Halloween is a time for morbid emotions, hiding beneath horrific masks of terror, death and the like. For those who are looking for extra creepy inspiration for their costumes or, better still, for those who prefer to spend the night with monstrous companions from literature, a ghostly hand has helped us to create a first-rate selection of horror books. Ranging from all time horror classics to the latest arrivals from the literary (under-)world, these are must-read books for sleepless nights.
We invite you to enjoy the perverse pleasure of reading until your blood runs cold. Whether you’re searching for creatures of the underworld, disturbing situations, cursed mansions, deathly masqueraders or monstrous transformations, our digital librarians have the perfect Halloween read for you. Here’s our secret for the best books of terror: They shake us up and no matter how unsettling the story may be, finishing the book must become a matter of life or death.
Do you dare to read them?
The latest horror books on 24symbols
1. Wild Fell
Professor of Criminology and award-winning author of OCTOBER, Michael Rowe knows his game. His latest novel is a ghost story that will make your blood run cold. Rowe evokes subtle and not so subtle terrors in this , as he summons phantoms, reveals horrors from the past and allows dark magic to take its toll. A real spooky pleasure for those who love a great scare and appreciate fine storytelling.
2. The House of a Hundred Whispers
Graham Masterton is known for first class horror fiction and thrillers, the latest novel by the “master of horror” is no exception. A child goes missing in a Tudor mansion on the morning the family was preparing to leave. He never left the house, how could he have disappeared? And what are all those noises and echos? Are you prepared to find out?
3. Tiny Nightmares
For those who do not have a lot of time or who like to enjoy horror in small portions, we have included this collection of tiny short stories. Each story counts less than 1500 words but this does not lessen their impact. Known authors such as Samantha Hunt or Brian Evenson, as well as promising new voices that are worth noticing, were asked to share their most hidden fears for this volume. See for yourself if they can scare you, too!
4. Size Zero
A disturbing crime novel that we have selected for its unusual plot and, who could deny it, for the spectacular cover! A coat made of human skin from a girl that went missing ten years earlier terrifies New York’s fashion scene. It is up to the victim’s ex-boyfriend, one of the main suspects and now a monk, to investigate the case and prove his innocence. The deeper he enters the grim reality of the modeling industry, the more gruesome secrets he unveils. A sweeping blow to luxury and the beauty industry with many peculiar characters.
4. The Cutting Room
Again, not really a horror book but a gripping thriller that spills blood on every page, as a serial killer displays his victim’s brains in a self-arranged art exhibition on a public street. The so-called Ferryman considers himself an artist and as his fanbase grows on social media, his fans begin to sabotage the investigation in order to preserve the killer’s art. A truly intriguing read that is fun and unsettling at the same time.
Classic Horror Books you must have read
1. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
For many the headless horseman is an embodiment of Halloween as it combines tricks and horror. If you’ve watched the movie, let yourself be surprised by Washington Irving‘s original! Set in Sleepy Hollow, a small valley whose inhabitants believe in ghosts and the supernatural. When newly arrived Ichabod and local hero Brom Bones compete for the hand of 18-year-old Katrina, Brom uses the power of the town’s ghostly imagination to outpace his rival. Just as Arthur Conan Doyle said, where there is no imagination, there is no horror…
When published in 1897, readers appreciated Dracula as a great adventure story. It was much later in the 20th century when Bram Stoker‘s masterpiece became the iconic novel that we take it for today. Harker, a you English lawyer, visits Count Dracula in Transylvania to wrap up a real estate deal. On his way, he’s being warned of the count and given garlic and crucifixes to defend himself against the alleged vampire. Harker disregards the warning and finds Count Dracula to be extremely polite and educated but realizes after a few days that he’s visit at the castle is no longer as voluntary as he thought it to be…
What happens when experiments don’t go the way they were planned to go? There are plenty of examples in history and literature. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein surely narrates one of the most horrific outcomes a scientific experiment could have and serves as reminder that we are responsible for our actions. A reminder well needed with the technical possibilities we have nowadays…
Interesting fact: Did you know that Mary Shelley was only 18 when she started writing the novel?
4. The Masque of the Red Death
Edgar Allan Poe at his best: When a few rich noblemen (and ladies) hide in a castle and have a costume party in order to avoid a plague that is haunting the country, it only seems fair that death comes to haunt the party guests. Warning: Better don’t read this short story if you have a costume party coming up yourself…
Have you not had enough? Visit our Horror bookshelf for more recommendations, it’s loaded with the best books of the eeriest genre of all time.