100 books like Bag of Bones

By Stephen King,

Here are 100 books that Bag of Bones fans have personally recommended if you like Bag of Bones. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Cades Cove: The Curse of Allie Mae

Mark Drotos Author Of The Haunting of Crimshaw Manor

From my list on books that will give you chills and thrills.

Why am I passionate about this?

While attending college, I lived in a haunted house. This was before all the ghost-hunting shows and YouTube, so I didn’t know what I was seeing at night. During the year and a half of these experiences, I saw two distinct shadow figures and had other people living in the front of the house, as well as my roommate, confirm they, too, had seen and heard things that were unexplainable. This began my interest in the paranormal. After graduation, I became a law enforcement officer and have been a Police Detective for the last 21 years. I have explored haunted locations and seen spirits and other unexplainable things.  

Mark's book list on books that will give you chills and thrills

Mark Drotos Why did Mark love this book?

The Great Smokey Mountains are a scary and mysterious place, and this story reinforces that! David Hobbs and his wife are hiking when they find a small pouch containing a broken tooth. Hobbs keeps it and thus begins a frightful tale. I am still triggered thinking of the sound of that wine glass “tinging” on the counter.

This story scared me. It reinforced the belief that there are things in the forest that need to remain in the forest.  

By Aiden James,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Ghost stories don't get any better than this." --J.R. Rain

Deep in a ravine in the picturesque Smoky Mountains is a very dark secret.

David Hobbs, vacationing with his wife Miriam, inadvertently stumbles upon a small cloth ‘keepsake’ bag and a broken tooth. A human tooth. Miriam begs David to hand the bag and tooth over to park officials, but he ignores his wife’s pleas and secretly keeps the ‘harmless’ items. The action opens a doorway that had been closed for nearly a hundred years and unleashes hell on earth, or at least hell in the lives of David and…


Book cover of A Head Full of Ghosts

Tyler Paterson Author Of Dark Satellites

From my list on transport to the heart of spooky season.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an October baby born during a full moon, into a small New England town notorious for their connection to the Salem Witch Trials. My house was for sure haunted growing up, I’ve had a lot of nightmares over the years, and I found solace in the horror genre. Though my true background is in comedy having studied with Second City Chicago, the experience afforded me the opportunity to explore the more pained and shadowed sides of myself as a tool to write relevant material. I learned to focus those explorations into narratives and create stories with a lot of heart that highlight my own quest to uncover inner peace.

Tyler's book list on transport to the heart of spooky season

Tyler Paterson Why did Tyler love this book?

A fellow New Englander, Tremblay took me by complete surprise with this novel. In the past, I saw horror defined by slashers, gore, and jump scares. This novel helped me understand that modern horror is a bit savvier and more nuanced, with a stronger focus on emotional suffering.

I really connected with the struggling working-class family and sympathized with their decision to let a documentary film crew create a series about their clearly struggling daughter. The film crew intended to market the girl as possessed by a demon, which the family signs off on in order to collect a desperately needed financial boost.

It expertly explores the hardships of the middle class, sibling love, and the societal hush-hush of mental illness. Plus, it’s got some twists and turns to that made my blood run absolutely cold.

By Paul Tremblay,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked A Head Full of Ghosts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The lives of the Barretts, a suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. To her parents' despair, the doctors are unable to halt Marjorie's descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show.Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie's younger sister, Merry. As she recalls the terrifying events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets…


Book cover of The Secret of Crickley Hall

Mark Drotos Author Of The Haunting of Crimshaw Manor

From my list on books that will give you chills and thrills.

Why am I passionate about this?

While attending college, I lived in a haunted house. This was before all the ghost-hunting shows and YouTube, so I didn’t know what I was seeing at night. During the year and a half of these experiences, I saw two distinct shadow figures and had other people living in the front of the house, as well as my roommate, confirm they, too, had seen and heard things that were unexplainable. This began my interest in the paranormal. After graduation, I became a law enforcement officer and have been a Police Detective for the last 21 years. I have explored haunted locations and seen spirits and other unexplainable things.  

Mark's book list on books that will give you chills and thrills

Mark Drotos Why did Mark love this book?

