10 Chilling Japanese Books to Read During Halloween

Japanese Books to Read During Halloween

This Halloween, indulge your love of thrills and chills with these newly translated horror, mystery and supernatural novels from Japan’s top genre authors.

Let Terrifying Tales Transport You

Instead of the same old haunted houses, sink into literary darkness this October. Lose yourself in eerie translated fiction full of mysteries, monsters, and morbid twists perfect for the season.

1. Hit Parade of Tears

Surreal sci-fi stories blur reality in Izumi Suzuki’s avant-garde collection exploring aliens, witchcraft and bleak humor. Translated by Helen O’Horan and others.

2. The Rope Artist

A dark murder mystery unfolds in Tokyo’s underground rope bondage scene. Explicit psychological thriller by Fuminori Nakamura, translated by Sam Bett.

3. The Mill House Murders

Spine-tingling puzzles and disappearances in an ominous castle. Yukito Ayatsuji’s mind-bending locked-room mystery, translated by Ho-Ling Wong.

4. The Premonition

A young woman plagued by disturbing visions investigates her family’s taboo past in Banana Yoshimoto’s ethereal horror novel, translated by Asa Yoneda.

5. Godzilla and Godzilla Raids Again

The original chilling Godzilla tales reveal deep themes of nature’s revenge. Translated into English for the first time by Jeffrey Angles.

6. Nails and Eyes

Haunting visions of trauma and obsession fill Kaori Fujino’s horror collection, translated by Kendall Heitzman.

7. The Devil’s Flute Murders

An eerie melody accompanies a string of deaths. Iconic detective Kosuke Kindaichi investigates in this novel by Seishi Yokomizo, translated by Jim Rion.

8. Kappa

A madman’s terrifying descent into the realm of folkloric turtle-demons that parallel Japanese society. Satirical horror by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, translated by Lisa Hofmann-Kuroda and Allison Markin Powell.

9. The Siren’s Lament: Essential Stories

Surreal tales of lust and longing from Jun’ichiro Tanizaki, exploring dark obsessions in Japanese mythology. Translated by Bryan Karetnyk.

10. Dragon Palace

Whimsical fantasy stories mixing gods, ghosts, and magical creatures seeking love. Playful supernatural fiction by Hiromi Kawakami, translated by Ted Goossen.

Upcoming: The Mantis

Gritty Tokyo underworld thriller about a retired hitman protecting his family, by Kotaro Isaka. Translated by Sam Malissa.

Upcoming: The Final Curtain

Detective hunts a serial killer in 1950s Tokyo and uncovers the truth about his mother’s death. By Keigo Higashino, translated by Giles Murray.

This Halloween, fill your nights with thrilling stories from Japan’s top genre writers, now available in chilling English translations.