The most disturbing horror novels

Ty Michael Author Of Jeremy
By Ty Michael

Who am I?

I’ve always been intrigued by the behaviors of humans. Even as a child, I’ve watched how people interact with each other. We are all so different, yet we are all the same. Each of us has an imaginary box where keep some things locked up such as: our innermost desires—and our worse fears. Fears that, in a very subtle way, guide us in our life decisions. Afraid of blood… then you’d likely not choose nursing. Afraid of flying… then you probably won’t become a pilot. But what happens when we cannot avoid what we are most afraid of? This is where a horror story begins.


I wrote...

Jeremy

By Ty Michael,

Book cover of Jeremy

What is my book about?

We all have our secrets. Jessica Meyer is no different; she hides an abusive history that she thinks about often. When the opportunity to help someone like herself pops up, she convinces her husband, Greg, to agree to open up their home to a foster child. But this boy, nine-year-old Jeremy, possesses dark and unexplainable abilities. 

As her idyllic life begins to crumble around her, Jessica’s lifetime of worries and insecurities serve as a warning to her own possible fate.

The books I picked & why

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The Girl Next Door

By Jack Ketchum,

Book cover of The Girl Next Door

Why this book?

To set the record straight, I do not love this book. I still haven’t come to a decision if I even like it. It isn’t the “best” book on my list, yet it is the most disturbing. And it is a must-read.

A warning, though. It’s a book that you won’t be able to stop and you’ll likely feel very guilty for even reading it. It dives into human behaviors that we don’t want to think about and surely would not intentionally want to take part in. I’ve a question for you: Is there a limit to what you would do to another human being if others were doing it too? How confident are you in your answer? The worse part about this novel is that it is based on a true story.

The Girl Next Door

By Jack Ketchum,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Girl Next Door as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A teenage girl is held captive and brutally tortured by neighborhood children. Based on a true story, this shocking novel reveals the depravity of which we are all capable.

This novel contains graphic content and is recommended for regular readers of horror novels.


HEX

By Thomas Olde Heuvelt,

Book cover of HEX

Why this book?

On the surface, Hex is a basic horror story about a witch who terrorizes a small town; a town in which residents can never leave. Seems ordinary for a horror, right?

What makes this one disturbing, though, is an internal conflict. No, I’m not going to spoil it, but I’ll say that the conflict is one that no parent of multiple children would ever want to confess to having.

HEX

By Thomas Olde Heuvelt,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked HEX as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The greats of fiction Stephen King and George R. R. Martin lead the fanfare for HEX, so be assured that Thomas Olde Heuvelt's debut English novel is both terrifying and unputdownable in equal measure.

Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay until death. Whoever comes to stay, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth-century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Blind and silenced, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children's beds for nights on end. So accustomed…


Pet Sematary

By Stephen King,

Book cover of Pet Sematary

Why this book?

If you only read one Stephen King book in your life, Pet Sematary is the one you should read. The title gives it away… you may say. And to that, I’ll have to answer a loud “no.”

Sure, we all know the plot; animals that get buried there—well, they come back. It is the secondary plot that deals with grief and how people handle it that makes this book worthy.

Pet Sematary

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Pet Sematary as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a major motion picture! Stephen King’s #1 New York Times bestseller is a “wild, powerful, disturbing” (The Washington Post Book World) classic about evil that exists far beyond the grave—among King’s most iconic and frightening novels.

When Dr. Louis Creed takes a new job and moves his family to the idyllic rural town of Ludlow, Maine, this new beginning seems too good to be true. Despite Ludlow’s tranquility, an undercurrent of danger exists here. Those trucks on the road outside the Creed’s beautiful old home travel by just a little too quickly, for one thing…as is evidenced by the…


NOS4A2

By Joe Hill,

Book cover of NOS4A2

Why this book?

What makes NOS4A2 disturbing? Simple, it’s about the kidnapping of innocent children and their transformation into little demons for eternity in a special Hell called Christmasland.

Joe Hill brings us along for the ride, courtesy of Vic McQueen, a special girl who has managed to escape capture once. Years later, as an adult, she becomes the target again.

This is a horror with a strong fantasy aspect. You’ll have to take your time reading and do some imaginative world-building of your own to get your own feel for Christmasland.

NOS4A2

By Joe Hill,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked NOS4A2 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Summer. Massachusetts.

An old Silver Wraith with a frightening history. A story about one serial killer and his lingering, unfinished business.

Anyone could be next.

We're going to Christmasland ...

NOS4R2 is an old-fashioned horror novel in the best sense. Claustrophobic, gripping and terrifying, this is a story that will have you on the edge of the seat while you read, and leaving the lights on while you sleep. With the horrific tale of Charles Manx and his Silver Wraith, Joe Hill has established himself as the premiere horror and supernatural thriller writer of his generation.


The Haunting of Hill House

By Shirley Jackson,

Book cover of The Haunting of Hill House

Why this book?

The Haunting of Hill House is a short little novel from 1959. I’d say you need to read this one twice to get the vibe. On the first read, you’ll be taken through a normal haunted house story where four specifically-chosen strangers have agreed to a lengthy stay in a haunted house.

Their assignment is to gather information and study paranormal evidence. However, the house has a goal of its own; to claim one of them for its own.

The second read will bring you better into the mind of someone with paranoia and how they view the world and the human interactions around them.

The Haunting of Hill House

By Shirley Jackson,

Why should I read it?

25 authors picked The Haunting of Hill House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Part of a new six-volume series of the best in classic horror, selected by Academy Award-winning director of The Shape of Water Guillermo del Toro

Filmmaker and longtime horror literature fan Guillermo del Toro serves as the curator for the Penguin Horror series, a new collection of classic tales and poems by masters of the genre. Included here are some of del Toro's favorites, from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Ray Russell's short story "Sardonicus," considered by Stephen King to be "perhaps the finest example of the modern Gothic ever written," to Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and stories…


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