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Space Horror Books Are The Scariest Horror Books and Here Are 3 Reasons Why

Spooky season is officially here, and with only two weeks until Halloween, I’m ramping up my ✨spook✨ levels as much as possible. This includes renting scary movies, watching all of Netflix’s “ghost” shows, donning my “Foolish Mortal” t-shirt, and—you guessed it—reading scary books. Now, I searched long and hard for my stockpile of spooky books, and with midterms finally behind me, I was able to start on it this weekend. For those interested parties, we are starting with We Have Always Been Here by Lena Nguyen, a sci-fi psychological horror/thriller set on a spaceship in the middle of nowhere with a crew comprised of only 13 people and dozens of androids (life-like robots, if we’re being technical). A very good book so far, but mostly what it’s done is convince me that horror books (or movies or shows) set in outer space are by far the most unnerving and terrifying horror books ever written. Here’s why.

Ummmm…because it’s space?

Not to start out with the obvious, but come on, how could I not? We’ve all seen Alien. There’s a reason mankind is both fascinated and petrified by the idea of the infinity of space. So much could be out there, and that is both amazing and horrifying. Worst of all, though, is that while there’s the possibility of anything, there is still nothing. No air, no escape route, no light, no one to come help you. If that’s not scary, I don’t know what is.

Claustrophobia is real.

Imagine being in a confined vessel while something—a person, a creature, a disease—starts taking out people one by one. Now imagine there’s no way to get out. You literally have no chance of being able to run away. Tell me: what’s scarier than that?

no chance of a deus ex machina

Being in space means you are utterly, completely alone. There’s no chance of a cop investigating the suspicious abandoned spaceship, there’s not a single phone line available for you to call your friend (only to have the call interrupted by the killer and cut off with a scream, thereby making your friend come to save you), and there’s definitely not a conveniently unlocked door that you can run out of and elude your would-be killer in the darkened forest. Whatever is going to happen will happen, and it’s up to you to make sure you survive the night.

If you haven’t ever picked up a sci-fi thriller or horror book, hopefully this article gives you the jumpstart to get reading (or not, depending on your tastes). I highly recommend adding Nguyen’s book to your October reading list, and if you’re searching for other space scares, here’s a list from Barnes and Noble to get you started!

Presley is a senior at the University of Georgia and one of the Campus Correspondents for her Her Campus chapter. She is pursuing a double major in criminal justice and psychology, as well as a minor in Italian, and she hopes to attend law school after graduation. She plans to someday become a criminal prosecutor. When she's not binge-watching Law and Order, she's studying languages, literature, or music.
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