The best horror novels you’ve never heard of

Who am I?

I have been a fan of the horror genre since I was a kid. Even though sometimes I was so scared, I had to sleep with the light on or not sleep at all. Something about the darkness and the unknown has always seemed so alluring. I can't even count the number of horror movies I've watched or books I've read. That feel of the hair standing up on your arms or the back of your neck is a thrill like no other. 


I wrote...

Freak on a Moped

By Chuck W. Chapman,

Book cover of Freak on a Moped

What is my book about?

The small town of Damiler, South Carolina is being terrorized by a cold-blooded killer…a freak…on a moped. In the spirit of 80’s slasher films, Freak On A Moped is a thrill ride of horror and dark comedy. If you can't run more than 25 mph, you're toast!  

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The books I picked & why

Book cover of 666

Chuck W. Chapman Why did I love this book?

Most people know Anson from The Amityville Horror, but this is a whole other horror, and gratefully, totally fictional this time. A couple moves into their dream home (sound familiar?), soon, strange and frightening things begin to happen at the house with the ominous address. Things that have happened in the same house, at other locations, in other times. I read this book years ago and the imagery of the final chapters still unnerves me.

By Jay Anson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 666 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An innocent-looking but evil-filled house mysteriously appears at different times in different cities, each time waiting for the unwitting victim to rent it and then unleashing the terrifying force of the devil


Book cover of Miss Finney Kills Now and Then

Chuck W. Chapman Why did I love this book?

Again, this is one that has stuck with me for many years. The twist on the age-old vampire story where an elderly lady must commit murder to grow younger is interesting and unique. Her two nieces, one ambitious, one off the rails crazy, assist her in her evil doings while the Keystone detective, sort of, investigates. As I recall, it was a delightfully horrible guilty pleasure.

Book cover of Mage of the Hellmouth

Chuck W. Chapman Why did I love this book?

A hybrid Dungeons & Dragons fantasy novel and a gruesome supernatural horror story meet head-on in this story of a Stoner whose job it is to save the world with his RPG skills. You guessed it, the world is doomed. As is the case with most of Communale’s novels, the absurd meets the hilarious to produce the terrifying.

By John Wayne Comunale,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mage of the Hellmouth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jake loves his job working for a local family-owned craft ice cream factory.
That is, until he’s transferred to the company’s main facility on the other side of town. The new
workplace means new rules. And that means no more showing up on the job stoned and having
two beers for lunch. The new position makes him uncomfortable and, while he’s told there are
numerous coworkers, they never seem to be around much when he’s there. When his best friend
goes missing and his new supervisors show up at a party, Jake begins to dig deeper. All of the
strange…


Book cover of Sour

Chuck W. Chapman Why did I love this book?

Tales of a witch's curse in Appalachia draw a grieving father to sacrifice everything for his son. How far will a parent go to save their child and then how much farther will they have to go to save themselves? A Southern voodoo twist on Pet Cemetery that’s twice as frightening and just as engaging.

By Tony Evans,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

SOMETHING EVIL ROSE FROM WITHIN, AN ANCIENT BEING, ONE OLDER THAN TIME ITSELF...

Deep in the mountains of Appalachia, a legend is told about something evil that lurks within the dense woods of Gunrack Hollow. A witch is said to live there, one whose appetite for innocent souls dates back hundreds of years.

Sam Fletcher had heard the story his whole life, but he never really believed it. After all, as his father always said, it's just an old folktale...only a story.

But two years ago, something happened that made him believe. Something that ties back to an ancient evil…


Book cover of In Rod We Trust

Chuck W. Chapman Why did I love this book?

This collection of short stories are designed to be reminiscent of the old Twilight Zone TV series. As a huge fan of the show, I was interested to see how the interpretation to short story would work. It works very well. If you enjoyed the show (and/or the movie) you'll enjoy this book. Rod Serling would be proud.

By Tom Sawyer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In Rod We Trust as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. This is a dimension of imagination. In the case of these stories, it is where author Tom Sawyer’s imagination takes flight. Mr. Sawyer, as a popular Michigan horror fiction author of many delights ( From Paradise to Hell, Dark Harbors), pays an ultimate tribute to Rod Serling’s own imagination, which influenced viewers around the world since its inception decades ago with The Twilight Zone TV series. Here, Sawyer continues the tradition seamlessly on these pages. So sit back, relax, and cross over into the sight and sound and…


You might also like...

Terra Blanca - Insurrection: Gaia Prequel

By Zoe Routh,

Book cover of Terra Blanca - Insurrection: Gaia Prequel

Zoe Routh Author Of The Olympus Project

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Leadership futurist Adventurist Former bellydancer Historical and speculative fiction nut Marathoner

Zoe's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

A test of leadership, loyalty, and legacy. Rylie Addison faces the greatest leadership challenge of her life. As climate change ravages the world, leaving millions displaced, Rylie is handpicked by the enigmatic Maja Garcia of Gaia Enterprises to govern Terra Blanca, an unprecedented man-made island community for climate refugees.

As the stakes rise and the fragile foundations of Terra Blanca begin to crumble, Rylie is forced to confront her own beliefs and faces a leadership decision that could change the course of history. Can she find the strength to make the right choice, or will her actions lead to the downfall of the very people she has vowed to protect?

Terra Blanca - Insurrection: Gaia Prequel

By Zoe Routh,

What is this book about?

Rylie Addison faces the greatest leadership challenge of her life. As climate change ravages the world, leaving millions displaced, Rylie is handpicked by the enigmatic Maja Garcia of Gaia Enterprises to govern Terra Blanca, an unprecedented man-made island community for climate refugees.


Thrust into a new world of power and responsibility, Rylie must navigate the treacherous waters of team dynamics and power struggles as she fights to make Terra Blanca a beacon of hope amidst the chaos. But her mission takes a sinister turn when a secret agent infiltrates the community, hell-bent on testing the innovative governance and social structures…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in film, Appalachia, and vampires?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about film, Appalachia, and vampires.

Film Explore 213 books about film
Appalachia Explore 47 books about Appalachia
Vampires Explore 261 books about vampires