The best ghost story books 📚

Browse the best books on ghost story as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

Coming Fall 2022: The ability to sort this list by genre (signup here to follow our story as we build a better way to discover books).

Book cover of The Turn of the Screw

The Turn of the Screw

By Henry James

Why this book?

This classic ghost story follows a young governess who takes up a position at a mysterious country house. She is soon plagued by the appearance of two figures she believes to be ghosts, and slowly, as past events are revealed, she understands that the threat to her and the children in her care is real. I loved the sense of growing threat and panic that is weaved into everyday events, even as our narrator becomes increasingly unreliable. I think this uncertainty adds to the fear factor – if we can’t trust our own perceptions, what can we trust? What might…

From the list:

The best historical ghost stories

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of The Uninvited

The Uninvited

By Dorothy Macardle

Why this book?

This old-fashioned thriller from 1942 is a classic ghost story with an undercurrent theme of the feminism of the time. It’s available now through Tramp Press’ Recovered Voices, one of the programs that are making available old works of literature. I love the trend of bringing old books back for new readers.

Brother and sister Roderick and Pamela buy a suspiciously-cheap house in Devon in the UK, the previous home of a dead and misogynistic artist whose daughter sold Roddy and Pamela the house. The siblings soon decide the house is haunted by revenants of the artist’s love triangle with…

From the list:

The best horror books about bad moving decisions

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights

By Emily Bronte

Why this book?

It might not be a ghost story in the traditional sense, but I would argue that Wuthering Heights is most definitely about a haunting. I was young when I first read of Mr. Lockwood’s horrifying encounter with the spectre of Catherine Earnshaw and it gave me nightmares, but the book is really about ghosts of a different kind. 

The epic love story of Cathy and Heathcliff shows how the events of the past define our futures, and how we are haunted by our deceptions and mistakes. And as with all the other books on this list, it leaves us asking…

From the list:

The best historical ghost stories

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of The Night Gardener

The Night Gardener

By Jonathan Auxier

Why this book?

The Night Gardiner is a truly creepy tale of courage and strength. Set in the Victorian era, Kip and Molly become orphaned as they seek refuge from their famine struck home in Ireland. Molly finds work at the Windsor Estate which is haunted by a tragic spirit and creepy tree that controls the estate’s inhabitants. 

Molly and Kip inspire as they uncover the mystery of the tree and persevere. The story celebrates the strength of the two orphaned children, the sacrifices they have made and their plight to build a new life in a new country. Their bond overcomes the…

From the list:

The best middle grade and young adult ghost stories with an important message from beyond

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Remember Me

Remember Me

By Christopher Pike

Why this book?

I’ve read this book more times than I can count. A girl has to solve her own murder from beyond the grave with a cute dead boy who was her friend before he passed away? Sign me up! Though I don’t write paranormal, I’ve always had a fascination with “the other side”, and this book more than delivers a big dose of murderous intrigue and belly-dipping romance. And it has a real ghost story behind it! Christopher Pike is quoted as saying that when he wrote the book’s final words, “I just want to be remembered”, he felt a hand…

From the list:

The best YA books from the 20th century that will give you all the feels

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of The Canterville Ghost

The Canterville Ghost

By Oscar Wilde

Why this book?

Not strictly written for children, this classic parody provides the model for countless hilarious hauntings that have cropped up in children’s books ever since. The style is somewhat outdated but that won’t stop you from enjoying the frustration of 16th century Sir Simon de Canterville meeting his match in the Otises, a no-nonsense 20th century American family. Horrific bloodstains are whisked away by Pinkerton’s Champion Stain Remover and Paragon Detergent; clanking chains around Sir Simon’s skeletal wrists and ankles are oiled with a small bottle of the Tammany Rising Sun Lubricator; and most humiliating of all, the ghost’s…

From the list:

The best children’s books that are ghost stories

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Or, view all 47 books about ghost story

New book lists about ghost story

All book lists about ghost story

Bookshelves related to ghost story

Browse books by…