Skip to main content

October is here and you know what that means…Halloween is right around the corner. Time for some bone-chilling fiction, if you ask us! Dare to enter the haunted realm with our curated edit of 10 haunting ghost stories to read or watch to get into the spirit this Halloween.

ghost stories are the perfect way to get into the spirit of Halloween

We love a good ghost story. Not only do they make the perfect reading material for Halloween (after all, what’s scarier than a person following you around who you can’t see?), but they also make perfect metaphors. A ghost might find its way into a book, movie, or TV show when they have something they need to confront – something from their past that is literally haunting them.

With all this in mind, we’ve made a list of some of our favorite ghost stories. Although this list is in honor of Halloween, not all our ghosts are out to get you – we have some that are sweet, some that are funny, and even some that are a little bit romantic. We have new ghosts and old ghosts, television ghosts and novel ghosts, ghosts that you’ve heard of and ghosts that you’ve probably never heard of. In other words, our ghosts run the gamut.

And that means there’s probably a ghost story here for you.

If you’re feeling ready to get in the Halloween spirit, but you’re not sure where to start, try checking out one of these ten fabulous ghostly tales.

10 excellent ghost stories for Halloween

1. Being Human

Being Human has been off the air for a whole decade now, but we’ve never stopped thinking about it. Though we also enjoyed the American remake, in this case we are talking about the original British series, which ran from 2009 to 2012 on the BBC. The ghost in Being Human is played by Lenora Crichlow, and she is a young woman named Annie who died falling down the stairs of her apartment. Not realizing that Annie’s ghost remains in their old home, her ex-fiancé rents out the rooms in their apartment to a vampire and a werewolf. You can imagine what happens next. This comedy-drama was such a special series, and we never tire of watching these three supernatural beings interact.

2. The Goth House Experiment by SJ Sindu

Though short story collection The Goth House Experiment does not come out until October 17th, it’s number one on our to-be-read lists. Why? Well, for one thing, it includes a character who is haunted by the ghost of Oscar Wilde – and that’s one ghost we definitely want to meet this fall. The spooky collection seems like the perfect reading material for the season; make sure to pre-order now.

3. A Ghost Story

Remember how we said ghosts can make great metaphors?  Well, in A Ghost Story, a young widow (Rooney Mara) is followed around by the ghost of her dead husband – portrayed by a figure in a white sheet. Ghosts can of course make perfect analogies for grief and loss, and David Lowery’s film uses its ghost’s presence to tremendous effect.

4. The Haunting of Hill House

If you were too scared to watch The Haunting of Hill House when it premiered in 2018, we don’t blame you. These ghosts are not funny, or charming, or metaphorical – they’re scary. But if you’re up for feeling a little fear this Halloween, why not kick off the season with the television adaptation of the Shirley Jackson book? You’ll get to know the Crain family, who are all haunted – figuratively, and perhaps literally as well – by the traumatic memories of what drove them from their childhood home. But consider yourself warned: this fantastic series is not for the faint of heart.

5. White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

We love everything Helen Oyeyeymi writes, and that includes her terrifying 2009 novel about a woman with pica – a disorder where one feels compelled to eat inedible substances – and a haunted house. White is for Witching puts a new spin on the very idea of the ghost, playing with all your favorite supernatural figures in ways that will haunt you long after you reach the last page.

6. Talk to Me

You may have heard of Talk to Me, a new movie from Danny and Michael Philippou that was released this July. The film centers around a group of teenagers who discover that they can use a mysterious hand to contact spirits – which is all fun and games, until things spiral out of control. This is one of the best new ghost movies – and horror movies – in recent memory, and it’s the perfect viewing for this October.

10 of the best haunted ghost stories to read or watch to get into the spooky season of Halloween this year 2023.

7. School Spirits

In our opinion, School Spirits has not gotten nearly enough viewership. Yet. This new TV show is about a teenage girl finds herself attending high school in the afterlife – all while trying to solve the mystery of her own murder. It pulls from a lot of different wells, but will go far to filling that Riverdale-shaped hole in your heart – all while giving you a whole new group of ghosts to enjoy.

8. The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston

Can’t handle anything scary? In that case, let us suggest a ghostly romance novel. Ghosts are all over this book: the protagonist is a ghostwriter, and the love interest is the ghost of her editor – who she runs into at her father’s funeral. If you want ghosts that are sweet and romantic instead of scary, you can’t do better than The Dead Romantics. Ashley Poston is one of the best writers in the genre, and this novel belongs in the romance hall of fame.

9. His House

His House was released in January of 2020 – and since that was two months before movie theaters everywhere shut down,  it’s possible you missed this fantastic horror flick. Directed by Remi Weeks, His House tells the story of a couple who escapes from the war in their home country of South Sudan, only to discover that their new English town is afflicted by something sinister. His House plays with the genre of the ghost story in a way that is innovative, compelling, and yes – extremely scary.

10. The Ghost Variations: One Hundred Stories by Kevin Brockmeier

One last book of ghost stories to leave you haunted. And would you look at that: it’s a hundred stories in one. This collection by Kevin Brockmeier takes the concept of the ghost, and approaches it from one hundred different angles – angles that are scary, funny, sad, philosophical, and more. Ghosts are a fruitful subject for any story, and Brockmeier makes use of every possibility.

ghost stories to get into the spirit of Halloween

Enter the haunted realm with our curated edit of 10 haunting ghost stories to read or watch to get into the spirit this Halloween. And have a great Halloween, dear reader.

Abbie Martin Greenbaum

Abbie Martin Greenbaum is a writer, reader, and pop culture connoisseur, who loves storytelling, coffee, and dessert. Her work has also appeared in Playbill.