The best creepy stories told in unique ways

Who am I?

I’m an author of genre-bent stories and grew up with a love of dark tales. In particular, I was a fan of things that layered stories and linked their themes together, even if you didn’t necessarily notice initially. For example, the Alien franchise is a story of human survival, but also of corporate conspiracy. When I come across books that mix stories or add interesting structural elements, it instantly draws me in, so I set out to create exactly that with my release Ailuros. But I’m not alone in experimenting like that, so I hope you find some fun, scary releases you may not have known about in my list.

I wrote...


By Matt Doyle,

Book cover of Ailuros

What is my book about?

In the < present // future >, Alex and Josh must face < their own // a > monster if they are to salvage < their relationship // Ailuros Unit 23 > ; These < are not > separate stories.

Ailuros is a sci-fi horror story with a unique layout in the print edition. On the right-hand pages, you follow the crew of a far-future salvaging crew as they face a hostile alien lifeform on an abandoned microgravity holiday unit. On the left-hand pages, you follow an analysis of a government-sanctioned VR simulation designed to reduce crime. Find out how the stories are linked, and how they affect the lives of Alex Holden and Josh Byrne in Ailuros!

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of House of Leaves

Matt Doyle Why did I love this book?

This is a mainstay on so many lists, and it’s easy to understand why. What Danielewski did here is create a story that is visually a piece of art. From the way the words are set out on the page, to the way extra messages are hidden in the text, it’s a surreal read. If you want a book that truly is an ‘experience,’ this is it!

By Mark Z. Danielewski,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked House of Leaves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“A novelistic mosaic that simultaneously reads like a thriller and like a strange, dreamlike excursion into the subconscious.” —The New York Times

Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth -- musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies -- the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations,…

Book cover of Dracula

Matt Doyle Why did I love this book?

While not the first vampire novel, it’s the one most people think is. What made this interesting was that it was told, not through standard prose, but through letters and diary entries. Using different types of communication to tell the tale, as well as never seeing things through the titular character’s eyes, helped elevate this and create an air of mystery around the big bad.

By Bram Stoker,

Why should I read it?

20 authors picked Dracula as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 17.

What is this book about?

'The very best story of diablerie which I have read for many years' Arthur Conan Doyle

A masterpiece of the horror genre, Dracula also probes identity, sanity and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire. It begins when Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, and makes horrifying discoveries in his client's castle. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England - an unmanned ship is wrecked; strange puncture marks appear on a young woman's neck; a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his 'Master' - and a determined group of adversaries…

Book cover of The Raw Shark Texts

Matt Doyle Why did I love this book?

While more literary than horror, the concept of a man with no memories being pursued by a shark made of words has plenty of creepiness to it! Here, the author uses different typographical sizes and structures to create pictures, and these tie into the themes of the book. It’s a straightforward read with a unique edge that helps make language more visual, and that makes it thoroughly compelling.

By Steven Hall,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Raw Shark Texts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First things first, stay calm.

Eric Sanderson wakes up in a place he doesn't recognise, unable to remember who he is. All he has left are journal entries recalling Clio, a perfect love now gone. As he begins to piece his memories back together, Eric finds that he is being hunted by a creature that moves in language, that swims through the currents of human interaction.

With the help of his cynical cat Ian, Eric must search for the Ludovician, the force that is threatening his life, and Dr Trey Fidorus, the only man who knows the truth.

Book cover of Night Film

Matt Doyle Why did I love this book?

This mystery thriller sought to blur the lines between traditional books and multimedia presentations, and in doing so, made the story feel differently real. Photos, maps, websites, and an actual app to open up additional content make it a story that you journey through rather than absorb. The intricacy of it all makes it one that should be a must-read for those who want to try something a little different.

By Marisha Pessl,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Night Film as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


NPR • Cosmopolitan • Kirkus Reviews • BookPage

A page-turning thriller for readers of Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, and Stieg Larsson, Night Film tells the haunting story of a journalist who becomes obsessed with the mysterious death of a troubled prodigy—the daughter of an iconic, reclusive filmmaker.
On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances…

Book cover of Rules for Vanishing

Matt Doyle Why did I love this book?

Described as a faux documentary in the style of The Blair Witch Project, this one is an interesting take on the horror genre. Interviews, descriptions of crime-related exhibits, and written testimonies all come together to make the book feel both investigative and more than a little fractured. It’s an uncomfortable combination that helps create a nice sense of fear for readers.

By Kate Alice Marshall,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Rules for Vanishing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

In the faux-documentary style of The Blair Witch Project comes the campfire story of a missing girl, a vengeful ghost, and the girl who is determined to find her sister--at all costs.

Once a year, a road appears in the forest. And at the end of it, the ghost of Lucy Gallows beckons. Lucy's game isn't for the faint of heart. If you win, you escape with your life. But if you lose....

Sara's sister disappeared one year ago--and only Sara knows where she is. Becca went to find the ghost of Lucy Gallows and is trapped on the road…

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The Secret Order of the Scepter & Gavel

By Nicholas Ponticello,

Book cover of The Secret Order of the Scepter & Gavel

Nicholas Ponticello Author Of The Secret Order of the Scepter & Gavel

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Writer Teacher Reader Lego builder Musical connoisseur

Nicholas' 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Vanderough University prepares its graduates for life on Mars. Herbert Hoover Palminteri enrolls at VU with the hope of joining the Martian colony in 2044 as a member of its esteemed engineer corps. But then Herbert is tapped to join a notorious secret society: the Order of the Scepter and Gavel. As a new pledge, Herbert has to prove himself in a series of dangerous initiation rites, even if it means risking his life and the lives of his friends.

Many years later, when Herbert thinks the scandals of his youth are finally dead and buried, a murder occurs in the Martian colony, and Herbert starts to suspect it is linked to the secret Order of the Scepter and Gavel of his past.

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