The best books for the classic horror fiction fanatic

Who am I?

Not only have I been a fan of the genre since my early childhood, I’ve also submerged myself from an author's perspective. I've honed my craft through several courses, research, and networking so that I know what I’m putting out is the best work I can produce. I love the familiar style of description and a plot woven into a well-versed tale of good versus evil, especially if the reader is left questioning whether it really was good that won in the end. My love for horror started young when I delved into Stephen King’s Bag of Bones, and I have devoured a lot of classic horror fiction since then.


I wrote...

Buried

By Sian B. Claven,

Book cover of Buried

What is my book about?

A classic horror haunted house tale with a twist. Buried follows a paranormal investigation team as they try disproving rumors of an underground mansion being haunted. It’s all great fun until they can’t get out, and the ghosts they don’t believe in start coming for them. 

The books I picked & why

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The Shining

By Stephen King,

Book cover of The Shining

Why this book?

There is nothing that screams Classic Horror Fiction quite like a good haunting story. Stephen King’s impeccable style of a slow-burn story with soft hints of horror until it builds into a crescendo of wild visuals and horrific happenings certainly hit home. There is a fabulous cast of characters, that even in the modern age can be related to. That’s the thing about King, despite being written years ago, his books hold relativity because you connect with the characters, not the things they have and do. His graceful way of incorporating back stories for both his main characters and his ghosts just makes the story more chilling. After all, what’s more terrifying—a ghost or a man possessed by addiction?

I felt full emerged and terrified from the first time I read it, and every time I reread it.


Five Nights at Freddy's: The Silver Eyes

By Scott Cawthon, Kira Breed-Wrisley,

Book cover of Five Nights at Freddy's: The Silver Eyes

Why this book?

While on the shorter side of horror, Five Nights at Freddie’s has the classic jump scares that you’re looking for in a punchy horror book. Some might not consider it classic fiction as such, but it has its roots in the old adage of something lurking around the corner waiting for you—a timeless story motif. With a harrowing twist in the end, this book gives all the right chills at the right time. You hang onto the edge of your seat while you follow the main character and the ‘things’ that are haunting her. Despite it having a clear motif, I still found it a bit unpredictable and enjoyed it thoroughly. Suitable for younger audiences. 


The Witching Hour

By Anne Rice,

Book cover of The Witching Hour

Why this book?

What can I say about Anne Rice that hasn’t already been said? She is the Queen of the genre, especially with how Gothic and historical her tales are. She always incorporates such rich descriptions and historical background that you fully immerse not only into the story, but in the world it is taking place in. In the case of this book you’re taken on a mesmerizing journey through New Orleans. A huge fan of the area, Anne Rice brings everything to life from the magnolias growing in the garden to the wrap-around porches. This story was a ghost/demon feature story, but done in such a way I haven’t seen before. I was hooked from start to finish with this book, picking it up any chance I could, and finishing it within a few days. It is a long book and Rice prefers to go into thorough detail, which might bother some, but I find that’s a marker of a good Classic horror fiction—the details. 


An Insatiable Thirst for Murder: Serial Killer Henry Holmes - The Novel

By Ben Hammott, Bill Wilkinson,

Book cover of An Insatiable Thirst for Murder: Serial Killer Henry Holmes - The Novel

Why this book?

I went into this book blind, I can’t remember the exact circumstances but if I’m not mistaken it was when I was advertising myself as a reviewer for indie authors. This takes the serial killer theme to all new levels as based on a truth fiction tale. Hammott has an enjoyable writing style that flows and draws the reader in. It is an excellent retelling that kept me wanting to know more about Holmes. I have subsequently researched the killer and found Hammott's accounts to be factually correct which just makes the story that much more chilling. 


Rosemary's Baby

By Ira Levin,

Book cover of Rosemary's Baby

Why this book?

Now this is definitely a cult classic. The devil, a woman, the baby she wants desperately, and a deal that haunts everyone involved. I don’t have much to say about this book's style, it was good but nothing to write home about. The story, though—the very concept—was brilliantly done. Sharp twists and turns keep you gasping, which is nice for a read. I loved the imagery in this book and lost some sleep over it. Definitely recommended. 


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