The Best Literary Horror Books You Can Read in Your Spooky Castle Library

A wingback chair, a glass of wine, and sconces casting unnerving shadows on the stone walls around you… what more do you need to spend long hours on a cold autumn evening? Oh, yeah, an amazing literary horror novel.

What exactly is literary horror? This genre has a broad definition, which I’ve seen include everything from thrillers to gentle, contemplative ghost stories. Not everyone agrees on one definition, and that’s okay. For the purpose of this list, I am defining literary horror as fiction that is primarily a recognizable horror story, but also contains complex psychological elements, lyrical prose, or social commentary. Could you describe a a lot From horror fiction? Yes! “Literary” is a slippery and ever-changing term, and it’s not easy to whittle a list like this down to 10.

However, here is my attempt: Top 10 Literary Horror Books. Some of these things are downright terrifying, others lean more toward the macabre beauty; Most embrace a little of both.

A song to reveal the world By Brian Evenson

Cover of Song to Reveal the World by Brian Evenson
(Coffee House Press)

If you throw a dart at Brian Evenson’s work, you’re sure to hit something good, so feel free to start your Brian Evenson journey with any of his books. His collection of short stories A song to reveal the world It happens to be my personal favorite, full of pint-sized atmospheric ghosts. These stories range from alien abductions to hallucinatory dream sequences to murderous film directors. They are a journey.

Haunting Hill House By Shirley Jackson

Cover of the novel The Haunted Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Don’t you dare end this year’s horror season without reading at least one book by the queen of literary horror, Shirley Jackson. Haunting Hill House, which served as inspiration for the Netflix series of the same name, tells the story of four eccentric characters who descend into a supposedly haunted house and try to find out if the haunted house is real. This novel is a gradually unfolding psychological horror story.

And replace By Victor Laval

Cover of Victor Laval's novel The Changeling
(random house)

Victor Laval And replace It’s also on our list of the best folk horror books, but be sure to get it if you like literary reading. When Apollo Kagwa’s wife disappears, he begins to explore a strange version of a universe roughly parallel to New York City as he searches for her. The horror elements in this book are great, but you’ll also love the surreal, winding journey through Apollo’s life as a husband and father. And replace It was also recently turned into a series starring LaKeith Stanfield on Apple TV+.

Her body and other limbs By Carmen Maria Machado

Her Body and Other Extremities by Carmen Maria Machado
(Gray Wolf Press)

Carmen Maria Machado caused a sensation in 2017 with her debut short story collection, Her body and other limbs. This beautifully written collection includes “The Green Ribbon,” a folk tale in which a girl wears a mysterious green ribbon around her neck; a Law & Order SVU An episode featuring murdered girls with eye bells; And more.

Revenge: Eleven Dark Tales By Yuko Ogawa

Cover of the novel Revenge by Yoko Ogawa

First published in Japan in 1998, Yoko Ogawa’s novel revenge It consists of interconnected stories about murder, torture, and other taboo topics. However, the horror elements of the collection take a back seat to the character studies, as each story opens up a character’s psyche to find out what’s boiling inside. Read this if you’re not looking for deep scares, but want a taste of the dark side of fantasy.

Interior mapping By Stephen Graham Jones

Cover of the book Interior Mapping by Stephen Graham Jones

Stephen Graham Jones Interior mapping It is a surreal journey through a house that is bigger than the inside. When a 15-year-old boy sees someone who looks like his dead father walking through a doorway, he begins mapping the impossible terrain of his home — and ends up putting his family in grave danger.

Ghost wall By Sarah Moss

Wall of Ghosts cover by Sarah Moss

in Ghost wall, the young Sylvie family joins a group of archeology students who live like Neolithic Britons, foraging and hunting while wearing hand-woven linen jackets. It looks picturesque, doesn’t it? Little do the students know that Sylvie’s tyrannical father has a fatal obsession with the past. This novel is a tense story set against the exotic landscape of modern rural England, and is perfect for fans of… The twig man.

Works of Edgar Allan Poe

Cover of the Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe
(Delphi classics)

No one does horror like the master of the Southern Gothic tale, Edgar Allan Poe. There are many wonderful stories and poems that cannot be mentioned here.The Fall of the House of Asher, The Crow, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, Mask of the Red Death-So do yourself a favor and get a copy of his collected works. Or selected works. Or core business. Basically, if you see a thick book with your face on the cover, you’re probably ready to move on.

Frankenstein By Mary Shelley

Cover of Frankenstein: 1818 Text by Mary Shelley.

It is generally considered the first true work of science fiction, Frankenstein Seared in our cultural memory, but Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel is much deeper and richer than all the caricatures that came after it would have you believe. When Dr. Victor Frankenstein succeeds in reanimating dead tissue in the form of an eight-foot-tall human, he unleashes a hideous monster upon the world—and raises philosophical questions about consciousness, prejudice, and human rights.

Dracula By Bram Stoker

Dracula cover by Bram Stoker.

Bram Stoker Dracula He is the The quintessential gothic horror novel, and the book that inspired countless vampire stories. English lawyer Jonathan Harker visits the reclusive Count of Transylvania to settle an estate matter. It sounds like it’s going to be a fun business trip, but you know what happens next: The Count in question is none other than the fearsome, centuries-old vampire Dracula. Harker and a variety of beloved characters, including vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing and insect-eating Renfield, must confront Dracula’s immense powers (and appetite). If you haven’t read Dracula However, it’s about time — it has drama, adventure, humor, and all the vampire horror you could want.

(Featured Image: Tordotcom)

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