Readalikes: Creepy YA Reads for Halloween!

Looking for some good horror this October? The spotlight novel for this readalike is Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan. A movie adaption was also recently released starring AnnaSophia Robb. If you enjoyed the movie you will love the book as well as these other books that make perfect creepy reads for Halloween!

 

downadarkhall

Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan

Kit is forced to attend Blackwood Boarding School, an elite private school for girls while her parents are away on honeymoon. While Kit makes friends and enjoys her classes, she begins to suspect something evil is lurking in the halls of Blackwood. This is a fast-paced and creepy mystery that will keep you turning the pages constantly to find out what happens next.

 

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The Merciless by Danielle Vega

Sofia should’ve known better than to mix with the popular girls she admired for years. Sure, maybe they are set in their ways, but Sofia never imagined she would’ve walked into them performing a real-life exorcism on a classmate! She needs to escape but what if her new friends decide to turn on her? She could be next!

 

thedeadhouse

The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

A mysterious fire, three deaths and one student missing. When Elmbridge High burned down, a student, Carly Johnson, disappears. Now, 25 years later a diary is discovered to be the owner of Kaytlin Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. The problem is, Carly never had a sister. Sift through psychiatric reports, police records and more, discover what really happened to Carly and the tragedy of Elmbridge High.

 

theprank

The Prank by Ashely Rae Harris

Practical jokes turned deadly. Jordan never imagined participating in pranks with the popular kids, let alone trying to discover the cause of the mysterious accidents with her crush, Charlie. This is a fast-paced paranormal story to chill you to the bone.

 

badgirlsdontdie

Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender

Alexis knows she doesn’t the live picture-perfect American dream. Her constantly bickering parents and weird little sister Kasey, Alexis has figured at this point it is just how her life is. Recently though, Kasey is acting stranger than usual and almost at the same time, their own house is starting to have a mind of its own. Alexis wishes this was all a dream but if she doesn’t figure out what is wrong with her sister and their home, her whole family could be in a lot of danger!

 

asylum

Asylum by Madeleine Roux

Dan enters New Hampshire College Prep planning to finally make some new friends after living most of his high school years as a social outcast. As Dan and his new friends explore their spooky summer home, they begin to realize they were chosen to attend this summer academy for a very specific reason. A creepy visual read, Asylum will keep you hooked until the very end of the story.

 

 project17

Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Six teens break into a closed down mental institution, rumoured to be the birthplace of lobotomy while they film their experiences. For Derik, it’s a chance to win a major filmmaking contest that would give him a nice chunk of cash that will prevent him from flipping burgers for many years to come. One dare turns into a nightmare and Derik begins to wonder if there are more than just them in the abandoned building.

 

wickedpedia

Wickedpedia by Chris Van Etten

Cole and Gavin love editing Wikipedia pages while the dumb jocks end up failing their assignments by taking their Wikipedia edits as sources. It’s all jokes and laughs until one soccer player dies, just as Cole and Gavin edited into a Wikipedia page. They promise to never edit Wikipedia again, but somebody is still editing the website resulting in horror happening offline! To their dread, they discover someone has created a Wikipedia page about themselves, including a death date!

 

defriended

Defriended by Ruth Baron

Jason thinks he has found his dream girlfriend online named Lacey. Okay, he hasn’t exactly met her yet, but they talk all the time! The weird thing is, Lacey never agrees to meet in person. Confused, Jason turns to google to discover the ultimate shock: Lacey had died a year ago. Jason meets up with Lacey’s best friend Jenna and the two try to get down to what happened to Lacey and who Jason has been talking to online.

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The Sea Was a Fair Master

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Author: Calvin Demmer

My Rating: 5/5

 

I prefer one-piece horror stories versus mini stories. Correction, I used to prefer one-piece horror stories. Today that thought has changed.

The Sea Was a Fair Master is a collection of 23 short horror stories varying from murder to androids. Given the 5/5 rating, I was not just pleasantly surprised but amazed how polished and addictive the stories were.

I also tend to find including humour in horror stories to be a risky move, but the humour in these stories were executed very well and added something extra to the stories instead of it falling flat and unneeded.

My favourite stories in the collection were Restroom Finds, Letting the Dead Grow and The Guests.

This was the first book I have read by this author and I certainly will be looking into his other works. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves horror, spooky short stories or is looking for something unique in the horror genre.

