Halloween ‘tis the night when the ghouls, ghosts, and demons that have haunted the deepest corners of your darkest nightmares emerge from their shadowy depths and… stand in front of you in a cheap costume while you do your weekly shop.

Halloween has lost the fear factor. Synthetic costumes, transparent horror films and aggressive consumer advertising have removed the fantasy and the fear from this once hallowed day.  No longer do we quake with fear as a vampire crosses our path on our way to work. No more do we recoil at the sight of a jellied brain in the window of a cake shop. Gone are the days when we shrieked with fear when demonic children threatened you with a trick in the dusky hours of twilight. The terror that Halloween once elicited has vanished, but fear not, for we at Ultimate Library are bringing it back!

Enter stage left, the Ultimate Library’s ultimate ghoulish library list. These stories will restore your faith in fear, they will chew you up and spit you out, and they will leave you a quivering shadow of the person you once were before you entered into the pages where these magical and terrifying kingdoms dwell.

Dear reader these stories should be read only by the brave, Beelzebub himself would think twice before picking up one of these books on this Hallows’ Eve. So you have been warned, proceed at your own peril…

Little Sister Death

By William Gay

When writer David Binder uproots his family and moves them to a sinister farmstead to try and find inspiration for his work he cannot foresee just quite how far the chilling legacy of the farm will captivate him.

Classic Ghost Stories: Spooky Tales to Read at Christmas

By Various

Do you believe in ghosts? This collection of tales by some of the literary greats, including Kipling and Dickens, will certainly convince you of a certain spooky presence.

The Ghost: A Cultural History

By Susan Owens

This books unravels the idea that “ghosts are woven into the very fabric of British life”.  Owens masterfully records the cultural significance ghosts have had, highlighting their appearance in everything from literature to film.

The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Storied

By H. P. Lovecraft

This anthology of Lovecraft’s eerie and mysterious tales makes for an excellent Halloween selection. You better prepare yourself for his creepy and unnerving short stories that cleverly reinvent the horror genre.

The Woman in Black

By Susan Hill

This classic horror story has made nightmares a reality for the masses, thanks to the play and the film. However, the book is where this terrifying tale was born. In between the pages of Hill’s novella is a petrifying story for the horror-lovers.


The Murders in the Rue Morgue and Other Tales

By Edgar Allen Poe

This collection of tales has it all, murder, horror, violence, insanity and even downright grotesquery. Poe’s frightening tales explore the dark monstrous depths of humanity and will set you up for a chilling night.


Haunted Air

By Ossian Brown, Geoff Cox and David Lynch

This is a spine-chilling peek into the hair-raising holiday that is Halloween, one that has occupied generations for centuries. This photographic book illustrates the true ghoulish history of Halloween.

Death and the Afterlife

By Clifford Pickover

Readers will encounter stories of death and the mysteries of the afterlife throughout this journey drawn cleverly by Pickover. Prepare for not only beautiful prose but spectacular artwork in this morbid chronology.


By Joyce Carol Oates

Looking for a haunting collection of stories? Oates provides us with an intense and gripping selection of short unforgettable stories. She emotionally depicts a nightmarish world in her tales of horrifying fiction.

The Lottery and Other Stories

By Shirley Jackson

This iconic tale of Jackson’s is joined by several other sinister stories that combine to make one hell of a collection. She manages to unsettle and unnerve the bravest of souls, you have been warned!