A family tragedy leads a young family to seek an old home in a peaceful seaside village in the UK. There is a reason the house is vacant… it’s haunted. I was chilled reading this book. James Herbert is a master of suspense and does a great job of tying past events to the present. 

I enjoyed how the spirits of the past interacted with the current homeowners. It was scary and believable!

By James Herbert,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Secret of Crickley Hall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Caleighs have had a terrible year... They need time and space, while they await the news they dread. Gabe has brought his wife, Eve, and daughters, Loren and Cally, down to Devon, to the peaceful seaside village of Hollow Bay. He can work and Eve and the kids can have some peace and quiet and perhaps they can try, as a family, to come to terms with what's happened to them...

Crickley Hall is an unusually large house on the outskirts of the village at the bottom of Devil's Cleave, a massive tree-lined gorge - the stuff of local…


Book cover of Revolution

Kathryn Knight Author Of Ghost Moon

From my list on romantic ghost stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a fan of all things spooky! I especially love ghost stories, which is probably abundantly clear from my own novels. I’ve been known to frequent old graveyards, seek out haunted places, and sneak into abandoned buildings for inspiration—and the adrenaline rush! This fascination started when I was a young girl and my dad brought me a YA ghost mystery home from the library—every week, he would have the librarian help him pick out books for me, and I would devour the stack immediately, then re-read until the next library day! My favorite ghost stories have a mix similar to what I write—a tension-filled romance combined with a spooky, suspenseful haunting. 

Kathryn's book list on romantic ghost stories

Kathryn Knight Why did Kathryn love this book?

I fell in love with Jennifer Donelly’s writing when I discovered her historical romance trilogy The Tea Rose, and then devoured her YA novel A Northern Light. So when I found out she had published a YA book with history, young love, and a ghost mystery, I was all in!

In this story, the past and the present are once again woven together, adding fascinating and horrific details of the French Revolution as the main character navigates her new and strange life in Paris. The Catacombs beneath the city play a role in the plot, and it was this setting that made me determined to visit this creepy location myself one day—which I did!

The labyrinth of man-made tunnels wind their way into an underground maze that is filled with the relocated human bones of over 6 million bodies, which line the walls in macabre designs. Exploring the “Land of…

By Jennifer Donnelly,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Revolution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14.

What is this book about?

Readers of If I Stay and Elizabeth George will love Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, author of the award-winning novel A Northern Light. Revolution artfully weaves two girls’ stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss, and enduring love; it spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart.

BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’…


Book cover of Midnight Bayou

Kathryn Knight Author Of Ghost Moon

From my list on romantic ghost stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a fan of all things spooky! I especially love ghost stories, which is probably abundantly clear from my own novels. I’ve been known to frequent old graveyards, seek out haunted places, and sneak into abandoned buildings for inspiration—and the adrenaline rush! This fascination started when I was a young girl and my dad brought me a YA ghost mystery home from the library—every week, he would have the librarian help him pick out books for me, and I would devour the stack immediately, then re-read until the next library day! My favorite ghost stories have a mix similar to what I write—a tension-filled romance combined with a spooky, suspenseful haunting. 

Kathryn's book list on romantic ghost stories

Kathryn Knight Why did Kathryn love this book?

As the name implies, Midnight Bayou is another romantic ghost story set in New Orleans—a place I’ve now been fortunate enough to visit!

Sometimes called the “City of the Dead”, NOLA makes a perfect location for this haunting mystery. I literally could not put this book down, despite having young children when I read it! Once again, the past and present intertwine as a sassy Cajun heroine and a hunky carpenter unravel the dark secrets of Manet Hall in a passionate journey.  

By Nora Roberts,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ever since Declan Fitzgerald saw dilapidated Manet Hall, on the outskirts of New Orleans, he's been enchanted - and obsessed - by it. Determined to restore the rooms to their former splendour, Declan begins the daunting renovation. But spending his days in total isolation in the empty house is taking its toll. Local legend has it that the house is haunted, and Declan starts seeing visions of terrible grief and horror from long ago. With every day that passes, the house tightens its hold.

So when he meets the alluring Angelina Simone, he's glad of the distraction. But Angelina has…


Book cover of NOS4A2

Nicholas Binge Author Of Ascension

From my list on horror that build a deep and unshakeable sense of dread.

Why am I passionate about this?

