The best fantasy stories with supernatural myths

Martin Kearns Author Of Beneath the Veil
By Martin Kearns

Who am I?

I have always been enamored with myth and the fantastic, even as a child. They offer an escape from the mundane, but also deliver a fine method to guide our moral compasses, learn about other cultures, and assign meaning to those things that vex us. I studied literature and history in college and found myself delving more and more into theology and mythology as I went because literature is filled with their essence. My exploits have guided me to the desk as a language arts and special education teacher, but my heart always whisks me back to the bookshelf or the desk to visit these fantastic worlds of the supernatural.


I wrote...

Beneath the Veil

By Martin Kearns,

Book cover of Beneath the Veil

What is my book about?

David Dolan thinks he’s already got the world figured out. But when a collapsed bridge plunges him into the icy Hudson, he’s pulled deep into the deadly realm that exists between life and death. And with his earthly form trapped in the world of the living, he’s vulnerable to the forces of evil hell-bent on his utter destruction.

Traversing the road to the afterlife, David seeks the wisdom and skills he needs to fend off the darkness hellbent on his destruction. Creatures of myth, lore, infernal demons, and heroic clashes abound Beneath the Veil.

The books I picked & why

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane

By Neil Gaiman, Elise Hurst (illustrator),

Book cover of The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Why this book?

This novel(ette) does what so many others endeavor to and it does it in droves. Gaiman wields the fabric of mythology to craft a supernatural suspense/contemporary fantast story that envelopes the reader and draws us into two worlds. We all feel as though there is something living just beyond our perceptions and Gaiman harnesses that to drive a wildly enticing, and, at times, terrifying, story about a boy unwittingly wrapped in the winds of fate. The mundane is pushed aside for the fantastic and I would give just about anything to read this story again for the very first time. 

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

By Neil Gaiman, Elise Hurst (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Ocean at the End of the Lane as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD 'BOOK OF THE YEAR'

AN ACCLAIMED WEST END THEATRE PRODUCTION *****

'Neil Gaiman's entire body of work is a feat of elegant sorcery. He writes with such assurance and originality that the reader has no choice but to surrender to a waking dream' ARMISTEAD MAUPIN

'Some books just swallow you up, heart and soul' JOANNE HARRIS

'Summons both the powerlessness and wonder of childhood, and the complicated landscape of memory and forgetting' GUARDIAN

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'My favourite response to this book is when people say, 'My childhood was nothing like that - and it was as if…


The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye: Five Fairy Stories

By A.S. Byatt,

Book cover of The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye: Five Fairy Stories

Why this book?

The pretense for modern fantasy and supernatural suspense is rooted in the concept of folklore and fairytale. Harkening back to those days, Byatt weaves an intricate world of wonder and spirits the reader away to become enveloped within it. Byatt stands on the shoulder of the giants who came before to tell these five songs and expertly uses imagery and allegory to make the reader think about the deeper meaning of these stories. 

The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye: Five Fairy Stories

By A.S. Byatt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A stunning collection of fairy tales for grown-ups from the Booker Prize-winning author of Possession, a "storyteller who could keep a sultan on the edge of his throne for a thousand and one nights" (The New York Times Book Review).

Includes the story “The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye”—the basis for the George Miller film Three Thousand Years of Longing starring Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton

A.S. Byatt portrays the strange relationship between an intelligent heroine—a world-renowned scholar of the art of storytelling—and the marvelous being that lives in a bottle, found in a dusty shop in an Istanbul bazaar.…


Within The Fog

By Charles Welch,

Book cover of Within The Fog

Why this book?

The supernatural category often flirts with horror and Welch’s novel, Within the Fog, dives into the deep end of that relationship. With hints of Phantoms, this story harkens to early American folklore surrounding the disappearance of the Roanoke Colony in the late 1500s. This occurrence, and many like it, has capitated us and led us to wonder about these mass disappearances from around the globe. Welch draws on the human psyche to deliver his suspense and reading this book will have you thinking twice about venturing too close to the cloudy ichor we call fog. 

Within The Fog

By Charles Welch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Within The Fog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Throughout history, around the world, there are many examples of the mass disappearance of people living in small towns. Easter Island in 1718, Hoer Verde, Brazil, in 1923, Lake Anjikuni, Nunavut, Canada in 1930, Roanoke Island, Virginia in 1587, all were found deplete of humanity. Meals remained rotting on dinner tables, pets wandered aimlessly, not a soul to be found. The same ancient evil that devastated these places has arrived in a small eastern Colorado town. A fog covers the small town and closes in on Tom Benton and his family. Susan Benton watches the day turn to night from…


A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels and Other Subversive Spirits

By Carol K. Mack, Dinah Mack,

Book cover of A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels and Other Subversive Spirits

Why this book?

This history of myths, folklore, and legend is a must-own for any reader who fancies themselves a fan of the supernatural genre. Written in the form of a field guide to help travelers traversing the landscape pocked with these entities, A Field Guide is a phenomenal read and lends insights into the myths and religious entities of various cultures. Equipped with a section for how to ward off each, this guide may prove to be more useful to the reader than just a bit of reference material.

A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels and Other Subversive Spirits

By Carol K. Mack, Dinah Mack,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels and Other Subversive Spirits as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Scouring the face of the earth, Carol and Dinah Mack have come up with an array of the most dreaded demons mythology has to offer.” —Robert L. Carniero, former Curator of South American Ethnology, American Museum of Natural History

If you met a werewolf on the eve of a full moon, would you know how to tell what he really was? Could you resist the dark charms of a vampire or the lure of a fallen angel? Did you know the Mbulu of South Africa has a razor-sharp tail with a mind of its own? Or that the Kuru-Pira of…


Experimental Film

By Gemma Files,

Book cover of Experimental Film

Why this book?

Files is a master storyteller and layers the exhausting rigors of being a parent of a child with ASD (a topic close to my heart) with the terrifying reality of an ancient entity in the modern day. Wielding her knowledge of filmmaking as a catalyst, Files penned an outstanding story filled with suspense, mystery, and a good dollop of fear. I recall diving into the topic of her chosen myth after reading because the lasting impression this story left on me wouldn’t stop resonating. If you don’t shy away from the horror genre, that eerie and spooky first cousin to fantasy, you absolutely need to check out Gemma Files’ work. 

Experimental Film

By Gemma Files,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The award-winning author of the Hexslinger Series "explores the world of film and horror in a way that will leave you reeling" (Jeff VanderMeer, author of the Southern Reach Trilogy).

Former film teacher Lois Cairns is struggling to raise her autistic son while freelancing as a critic when, at a screening, she happens upon a sampled piece of silver nitrate silent footage. She is able to connect it to the early work of Mrs. Iris Dunlopp Whitcomb, the spiritualist and collector of fairy tales who mysteriously disappeared from a train compartment in 1918.

Hoping to make her own mark on…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the supernatural, demonology, and film?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the supernatural, demonology, and film.

The Supernatural Explore 239 books about the supernatural
Demonology Explore 46 books about demonology
Film Explore 148 books about film

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Little Stranger, To Kill a Mockingbird, and When You Reach Me if you like this list.