The best books to satisfy your horror obsession

Why am I passionate about this?

Horror films, radio shows, books, magazines, and comics have been my life ever since I was eight years old. I saw the Texas Chainsaw Massacre one late night on Channel 9, when TVs had but 13 channels. It was love at first scream. The genre put the boogieman outside my window, under my bed, and in my closet. It was terrifying, but there was also a high to be had. An addiction to scaring oneself that I couldn't get enough of. This adrenaline rush got me interested in scaring others. Four movies, sixteen shorts, two novels, I too, am a dark dreamer looking to scare kindred spirits. 


I wrote...

Ugly Faces

By Brian Lupo,

Book cover of Ugly Faces

What is my book about?

Lexi Peters, a law student at Red Falls University, has a traumatic secret—a secret that has left her terrified of open spaces. When her best friend, Rachael, abandons her on winter break, a desperate and emotionally fragile Lexi must figure out how to make the 443-mile trip to her parent's house on her own, or else risk her condition regressing.  

Unbeknownst to her, she is heading straight into the eye of a terrifying storm. Lexi's psyche starts to unravel when her past comes back to haunt her. Lexi will be pushed to the limits to manage her condition and escape from her shocking past. An intense, grueling game of life or death will leave her screaming in the middle of nowhere, fighting a mental breakdown.

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

The books I picked & why

Book cover of Duel: Terror Stories

Brian Lupo Why did I love this book?

What do you get when you cross paths with an unhinged truck driver on a lonely stretch of isolated highway? You get the book Duel, by Richard Matheson. Based on a true event of unprovoked road rage the author himself was put through, Duel is the story of a businessman heading to San Francisco who is confronted and pursued by an unseen psycho behind the wheel of a gasoline tanker and trailer. Subjected to a life-and-death game of cat and mouse, Man, as the protagonist in the book is called, has to out-maneuver this menace, or die trying. If you are into isolation terror, with get-up-and-go pacing, Duel is a must-read.

By Richard Matheson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Duel, Stephen Spielberg’s terrifying first film, was adapted by Richard Matheson from his nail-biting short story of the same name.

But “Duel” is only one of the many classic tales in this outstanding collection of stories by the award-winning author of I Am Legend, Somewhere in Time, What Dreams May Come, and The Incredible Shrinking Man.

Remember that murderous semi chasing a driver down a lonely stretch of desert highway?

Here are over a dozen unforgettable tales of horror and suspense, including several stunning shockers that inspired timeless episodes of The Twilight Zone.

At the Publisher's request, this title is…


Book cover of The Funhouse

Brian Lupo Why did I love this book?

Being a huge fan of the Tobe Hooper film The Funhouse, I was interested to hear there had been a book released by Dean Koontz based on the movie. Figuring it was your run-of-the-mill paperback tie-in, I bought a cheap copy on eBay to see if there was any bonus material added to give further depth to the plot and characters. What I didn't expect to find, was a novella-sized prequel to be attached. Without giving any spoilers, the reader learns the history behind Amy Harper's psychic link to the monster Gunther and his carney father, Conrad.

It explores the effect Amy's unhinged mother Ellen has on her children, as well as Liz's loose attitude towards men and how that influences Amy to date Buzz. Add in a graphic account of how the kids were murdered in Fairfield county last year, and the book has a lot of hidden gems to share. Needless to say, after I read the book, I bought a signed hardback copy in mint condition. 

By Dean Koontz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

If you delight in the suspense of Stephen King and Harlan Coben, you'll love The Funhouse - a classic thriller by Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz.

The carnival is a world apart, endlessly travelling from town to town, providing thrills and magic for new kids every week. And the biggest, most popular attraction is the Funhouse - the ghoulish creepshow of ghosts and skeletons, rattling chains and make-believe terror . . .

Young Amy Harper is the most beautiful girl at her school, but to her life seems wretched. Terrorised by her mother, Amy's little…


Book cover of Audition

Brian Lupo Why did I love this book?

Audition is a book that will scar you for life and leave you questioning the mental health of everyone you ever date, as you check to see if your limbs are still intact. It is the story of Aoyama, a forty-two-year-old widower who gets the terrible idea of auditioning as a replacement for his wife, Ryoko, under the guise of a fraudulent movie audition. Discovering his dream girl, a 24-year-old timid beauty going by the name of Yamasaki, Aoyama aims to make this ex-ballerina his new wife. The two hit it off and begin to date. Blind with infatuation, Aoyama ignores serious troubling signs from the deeply disturbed young woman, only to find out a little too late that there's a painful price to pay for lying. 'No forgiveness for lies.' 

