Ghost story books are, have been, and always will be captivating, because they make for some of the most disturbing books ever written. Stephen King declared Ghost Story the finest in its genre in 1981 with the non-fiction horror critique, Danse Macabre, which, as weâve established, is high praise indeed. A Ghost Story is a 2017 American supernatural drama film written and directed by David Lowery.It stars Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, Will Oldham, Sonia Acevedo, Rob Zabrecky, Liz Franke and Kesha.Affleck plays a man who becomes a ghost and remains in the house he shares with his wife (Mara). While Carey’s psychological horror paints a disturbing picture, there are enough real-world touches and genuine emotional honesty to set the novel apart from others trading in the usual psychological horror tropes. 3 A ghost story where the ghost wants to possess the person in the house and take over their lives Books; Best Ghost Story Books 21 Ghost Story Books That Will Chill You to the Bone. Hardcover Lost Signals was a collection with an fascinating premise: ask a bunch of modern horror heavies to pen stories involving the loose shared theme of radio or broadcast signals. Another novel told as a fictional oral history, Villareal’s horror-satire begins with the CDC discovering the first case of what is later known as the “Gloamings,” and what popular culture would call vampirism. This hand-picked list is full of spooky stories that really put the "boo" in books. Here are the 10 Best Books of 2020, along with 100 Notable Books of the year. The latest entry in Lindqvist’s literary canon sees the Swedish master of horror tackling more atmospheric and existential themes, depicting four families who become inexplicably stuck in an endless expanse of grass and blue skies that slowly reveals more about its itself only by turns, from the way it exploits its victims’ secret fears and flaws, to the strange creatures that stalk its distant borders. Mutilation Song, by Jason Hrivnak Yet as it goes, the book blends the police procedural elements of Mr. Mercedes with the unnerving suburban-gothic flavor that has defined most of his body of work. A slow-burner compared to Lindqvist’s previous works, which tend to favor nauseating descriptions of undead biology and the horrifying aftereffects of trepanation, I Am Behind You is no less terrifying. As newly-minted Gloamings start to gain power and visibility—and healthy people follow their desires to join the ranks—a series of mysterious terror attacks target bloodsucker settlements and a political campaign from a Gloaming candidate threatens to throw the nation into disarray. 1.2K Shares View On One Page ADVERTISEMENT () Start Slideshow . Paperback K ate Mosse is the bestselling author of five novels, two books of non-fiction, short stories and a play, Syrinx, which won a Broadcasting Press Guild award in 2009. While Bells leaves room for a small sliver of hope—albeit only in that all of this is being narrated in the past tense—she never once shies away from depicting the very real and truly horrifying implications of a world without sleep. The result was an eerie and unusual collection of works, from T.E. The days grow shorter; the nights, darker. It’s also a great introduction to writers you might not be as familiar with, including a large number of smaller-press regulars who definitely deserve your attention. It’s an unnerving take on the classic “bad seed” story. Standout Stories: “The Church in the Mountains” by Gemma Files, “Ghost Mapping” by Eugenia Triantafyllou, Hardcover Betty Ren Wright (1927 - 2013) was the distinguished author of many award-winning books for young readers. The synthesis is impressive: King builds dread as the investigation of beloved little league coach Terry Maitland and the possible atrocities he commits continues to mount evidence and reveal new facets of the sordid life teeming underneath the friendly surface of small-town Flint City. So try out one of our favorite horror books, and for more spooky stories, try our Best Ghost Stories for Kids and Teens . Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story is the ur-American horror tale. Standout Stories: “The Thankless Child,” “The Rabbit”, Sleep Over: An Oral History of the Apocalypse, A People's History of the Vampire Uprising: A Novel, The Best of the Best Horror of the Year: 10 Years of Essential Short Horror Fiction, We Are Where the Nightmares Go and Other Stories, The Conspiracy against the Human Race: A Contrivance of Horror, The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror, 10 Things You Might Not Know About Frank Herbert’s, Introducing the Witcher: Explore the Books That Inspired Netflix’s New Fantasy Epic, Ranking the Major Villains of the Star Wars Universe, 7 of the Scariest Science Fiction Horror