It doesn’t have to be Halloween for you to enjoy a horror story. But a great audiobook enjoyed on a late October evening can make the spooky season complete. So check out these monstrously good titles to satisfy that strange inner thirst.
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Burnt Offerings by Robert Marasco
Frankenstein by Mary Shelly
Krampus: The Yule Lord by Brom
Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story by Christopher Moore
The Hike by Drew Magary
The Complete Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft by H.P. Lovecraft
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Note: The audiobook link below the book descriptions may say “Only From Audible” However, several of those titles are public domain works and have recordings available on other platforms.
Getting into the Halloween spirit is easy with this classic vampire tome. Dracula by Bram Stoker created the archetypal vampire with its eponymous character and the iconic vampire hunter in Abraham Van Helsing. If you’ve never read Dracula before, you may be surprised to know that it’s not a conventional novel, but an epistolary book, meaning that it’s composed of fictional letters, diary entries, newspaper articles, and more. It’s also a great example of a story with no central protagonist, instead relying on an ensemble cast of characters. Because the book is in the public domain, several audiobook versions are available. However, the Audible edition is performed by a full cast with well-known names like Alan Cumming and Tim Curry, and it’s included in the Audible Plus Catalog with an Audible Plus membership.
Dracula [Audible Edition]
Join Jonathan and Mina Harker, Professor Van Helsing, Quincey, Lucy, and the rest in this classic horror adventure novel.
The haunted house trope in horror fiction resonates with many readers. And the 1973 novel Burnt Offerings by Robert Marasco won’t disappoint them. It’s the tale of the Rolfe family, who are desperate to escape their cramped New York City apartment for the summer. When they happen to find a rental mansion in upstate New York for just $900 for the entire summer they leap at the chance. The catch is that they must attend to the needs of an elderly woman, Mrs. Allardyce, who lives in a distant wing of the mansion. As you might guess from the setup, things don’t go smoothly for the Rolfes during their summer getaway. The family members all start suffering from personality changes, unnatural experiences, and internal madness that appears to be emanating from the mansion itself.
Burnt Offerings: Valancourt 20th Century Classics
Discover the mystery that Mrs. Allardyce is hiding in this supernatural thriller.
While Frankenstein may be a quintessential monster story, it’s also arguably the first science fiction novel. The story’s protagonist, Victor Frankenstein, uses his day’s most advanced scientific methods to create life in his image with horrific consequences. The monster that results is as tragic as it is terrifying, and Frankenstein must grapple with the ramifications of his scientific hubris. Like Dracula, Frankenstein is written in an epistolary format rather than the straight narratives found in most novels today. And like Dracula, many audio versions of the book are available, two of which are available in the Audible Plus Catalog. But even if you don’t have a Premium Plus subscription, it’s easy to find it for free on apps like Libby and Hoopla.
Experience the horror and hubris of creation in Mary Shelly's beloved cautionary tale.
Scary tales don’t necessarily have to take place at Halloween time. Christmas-themed horror tales can deliver the perfect blend of many people’s two favorite seasons. Krampus: The Yule Lord by Brom is a great pick for that type of reader. The book focuses on Santa Clause’s evil counterpart: Krampus, and his thousand-year rivalry with St. Nick. Stuck in the middle of the clash of the two Yuletide titans is struggling songwriter Jesse Walker. The West Virginian must manage to stay alive and potentially use his unusual situation to turn his failed life around. It’s a bizarre, gory, and fun take on the “save Christmas” trope. And Brom’s unique writing style and voice give this book a distinct and disturbing flavor that will stay with you until next Christmas.
Krampus: The Yule Lord
Meet Santa's evil nemesis in this twisted narrative by Brom.
If Victorian-era vampire stories like Dracula don’t interest you, but you still want to delve into the world of the mythical monsters, then Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story may be for you. The tale follows Jody, a modern San Franciscan who is attacked and transformed into a vampire while walking home from work at night. After realizing what’s happened to her, she finds a helper in a struggling writer named Tommy, who works as an overnight supervisor at Safeway. Together, they must find a way to stop the vampire that transformed Jody from its ongoing killing spree. Bloodsucking Fiends is the first in a trilogy of vampire novels by Christopher Moore. The next book in the series is You Suck: A Love Story, followed by Bite Me: A Love Story.
Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story
Fall in love with Jody and Tommy as they discover the world of vampires together.
Readers that love the bizarre will have a great time with this epic journey by highly-imaginative author Drew Magary. The story revolves around Ben, a suburban family man who takes a business trip to rural Pennsylvania. When he wanders up a trail in the countryside, he realizes his hike will be much longer than anticipated. Throughout his journey, he encounters a talking crab, giants, demons, and enormous insects. Each time he tries to escape the path he’s on, he finds himself deeper and deeper into it. It’s an unconventional tale that combines humor, horror, and fantasy to masterful effect.
Find out what happens when you turn down the wrong path with this hair-raising book by Drew Magary.
If you want just one book to last through the entire Halloween season, The Complete Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft is the way to go. This 51-hour compendium of the legendary writer’s greatest work includes The Call of Cthulhu, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, The Color Out of Space, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, At Mountains of Madness, The Dunwich Horror, The Case of Charles Dexter, and many more. Lovecraft’s signature writing style may just keep you listening until next Halloween.
The Complete Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft
Always have a fresh spooky story to listen to when you own every work of fiction by one of the most prolific and adored horror writers, H.P. Lovecraft.
Many of us have childhood memories of the headless cartoon horseman from Disney’s animated treatment of this classic. And we recall Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Ichabod Crane in the 1999 film Sleepy Hollow. But how many of us have actually read Washington Irving’s original 1820 short story of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow? If you haven’t, it definitely needs to go on your audiobook shelf. It’s short, so you can listen to it in a single sitting, and even spookier than Tim Burton’s film adaptation. And because the work is public domain, it’s easy to find for free, and there’s an excellent performance of it in the Audible Plus Catalog.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Travel back to 16th-century America for this tale of Ichabod Crane's unfortunate encounter with the restless ghost of a Revolutionary War trooper.
Among famous vampire authors, Anne Rice comes close to rivaling the influence of Bram Stoker on the genre. Her first book, Interview with the Vampire, initiated a decades-long multimedia franchise known as The Vampire Chronicles. Interview with the Vampire is about a 200-year-old vampire recalling his life story to a reporter. From his transformation into a vampire to his adventures across Europe and conflicts with a hostile vampire coven, the book delves deep into the personal lives of the classic monsters. The book was adapted into a blockbuster film starring Tom Cruise in 1994 and has had sequels produced for decades, with the last entry published in 2018.
Interview with the Vampire
Listen along with the reporter to the life story of a two-century-old vampire.
The Picture of Dorian Gray is an epic cautionary tale about the effects of living a hedonistic lifestyle. When the eponymous character’s wish for ageless beauty is granted, he embarks on a lifestyle of deliberate, extreme debauchery, vice, and indulgence. Only Dorian Gray’s oil portrait, painted by his good friend Basil, would age or display the true nature of his new personality. The combined effect of pursuing all vice and avoiding the consequences of his lifestyle profoundly impacts Dorian, leading him to become an arch-villain capable of the worst deeds. Like the other public domain classics on this list, there are multiple recordings to choose from on several platforms.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Discover why being forever young may not be what you want in life.