And guess what?! This is a brand new book that just came out today! You can order your copy here:

Be sure to follow Calvin Demmer on twitter @CalvinDemmer and check out his website at www.calvindemmer.com

The Dead House

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Author: Dawn Kurtagich

My Review: 5/5

I’ve never cared for YA novels. Even when I was a young teenager myself, I could never see the appeal of the same old fantasy love triangle scenarios. Those were really big in my day, maybe they still are, who knows. When you start to not recognize the Disney Stars on the J-14 or Tiger Beat magazines, you know you aren’t hip with the kids anymore. And since I don’t know who the hell Ross Lynch is, I guess I’m old now. All I know about him is he is some Teen Beach hottie who is going to be playing Jeffery Dahmer in an upcoming movie. Teen Beach hottie to now play a cannibalistic serial killer? This guy better have legit acting skills or I am going to be seriously pissed off when I see the movie.

ANYWAYS, I decided to take a break from reading my typical true crime cases to something lighter. I’m snickering at myself now for thinking that because I thought The Dead House was going to be a “light scary teen read.”

Boy, was I very wrong.

For one, I had no CLUE this story was the author’s debut novel. You would never guess considering it is an incredibly written story.

The formatting was very different, which I loved in the end. The book is compiled of diary entries, psych therapy sessions and police interrogation interviews. It kept the story fast paced and with so many twists, I had an extremely difficult time putting it down. That must have been how I finished the book in only two days.

I won’t give out too much about the story, but the jist of it is the tale is told from the perspective of Kaitlyn Johnson (for the most part,) who attends Elmbridge High. Except, many claim she isn’t real; and she might not be, because she is the alter ego of Carly Johnson. They consider themselves sisters who share a body. Carly gets the daytime, Kaitlyn gets the night and considers herself “a child of darkness.” Carly is the good, shy and quiet one while Kaitlyn is stubborn, rebellious and self harms. And then one day, Kaitlyn wakes up in the morning to find Carly gone.

This was an insane read, but so amazing and I’ve NEVER read anything quite like it. The truth is, you don’t really know what is happening in the story. Is Kaitlyn real? Is she telling the truth? Is Carly real? Is Kaitlyn and Carly’s psychiatrist lying to them? Is there something paranormal creeping in the shadows?

The protagonist is sometimes so lost in her own thoughts you can’t even consider her reliable; so actually summarizing this book would be very difficult because you don’t for sure what is going on.

Bottom line, I just loved this novel. It’s a horror, but whether you consider it a psychological thriller or a paranormal story depends on what you think happens. And I think that is why this story is so deliciously addictive.

Down a Dark Hall

downadarkhall

Author: Lois Duncan

My Rating: 5/5

It’s Halloween! So what better day would there be to review a deliciously spooky read?

Down a Dark Hall begins with our main protagonist, Kit Gordy, starting her first day at a Blackwood, a boarding school for girls. She is hesitant at first because while she planned to attend the new school with her best friend Tracy, only she out of the two of them was accepted into the exclusive academy.

Blackwood is a massive and gorgeous mansion, renovated by the headmistress of the academy, Madame Duret. Madame Duret expresses he love for the arts by incorporating her passion into her school’s curriculum.

At first glance, Blackwood appears to be an ideal boarding school; beautifully furnished rooms, private tutors and many things to discover and learn.

In the beginning, everything starts off fine, but Kit begins to have a nagging sense that something is off with Blackwood. Kit also is shocked when she finds out only three other students were accepted into the school.

And why are the bedroom doors only lockable from the outside, instead of the inside?

This novel was a really quick and enjoyable read for me. Not only because it is under 200 pages in length, but because of its riveting speed. There is never a dull or fluffy moment in Down a Dark Hall, and as cliche as it sounds, it really was a very hard book to put down for me.

Down a Dark Hall is a creepy and mysterious thriller that I wouldn’t be surprised rereading it, 5/5 stars.

Let the Right One In

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Author: John Ajvide Lindqvist

My Rating: 5/5

To sum up this book review in one sentence it would have to be that this is a real vampire novel.

Not meaning to bash Twihards, but this is what I would consider to be an excellent vampire story. (So no sparkling vampires or everyone falling head over heels in love with a girl that has virtually no personality.)

This is a vampire story that is raw, creepy and chilling. (With no Mary Sue protagonist, thank God.) Let the Right One In is not by any means for children or young teens. The novel covers issues such as bullying, pedophilia, prostitution, alcoholism and drug use, despite the fact our main characters are twelve years old. (Or have been twelve for a long time.) And do not think that these issues are simply glossed over, they are very detailed and incredibly disturbing.

The story itself was a a quick page turner for me and I didn’t find there to be any fluff or fillers. A truly classic horror story.

Let the Right One In is one of those books that clings onto you for a few days after you finish reading it; it is just that haunting.

I absolutely loved it, 5/5 hands down. This book is also in my Top 10 for best books I ever read, ever.

Seriously, I can’t highly recommend it enough.

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Or if you are more of a movie person, there are two movie adaptions, the original Swedish version and the American version. Watch the Swedish one, the settings are better and the actors are more talented and portray their characters very well.

Here is a really good clip, one of my favourite scenes: