87 books like Death Makes a Holiday

By David J. Skal,

Here are 87 books that Death Makes a Holiday fans have personally recommended if you like Death Makes a Holiday. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Book of Hallowe'en: The Origin and History of Halloween

Lisa Morton Author Of Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween

From my list on the history of Halloween.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a kid growing up in Southern California during the 1960s – what some now call “Golden Age of Trick or Treating” – I always loved Halloween, but I didn’t develop a real obsession with it until I wrote The Halloween Encyclopedia (first published in 2003). Since then, Halloween – once almost exclusively an American celebration – has achieved global popularity, and has created an entire cottage industry in haunted attractions. I remain fascinated by Halloween’s continuous expansion and evolution.

Lisa's book list on the history of Halloween

Lisa Morton Why did Lisa love this book?

Originally published in 1919, Kelley’s book is the first in-depth history of Halloween, and it remains entertaining and surprisingly accurate. The book also includes charming photographs and a brief bibliography. Although the book is scarce in its original printing, it is readily available as either a free e-book or an inexpensive print-on-demand hard copy.

By Ruth Edna Kelley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Book of Hallowe'en as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Since its original publication in 1919, Ruth Edna Kelley's THE BOOK OF HALLOWE'EN remains the all time classic exploration of Halloween history, from the mysterious year end rites of the ancient Celts, to the autumnal reign of Samhain, the Druid god of death, to the coming to Europe of Christianity and "All Saints Day," to the charming early 20th Century Halloween beliefs and customs of Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, France, Germany and America. Filled with Halloween poems, games and tried and true ancient methods for divining the future (especially for discovering the identity of one's future spouse!), THE BOOK OF…


Book cover of The Halloween Tree

Lisa Morton Author Of Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween

From my list on the history of Halloween.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a kid growing up in Southern California during the 1960s – what some now call “Golden Age of Trick or Treating” – I always loved Halloween, but I didn’t develop a real obsession with it until I wrote The Halloween Encyclopedia (first published in 2003). Since then, Halloween – once almost exclusively an American celebration – has achieved global popularity, and has created an entire cottage industry in haunted attractions. I remain fascinated by Halloween’s continuous expansion and evolution.

Lisa's book list on the history of Halloween

Lisa Morton Why did Lisa love this book?

A wonderful, beautiful book, written in Bradbury’s inimitable style. Not only is The Halloween Tree (first published in 1972) entertaining and superbly written, it also provides a crash course in Halloween history. It also served as the basis for a charming 1993 animated television movie. There are editions available from different illustrators, including Gris Grimly and Bradbury's longtime collaborator Joseph Mugnaini, but the gorgeous story will always be what's front and center here.

By Ray Bradbury, Joseph Mugnaini (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Halloween Tree as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Make storytime a little spookier with fantasy master Ray Bradbury as he takes readers on a riveting trip though space and time to discover the true origins of Halloween.

Join the shadowy Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud as he takes eight trick-or-treaters on an unforgettable journey to find their missing friend, Pip. Travel through space and time, from the tombs of ancient Egypt to the gargoyles of Notre-Dame Cathedral, all the way to the cemeteries of Mexico on el Día de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. Is Pip still alive? And if so, can his friends save him from a…


Book cover of Halloween: An American Holiday, an American History

Lisa Morton Author Of Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween

From my list on the history of Halloween.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a kid growing up in Southern California during the 1960s – what some now call “Golden Age of Trick or Treating” – I always loved Halloween, but I didn’t develop a real obsession with it until I wrote The Halloween Encyclopedia (first published in 2003). Since then, Halloween – once almost exclusively an American celebration – has achieved global popularity, and has created an entire cottage industry in haunted attractions. I remain fascinated by Halloween’s continuous expansion and evolution.

Lisa's book list on the history of Halloween

Lisa Morton Why did Lisa love this book?

Lesley Bannatyne’s Halloween. An American Holiday, An American History brought the study of Halloween history into the modern era. Published 71 years after Ruth Edna Kelley’s seminal The Book of Hallowe’en, Bannatyne’s book opened the gates for consideration of Halloween as a subject deserving of more serious consideration. This was the book that certainly inspired ME in my Halloween scholarship!

