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23 Underrated Horror Books You Have To Read ASAP

You won't sleep with the lights off ever again.

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1. Full Tilt by Neal Shusterman

Why you should read it: This book's got it all: Deep-rooted, devilish fears mixed in with a day at a haunted carnival. Need I say more?

-- Ttorres28

2. Penpal by Dathan Auerbach

Why you should read it: Auerbach's story is based on a string of creepypasta stories he posted to Reddit. They were so freaky that they turned it into a goddamn novel.

-- Emily McCarthy, Facebook

3. The Bell Witch: An American Haunting by Brent Monahan

Why you should read it: It's about a witch's vicious spirit that brutally torments a family, and it apparently actually happened.

-- caitlinm18


4. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Why you should read it: There's a guy whose job is to kill people who are ALREADY DEAD, and when he comes across a particularly violent spirit, she spares his life. And he wants to figure out why.

-- HeyMickey22

5. Gothic Tales by Elizabeth Gaskell

Penguin Books

Why you should read it: Gaskell's writing has been described as "unsettling," and this book is made up of a bunch of short stories, with themes anywhere from the Salem witch hunts to terrifying curses.

-- Bespectacled Heroine

6. The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis

Why you should read it: The Monk was originally published in the 1700s, and people still rave about it. It focuses on the dangerous mix between temptation and responsibilities. Relatable, right?

-- georgep4

7. The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

Why you should read it: It's set in a dystopian future, and focuses around the life of girl infected by a fungal virus that makes her want to eat human flesh.

-- selfaj


8. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

Why you should read it: This will single-handedly make you not want to move somewhere new ever again.

-- Cori Kromrei, Facebook

9. Naomi's Room by Jonathan Aycliffe

Why you should read it: It'll make you hold your children closer. A guy's daughter goes missing on a shopping trip and though her dead body is found, she haunts her parents.

-- lisac4

10. Walkers by Graham Masterton

Time Warner Paperbacks

Why you should read it: The main character is your classic case of not-looking-into-all-the-details. He turns an abandoned castle into a resort, and mysterious mental patients show up and kidnap his son.

-- Sophie O'Brien, Facebook

11. Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk

Doubleday Publishing

Why you should read it: The protagonist here is also an antagonist -- he accidentally kills his wife and baby by reading them a cursed poem.

-- Sarah Curran, Facebook


12. Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

Why you should read it: It'll make you say "HELL NO" to working the night shift.

-- Whitney Holiday, Facebook

13. Maplecroft by Cherie Priest

Why you should read it: If you're into the story of Lizzie Borden, this is a unique take on the tale.

-- Whitney Holiday, Facebook

14. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

Why you should read it: It'll make you want to opt out of any town gatherings that may present themselves.

-- Ginnie Kirby Grant, Facebook

15. The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper

Why you should read it: You'll definitely reconsider taking up any offers to go on a free vacation, no matter how awesome they may seem.

-- Jennie Kelu, Facebook


16. The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero

Why you should read it: It'll open your eyes to the dangers of inheriting an old as hell mansion from your dead relatives.

-- Whitney Holiday, Facebook

17. The House That Jack Built by Graham Masterton

Leisure Books

Why you should read it: You'll be terrified to start a new life with your spouse in a new town. Just stay in the same place, forever.

-- Sophie O'Brien, Facebook

18. The One That Got Away by Simon Wood

Why you should read it: If you love tales of road trips gone wrong, this takes the cake. Oh, and if your BFF goes missing on vacation, DON'T GO LOOKING FOR HER.

-- Swe Franc, Facebook

19. The Ritual by Adam Nevill

Why you should read it: You'll be convinced to never go on a trip in the wilderness. Ever.

-- Sophie O'Brien, Facebook


20. Communion by Whitley Strieber

Why you should read it: Whitley Strieber's story is super controversial, because it's supposedly his real-life experience as an alien abductee.

-- Amber R Kirkwood, Facebook

21. A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

Why you should read it: It'll shock you by showing you the dangers of mixing exorcism with reality TV.

-- Becky Klugiewicz, Facebook

23. Suffer the Children by John Saul

Why you should read it: It's a gruesome reminder that history can repeat itself in the most frightening of ways.

-- Angela Hundley, Facebook

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.