As well as being an author of horror and thriller fiction, I’ve been a teacher for over a decade. Over the years, I’ve played to my strengths, selecting and teaching some of the very best in both classic and contemporary horror. The power of narratives to hold and horrify is one of the most undying features of storytelling, from Ancient Greek theatre to modern thrillers, and I’m always on the lookout for authors who achieve this in new and innovative ways. The books on this list all instill dread in very different ways, but they all have one thing in common: they’ll stick with you long after you put them down.

Nicholas' book list on horror that build a deep and unshakeable sense of dread

Nicholas Binge Why did Nicholas love this book?

If there’s one thing Joe Hill does well, it’s suspense.

There are moments of this book that had me bouncing on my seat as I was reading, unable to contain the sheer tension of the moment inside my body. I remember walking around with the book in front of my face at work, not able to put it down, needing to know what would happen next.

NOS4A2 is a great example of characters you really care about being put in the most terrifying situations and the way he uses bizarre and compelling settings, as well as really memorable set pieces, to build dread is on another level.

By Joe Hill,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked NOS4A2 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Summer. Massachusetts.

An old Silver Wraith with a frightening history. A story about one serial killer and his lingering, unfinished business.

Anyone could be next.

We're going to Christmasland ...

NOS4R2 is an old-fashioned horror novel in the best sense. Claustrophobic, gripping and terrifying, this is a story that will have you on the edge of the seat while you read, and leaving the lights on while you sleep. With the horrific tale of Charles Manx and his Silver Wraith, Joe Hill has established himself as the premiere horror and supernatural thriller writer of his generation.


Book cover of Jane-Emily: And Witches' Children

Kathryn Knight Author Of Ghost Moon

From my list on romantic ghost stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a fan of all things spooky! I especially love ghost stories, which is probably abundantly clear from my own novels. I’ve been known to frequent old graveyards, seek out haunted places, and sneak into abandoned buildings for inspiration—and the adrenaline rush! This fascination started when I was a young girl and my dad brought me a YA ghost mystery home from the library—every week, he would have the librarian help him pick out books for me, and I would devour the stack immediately, then re-read until the next library day! My favorite ghost stories have a mix similar to what I write—a tension-filled romance combined with a spooky, suspenseful haunting. 

Kathryn's book list on romantic ghost stories

Kathryn Knight Why did Kathryn love this book?

Jane-Emily is a YA classic, both a sweet romance and a spooky ghost mystery, set in the early 1900s. 

It’s also the book I described in my introduction as the one that made me fall in love with this genre! I first read it when I was about ten, and I immediately recommended it to my best friend, who was also an avid reader. To this day, we are both still scared of those mirrored gazing balls people display in gardens.

When my own children were young, I bought an old paperback on eBay and read it to them, savoring the story that I’ve re-read so many times once again. Even after all these years, Emily’s ghost still delivers chills as she unleashes her wrath on the innocent nine-year-old Jane, and the romance developing between Jane’s young aunt and an old friend of the family plays a part.

One exciting…

By Patricia Clapp,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Emily was a selfish, willful, hateful child who died before her thirteenth birthday. But that was a long time ago.

Jane is nine years old and an orphan when she and her young Aunt Louisa come to spend the summer at Jane's grandmother's house, a large, mysterious mansion in Massachusetts. Then one day . . . Jane stares into a reflecting ball in the garden—and the face that looks back at her is not her own.

Many years earlier, a child of rage and malevolence lived in this place. And she never left. Now Emily has dark plans for little…


Book cover of Lost Boy, Lost Girl

Chris DiLeo Author Of Dead End

From my list on dread-inducing homes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a house filled with books as a son of educated, well-read parents. My mother was an English/French/Spanish teacher, and my father was an encyclopedia editor. Among all the books in our downstairs, there was a custom-built coffin bookcase my father kept stocked with his favorite horror novels. He died when I was eleven and in an effort to get to know him better, I started reading the books in that coffin. I was very quickly turned into a horror fan, and a few years later started writing horror stories myself. Every time I start writing another horror story, I know I’m my father’s son.

Chris' book list on dread-inducing homes

Chris DiLeo Why did Chris love this book?