Novels Ever Written, Author Derek Künsken Explores Our Transhuman Future, B&N Bestsellers in Science Fiction & Fantasy: November 2019, Epic Endings: James Islington & Evan Winter on Perfect Titles, Finding Your Fans, and Wrapping a Trilogy, Your Guide to the New Canon of Star Wars Books & Comics. From the kids who like super-scary stories to the ones who prefer lighter tales of friendly ghosts or courageous ghost hunters, there's sure to be something here that will give them goosebumps. Read our review. From the jump, there’s a weirdly claustrophobic air about the wide-open field, not the least of which is the music floating through it, seeming to cue up directly with the action (even creepier: the only tunes on offer are songs written by pop composer Peter Himmelstrand). With these black nights comes the harvest of the best dark fiction of the year. NOOK Book Originally Published: December 17, 2020 Originally Published in Reader's Digest Sir Simon: Super Scarer is a must for fans of ghost stories, funny stories, and friendship stories and will be enjoyed by adults as much as by kids. | $19.99. Deliver Us from Evil: A New York City Cop Investigates the Supernatural, by Ralph Sarchie with â¦ That eerie feeling only builds to greater disturbances as Lindqvist reveals the true scope of his world, bringing to the fore the idea that all this torment is happening for a reason, but not a comprehensible one. $17.99. This is the best collection of contemporary ghost stories by multiple authors Iâve ever come across. It also inspired most of Rust Cohle’s more pessimistic tirades in the first season of True Detective, so if that’s not your thing, this book is probably not for you. Bells In the midst of another of her husband’s violent “episodes,” suburban wife Liz feels something take over her body, just long enough to pick up a bottle and act in her defense. The Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund, read by Gabrielle Glaisters. Bringing together historical fact and horror fiction in a story every bit as eerie and twisted as Cormac McCarthy, Katsu outlines the story of the Donner Party, a caravan hoping to make it from Missouri to California in the mid-19th century. Hardcover ... suburban gothic ghost stories, home-invasion horror) in such a way that they reflect the charactersâ interior landscapes as much as any external supernatural threat. What truly drives the stories home, however, is Ortberg’s ability to expertly mirror his subjects’ tone and voice, creating retellings that sound enough like the originals to stick in the imagination, and become terribly, immediately timeless. Ajay Suresh from New York, NY, USA â The Dakota â Wikipedia. Someone Like Me by M.R. Beginning with the birth of its unsettling central character from her own point of view, Baby Teeth alternates chapters, pitting a beleaguered mother with chronic conditions against her precocious but somewhat… off daughter, who might be actively trying to psychologically sabotage her mother so she can have her father all to herself. Anyone who’s experienced similar real-world situations will immediately find something to recognize, and the idea of mental health professionals who attempt to help the protagonists is surprisingly novel (and closer to reality) than most psychological thrillers get. Taken from his viral series of fairy tales gone wrong originally published on The Toast, Ortberg’s acclaimed collection spins horrifying visions out of children’s stories and beloved fairy tales. And unlike horror movies that often rely on jump scares and gore, these well-written scary books provide all the creepiness without those concerns. The Hunger, by Alma Katsu $24.99. We’ve talked about Best of the Best Horror before, and with a name like that, there was little chance of it not ending up on this list. While it saves her life and rebuffs Marc, Liz can’t help but feel a little off, especially as the “puppeteer” keeps pacing back and forth in the dark part of her mind, hoping to take control again during any high-stress situation. Cargill brings his off-kilter sensibilities to all of it: from nightmare clowns who can’t eat children (it’s against the rules), to a butcher who takes people apart for an unknown purpose. Hrivnak’s (The Plight House) second novel, released through the illustrious ChiZine Publications (fast becoming a stamp of quality in the world of bizarre fiction) begins with its demonic narrator DINN gleefully walking the reader through his torment and disappointment with his most recent “trainee,” a young neuro-atypical man named Thomas. Compounding the sense of unease, Shipp lets us in on what Marvin is doing, but in a way that portrays the family as helpless against him, their memories and sense of reality mere food for Marvin’s bizarre appetites. 