Whenever my friends and I plan a trip, we always search for something spooky to do—from ghost tours to haunted trails. And for connoisseurs of all things scary like us, Halloween is the best time of the year for creepy vacations, and we have gotten plenty of ideas from the horror genre. Now, we here at Off the Shelf have created a list of books that will give you plenty of ideas for your next spooky vacation, from pastoral New England to the jungles of Mexico and beyond.
The Amityville Horror
The most famous—or infamous—of American haunted houses, this allegedly true story takes you to the suburbs of Long Island, where a family moves into and out of their new home in less than a month. From the house’s oozing walls to mysterious cold spots and more, this ghost story combines true crime with paranormal intrigue. And yes, the house still stands, but subsequent owners never reported problems, ghostly or otherwise.
I Am Providence
In this nightmarish and thrilling mystery, a convention in Providence, Rhode Island, celebrating the city’s native son, the horror author H. P. Lovecraft, plays host to a disturbing murder. In this clever and unnerving novel, one attendee is determined to find the killer but stumbles upon much more terrifying secrets.
When four tourists take an unplanned excursion on their Mexican vacation, they have no idea that their lives are about to take a deadly and horrifying turn. With creeping suspense and twisty chills, THE RUINS illustrates the dark side of the natural world and shows why you should never wander off your itinerary when abroad.
Ireland is a country of lush, rolling hills, picturesque villages, and plenty of supernatural tales. HIMSELF is a witty and beguiling ghost story that is unlike any other. Follow the handsome charmer Mahony as he returns to his rural hometown—to learn the real reason why he was placed in an orphanage as a baby—and all hell breaks loose, quite literally. This is a humorous and whimsical venture to the Emerald Isle.
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
If you want to visit New England, look no further than Stephen King. In this psychological and supernatural thriller, a young girl becomes lost on the Maine–New Hampshire portion of the Appalachian Trail. She has only some snacks, her wits, and her love for the baseball player Tom Gordon to help her survive, but there’s also something sinister stalking her in the woods. This is a haunting, eerie tale with a young heroine you can’t help but root for.
In this atmospheric novel based on historical events, an expedition in the 1840s to find the Northwest Passage in the Arctic takes a deadly turn as the two ships of the voyage—one of them the HMS Terror—become stuck in the ice. Although the men are battling scurvy and starvation, it soon becomes clear that there’s something even more dangerous (and supernatural) on the ice. With profound research and masterly prose, THE TERROR is a gripping masterpiece.
In this fresh and hilarious take on the zombie apocalypse genre, a devastating plague sweeps across New Jersey, forcing a motley group of survivors to escape on the Garden State Parkway. Combining social commentary with chills and twists, EXIT ZERO is a riveting thrill ride.
A Storm of Witchcraft
This remarkable account of one of the most frightening moments in American history whisks you to Salem, Massachusetts (a location that should be on everyone’s Halloween bucket list—trust me), during the witch hysteria of 1692–93. In-depth, engaging, and unputdownable, A STORM OF WITCHCRAFT sheds new light on this dark American episode and explores its unforgettable legacy.