The best books that will creep you out

Who am I?

I’ve always been captivated by dark stories—from my teen years watching my favorite creepy show, The X-Files, to now as an adult writing my own thrilling stories. What really draws me to these stories of darkness are the flickers of light they inevitably contain—the love between characters; the growth when characters find their strength after enduring difficult times; and ultimately, the hope they can find even when all seems lost. To me, finding your way through the darkness and into the light—and getting creeped out along the way—makes for the best kind of story, and it’s the kind I strive to write as an author.


I wrote...

Iris in the Dark

By Elissa Grossell Dickey,

Book cover of Iris in the Dark

What is my book about?

Iris in the Dark is the story of an overprotective single mother who must face her worst fear—the past. When Iris is entrusted to house-sit at a lodge on the South Dakota prairie, she thinks she’s prepared for anything. But late one night, she hears a chilling cry for help coming from a walkie-talkie buried in a box of toys. As the calls get more desperate, personal, and menacing, Iris realizes the person on the other end isn’t reaching out for help. They’re reaching out to terrorize her. Now the only way for Iris to move forward in life is to confront the past she’s been running from…a threat that has now followed her into the dark.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Turn of the Key

Elissa Grossell Dickey Why did I love this book?

I’m a huge Ruth Ware fan—I’ve read and loved all of her books—but this one sticks out to me as one of the best, and part of it is because of the creepiness factor. When I read this book, I truly felt like I was in that house with the main character Rowan, hearing those terrifying noises, discovering the hidden room, and exploring the treacherous garden—and it made for an incredibly thrilling reading experience.

By Ruth Ware,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Turn of the Key as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THEIR DREAM HOUSE WILL BECOME HER WORST NIGHTMARE

'Ruth Ware just gets better and better' Lisa Jewell, bestselling author of The Family Upstairs

'The queen of creepy crime' Metro

When Rowan comes across the advert, it seems too good to be true: a live-in nanny position, with an extremely generous salary.

What she doesn't know is that she's stepping into a nightmare - one that will end with her in a cell awaiting trial for murder.

She knows she's made mistakes.
But she's not guilty - at least not of murder.
Which means someone else is...

THE TURN OF THE…


Book cover of Mexican Gothic

Elissa Grossell Dickey Why did I love this book?

Speaking of immersive reading experiences, this book swept me up and made me feel like part of the story—and better yet, it made me truly care about the characters. I was rooting for Noemi, a strong, resilient main character, for the entire book. And I was equally riveted and terrified as she fought against the nightmarish pull of the gloom, as well as the untrustworthy inhabitants of High House. 

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Mexican Gothic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The award-winning author of Gods of Jade and Shadow (one of the 100 best fantasy novels of all time, TIME magazine) returns with a mesmerising feminist Gothic fantasy, in which a glamorous young socialite discovers the haunting secrets of a beautiful old mansion in 1950s Mexico.

He is trying to poison me. You must come for me, Noemi. You have to save me.

When glamorous socialite Noemi Taboada receives a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging to be rescued from a mysterious doom, it's clear something is desperately amiss. Catalina has always had a flair for the dramatic, but…


Book cover of Parting the Veil

Elissa Grossell Dickey Why did I love this book?

Have you ever felt like a book was written just for you, with all of the story elements you enjoy? That’s how I felt when reading this book. Parting the Veil had beautiful prose, a strong sisterhood, swoony romance—and it was deliciously creepy. I loved following along with main character Eliza as she bravely attempted to solve the supernatural mystery in a house that she was becoming increasingly certain was haunted.

By Paulette Kennedy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Some houses hold secrets that are meant to be kept forever...

When Eliza Sullivan inherits an estate from a recently deceased aunt, she leaves behind a grievous and guilt-ridden past in New Orleans for rural England and a fresh start. Eliza arrives at her new home and finds herself falling for the mysterious lord of Havenwood, Malcolm Winfield. Despite the sinister rumors that surround him, Eliza is drawn to his melancholy charm and his crumbling, once-beautiful mansion. With enough love, she thinks, both man and manor could be repaired.