2018. But Alice can’t seem to stay out of her thoughts, appearing in the background of news broadcasts about major disasters. Book descriptions from amazon.com and bn.com . Published in 1835, it's shortâ¦ The Sleep Experiment: An edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller (World's Scariest Legends) November 27, 2018 by Sabienna Bowman. Dürt Würk was poised to be a major force in the rock world—until their lead singer ditched them all and became a mega-successful metal act. What it is not is the feel-good hit of the year, and as it’s a nonfiction book, it doesn’t offer the same detachment one can find in fiction. Ghosts Caught on Film: Photographs of the Paranormal (Melvyn Willan & Donald West) The alternating narrative only ups the tension, showing things from Hanna’s unusual point of view while simultaneously casting doubt on exactly who or what she is, exactly, as well as the question of how much of her behavior has been colored by her mother’s clear psychologically disturbed nature. Instead, it’s one part philosophical treatise, one part examination of the underpinnings of horror fiction, one part discourse on the nature of pessimism and why it makes sense to the author, and, well, one part collection of allegories about all of those things. All of it just serves to drive Someone Like Me deep into its readers’ minds, and mess with them all the more. âThe Tell-Tale Heartâ by edgar allan poe. $14.99. It’s a book that lingers—unforgettable from the first image of a corpse picked clean, to its final, haunting moments. The Conspiracy Against The Human Race, by Thomas Ligotti April 9, 2018 M uch of Ghost Stories evokes the kind of fear experienced when laying in bed late at night. C. Robert Cargill is a force to be reckoned with, an author and screenwriter whose dark fantasy and science fiction push the envelope of their respective genres and create heartfelt and imaginative (if sometimes downright scary) worlds. Now, years later, strange events force former lead guitarist Kris Pulaski (now the night manager of a Best Western, where a pillowcase-headed man harasses her nightly) to travel through America and get the band back together in the hopes of figuring out what happened. Books; Best Horror Books 2018 The 13 Most Chilling Horror Books of 2018. The past 12 months was an interesting time for horror, especially for experiments in form: two established masters sank their teeth into new veins of the genre, we shuddered at an absolutely brutal novel written entirely in a single running monologue, fictional oral histories explored terror from every angle, and even the oldest tricks in the blackest of books were given new life. Taking its cues from Scandinavian mystery novels and adding in a scoop of cosmic horror, The Gone World begins with NCIS investigator Shannon Moss called to the scene of a brutal series of murders involving the Navy’s secret expeditions into “Deep Time” and “Deep Space”—areas of time and space travel that remain relatively uncharted and difficult to explore. Submitted for your approval: the best horror books we read this year. Paperback It’s an unnerving story of a woman prone to comatose spells that leave her corpselike, her outlaw former lover, and the murderous abusive husband who aims to have her declared dead and bury her alive. The Gone Away Place book. But even apart from being an absolute feast for horror fans, Datlow’s editorial magnum opus lowers the barriers of entry for new readers of dark fiction. Carey An unnamed rat-killer is sent to the country of C for a long-term assignment, only to be detained for quarantine and kept from doing his job. For more heart-pounding page-turners, check out our list of the best thriller books of all time. The Gone World, by Tom Sweterlitsch It’s an amazing anthology spanning a decade’s worth of year’s best fiction, drawing on diverse subgenres and modes. | $30.00. After no less than three recommendations of this book, we’ve probably said all we need to, but it bears repeating: don’t miss it. Phantoms: Haunting Tales From the Masters of the Genre by various. Included is a version of “The Velveteen Rabbit” reimagined as a body horror fable worthy of Clive Barker, a take on “The Little Mermaid” incorporating bizarre marine biology, and still others, all skewed as glimpsed through a modern lens and the author’s off-kilter sense of humor. This late 19th-century building is an expensive and quite haunted apartment building in Manhattan, New York.Located in Central Park West, this building had a role in the horror classic Rosemaryâs Baby and is also the site where John Lennon was killed. It’s a horrifying thriller that manages to maintain the suspense over the mere question of its premise—a tiny, cunning bit of uncertainty that makes reading experience that much more terrifying. The days grow shorter; the nights, darker. 