It’s that time of year again the nights are getting longer we’re creeping up to Halloween and if you’re anything like me you want to enjoy a nice spooky read. I see these lists and get excited by them and then they always recommend the same stuff lovecraft, stephen king etc, and whilst they are interesting and often creepy I want to hear recommendations that are slightly different, maybe a new author i’ve not encountered before, so here’s my mixture of spooky recommendations from some popular authors and some less well known but still just as awesome writers, let me know in the comments below if i’ve missed anything or what you think of any of the books in the list.
1) Twentieth century ghosts by Joe hill – I love joe hills writing he is one of those authors who I like everything he has ever written, this collection of stories is genuinely haunting there is a story of a child locked in a blood stained basement with an old phone that keeps ringing (the voices at the other end are the children that were in the basement before)- I read these stories years ago and that has remained vivid in my mind. What I love about this author is his ability to write genuinely terrifying horror with very real believable characters (in some ways this is why the writing is so scary). You cannot go wrong with any of this mans work!
2) The haunting of Highdown hall by Shani Struthers- My favourite Shani struthers book, this has a really favourable and knowledgeable view of the pagan aspects of the paranormal experience. Well written and slightly creepy these are fantastic ghost stories, with characters that develop as you continue through the novel and the series. This novel will have you rethinking your attitude towards ghosts and hauntings. Shani is one of my favourite creepy authors.
3) The haunting of hill house by Shirley Jackson – Shirley Jackson is a master of creating suspense and horror from descriptive writing, this book has very little actual horror in it and very little action or gore, yet it is far and away the spookiest thing i have ever read, I had to finish this in one sitting because I couldnt face not knowing what would happen, I also read it in broad daylight and still felt chills running down my spine, truly the master of horror writing and someone who’s skills you need to admire.
4) Father of Lies by Sarah England – I won this in a book giveaway and its another truly terrifying story of possession and the occult, this has very chilling hauntings and psychological horror. Again the characters are really believable people and the story doesn’t end at the end of the first book it leaves you hanging slightly. Based in the UK these are a really fantastic series of novels
5) Souls disturbed by Kath Middleton – A collection of three very different stories of disturbed souls. My favourite is the mirror story that opens the collection its another that will stay with me for some time i think and leaves you wondering what will happen next, there is a little feel of the twilight zone, unexpected tales about these stories and I found that really refreshing, I would love to read more from this author.
6) Coraline by Neil Gaiman – A YA book but this one is very genuinely creepy. It would have terrified me as a child. The other mother in particular is really horrific i think it is something to do with having buttons for eyes. Neil Gaiman writes amazing stories and this one is a great creepy read and watch for the whole family.
7)Hidden by Shalini boland – This is a great YA vampire novel that stays away from some of the more typical paranormal YA tropes. Well written and with interesting vampires and characters this blends the past and present really well. I liked the variation on the vampire myth and again like that the story doesn’t end this is a series of novels and will get you hooked on this authors writing. She is really very good.
8) King in Yellow by Robert chambers – This is very protolovecraftian in its writing, but to my mind much better than Lovecraft, having characters that are real people with names and feelings (sorry I read Lovecraft recently and am still working through my feelings about it). A collection of Macabre tales linked together by a single cosmic horror that is merely hinted at, this is one of those novels that is hugely influential on other writers, and has been regaining an audience of readers recently, a true classic horror story, fans of true detective will recognise some hints of this story.
9) Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix – This plays with the genre of horror slightly which is one of the reasons I love it, best bought in a paper version it is illustrated to look like an Ikea catalogue and the chapter titles are product names. The story itself revolves around people being trapped inside a furniture store in america that is ikeaesque. Strange events occur during the night and although there is a comedic edge this is still a great creepy read. I’d also recommend my best friends exorcism by the same author.
10) Lenore by Roman dirge – Sweet and slightly creepy these are some of the first graphic novels I ever read, A collection of short stories about Lenore the cute little dead girl, she is still one of my favourite spooky characters, I have a mug with her on and she is often my cover and profile picture here on FB. These stories are all that is good about indie graphic novels and slave labour graphics the publishing company put out some great titles in the early 2000’s and remain one of my favourite comic publishers to this day. These stories can be read over and over and still be enjoyable, they are witty and intelligent and definitely odd.