The best horror novels with the most intriguing protagonists facing the most unsettling ghosts

Who am I?

I have a passion for supernatural horror, one that I’ve discovered over years of reading various horror novels, tropes, and themes. I found that the supernatural, the idea that something unbelievable or impossible, is haunting a person, is one that draws me in time and time again. Reading these sorts of books, embroiling myself in the world of ghosts and demons, is what drove me to want to create those worlds myself, surrounding myself in lore, mythology, and ghosts of my own... 

I wrote...

The Leak of Madness

By Alice J. Black,

Book cover of The Leak of Madness

What is my book about?

The spirit world has been in touch with Peyton, and it’s more than she can tolerate. Sometimes their messages are loud enough even to pierce beyond the veil of her alcohol-induced stupors... When she's invited to attend her best friend's brother’s wedding at The Manor House, Peyton is compelled to stare down memories of her life before it was decimated by fire and tragedy. It becomes clearer and clearer that there are forces at work in the old building…shadows darker than Peyton could have ever imagined.

The Leak of Madness is the beginning of a thrilling, fast-paced series of horror novellas overflowing with intrigue, romance, redemption, and most importantly…ghosts. Will Peyton find the normal life she could have if only she stops drinking or will the forces of evil drive her mad?

The books I picked & why

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Darkhouse: Experiment in Terror

By Karina Halle,

Book cover of Darkhouse: Experiment in Terror

Why this book?

Darkhouse is the first in the Experiment in Terror novels by Karina Halle. I absolutely fell in love with her writing style, the way that she builds the world of Dex and Perry, their complicated acquaintance, and the lighthouse in which they find themselves drawn back to. Complete with anti-hero and strong heroine, as soon as I read this first book, I devoured the series. Without saying too much to spoil the series, I have to say that this ghost story was one that has gotten under my skin and one that I know I’ll go back to in the future.

The Shining

By Stephen King,

Book cover of The Shining

Why this book?

The Shining has always been one of my favourite horror novels. I discovered it in my teens and have re-read it countless times since then. The subtlety of the horror found in the Overlook Hotel as Jack and Wendy navigate their new roles gets deep under my skin—that isolation, completely cut off from civilisation, is both romantic and terrifying. It leaves me wondering how I would cope if I was locked away somewhere for a length of time like that. As an author I always think it would be amazing to have that time to work on a novel, but what if things weren’t as they were meant to be?

The Sick House

By Ambrose Ibsen,

Book cover of The Sick House

Why this book?

This was the first book I read by Ambrose Ibsen and I was instantly hooked by his work. He has such a unique voice that draws the reader into the words he weaves, into the world that he creates. This novel in particular left my skin crawling as I followed Harlan Ulrich PI on his investigation into the Sick House, leaving me jumping at the shadows. If you want to sleep with the lights on, this is definitely one for you.

The Woman in Black

By Susan Hill,

Book cover of The Woman in Black

Why this book?

The Woman in Black was the first Susan Hill novel that I had the chance to read and I wasn’t disappointed. A gothic horror novel that drew me in, the slow-burn story bringing chills with every page that I turned. As I followed the main character in his quest, I couldn’t stop turning the pages as the tension and atmosphere drew me in, ramping up the horror and leaving the hairs on the back of my neck standing on edge.

The Haunting of Hill House

By Shirley Jackson,

Book cover of The Haunting of Hill House

Why this book?

I have to admit that I saw the series based on this book before I happened to read it and while the series got under my skin, the book left me terrified. The slow-burn horror of the house devouring its victims, the way it changed everything for those staying under the roof in a perfect gothic supernatural horror, was enough to make it onto this list. One I would definitely recommend.

5 book lists we think you will like!

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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