Things are getting pretty frightening outside so here’s my theory: Read horror books to lessen the fear of our current reality? It feels only right to follow that good old historic tradition of telling ghost stories when things get tough! Hopefully this list will get the blood-ball rolling! (There will be no spoilers, don’t worry).
1. Erebus – Shaun Huston (3.73/5 – GoodReads)
‘At first they were terrified, but their terror turns to glee as they transform into beasts with a craving for human flesh.’ This is a brilliant book if you haven’t read for a while, simply because Huston gets straight to the point. He is all gore and guts, without all the overly descriptive literature. Some have criticized his lack of caliber but if you’re searching for pure carnage, give this one a go. Whilst it is rather ill researched, you can tell that Huston got the pen out and just couldn’t stop. Though if I’m honest it seems like his publishers didn’t care a great deal about his reputation, the story features hunks of problematic matter in the form of right wing racism and explicit scenes that you want to forget and forget fast. It’s not for gore-aphobes.
2. The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty (4.2/5 -GoodReads)
Could it get more controversial? Yes. The Exorcist spun minds when it was first published in 1971. It then went on to be a renowned movie and I hear it’s also a TV series? I started this book very recently but chickened out and ended up reading Frankenstein instead. Though, from what I did read, it hits every expectation. It’s well written, explores characters competently, maybe a little dragged out but then again I never made it to the tales climax and was still frightened! To tell such an exorcism story so ably, and retain such a notoriety – it’s definitely earned its place in the horror wall of fame.
3. A Fine Night for Dying – Jack Higgins (3.58/5 – GoodReads)
This book doesn’t take long to read at all – I mean technically I wouldn’t know, I haven’t finished this one either. But still, it’s a swift read, flows easily, and has no real complication jargon. If you like undercover agents, suspicion and death it’ll be up your street for sure.
4. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee (4.3/5 GoodReads)
This one isn’t inherently scary like the aforementioned, it’s not spooky or sinister but the topics of racism and injustice are somewhat spine-tingling. The story is told through the lens of an innocent child but delves deep into each and every character, with issues such as court trials, rape, trust and trials. There’s a reason why it won a Pulitzer Prize in 1961.
5. Shades of Death – Aline Templeton (3.78/5)
This mystery thriller book starts off with a group of adolescent friends exploring caves when one stumbles upon the skeleton of what looks to be a young girl. That’s when the mystery begins to unfold, 18 years after what might be have been her murder. This story covers many uncomfortable truths for the various characters and I’d definitely recommend. Again it’s an effortless read.
So there it is, a list of five easy to read hair-raising horror books. I am sure a lot of them will be available in audio form though, for this genre, reading it in its physical form can heighten the fear factor! If reading isn’t for you, and audio-books aren’t your thing either – To Kill a Mockingbird and The Exorcist have both been adapted into movies!
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