Image Credit: Steinar Engeland
There is nothing that I like more than a good horror novel. I have read/watched/experienced so many horror books and movies that it takes quite a bit to scare me. The following books are the ones which have ruined me for lesser works.
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
Joe Hill is one of the best writers of horror out there. I recommend him highly and without reservation. This book was his debut novel back in 2007. Judas Coyne, a former rock god, collects grim items. He is offered a haunted suit in a heart-shaped box. The item is definitely haunted, and his life falls to shambles as he attempts to rid himself of the specter. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. B
Kill Creek by Scott Thomas
Four horror novelists find themselves involved in an interview turned reality stunt. They are locked in a notoriously haunted house, which has a bricked in bedroom. They start to think—what if it’s the house controlling them and the stories that they tell about it? I love this book—the characters are so well-drawn and it’s nerve-wracking all of the way to the last page. B
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
This book is a period piece as much as it is a horror novel. Set in a manor house in the British countryside, Post WWI, when the landed gentry began to lose their holdings. Based on Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher, this book is eerie. It builds very slowly, but it’s worth the wait. Each scene builds the sense that this house is DEFINITELY haunted. Once the mood is built, everything falls like neatly placed dominoes. Sarah Waters is a master writer, and this book is proof. B
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Shirley Jackson is a queen. She makes bumps in the night horrifying. I adore her and everything that she does. I always find it deeply disappointing when the only thing that someone has read of hers is “The Lottery,” because it’s not her best work. If you are a fan of horror, you must read this book—it is a horror classic. It’s about a paranormal researcher, who invites a group of people to join him in a study at Hill House. Eleanor and Theo are the only two invitees who come. In addition to Dr. Montague and his assistant, Luke, a relative of Hugh Crain (original owner of Hill House) they all settle in, only to find that the house is rife with activity. Eleanor becomes entranced by what she finds. Remember—whatever walks in Hill House, walks alone.
The Shining by Stephen King
I didn’t like the movie, so I thought I’d hate the book. But then, I went to the Stanley Hotel last summer, and bought the book. Hey guys— I was wrong. The book is terrifying. The idea that the Torrances are alone—for miles—with no way to get help—and no way to get OUT—in a haunted hotel—and Jack Torrance is possessed—by something long dead—that wants his kid. B