2 A ghost story where the ghost is bitter about being dead and wants to make the residentâs life hell . The corpses of victims of a mysterious disease that turns blood solid begin to pile up, only to disappear and then rise again as a new species that subsists on a diet of human blood. Guillermo Del Toroâs Panâs Labyrinth â¦ Cabin begins with a simple home-invasion premise: as Andrew, Eric, and their daughter Wen summer at a lakeside cabin, four strangers with unusual-looking farm implements attempt to force their way inside, telling the three that they have to choose which one of them dies, in order that the wider world can be saved. Find our best selection and offers online, with FREE Click & Collect or UK delivery. That's why the best selling ghost story books â¦ A fascinating book told in part from the perspective of a child, itâs a â¦ Beginning with a child’s mutilated corpse found in a park, King’s latest novel finds the master author on familiar ground. Sleep Over, by H.G. It’s a home invasion story as unusual as it is insidious; every moment in which Marvin consolidates his control is another moment in which you hope desperately that someone in the story will realize what is happening, the way you did. Don't get me wrong, I love a good shifter book (I'm working on my own werewolf series now). $18.95, Lost Films, edited by Max Booth III and Lori Michelle Grau’s story about a strange AM signal, to Josh Malerman’s dark tale about a cemetery’s sensor board. â¦ But what it does offer is true insight into the philosophy of pessimism, the philosophical underpinnings of cosmic horror, and the why of existential horror. Hendrix’s horror chops are nigh-unassailable at this point, and this rock ‘n’ roll nightmare is a perfect reflection of America and its music: paranoid, dark, moderately insane, and heavy as all get out. The Master of Horror strikes again. Out of all the books on this list—all the derangement, the creepy events, the sheer brutality—this is the one that comes with a warning. Meanwhile, a traumatized and vision-prone teenager named Fran sees Liz as two superimposed people, and feels compelled to figure out what exactly is going on with the older woman—all while trying to keep her own head and hallucinations in check. It’s twisty, bleak, and complex thriller, but backs up a byzantine plot with clear motivations for the heroes and villains alike, and it definitely helps that the horror comes not from the unknown, but from the little-known, upping the scares as both side realize just how little they really understand about the things they thought were completely under their control. Hardcover With terrible ease, he invades their heads, and takes up residence. Standout Stories: “The Man from the Peak” by Adam Golaski, “In Paris in the Mouth of Cronos” by John Langan, “In A Cavern, In A Canyon” by Laird Barron, We Are Where The Nightmares Go, by C. Robert Cargill The weird noises two streets over are a little quieter, and a little weirder, when muffled by the snow. $26.00. Anyone familiar with the infamous history of the name “Donner” already knows that half the people hitting the trail are going to die as things go to hell in the mountains near California, but Katsu’s blend of supernatural horror, western-gothic flavor, psychological horror, and the eerie landscape of the American West all combine to make The Hunger unusually suspenseful anyway. by Nathaniel Hawthorne. This â¦ Whatever dark corners you might wish to curl up in, rest assured, you’ll find them below. | $17.00. Paperback In Bedfellow, he uses this gift to shift and change the landscape around an imperiled family being visited by an unusual interloper. Pyun’s narration creates a wonderful sense of desperation in his central character, sending him scrambling towards any attempt at salvation even as his life falls to pieces, and finding horror in the desperate yearning for something as simple as a couple of aspirin. The bestselling storyteller might need to buy a bigger award shelf: He now has eight Goodreads Choice Awards, including Best Mystery & Thriller this year with The Outsider . $3.99. Up against books about vampires, haunted houses, and Satan himself, Stephen King’s eerie tale of a small town with big troubles beat back the competition. $26.99. That book was one of the best modern ghost stories Iâd read for years. Bedfellow, by Jeremy C. Shipp Paperback If you ever wished to see King bring the full brunt of his mature talents to bear on the subject matter of his earlier days, The Outsider shows he’s still a force to be reckoned with—and still has a ton of stories to tell. This ghost short story is kid-friendly, but I think itâs only â¦ “Marvin,” as the…thing calls him/itself, appears first as a homeless transient with odd eyes, but then, he changes, and every new