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We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about books that gave them the creeps and you can consider my spine tingled just from gathering these suggestions! Here are the ~spooky~ results:
1.I'm Thinking Of Ending Things by Iain Reid is incredibly suspenseful with tons of twists and, as you can see, is at the top of our list because it messed with several readers.
2.A Head Full Of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay follows along with a family whose 14-year-old daughter starts showing signs of schizophrenia... and is then told it could be demonic possession, which then leads to a reality TV show opportunity.
3.The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty (while we're on the subject of exorcism) is one of the most controversial novels ever written. You've (hopefully!) seen the original movie that still slaps, it's time you read the book too.
4.House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski takes the haunted house frame of yore to new terrifying levels when a family realizes their new house is larger on the inside than the outside. And the way the book is printed fully immerses the reader in it!
5.The Laws of the Skies by Gregoire Courtois involves camping in the woods... and no one escapes! A terrifying tale as old as time *worth* your time. (And people wonder why I don't camp.)
6.The Thief of Always by Clive Barker is a modern fable in which the house has a mind of its own. And (super)naturally, things go awry!
7.Small Spaces by Katherine Arden follows an 11-year-old girl who reads a ghost story (at least she thinks it is), only to find the graves of the people involved. So maybe "The Smiling Man" (seen on this terrifying cover) exists after all....
8.Crota by Owl Goingback features a small-town sheriff investigating a gruesome double murder that seems like it couldn't have possibly been perpetrated by a mere human.
9.The Haunted by Bentley Little lets you into the world of a family who moved into a lovely historic house, only to find there's something in the corner of the basement, nobody wants to drop by their new abode, and horrible, unexplained things are happening. What joy!
10.The Ruins by Scott Smith takes you on a couple's trip to Mexico when one person disappears and the rest go looking for him. And, shocker, it becomes a total nightmare when they come upon a ruins site.
11.And A Simple Plan by Scott Smith isn't a neat fit in the "horror" genre BUT the characters' decision-making processes can make it feel that way. Get ready to scream "DON'T GO IN THERE" to your book.
12.Basically every Jack Ketchum book. But you can start with The Girl Next Door, a tale of torture that'll feel all the more horrifying once you realize it's based on a true story.
13.Night Film by Marisha Pessl starts with the discovery of a dead young woman, who just so happens to be the daughter of a famous reclusive cult-horror director. An investigative journalist digs for more info, and finds more than he expected.
14.The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco features a Japanese ghost who takes revenge on killers, until she meets moody teen Tark who needs her help.
15.Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk is something that I can personally vouch will leave you thinking about it YEARS later. It's told in separate stories by people who showed up for a writers' retreat. (You may never look at a swimming pool the same way again.)
16.Wanderers by Chuck Wendig starts with a lot of people "sleepwalking" toward an unknown location while loved ones follow them to see what the deal is, which of course causes havoc. Of course it would.
17.Kill Creek by Scott Thomas has four horror writers spending Halloween night in one of the most haunted houses in the US. Sounds like my ideal first date!
18.The Archived series by Victoria Schwab in which the dead are catalogued in libraries with their "histories" that only librarians can read.
19.Naomi's Room by Jonathan Aycliffe is about a missing child and, apparently, is so scary that the BuzzFeed reader who recommended it said they got rid of it after they finished it.
20.Come Closer by Sara Gran starts off with odd things happening to Sarah, a successful architect in a happy marriage who seems to have a lot going for her. In her pursuit to find out what the heck is happening, a book on demon possession leads her to believe the woman haunting her dreams is Naamah, the second wife of Adam.
21.The Unspoken by Thomas Fahy follows along as teens who escaped a cult start dying of their worst fears. And, uh, the death scenes are VIVID.
22.Penpal by Dathan Auerbach has the protagonist reconstructing his past and digging into some STUFF that definitely won't make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
23.Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, in which a 20-year-old who survives a multiple homicide gets a do-over as a freshman at Yale — but that entails her monitoring the university's secret societies.
24.Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics gets a little Laura Ingall Wilder (but scary!) when 16-year-old Amanda and her family move from their mountain cabin to one on the prairie that's covered in blood when they arrive. Also there's a weird doctor and his son who live nearby. Oh, and Amanda is pregnant.
25.The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich is the "found" diary of the main suspect of a high school fire that took the lives of three. BUT Kaitlyn, the diary's author, was actually the alter ego of one of the students who disappeared. You could say things are a bit complicated.
26.The Anomaly by Michael Rutger stars a "rogue" archaeologist who hosts a TV show popular amongst conspiracy theorists and is on the hunt for a cavern in the Grand Canyon a 1909 explorer supposedly found.
27.The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon takes place in West Hall, Vermont, a town where ~weird~ things always seem to happen, including a legendary 1908 death. In present day, Sara lives in the house where it happened and her mom goes missing one day.
28.Intensity by Dean Koontz has protagonist Chyna up against a home invader and self-professed "homicidal adventurer" which of course sounds completely terrifying.
29.And Phantoms by Dean Koontz finds a California mountain town silent with more than a hundred dead and even more missing. The culprit is something truly horrible that you'll of course have to read to learn about, hehe.
30.My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix. The year is 1988, BFFs go skinny-dipping and then one of them starts acting strange as heck. And you thought *your* friendships have gone through some stuff.
32.HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt, a contemporary tome about a cursed town that's haunted by a witch who was executed there centuries ago. It's *too* real and perhaps you too will imagine the witch standing at the foot of your bed at 3 a.m. too?
33.The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher takes place in a ~spooky~ cabin in the woods that a woman is clearing out after her grandmother passes, only to find stuff related to a colony of beings (not humans?!) in the woods.
34.The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware has major Agatha Christie vibes thanks to its setting on an exclusive luxury cruise where the protagonist, a travel writer, witnesses a woman being thrown overboard.
35.Diary of a Haunting by M. Verano is a found diary retelling of a teen's experiences when her family moves into a haunted house possibly (re: probably) related to a cult having conducted rituals there.
36.Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage keeps you on the edge of your seat as you figure out the relationship between a mother and 7-year-old daughter who may be out to destroy each other? Read it and decide for yourself!
37.The Remaking by Clay McLeod Chapman starts with the brutal burning of two "witches" in a small town, which turns into an urban legend, then a '70s horror film, and then a '90s horror remake...and an actress cast in the original film has her life more or less ruined with a chance at redemption.
38.The Girl With All The Gifts by M R Carey is about a little girl who has a lot depending upon her in a post-apocalyptic environment. If you're over the general zombie genre, this is still worth a read.
39.Dominion by Bentley Little begins with Dion moving to a new town where he meets Penelope, who's also experiencing a lot of strange things. Turns out, they could literally raise hell together.
40.The Outsider by Stephen King is currently an HBO series that I've heard some fellow creepsters at BuzzFeed say (with good authority) is well worth your time. Which brings me to the source material, the discovery of a dead 11-year-old boy and evidence pointing to a beloved local little-league coach. But of course, things aren't what they seem!
Have fun with those new reads!!
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