By Ryu Murakami, Ralph McCarthy (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this gloriously over-the-top tale, Aoyama, a widower who has lived alone with his son ever since his wife died seven years before, finally decides it is time to remarry. Since Aoyama is a bit rusty when it comes to dating, a filmmaker friend proposes that, in order to attract the perfect wife, they do a casting call for a movie they don't intend to produce. As the resumes pile up, only one of the applicants catches Aoyama's attention-Yamasaki Asami-a striking young former ballerina with a mysterious past. Blinded by his instant and total infatuation, Aoyama is too late in…


Book cover of Masterpieces of Terror and the Supernatural

Brian Lupo Why did I love this book?

Masterpieces of Terror and the Supernatural is, hands down, the best collection of over fifty short stories, novellas, and poems I've ever read in one, skin-prickling book. With authors like Bram Stoker, Sheridan Lefanu, Edgar Allan Poe, Richard Matheson, Isaac Asimov, A.M. Burrage, Robert Bloch, and H.P. Lovecraft, you're in for many sleepless nights. My personal favorites include; "Last Respects" by Dick Baldwin, a story of two morticians preparing a body for a wake, only the body doesn't seem to be quite at rest; "The Quest for Blank Claveringi" by Patricia Highsmith, a story that proves snails can be terrifying. This one had me short on breath halfway through; and most disturbing of all, "His Unconquerable Enemy" by W.C. Morrow. It's about a rajah that has a surgeon amputate his servant Neranya's limbs off, then keeps the poor man in a small pen of open ironwork above his bed for permanent isolation. Obsessing day and night over how to have his revenge, Neranya concocts an intricate plan, but as a mere head and torso, will it work?

By Marvin Kaye (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This exceptional compilation contains more than fifty short stories, novellas and poems, both classic and modern, by some of the most distinguished writers of all time. Masterful works by Bram Stoker, H.P. Lovecroft, Mary Shelley, Sheridan LeFanu, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Tennessee Williams, Isaac Asimov, J.R.R. Tolkien, in addition to little-known masterpieces of fantasy and terror by such authors as Stanley Ellin, Patricia Highsmith, John Dickson Carr and Damon Runyon, make this one of the most wide-ranging, outstanding collections of its kind. Marvin Kaye provides fascinating prefatory notes to each selection and an annotated bibliography of other recommended reading, as well…


Book cover of The Witch's Tale: Stories of Gothic Horror from the Golden Age of Radio

Brian Lupo Why did I love this book?

Between 1931-1938, a radio program went on the air called, The Witch's Tale. Old Nancy, the Witch of Salem, would introduce stories of the eerie, weird, and blood-chilling sort, with her wise, black cat Satan. Putting to print thirteen of these hair-raising scripts, we can now take a step back in time and read from the point of view of the actors from the golden age of radio in The Witch's Tale by Alonzo Deen Cole.

Old Nancy: “Turn out them lights, and make it nice and dark. That's it. Now draw up to the fire, and gaze into the embers, gaze into them deep, and soon you will be amongst vampires, werewolves, ghosts and devil worshipers. He he he... isn't that right, Satan?" (CAT meows.)

By Alonzo Deen Cole,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Witch's Tale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Stories of gothic horror from the Golden Age of Radio. Discover the thrills and goose bumps that frightened a generation of listeners during radio's Golden Age with 13 hair raising vintage radio scripts featuring stories about Vampires, Were wolves, Ghosts, Severed heads, Devil worship, Mad scientists and more .

By Alonzo Deen Cole, the great granddaddy of modern media horror and the creator of network radio's first drama series devoted entirely to the supernatural.


You might also like...

The Strange Case of Guaritori Diolco

By Bill Hiatt,

Book cover of The Strange Case of Guaritori Diolco

Bill Hiatt Author Of Different Lee

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Insatiable reader English teacher Life-long learner Hiker Webmaster

Bill's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Guaritori awakens from a coma to find that he's lost twenty years--and his entire world.

Fiancée, family, and friends are all missing, perhaps dead. Technology has failed, and magic has risen, leaving society in ruins. Most survivors are at the mercy of anyone who has strong enough magic. Guaritori has none. He finds a protector, but his troubles are far from over.

The new society in which he finds himself is superficially friendly but surrounded by enemies and full of secrets. Guaritori doesn't know it yet, but the biggest secret is his. If his protector knew who he truly was,…

The Strange Case of Guaritori Diolco

By Bill Hiatt,

What is this book about?

Coming out of a coma after twenty years, Guaritori--Garth to his friends--discovers that the world he knew no longer exists.

Advanced technology has failed. Magic, which he didn't know even existed, has become much more powerful. Supernatural groups battle for supremacy, forcing human beings to seek shelter wherever they can find it.
Garth's only hope for survival lies with a varied group including a shape-shifter, an alchemist, a tarot card reader, a blacksmith with a flaming sword, and others. But a prophecy foretells that he will bring about the downfall of their leader, the mysterious Ms. M.

Even worse, Garth…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in making movies, Hollywood, and film?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about making movies, Hollywood, and film.

Making Movies Explore 38 books about making movies
Hollywood Explore 119 books about Hollywood
Film Explore 233 books about film