By Lesley Pratt Bannatyne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Halloween as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Lesley Bannatyne's fascinating book . . . will be widely appealing to anyone who ever wondered where witches, trick-or-treating, and jack-o-lanterns really came from. It is by far the best book on the history of Halloween available today."
--Alison Guss, senior producer,"The Haunted History of Halloween," The History Channel

"An excellent resource for research into the history of holidays . . . in the United States
. . . Highly Recommended."
--The Book Report

"Deserves attention as a recommended library acquisition with years of 'life' to its information."
--The Midwest Book Review

"Overflows with rich and provocative details of ritual,…


Book cover of Halloween in America: A Collector's Guide With Prices

Lisa Morton Author Of Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween

From my list on the history of Halloween.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a kid growing up in Southern California during the 1960s – what some now call “Golden Age of Trick or Treating” – I always loved Halloween, but I didn’t develop a real obsession with it until I wrote The Halloween Encyclopedia (first published in 2003). Since then, Halloween – once almost exclusively an American celebration – has achieved global popularity, and has created an entire cottage industry in haunted attractions. I remain fascinated by Halloween’s continuous expansion and evolution.

Lisa's book list on the history of Halloween

Lisa Morton Why did Lisa love this book?

Published in 1995, Schneider’s book was the first to suggest that vintage Halloween memorabilia had value to collectors, and it didn’t just open the floodgates for books on Halloween collectibles, it exploded the entire market of Halloween collecting. Thanks to Schneider’s volume, prices for Halloween items ranging from turn-of-the-last-century postcards to 1950s costumes exploded. Whether you're a collector (which might be like me!) or just a fan of Halloween, the book is packed full of glorious images of bygone Halloweens.

By Stuart Schneider,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Halloween in America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Next to Christmas, more money is spent on Halloween decorations and novelties than on any other holiday. This wonderful book has been credited with inspiring the Halloween collecting craze, giving its devotees a chance to celebrate the holiday all year round! In addition to color photography and a brand new price guide, there are also many fascinating insights into Halloween. Most people are familiar with the symbols-ghosts, Jack-O'-Lanterns, witches, bats, skeletons, and black cats-but few know about Halloween's past. Why does it exist? What is the origin of trick-or-treating? Why does it fall on October 31st? Through these pages you…


Book cover of The Nightmare Before Christmas

Andi Brooks Author Of Ghost Stories For Christmas Volume One

From my list on ghostly Christmas stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Anglo Irish writer who is as filled with a wide-eyed wonder of the magic of Christmas in my middle age as I was as a small child. Alongside my lifelong love of Christmas and its traditions, I have enjoyed an equally long love of ghost stories. Combining these two passions, I am the editor of the Ghost Stories For Christmas anthologies of classic Christmas ghost stories, the first of which was published in 2022. I am also the writer of Ghostly Tales of Japan, a collection of original stories set throughout Japanese history.

Andi's book list on ghostly Christmas stories

Andi Brooks Why did Andi love this book?

The Nightmare Before Christmas must be unique among books, and films, in that it can be enjoyed both at Christmas and Halloween. Tim Burton really is a wonderful and unique artist, as witnessed by The World of Tim Burton exhibition in 2015. It’s such a pity that he hasn’t illustrated more books. He is, of course, also a wonderful storyteller. The Nightmare Before Christmas brings together both of his extraordinary talents to produce a modern classic overflowing with original characters as familiar and beloved as any in the festive genre. One of the joys of parenthood is to share the things you have loved with your children. My own son is a confirmed lover of both the book and the film, and will no doubt pass on our tradition of reading, and watching, The Nightmare Before Christmas every Christmas and Halloween to his own children.

By Tim Burton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Nightmare Before Christmas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Jack Skellington is the most important figure in Halloween Town and for years he has delighted in organising macabre tricks and frights for Halloween. But this year he doesn't feel right - there must be more to life than scaring people? Then Jack stumbles upon a cheerful, colourful place called Christmas Town and he knows what he must do - he will bring Christmas to Halloween!

This is the first book written and illustrated by the incomparable visionary Tim Burton.


