We are back once again with a top 10 post. Today it’s all about spooky books! If you’re new to horror, I recommend adding my list to your Goodreads. Without further ado, here are my ten favourite scary novels of all time…
1.) IT by Stephen King
Here I go mentioning IT again! I have to though because it’s my favourite book of all time. Over 1,100 pages long, this story is an epic tale that moves forward and backward in time as we watch how both children and the adults they become deal with an entity named Pennywise. Banding together, The Loser’s Club fight to take down the evil clown and restore their hometown of Derry to normal. This is a story about friendship above everything else but it’s also very disturbing. If you’re ever going to read one Stephen King book in your lifetime, make it this one.
2.) Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky
In 1999, Stephen Chbosky wrote a book called ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ which became an instant classic. That had been his only book until last year, when he released his second novel ‘Imaginary Friend.’ It tells the story of a 7 year old boy named Christopher, who not long after moving to a new town with his mother, goes missing for six days. When he re-emerges, he’s extremely intelligent but immensely paranoid. He can’t remember what happened to him but he’s now in communication with an entity he refers to as ‘the nice man.’ It encourages him to build a tree-house which acts as a portal to an alternate dimension of the town. Christopher’s task is to free ‘the nice man’ and kill his captor: ‘the hissing lady.’ I will warn you that this book is over 700 pages long but it’s an epic tale of a battle between good and evil. It’s also scary as hell!
3.) Blackwood Farm by Anne Rice
I had to include the Queen of Horror: Anne Rice on this list. This is the 9th book in the Vampire Chronicles but it could be read on its own because the story is quite different from all the other books and introduces new characters. It’s definitely the scariest of the bunch. It follows Tarquin (Quinn) Blackwood, the heir to a powerful old family in New Orleans. He is plagued by a mysterious spirit named Goblin that has been with him since birth. Quinn seeks out the powerful vampire Lestat to help him get rid of Goblin who has become more malevolent. The spirit is reluctant to part as it is both jealous of and sexually attracted to Quinn. I won’t reveal more but it’s extremely dark, steamy and full of twists. It’s my favourite book she’s ever written.
4.) The Diviners by Libba Bray
This is one of my favourite reads of 2020 but I’ll save that for my end of year post. Set in the 1920’s, Evie O’Neill, a socialite with psychic abilities is shipped to New York to live with her uncle after some questionable behaviour back home. Evie’s uncle runs a museum for the occult that makes him valuable to the police when supernatural cases arise. One evening, he’s called to investigate a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol which prompts his niece to reveal that her own gifts can help. Before long, Evie finds herself wrapped up in a dance with the ghost of a serial-killer that has been awakened with a vengeance. I’ve since read the sequel: Lair of Dreams, which was equally as amazing and the final two books are on my TBR. Highly, highly recommend!
5.) It Will Just Be Us by Jo Kaplan
At the beginning of this year, I was lucky enough to receive an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of this book and interview the author on my blog. You can check that out here. It’s my favourite kind of story. Sam Wakefield’s ancestral home is a decaying mansion existing on the edge of an overgrown swamp. Built by her mad ancestors, Sam has possessed a unique gift since she was a little girl. She can witness echoes of the past and the ghosts of those that came before her. When her pregnant sister Elizabeth, moves in with her and her mother, Sam begins to see a faceless-boy whom she suspects is a symbolic prophecy of her unborn nephew. She is further disturbed when he starts to commit extremely disturbing acts and taunts her throughout the labyrinthine hallways of the mansion. As Elizabeth’s due date approaches, Sam is determined to prevent an innocent baby from devolving into the evil child he is destined to become. Moreover, the boy appears to be connected to a room within the mansion that has always been locked. What will Sam find once the door finally opens and will she be able to save her family from their dark destiny? I also wrote a spoiler-free review that you can read here.
6.) Ghostland by Duncan Ralston
This book was so scary, I actually didn’t want to turn out the lights. I wrote a spoiler-free review of it that you can check out here. This horror story follows former best friends, Ben and Lillian, who decide to check out Ghostland (a spooky amusement park) on opening day together. When a computer virus sets the ghosts free and the park goes into lockdown, the pair find themselves trapped in an endless nightmare. With video game knowledge and an expertise on all things horror, Ben and Lillian must use what they know to stay alive for as long as possible or become Ghostland’s newest exhibits. Please check it out if you haven’t already!
7.) The Demonata by Darren Shan
I could write an entire blog post dedicated to why I love this series so much. It makes me so happy. It is a 10 book, young-adult saga that follows three different characters set during various time periods. We have Grubbs Grady in the present day, Kernel Fleck in the not-so-distant past and Bec who existed a thousand years prior. This trio travel through The Demonata (a hellish dimension) during their respective lifetimes with a purpose to track down the Demon Master: Lord Loss and destroy him before he unleashes hell on earth. Lord Loss is what makes this series so enjoyable. In my opinion, he’s the most likable villain I’ve ever encountered. The demon is supremely intelligent with a zest for playing chess. He’s witty, devious and layered. I wish these books were talked about more because they are so underrated.
8.) Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
I couldn’t resist mentioning my namesake: Rebecca. This is a gothic, horror classic that was later adapted into a film by Alfred Hitchcock. The remake is set to hit Netflix this week and I’m so excited! In this haunting tale, we follow an orphaned woman who is swept off her feet by the wealthy and charming widower, Maxim de Winter. He surprises our protagonist (whose name you never learn) with a proposal in Monte Carlo; relieving her of an unsatisfying job as a lady’s companion. When they arrive at his large estate (Manderley), she discovers that his late wife Rebecca, casts a lingering shadow from beyond the grave that threatens to destroy their marriage before it has even properly begun. All of the staff (including the frosty housekeeper Mrs. Danvers) cannot let go of the woman that mysteriously drowned, leaving Maxim’s new wife feeling as though she will never quite measure up…
9.) Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill
Can we just take a moment to appreciate how stunning the 10th anniversary edition looks (featured image)? I love NOS4A2 by Joe Hill too but as I already mentioned that in this post here, I’ll go with his debut novel: Heart Shaped Box. This story follows aging, self-absorbed rock star Judas Coyne who has a thing for the macabre. When his assistant tells him about a ghost for sale on an online auction site, he immediately puts in a bid and purchases it. The black, heart-shaped box that Coyne receives in the mail not only contains the suit of a dead man but also his vengeance-obsessed spirit. The ghost, it turns out, is the stepfather of a young groupie who committed suicide after the 54-year-old Coyne callously used her up and threw her away. Now, determined to kill Coyne and anyone who aids him, the merciless ghost of Craddock McDermott begins his assault on the rocker’s sanity. Seriously scary but very good.
10.) 172 Hours On The Moon by Johan Harstad
Last but not least, I’m going to share a horror, sci-fi novel that creeped me out. Three teenagers win a competition to be sent on the trip of a lifetime to the moon but when they arrive, they realise they aren’t alone on the space station. What follows is truly terrifying. That’s all I’m going to say because I don’t want to spoil anything.
I hope you liked this list! What are some of your favourite horror novels of all time? I would love some more potential book-club ideas. I will also do another one of these in the future as I left out a lot of books I adore. It’s so hard to choose!
Thank you for reading. Peace & Love xoxo