6 Books That Are Actually Scary

It’s Spooky Season again; the best time of the year. Horror stories are becoming more popular again, and it’s time for some new suggestions. If you are looking to read a novel that will actually cause you to lose sleep, I recommend any of these books.

  1. 1. Bird Box by Josh Malerman

    Despite the movie Bird Box receiving conflicting reviews (along with Sandra Bullock memes), the book is worlds scarier. The story is intended to be read instead of watched because it allows readers to feel the same blind fear the characters do. When I read this book for the first time, I was left terrified of the story’s creatures for days.

    Bird Box is a novel told between two timelines, during the start of an apocalypse and five years later. Strange creatures appear that cause people to commit horrible acts of violence, which slaughters most of the human population. The survivors must live in complete blindness when outside to avoid seeing the monsters. The story focuses on a woman and her two children who are attempting to sail twenty miles down a river blindfolded in hopes of reaching a sanctuary.

    More about Bird Box here.

  2. 2. Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman

    Dry is not a horror novel in the typical sense, but it still makes your heart race. The catastrophe in this novel could very easily happen in real life, which gives readers a more realistic sense of dread. 

    California has been going through a drought for some time. Then, one day, all of the water completely runs out. The protagonist Alyssa and her family become more desperate for water. Entire neighborhoods turn against each other as the search for water becomes more difficult. When her parents don’t return home, Alyssa must go out with her younger brother in search of water for any hope of survival. 

    More about Dry here.

  3. 3. Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

    This novel deserves its own genre: retail horror. It is a classic haunted house story with a modern setting. It is both parts hilarious, gory, and psychologically terrifying. Illustrator Michael Rogalski includes graphic images of scenes throughout the novel, adding an additional scare tactic. 

    Horrorstör takes place after hours at the Orsk furniture superstore, similar to Ikea. Employees find broken furniture each morning and security tapes give no answers. A few employees volunteer to work an overnight shift to find answers. The employees begin to experience their own horrors as they become separated and disoriented throughout the night. 

    More about Horrorstör here.

  4. 4. The Call by Peader Ó Guilín 

    If you prefer gory horror novels, I highly recommend The Call. This is a story of fighting for survival, where the odds of living are slim. 

    Ireland is losing an involuntary war with the Sidhe faeries. Each person is Called before they become an adult, meaning they are transported to the grey lands for approximately three minutes and forced to fight against the Sidhe. The teenagers are naked and unarmed when brought to the grey lands and barely one in one-hundred survive. No one thinks Nessa has a chance of surviving given she has polio, but she is determined to prove everyone wrong.

    More about The Call here.

  5. 5. Misery by Stephen King

    It wouldn’t be spooky season without the King of Horror, Stephen King. If you are looking for strange, terrifying, gruesome content, nearly any of his stories suffice. 

    Misery is one of King’s more popular novels (and movies, starring Kathy Bates and James Caan) and for good reason. Best-selling romantic novelist Paul Sheldon gets into a severe car accident during the winter in Colorado. Annie Wilkes, a woman claiming to be his biggest fan, rescues Paul. She nurses him in her home, forbidding him to leave. 

    More about Misery here.

  6. 6. Needful Things by Stephen King

    Needful Things is less popular than Misery but is still just as scary. If you prefer a slow burn horror with more character development, I highly recommend this novel. 

    A new shop opens in Castle Rock called Needful Things, where it seems every customer seems to find the object they most desire. Leland Gaunt, the strange shop owner, requests “deeds” from each person who purchases from his store. These tasks first look like impractical jokes played on other characters in the town, but soon they spiral out of control and the whole town becomes violent. 

    More about Needful Things here.