The best creepy titles you may have overlooked

A.M. Kherbash Author Of Lesath
By A.M. Kherbash

Who am I?

I grew up reading dark fiction, and the only two books I kept from that period were The Wicked Heart and Whisper of Death, both by Christopher Pike. Though both were categorized as horror, the first is a crime mystery that partly follows the murderer, while the latter feels like an episode out of The Twilight Zone. I never cared for pure horror, and a book doesn’t have to scare me for me to find them enjoyable. What I often wanted was a tangible sense of dread paired with insight into the human psyche, which I believe makes for a more potent reading experience. 


I wrote...

Lesath

By A.M. Kherbash,

Book cover of Lesath

What is my book about?

Amateur journalist Greg travels to a remote mountain area to investigate rumors of a sinister building only to find himself imprisoned there. As he tries to escape, he evinces symptoms of a strange affliction and struggles to remain conscious while maintaining an uncertain hold on reality.

The books I picked & why

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Monster: Volume 1

By Naoki Urasawa,

Book cover of Monster: Volume 1

Why this book?

When Dr. Tenma sacrifices his social standing by defying orders to save a child, he takes comfort in the fact that he did the right thing. Its not that he thinks one life is more important than the other; it simply happens that the boy was rushed in first with a gunshot wound in the head. Who wouldn’t put him ahead of all emergencies? 

At the heart of Monster is a knot of ethical conundrums: are all lives equal? Who do we save? Who deserves to die? What happens if the right choice leads to the worse outcome? What do we do then? Do we try to undo the good that we did? Naoki’s Monster is as cynical as it is compassionate. It’s almost rare to find a brilliant psychological thriller with this much heart in it.


The Crucible

By Arthur Miller,

Book cover of The Crucible

Why this book?

How do witch hunts start? How do they keep? Who keeps them churning until all parties involved are dizzy, and only the accusers are innocent?

A group of girls in 1692 are caught dancing around a fire in the woods, trying to conjure spirits or cast spells. They discover they can escape retribution by blaming the slave, Tituba, which starts a slew of false accusations. Whenever the so-called prosecution comes close to the truth, whenever evidence is about to expose the girlselaborate lie, they scream, fall to hysterics amidst befuddled men, as if some witch is tormenting them, and so point out a fresh victim for the witch hounds to pursue. The biggest lark is that none of them are witches, and the only craft the girls weaved was condemning innocent lives to torture and eventually death. You have to wonder whos to blame here: Abigail and the girls who followed her example? Or the credulous adults who believed every finger point, every shriek, and saw the devils influence where it suited them?


The Secret History of Twin Peaks

By Mark Frost,

Book cover of The Secret History of Twin Peaks

Why this book?

What a sensible-sounding title to a series that was anything but. David Lynch is famously known for avoiding explaining his work lest he kills the mystery, but not only did Frost deftly provide an explanation while keeping the mystery alive, he aggrandized the lore behind it into mythology. 


The Monkey's Paw

By W.W. Jacobs,

Book cover of The Monkey's Paw

Why this book?

The Monkeys Paw is one of those short stories we either read or heard someone tell us about it. And so it goes overlooked. If you havent read it, do yourself a favor and read it. If you have read it, do yourself a favor and revisit it. Its short, its available, its a horror classic, and its very likely what Stephen King had in mind when he wrote Pet Sematary


Shutter Island

By Dennis Lehane,

Book cover of Shutter Island

Why this book?

One of the most famous questions that confront certain works of fiction is: knowing what happens (or: having seen the movie,) should I still read it?” The human mind works in funny ways: sometimes youre in the middle of a book or movie, and you well-know the outcome, but for a brief moment, youre convinced the events will unfold in another way. You know the ending, but youre curious about the events that led to it, so you go in to retrace the steps—and then you forget and start to hope for a better outcome. 

That is to say, yes, read the book even if youve seen the movie. But—funny how the human mind works…

Some stories are not worth picking up again once you know how it ends. Not Shutter Island: even knowing how the story unfolds, reading the book in the spirit of “enjoying the journey” made me appreciate the layering and trail Lehane paved towards its conclusion. If you’ve ever gone back to re-read a good mystery, or watched Memento, The Prestige, Fight Club, The Usual Suspects, or Seven more than once, you know what I’m talking about.


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