Book cover of Dark Halloween

Fred Wiehe Author Of Holiday Madness: 13 Dark Tales for Halloween, Christmas & All Occasions

From my list on horror collections and anthologies guaranteed to scare.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a member of the Horror Writers Association and have been a professional writer since 1997. I got into writing horror because I love reading horror and watching horror movies. Even as a kid, I watched horror movies on Saturday afternoons and read horror books late at night—under the covers, with a flashlight. I collected Universal monster models as a kid too and still have my collection and have even added to it. I love all things horror and believe I have a deep understanding of what scares people and how to scare them. I guarantee that the books on my list will scare you to the bone.

Fred's book list on horror collections and anthologies guaranteed to scare

Fred Wiehe Why did Fred love this book?

If you love Halloween like I do, this holiday horror collection from the twisted minds of some of today’s best horror authors will delight and scare you. The stories are short, fast-paced, entertaining, and shocking. Some of my favorites: A Wasted Pumpkin, Waiting for Death, The Hungry Child, Razorblade Smiles. Check this collection of flash fiction out. You’ll read it in one night. But keep the lights on!

By Eleanor Merry, Cassandra Angler, Brian Scutt (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dark Halloween as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Skeletons, ghosts and witches. All Hallows Eve is filled with the terrors that walk the thin line of our world and the other. From the twisted minds of some of todays best horror authors, Dark Halloween is a collection of halloween themed stories sure to delight and terrify.

How will you celebrate the holidays?

Dark Halloween is book 5 in the holiday horror collection

Dark X-Mas
Dark Valentine
Dark Solstice
Dark Celebration
Dark Halloween

With stories from: M. Ennenbach, N.M Brown, G.G Flavell, Vic Kerry, Lamont A. Turner, Radar DeBoard, L.T. Emery, Alyson Faye, Jay T. Levy, Gabriella Balcom, P.S…


Book cover of The Stitchers

Darcy Marks Author Of Grounded for All Eternity

From my list on Halloween for middle grade readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was five my dad had to carry me, crying, out of the Salem Witch’s Dungeon. You’d think that would put a damper on my love of spooky things, but it absolutely did not! Bela Lugosi was my first crush. I set up Haunted Houses in my garage and read every single book my local library had on the Salem Witch Trials. I made my way from Bunnicula and The Halloween Tree, to books by Stephen King and Anne Rice. Halloween and horror will always have a special place in my heart, and yet…I still don’t let my legs dangle off my bed, lest the monsters get me.

Darcy's book list on Halloween for middle grade readers

Darcy Marks Why did Darcy love this book?

The Stitchers is the first book in the Fright Watch series and any one of them would be the perfect Halloween read. But let’s be real. Old people are scary.

Quinn knows there’s something off about her neighbors. The Oldies have lived in the neighborhood for as long as anyone can remember, and yet they never seem to get any older. If Quinn’s dad was still alive, she knows they’d be coming up with theories: Are they vampires? Aliens? Who knows! The answer is worse than she imagined. When Quinn sees one of the Oldies jogging, she knows she recognizes that leg…it was her dad’s.

I always loved Rod Sterling at Halloween and The Stitchers has such a great Twilight Zone vibe. It’s perfect for kids who lean towards the science fiction side of spookiness where normal things are just…wrong.

By Lorien Lawrence,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Stitchers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

"The chills come guaranteed." -Stephen King
The start of a spine-tingling new horror series perfect for fans of Stranger Things and Goosebumps.

The spine-chilling middle-grade horror that Stephen King called "the perfect book for kids to cool off with on a hot summer day, because the chills come guaranteed"-now in paperback!

Something strange is happening on Goodie Lane . . .

Thirteen-year-old Quinn Parker knows that there's something off about her neighbors. She calls them "the Oldies" because they've lived on Goodie Lane for as long as anyone can remember, but they never seem to age. Are they vampires? Or…


Book cover of The Night Before Halloween

Ian Dye Author Of The (not-so-scary) Book of Monsters

From my list on bedtime stories for your little Halloween monsters.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a parent, children’s book author, and fan of all things Halloween I have searched the globe for the best of the best when it comes to Halloween books for kids. Ok not really “the globe” but when the bookstore starts stocking the featured shelves with children's Halloween books around mid-August, I can’t resist either browsing or purchasing. These 5 are near and dear to my heart because instead of just a simple bedtime read, they all have something special and a memory attached to them. These are the books that are brought out year after year and still enjoyed by the kids, even when they are probably getting too old for bedtime stories.

