Halloween is my favorite holiday, and as much as I love to be terrified, even I have to admit there’s nothing quite like cuddling up to enjoy something autumnal, a little spooky, and unlikely to give me nightmares. So if you’re looking for a cozy Halloween, with some gentle spooks, and a lot of fun, here are some books for you!
For witch lovers. . .
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna
Secret witch Mika Moon has spent most of her life lonely, so it makes sense when she starts posting videos online pretending to be a witch. What she doesn't expect is for this reach out into the void to work quite so well. When someone recognizes her as the real thing, he offers her a job tutoring three young witches in magic and though she knows that's probably a bad idea, she can't help but want to share her love of magic with someone. What follows is the witchy found family of our dreams – complete with a very cute, very grumpy librarian.
Payback's a Witch by Lana Harper
I’ve seen this billed as a little bit John Tucker Must Die, a little bit Charmed, which is such a potent combination I almost don’t need to say more. But if I didn’t say more, I wouldn’t get to mention the charming small town vibes, or the four witch families competing for magical supremacy. This is just the start of the Witches of Thistle Grove series, so if you love this one, don’t worry! You can return to Thistle Grove in the sequels!
For vampire lovers. . .
My Roommate is a Vampire by Jenna Levine
Our heroine's new roommate has a very strange sleeping schedule, the manners of a much older gentleman – like, 200 years older – and a genuine interest in her art and well-being. Oh, and he also keeps blood bags in their refrigerator. So if you’re looking for cozy vampires this Halloween, this is a great place to start.
For werewolf lovers. . .
Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu
A werewolf asks their childhood friend, a witch who works in a bookshop and solves crimes, for help surviving the dark powers that pursue them. Add in some baking, a close-knit family, and first love, and what more could you ask for in a cozy Halloween book?
Artie and the Wolf Moon by Olivia Stephens
This beautifully illustrated graphic novel is about an eighth grade girl navigating all the normal growing up stuff, while also discovering that her family is full of werewolves. This is action-packed and emotional as she faces off with local vampires and tries to uncover what happened to her missing father, but at the center of the story is a warm, supportive werewolf family, and what can be cozier than that?
For skeleton lovers. . .
The Skull by Jon Klassen
Is this my favorite book of the year? Maybe! A little girl named Otilla runs away from home, discovers a mysterious house in the woods, and befriends the disembodied skull she finds there. They have a beautiful day together, but then at night the skull’s body comes to terrorize them. In order to protect the skull, Otilla needs to come up with a plan. This book is beautifully illustrated, has perfect humorous beats, and despite the snowy, spooky vibes, has the warmest heart.
For demon lovers. . .
Nettle and Bone by T Kingfisher
A third-born princess, a gravewitch, a fairy godmother, a handsome knight, and a chicken possessed by a demon go on a mission to kill an abusive prince. This book has a smorgasbord of fairy tale elements, three impossible tasks, and a dark sense of humor. Plus, it just won the Hugo award!
For ghost lovers. . .
The Clackity by Lora Senf
This one is spooky, but it’s also middle-grade so the spooks are deemed appropriate for 8-12 year olds! Evie Von Rathe’s aunt has been kidnapped by the ghost of a serial killer, and in order to rescue her, Evie must enter into a spooky world full of ghosts and witches. This is potentially the scariest book on this list, but again, the target age is fifth grade, so give it a shot! If you like it, the sequel just came out, and it’s set in a spooky lighthouse!
For zombie lovers. . .
Haru, Zombie Dog Hero by Ellen Oh
Yes, this is a dog book, and yes the dog dies in it, but don’t worry – the dog comes back as a loveable, heroic zombie! This is full of irresponsible billionaires, fierce defenders of public health, and lots and lots of heart.