Not long into their marriage, Eliza fears that she should have…


Book cover of Lies We Bury

Elissa Grossell Dickey Why did I love this book?

Elle Marr is known for her fast-paced thrillers, but what set this one apart for me was the flashback timeline, which is narrated by the main character Marissa when she was a child. As a reader, you know what’s going on—she’s trapped with her mother, along with other women and children, by the man who abducted them. But reading it from the childlike perspective adds a chilling, heart-breaking element of terror to this captivating story.

By Elle Marr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A novel about secrets and revenge by the number one Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Missing Sister. It's only by confronting who she was then that she can understand who she is now.

I was born in captivity...

Two decades ago Marissa Mo escaped a basement prison-the only home she'd ever known. At twenty-seven, Marissa's moved beyond the trauma and is working under a new name as a freelance photographer. But when she accepts a job covering a string of macabre murders in Portland, it's impossible for Marissa not to remember.

Everything is eerily familiar. The same underground lairs.…


Book cover of Dark Places

Elissa Grossell Dickey Why did I love this book?

Speaking of characters going through traumatic experiences as a child, Dark Places follows main character Libby, who has grown up knowing that her brother murdered her family—except, of course, the story quickly challenges what she thinks she knows. What made me love this creepy story was that it started out as arguably Flynn’s darkest story, and yet as you follow Libby along on this thrilling journey toward the truth, you get to see her grow as a character, and even see some warmth, healing, and hope—which, to me, is the best part.

By Gillian Flynn,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Dark Places as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE BESTSELLING PHENOMENON

'Eerily macabre... Wonderful' Guardian
'A nerve-fraying thriller' New York Times
'Every bit as horribly fascinating as In Cold Blood' Daily Mail

Libby Day was seven when her family was murdered: she survived by hiding in a closet - and famously testified that her older brother Ben was the killer.

Twenty-five years later the Kill Club - a secret society obsessed with notorious crimes - gets in touch with Libby to try to discover proof that may free Ben. Almost broke, Libby agrees to go back to her hometown to investigate - for a fee.

But when Libby's…


You might also like...

Too Good

By Carol Moreira,

Book cover of Too Good

Carol Moreira Author Of Riptides

New book alert!

Who am I?

I’m fascinated by the relationship of humanity to nature. When I was young, we moved all the time – my dad was in the military and we moved to a new base every 18 months. All those military bases were located in the British countryside and, in the absence of other forms of continuity, nature became like a best friend. I still walk every day. Reconnecting with trees, grass, the sounds of birds, centres and energizes me. I get my best ideas when walking. But, of course, nature is also threatening – Covid and cancer are natural. I’m fascinated by that juxtaposition and always trying to reflect it in my work.  

Carol's book list on the beauty and threat of the natural world

What is my book about?

This is a steamy tale of vulnerability and betrayal. Struggling in her marriage, her new life in England, and her work in a hospice, Canadian-born Lindsey is drawn to her best friend's attractive husband, David.

Guilt about her fascination with David is complicated by her admiration for his wife, Grace, a cancer doctor at the hospice. But when Grace is killed in a terrorist attack, Lindsey is drawn to Grace's man, unheeding of the dangers.

Too Good

By Carol Moreira,

What is this book about?

Struggling in her marriage, her new life in England, and her work in a hospice, Canadian-born Lindsey is drawn to her best friend’s attractive husband David. The sight of his lean gardener’s body working in the hospice grounds fills her with longing and makes her forget the sadness in both the hospice and her marriage.
Guilt about her fascination with David is complicated by her friendship and admiration for his wife Grace, a cancer doctor at the hospice. But when Grace is killed in a terrorist attack, Lindsey is drawn into a passionate romance with Grace’s man unheeding of the…


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