Straub is a master, but this title is often overlooked. It’s compact, completely engaging, and features some of the best dread-inducing moments I’ve ever read in a horror novel. His writing is a masterclass in dread, and as a writer I return to it often. Much as Tremblay uses the gimmick of reality TV in A Head Full of Ghosts to horrifying effect, Straub employs email in a creepy and sinister fashion.    

By Peter Straub,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A woman commits suicide for no apparent reason. A week later, her son—beautiful, troubled fifteen-year-old Mark Underhill—vanishes from the face of the earth. To his uncle, horror novelist Timothy Underhill, Mark’s inexplicable absence feels like a second death. After his sister-in-law’s funeral, Tim searches his hometown of Millhaven for clues that might help him unravel this mystery of death and disappearance. He soon learns that a pedophilic murderer is on the loose in the vicinity, and that shortly before his mother’s suicide Mark had become obsessed with an abandoned house where he imagined the killer might have taken refuge. No…


Book cover of The Ridge

Chris DiLeo Author Of Dead End

From my list on dread-inducing homes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a house filled with books as a son of educated, well-read parents. My mother was an English/French/Spanish teacher, and my father was an encyclopedia editor. Among all the books in our downstairs, there was a custom-built coffin bookcase my father kept stocked with his favorite horror novels. He died when I was eleven and in an effort to get to know him better, I started reading the books in that coffin. I was very quickly turned into a horror fan, and a few years later started writing horror stories myself. Every time I start writing another horror story, I know I’m my father’s son.

Chris' book list on dread-inducing homes

Chris DiLeo Why did Chris love this book?

Not a dread-inducing house this time but a lighthouse—in the middle of the woods. This book is so original in its elements—a haunted lighthouse, a sheriff in love with the woman who shot him, and a big-cat sanctuary—that it is completely awe-inspiring how Koryta is able to weave together a complex, creepy ghost narrative. Koryta (and his pseudonym, Scott Carson) is always a guaranteed purchase when a new book publishes.

By Michael Koryta,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Discover a brilliant thriller set in a remote big-cat sanctuary: "one of the scariest and most touching horror tales in years" (James Patterson).

In an isolated stretch of eastern Kentucky, on a hilltop known as Blade Ridge, stands a lighthouse that illuminates nothing but the surrounding woods. For years the lighthouse has been considered no more than an eccentric local landmark -- until its builder is found dead at the top of the light, and his belongings reveal a troubling local history.

For deputy sheriff Kevin Kimble, the lighthouse-keeper's death is disturbing and personal. Years ago, Kimble was shot while…


Book cover of Madeleine's Ghost

Kathryn Knight Author Of Ghost Moon

From my list on romantic ghost stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a fan of all things spooky! I especially love ghost stories, which is probably abundantly clear from my own novels. I’ve been known to frequent old graveyards, seek out haunted places, and sneak into abandoned buildings for inspiration—and the adrenaline rush! This fascination started when I was a young girl and my dad brought me a YA ghost mystery home from the library—every week, he would have the librarian help him pick out books for me, and I would devour the stack immediately, then re-read until the next library day! My favorite ghost stories have a mix similar to what I write—a tension-filled romance combined with a spooky, suspenseful haunting. 

Kathryn's book list on romantic ghost stories

Kathryn Knight Why did Kathryn love this book?

I read this book almost 30 years ago, but it’s still one of my all-time favorites—an enthralling blend of romance, history, and paranormal suspense.

For me, this book checks all the boxes: a mysterious haunting, intriguing history, fascinating settings, and star-crossed former lovers who come back into each other’s lives. Madeleine’s Ghost shifts between the past and the present, revealing secrets and layers to the story along the way.

The characters came to life for me, and I relished traveling with them between New York City’s colorful East Village and the sultry bayous and boisterous streets of New Orleans. 

By Robert Girardi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Brooklyn needs a saint. Ned Conti needs a stipend. So the struggling young historian agrees to trace the mysterious past of a Brooklyn nun for evidence of miracles. Trapped in a neighborhood of cheap rents and failed promise, in a rent-controlled apartment suddenly, inexplicably seized by a beautiful and angry ghost, Ned's only refuge is the F train to Manhattan's East Village bars, where he and his friends drown their sorrows in drink....

But Ned is about to heed another call, the siren song of New Orleans, where the history of countless lost souls seems to rise from the steaming…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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