Just one more day until FOX’s hotly anticipated Scream Queens finally hits your screen. We can hardly wait, but these five amazingly creepy YA reads should keep you busy—and terrified—until then. But be forewarned: reading these at bedtime is a guaranteed path to nightmares.
The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall, by Katie Alender
The latest from Alender, author of the Bad Girls series, centers on Delia, who discovers her new home used to be an insane asylum for “troubled females,” once known as Hysteria Hall. As if that’s not creepy enough, the house thinks it still is Hysteria Hall—and that Delia is its latest capture. Trapped among the ghosts of girls in old-fashioned nightgowns (and falling for a ghost boy named Theo, who may be her only ally), she’s got to uncover the shocking truths the house holds tight, or become its next victim.
Slasher Boys And Monster Girls, edited by April Genevieve Tucholke and AG Howard
Horror fans are in for a treat with this anthology of nightmares from writers including Leigh Bardugo, Kendare Blake, Marie Lu, Danielle Paige,and Nova Ren Suma. Careful, though: these terrifying tales will haunt you long after you’ve closed the book and turned off the lights.
The Merciless, by Danielle Vega
New girl Sofia Flores just wants to fit in—until she realizes the lengths she’ll have to go to do so. Like torturing Brooklyn Stevens, the victim of killer clique Riley, Grace, and Alexis, who might be Sofia’s new friends…or worst enemies. It’s up to her to decide: does she go along with their righteous rampage? Or become their very next victim?
The Dead House, by Dawn Kurtagich
Twenty years ago, Elmbridge High was ravaged by a blaze, leaving three dead, and one girl, Carly Johnson, forever missing. The apparent culprit: Kaitlyn, the girl from nowhere, whose newly discovered diary, along with psychiatric reports, witness testimonies, and video footage, unravel a chilling account of that night’s events—and prove the scariest place of all is inside your own head.
Blood And Salt, by Kim Liggett
Okay, so this one doesn’t actually hit shelves until tomorrow, but it should tide you over while you wait for episode two. Liggett’s debut has been described as Romeo & Juliet meets Children of the Corn, and it’s as creeptastic as that sounds. New Yorker Ashlynn finds herself drawn into the rural wilds of Kansas—and the cult her mom was once a member of—as she follows a series of eerie omens: black crows, visions of a dead girl with her face, and endless, menacing, beckoning cornfields. But what she finds there is beyond what she ever imagined. Will she be lured into the crazy like her mother before her? Or will she vanquish the evil that lurks beneath the quaint quackery of the Quivira cult?