If you were a fan of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series as a kid, now is the time to spice up your TBR with this list of reads. These books like Goosebumps for adults will surely help alleviate the post-Halloween sadness you’re currently facing. Who said the fun of horror stories has to be limited to childhood? Spooky season is for everyone, and so is the vast world of spooky literature. Once a horror fan, always a horror fan, right? I personally love the chills and thrills that are synonymous with spooky literature. And it also takes a lot to scare me as my nerves are usually very strong. When I hear the floorboards creak at 3:00 in the morning, I usually turn the other way and go back to sleep. Yes, this is me trying to prove that I am a very brave person!
But boy, oh boy, these books absolutely disrupted all the bravado I used to boast of. Even if you’re like me, who doesn’t get scared so easily, the below-mentioned list is bound to catch you by surprise. While you pack up your elaborate Halloween costumes with a heavy heart, I’m here to cheer you up with a bunch of spooky books like Goosebumps for adults that will be sure to keep you entertained for hours. Just a day is never enough to celebrate and embrace all the intricacies of the world of horror! And, of course, the fun and feel of Goosebumps don’t have to expire with the advent of adulthood.
Books Like Goosebumps for Adults
The Turn of the Screw and Other Stories by Henry James
Two small children, Miles and Flora, are left in the care of a young and inexperienced governess. The children seem to have a mysterious connection with the ghosts living in the house. The governess sees a figure who happens to be none other than the dead Peter Quint, and he is back to get Miles. But is she the only one who is seeing the ghost? Is every story in this collection just a ghost story, or is there more to it than meets our eyes?
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
An aging and self-absorbed rockstar called Judas Coyne has a thing for the macabre. When his assistant informs him about a ghost up for sale, he immediately purchases it. The black, heart-shaped box he receives comes with a vengeance-obsessed spirit. The spirit is the stepfather of a young woman who died by suicide after Coyne wronged her. Now begins the merciless assault of Coyne by a ghost who neither forgives nor forgets!
The Ballad Of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
Charles Thomas Tester sells dangerous magic items to put food on the table. But then the unthinkable happens. He delivers an occult tome to a sorceress and earns the attention of things better left sleeping and undisturbed. A storm is about to encompass Brooklyn. Now the question is will our protagonist survive long enough to experience it?
Afterlife: Ghost Stories From Goa by Jessica Faleiro
This book is centered around a family get-together in Goa. The Fonseca family has gathered to celebrate Savio Fonseca’s 75th birthday. On his birthday eve, the power goes out, and the occasion calls for ghost stories. Soon the entire family starts sharing spooky stories revolving around the history of the Fonseca family. What secrets will unfold now that everyone has come together?
Ring By Koji Suzuki (Translated by Robert B. Rohmer And Glynne Walley)
A mysterious videotape comes bearing a scary message. If a specific act is not performed, the viewer will die after a week of watching it. Four teenagers die, one after another, exactly after a week from watching this video. A journalist named Asakawa sets out to investigate this case. Where will it lead him, and will he be able to get to the end of this case?
White Is For Witching by Helen Oyeyemi
Lila is gone, leaving her twins, Miranda and Eliot, and her husband, Luc, with a heavy heart. Something is terribly wrong with their house, too, as generations of women have made a home out of it. Miranda can feel their presence, and as if things weren’t odd enough, she now has an appetite for chalk. One night she disappears completely, leaving the survivors to tell her story. This book has the right balance of gothic and modern and delves into themes of love, magic, and fear.
Hell House by Richard Matheson
Belasco House has experienced unimaginable horrors. Earlier expeditions to uncover its secrets have never been fruitful. The participants always met with fatal outcomes like murder, suicide, or insanity. Now four strangers with their own reasons for putting their lives at stake want to investigate the goings-on of the house. Will they be successful, or will they perish like their predecessors?
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
In rural Warwickshire, Dr. Faraday, the son of a maid, has built a dignified life for himself. He is called to treat a patient at Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family, this house is not as glamorous anymore as it used to be. The current owners are struggling, but is a changing society the only thing they need to worry about? They are being haunted by something more sinister, and very soon, Dr. Faraday’s life will get intermingled with theirs.
Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler
This is a story of a young, amnesiac girl with inhuman needs and abilities. Oh wait, she is no girl! She is a genetically modified vampire in her 50s. But does being a vampire immunize her from all kinds of dangers? Or is there someone still out there trying to prey on her? This novel explores what’s it like to be human (or non-human) and will reel you in from the start.
Horowitz Horror: Stories You’ll Wish You Never Read By Anthony Horowitz
What lies under the veneer of normalcy? What history does the bathtub have due to which people are terrified of getting in it? How is an ordinary-looking camera capable of unleashing the unexpected on its subjects? What repercussions does one need to face after losing a computer game? This may be a list of books like Goosebumps for adults, but this anthology of terrifying short stories can be enjoyed by every Goosebumps lover regardless of their age.
If you want to venture more into the world of horror, check out 15 LGBTQ Haunted Horror Novels and 8 Feel-Good Horror Books That Are Both Scary And Fun. Happy Reading!