detail he invents to change his appearance of explanation for bring there is added to the family’s memories without question. Tremblay is something of a modern master in the realm of psychological horror, twisting familiar premises (demonic possession, suburban gothic ghost stories, home-invasion horror) in such a way that they reflect the characters’ interior landscapes as much as any external supernatural threat. Villareal has a good sense of modern medicine and politics, and his skill at blending genres (from Crichton-style scientific thriller, to horror, to political satire) with a strong sense of distinct character voices makes this a biting (pun definitely intended) takedown of the modern world. When you look at the top 100 best selling ghost romances, the list is populated with mostly books about shifters, vampires, and other fantasy-type creatures. The Devilâs Backbone (2001) Director: Guillermo Del Toro. It’s all twisted, terrifying, and yet darkly funny and endlessly, disturbingly enjoyable. Jeremy C. Shipp, author of some of the weirdest novels ever to be classified as “bizarro,” has long been known for finding ways to make the unusual seem commonplace just long enough for unsuspecting readers to put down their guards before he flings them headlong into even stranger waters, gleefully submerging them in pools of pure weird. While the framework will immediately evoke memories of similar disturbing works (Three Hundred Million is a fair readalike), anyone who’s struggled with the more persistent strains of mental difficulty will immediately see real-life parallels in DINN’s training program. So Keisha takes up a job driving a truck for Alice’s former employer, hoping to finally understand what exactly has happened to her wife—and falls deep into a monstrous backroads conspiracy stretching back centuries. Each branch of the narrative is told in a distinct voice, and Hanna sounds plausibly childlike, a difficult thing for adult writers to pull off. Finding a good ghost story book isn't always easy, but when you do, oh, it's incredible. The Hunger, Alma Katsu (2018) Of all the many horror stories in American history, the doomed Donner party remains one of the most haunting (and mythologized). If your goal is to be so terrified of a book that you put it in the freezer and book a hotel room for a few days, here are twenty-five books that might not necessarily be the best horror novels, but are certainly the scariest. Read our review. Horror stories about the movies have captured the imagination for a while now, and Lost Films is a worthy entry into that canon, featuring versatile writers like Brian Evenson and Eugenia Triantafyllou telling stories of missing films, an obsession with a historically infamous recording of a politician, lost entries in a filmic canon, and twisted film festivals. In this collection of eight stories, he turns his practiced hand to horror (maybe not entirely new ground for the screenwriter of Sinister, but still), with tales of nightmare dimensions, zombie dinosaurs, a tale set in the Nightbreed universe and other, stranger terrors. $15.30 Up against books about vampires, haunted houses, and Satan himself, Stephen Kingâs eerie tale of a small town with big troubles beat back the competition. Read our review. Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage. While the small family is at first skeptical, a series of strange disasters shown on television—and the odd behavior of their captors—seems to point to bizarre events on a global scale; coupled with the weird visions one one the vacationers begins experiencing, the house soon erupts into a philosophical and psychological uproar. Of course, you could tell your own ghost storiesâ¦but if youâre looking for stories to enjoy and read aloud, here are 11 books you can pick up to make your holidays more ghostly. The Best Horror Books of 2018. by Sam Reader / December 18, 2018 at 12:00 pm Share. Baby Teeth, by Zoje Stage We Sold Our Souls, by Grady Hendrix Hendrix brings a certain frantic energy and power to writing about music—often a difficult thing to in the soundless medium of prose, and Pulaski’s an incredibly strong lead, standing out in a killer lineup of them, from the opening recounting of how she practices “Iron Man” in her room, to the numerous knocks she takes in her nail-biting road trip. And all of it is very distinctly Cargill. It’s a work of unusual atmosphere and appetite, mining the harrowing story of the historical disaster of all its potent, terrifying potential. In addition to her middle-grade mysteries, Wright also penned more than thirty-five picture books for children, including The Blizzard, which appeared on state award master lists and was a Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year. 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