can feel it, and then going home to a hot cup of tea, a Miles Davis record, and your coziest blanket. It’s the catch and release of your breath and the catharsis of a fear-tinged adrenaline spike.
These books encapsulate those feelings. Some are legitimately spooky, though most are as much about the demons inside you as the ones lurking under your bed. All of them are journeys of self-discovery, and more often than not they’re breaking of chains we and society place on ourselves. Some are as comforting as a fuzzy pair of socks and your first fire of the year, while others tap into the fear of what’s staring back at you from the flames. They’re not always about good people, but without delving into the darkness, the light loses its power to heal.
So grab a few of these for your next cloudy day, pull up your favorite atmospheric playlist and pot of Darjeeling and get to reading.
Practical Magic & Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning
The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Weak Heart by Ban Gilmartin
Melmoth by Sarah Perry
Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
The Warlow Experiment by Alix Nathan
The Poison Thread by Laura Purcell
Things We Say in the Dark by Kirsty Logan
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Wilder Girls by Rory Powers
The Invited by Jennifer McMahon
The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling
The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Turn of the Screw by Henry James
The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Vicious by V.E. Schwabb
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Dare You to Lie by Amber Lynn Natusch
Caravall Series by Stephanie Garber
Witch Born by Nicholas Bowling
The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh
The Dark Vault by Victoria Schwab
Wuthering Heights by Emile Bronte
The House Between Tides by Sarah Maine
Once Upon a River by Dianne Setterfield
Thank you to everyone who sent in recommendations for the list! If we missed anything tweet us @litdarling or DM us on Insta @literallydarling.