It’s October again and that means that Halloween will soon be here. Since I spent a good part of the summer (and this year for that matter) reading horror, I’ve culled through my books read list on Goodreads to find the best–the scariest books and series that I’ve been recommending to everyone.
Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper Series by J.L. Bryan
Ellie Jordan’s job is to catch and remove unwanted ghosts. Part detective, part paranormal exterminator, Ellie operates out of Savannah, Georgia, the most haunted city in the United States. Follow Ellie as she hunts ghosts and kicks their butts with her small team of ghost trappers. Excellent characters and stories, nice variety of paranormal entities and well-researched ways to kill them. Extra-scary haunted houses and extra-evil entities make for a scary series that you don’t want to miss.
The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich
This psychological thriller/horror novel is fantastically creepy and twisty-turny, and it is told in a series of journal entries, police reports, video transcripts, and therapy transcripts. I listened to the audiobook, which was a fantastic production and I highly recommend this version–but the print version is more than just text. The formatting is excellent.
Debut author Dawn Kurtagich is dead on in this terrifying psychological thriller!
Over two decades have passed since the fire at Elmbridge High, an inferno that took the lives of five teenagers. Not much was known about the events leading up to the tragedy – only that one student, Carly Johnson, vanished without a trace…
…until a diary is found hidden in the ruins.
But the diary, badly scorched, does not belong to Carly Johnson. It belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, a girl who shouldn’t exist Who was Kaitlyn? Why did she come out only at night? What is her connection to Carly?
The case has been reopened. Police records are being reexamined: psychiatric reports, video footage, text messages, e-mails. And the diary.
The diary that paints a much more sinister version of events than was ever made publicly known.
Consumption by Heather Herrman
Heather Herrman’s debut Consumption is chock full of gore and depravity on a scale that makes sense in a demon-spawned apocalypse novel, and I quite enjoyed the all out war between a ragtag group of strangers who try to fight off this newly reawakened evil that is creating zombie-like minions to spread it’s dominion throughout the world.
For fans of Stephen King, Joe Hill, and Sarah Langan comes a thrilling new vision of American horror. In Heather Herrman’s heart-pounding debut novel, evil is ready to feed—and it’s got one hell of an appetite.
In the wake of tragedy, John and Erma Scott are heading west in search of a new life. So when car trouble strands them in sleepy Cavus, Montana, they decide to stay for a while, charmed by the friendly residents and the surrounding ambiance. Here, they hope, is the healing balm that their marriage needs.
Then John and Erma find themselves in a fight not just to save their marriage, but their very lives. For this is no ordinary town. Its quiet streets conceal a dark and bloody secret that has slumbered for centuries. Now, that secret is awake . . . and it’s hungry.
Like a slow infection, evil is spreading through Cavus. Soon John and Erma—along with the local sheriff, an undocumented immigrant, a traumatized teenage girl, and an old man with terrible secrets of his own—must join together to battle an all-consuming force that has set its sights on its prey: the entire human race.
Shutter by Courney Alameda
Shutter is one of those rare gems that hit all of the notes just right–the scares, the gore, the kick-ass hero(ine), the creepy atmosphere, the monsters–are all nearly perfect. Featuring a girl with unusual eyes that let her see ghosts and coming from a powerful lineage, this standalone book left me begging for more.
Horror has a new name: introducing Courtney Alameda.
Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat—a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She’s aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera’s technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.
When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn’t exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she’s faced before . . . or die trying.
Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week.
Inferno Park by J.L. Bryan
J.L. Bryan is really my go-to writer for excellent horror. I called Inferno Park “A creeptastic book that will make you sure you never feel the same about amusement parks again” in my review, and this is still one of my favorite books that he’s released.
Carter was only twelve when he witnessed the disaster that killed more than a hundred people at Starland Amusement Park. Five years later, Carter’s hometown is no longer a busy Florida panhandle resort, but a slowly dying town full of empty motels and attractions rusting behind chains and padlocks.
Now something evil stirs in the ruins of the old amusement park…something with an alluring siren song drawing visitors into the dark mysteries of the forbidden world behind the gate. Something with an appetite for restless, yearning souls.
Carter reluctantly returns to the old park in the company of a new girl in town, who is obsessed with urban decay and pop-culture ruins, and discovers the evil at work. To stop it, and protect the children of the town, Carter will have to face his oldest and deepest fears.
What are your favorite scary or creepy reads for the Halloween season?