Ian's book list on bedtime stories for your little Halloween monsters

Ian Dye Why did Ian love this book?

This book is a part of The Night Before series which is such a brilliant and cute idea.

The Night Before Halloween also tells its tale in rhyme form, but is in the pattern of “Twas the Night Before Christmas”. Natasha Wing really has a grasp on keeping to the original style while telling her story in an adorable way that is written in a language that kids can easily follow.

The story itself includes all of the classic monsters as they are getting ready for Halloween and trick or treaters. It is the perfect book that has all of the Halloween monsters without any of the scares!

By Natasha Wing, Cynthia Fisher (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Night Before Halloween as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

It's time for Halloween! Celebrate the holiday with this this family fun read-aloud, a delightful seasonal entry in Natasha Wing's best-selling series.

Little monsters and goofy goblins take center stage in this silly, spooky spin on Clement C. Moore's beloved poem. But what will happen on Halloween when the monsters come face to face with human trick-or-treaters in this fun-filled book by the author of The Night Before Easter? 

A perfect gift to get young readers excited for this festive fall holiday! 


Book cover of Her Halloween Treat

G.G. Andrew Author Of Crazy, Sexy, Ghoulish

From my list on Halloween romance books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a lifelong fan of Halloween, from the time I visited my town’s haunted house as a young kid in the 1980s to watching horror movies as an adult. As a writer of romance and romantic women’s fiction, love stories are also my jam. Many people think horror and romance aren’t compatible, but I combined both in my novella series Crazy, Sexy, Ghoulish, and the books in this list prove that Halloween and romance are meant to be.

G.G.'s book list on Halloween romance books

G.G. Andrew Why did G.G. love this book?

I can always count on Tiffany Reisz for a witty, banter-filled romance, and this sexy seasonal delight is no exception. After a bad breakup, Joey heads to her family’s Oregon cabin, where her troubles are eased by the presence of her brother’s gorgeous best friend, Chris. But this hookup with the handyman has the potential to last past October 31st.

The funny and flirtatious dialogue here kept me laughing.

By Tiffany Reisz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Her Halloween Treat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of The Legend of Sleepy Harlow

Sybil Johnson Author Of Designed For Haunting

From my list on Halloween mysteries to escape into.

Why am I passionate about this?

My love affair with reading began in kindergarten with The Three Little PigsTrips to the library introduced me to Encyclopedia Brown, Nancy Drew, and Agatha Christie. It didn’t take long for me to realize how much I love reading mysteries. I’ve read thousands of them over the years, mainly traditional and cozy. When I decided to try my hand at writing, I knew right away that I’d be creating stories on the cozy end of the mystery spectrum. I particularly like mysteries set around Halloween. I’m not a horror fan. I prefer less gruesome Halloween tales, especially ones involving old legends and ghosts. These gentler Halloween mysteries are the perfect fit for me.

Sybil's book list on Halloween mysteries to escape into

Sybil Johnson Why did Sybil love this book?

Paranormal investigators, a ghostly legend, and murder. That, in a nutshell, is what attracted me to this book. While the residents of South Bass Island prepare for Halloween festivities, the Elkhart Ghost Getters arrive in search of footage of the ghost of a prohibition bootlegger named Charlie “Sleepy” Harlow. Harlow was beheaded by rival bootleggers and his ghost is said to appear every Halloween in search of his head. A murder puts a damper on the festivities, causing the League of Literary Ladies to sprint into action. Forced by court order to spend time together in a book club, the three women in the League are now fast friends. I love the ingenuity of the main character as well as how they all work together to solve the murder.

By Anastasia Hastings,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Legend of Sleepy Harlow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It takes more than a lurid legend to scare off the League of Literary Ladies in the third novel in this charming cozy mystery series...
 
For Halloween, the Literary Ladies have chosen to read Washington Irving’s spooky classic, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, with its infamous headless horseman. But South Bass Island has its own headless legend—of a Prohibition bootlegger named Charlie “Sleepy” Harlow. Decapitated by rival rumrunners, Harlow appears once a year in spectral form to search for his noggin.
 
This October, the Elkhart Ghost Getters (EGG) have returned to the island. The group claims that they have film…


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