As the leaves turn, nights grow longer, and temperatures drop, we can’t help but get in the mood for Halloween — and, with it, decidedly dark reads. Among these, books about witches have always been popular. Even when it’s terrifying, there’s something about this idea of a preternaturally powerful woman that draws us, as if by magic. In other words, these books scream Halloween.
Hailed by Kirkus Reviews as a “high-fantasy Memoirs of a Geisha,” The Bone Witch is an enchanting read for those who like their stories multicultural and their witches with the power of necromancy. After accidentally raising her brother from the dead, Tea realizes she’s different from others in her family. Under the guidance of an older witch, she must hone her new power, especially once a sinister evil arises.
After being drowned as witches centuries ago, three sisters return to the town of Sparrow each summer and use the bodies of three girls to lure boys into the waters to drown. For teenager Penny, the annual summer event is about to get worse, as a boy named Bo arrives and she must make a fateful choice affecting them both in this creepy young adult novel.
If you haven’t yet read this gem from bestselling authors Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett — or seen the Amazon/BBC adaptation — there’s no better time than this fall. A witch, Agnes Nutter, sets the story in motion through prophesying the end of the world. The only ones who might be able to save it are an uptight angel and rebellious demon — a mismatched pair you’ll find impossible not to adore in this hilarious supernatural novel.
Set in Nigeria, this Okafora title has a captivating witch at its center: Sunny, a 12-year-old girl who has both African heritage and albinism. With her pale skin and need to avoid light, Sunny feels out of place until she realizes she has the ability to transform reality. But will it be enough to catch a powerful wielder of juju?
If you’re looking for a cozy witch book, look no further than this heartwarming audiobook about a pair of sisters in a small Southern town. A Waverley, Claire is known for her gifts — namely, catering food imbued with special properties. But when her estranged sister Sydney returns to town with a daughter, it’ll take more than magic to heal their family.
You’ll be swept up in the fantasy world of this audiobook, especially under the spell of an award-winning narrator like Julia Whelan. In it, Elloren lives under the long shadow of her grandmother, a legendary Black Witch. Though Elloren lacks her ability, she attends a university hoping to become an apothecary. As you might have guessed, magical universities are never safe, and Elloren must discover her own gifts to survive.
New England history professor Connie has researched witchcraft in colonial America, both the real and the imagined. What she doesn’t share is she’s also a descendent of an actual Salem witch. When she realizes an old curse may harm her beloved, her personal and professional lives combine in this delectable concoction that will have you rooting for Connie and all other powerful women throughout history.
Brackston is known for her captivating contemporary stories laced with magic, and The Silver Witch proves why. It follows young widow Tilda as she moves into a rural Welsh cottage and begins experiencing strange things — including a vision of a boat of ancient people, a Celtic witch among them. As the two women connect across time, they must rely on each other to defeat a formidable threat.
Bruja Born is the first in a series following the Mortiz sisters, each a young woman with her own unique bruja power. In this bewitching start, Lula’s life takes a turn when her boyfriend, Maks, is killed in a bus crash. Can Lula use her healing powers to bring Maks back? Maybe, but as you might have guessed, playing with death can have unintended consequences.
If you’re drawn to historical fiction, put on this audiobook set in 19th-century Massachusetts with echoes of the Salem witch trials. When three daughters move to their country home to escape a Boston scandal, they discover the place isn’t the peaceful abode they assumed. Dark memories echo in the halls, and one of the sisters will have to summon her powers to protect them all.
Who could resist a book labeled as “Wicked meets The Little Mermaid?” Not us. Fairy tale fans will gobble up this origin story about grieving Edie, who meets a girl on the shore who looks like her dead best friend. But when the new girl offers Edie a chance at love in exchange for using her abilities, danger comes in a form Edie never expected.
If you’re looking for a romance-filled witch book, you’ll fall in love with this series starter about Lou, a witch hunted by the church and young men like Reid. But when their paths cross in an unexpected way, Lou and Reid wind up wed. In the fraught journey that follows, the two must reconcile their opposing beliefs alongside growing feelings for each other.
Grab a glass of wine while reading this novel, which follows Elena, a witch in turn-of-the-century France who at the beginning breaks a curse that stole much from her — including the vineyard where she was destined to work her magic. Returning to the chateau, she must deal with secrets, hexes on the vines, and the attractive-but-skeptical owner, Jean-Paul.
No list of witchy reads is complete without this beautifully written Hoffman book, a prequel to her Practical Magic. After tragedy strikes, three Owen siblings must learn to live on their own — especially under the shadow of their ancestor’s curse that all their love affairs will be doomed. Or will they?
About the Author: G.G. Andrew
G.G. is a freelance writer and author of romance and women's fiction, including the short story "Everything Left Unsaid" in the collection A Million Ways: Stories of Motherhood. A Texas transplant, she lives outside Houston with her husband and two sons, both of whom are on the autism spectrum. In her spare time, she enjoys browsing bookstores, yoga, paper crafts, cooking, genealogy, and anything related to Halloween. She's probably drinking tea right now.