70 books like The Sick House

By Ambrose Ibsen,

Here are 70 books that The Sick House fans have personally recommended if you like The Sick House. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Haunting of Hill House

By Shirley Jackson,

Book cover of The Haunting of Hill House

Sara Flannery Murphy Author Of The Wonder State

From the list on thriller and horror with “House” in the title.

Who am I?

I have a lifelong fascination with houses and the sway they hold over us. Coming from a family that moved pretty frequently, I’ve experienced the way a house can feel like a true home, or like an unwelcoming space. Unlike the characters in The Wonder State, I don’t break into places to explore (not even abandoned spaces!). But I always take notice of the homes and structures in every neighborhood and city I visit, wondering what the residents’ lives are like and how their houses affect them. I’m a novelist who focuses on the speculative, and all three of my novels feature weird houses in some capacity.

Sara's book list on thriller and horror with “House” in the title

Why did Sara love this book?

In the real estate market of haunted houses, Hill House remains a hot property decades after the book’s publication in 1959.

Shirley Jackson is queen of slow-burn Gothic suspense, and her premise is incredible: a group of strangers arrive at an eerie mansion as part of a scientific project to find evidence of the paranormal.

Jackson doesn’t use flashy jump scares, but rather spins a subtle dread that makes even quiet scenes feel unbearably tense.

Haunting of Hill House remains my top recommendation for scary novels. It’s rare for a book to have me leaving the lights on at night, but after one key scene, I had trouble sleeping for weeks. I don’t hide the fact that I’m a Jackson superfan, and this is one of her best works.

By Shirley Jackson,

Why should I read it?

27 authors picked The Haunting of Hill House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Part of a new six-volume series of the best in classic horror, selected by Academy Award-winning director of The Shape of Water Guillermo del Toro

Filmmaker and longtime horror literature fan Guillermo del Toro serves as the curator for the Penguin Horror series, a new collection of classic tales and poems by masters of the genre. Included here are some of del Toro's favorites, from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Ray Russell's short story "Sardonicus," considered by Stephen King to be "perhaps the finest example of the modern Gothic ever written," to Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and stories…

The Shining

By Stephen King,

Book cover of The Shining

Ben Monroe Author Of The Seething

From the list on scary stories to bring on vacation.

Who am I?

I’ve been a fan of horror stories as long as I can remember. The sense of building dread, and the moment of release when the terrible thing happens. I love stories about people put in impossible situations, and seeing how they overcome them, and that’s what good horror brings to the table. Being an avid reader I always have a book with me. To me, picking the right book to take on a holiday is as important as choosing the right clothing. I certainly hope this list gives you some ideas for your next vacation read.

Ben's book list on scary stories to bring on vacation

Why did Ben love this book?

Perhaps a trip to the mountains is more your style? Spend some time in a snowy cabin with a hot drink and a copy of this classic ghost story. If you’re only familiar with the film version of this tale, then buckle up, buddy.

The book goes places the film never could, and is very much worth the time. The set up and pay off are great, and the sense of isolation and dread which pervades the book is palpable. It’s a classic for a reason. I reread this book every winter, and it never gets old.

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked The Shining as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Before Doctor Sleep, there was The Shining, a classic of modern American horror from the undisputed master, Stephen King.

Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote . . . and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around…

The Woman in Black

By Susan Hill,

Book cover of The Woman in Black

Catherine Cavendish Author Of The After-Death of Caroline Rand

From the list on transporting you to a haunted house.

Who am I?

I’m Catherine Cavendish – writer of Gothic and ghostly horror stories. I lived in a haunted house. It didn’t scare me because our ghost seemed to go out of her way to make us welcome. Elsewhere in the building was a different matter. This was occupied by a social club and in one room in particular, an entity targeted lone females, taking delight in poking and shoving them. Since we left there, I wonder about our friendly ghost. Does she continue to watch over her old home? As for the malevolent spirit – one encounter was quite enough for me! My experiences left me fascinated by the power of buildings to absorb its ghosts.

Catherine's book list on transporting you to a haunted house

Why did Catherine love this book?

Eel Marsh House. The name itself sets you up for something dark, sinister, cold, lonely, and hide-under-the-bedcovers scary.

The way Susan Hill handles her brand of horror has always fascinated and grabbed me. She sets her Gothic and ghostly stories – which are mostly novella length – in an indeterminate timeline which has been called ‘Hill-time’ and this all adds to the mystery and ethereal darkness.

The Woman in Black is her most famous (writing in this genre) and has all the ingredients you want. An isolated house with such a macabre back story it’s no wonder it is so deeply haunted, a desolate fog-ridden landscape, the hapless and grieving solicitor who stays there in order to sort out the legal affairs of the late owner.

Add all this to the tragic legend that has the locals fearful and wary and it’s classic stuff – but no less gripping when…

By Susan Hill,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Woman in Black as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The classic ghost story from the author of The Mist in the Mirror: a chilling tale about a menacing spectre haunting a small English town.
Arthur Kipps is an up-and-coming London solicitor who is sent to Crythin Gifford—a faraway town in the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway—to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of a client, Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. Mrs. Drablow’s house stands at the end of the causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but Kipps is unaware of the tragic secrets that lie hidden behind its sheltered windows. The routine business trip…


By Karina Halle,

Book cover of Darkhouse

Alice J. Black Author Of The Leak of Madness

From the list on horror with the most intriguing protagonists.

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... 

Alice's book list on horror with the most intriguing protagonists

Why did Alice love 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.

By Karina Halle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Book one in a slow-burn psychologically thrilling romance series, from a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal best-selling author

Perry Palomino seems like your average twenty-something girl on the surface. She's had bad luck dating, her job sucks, and she's disillusioned by her place in life, not sure exactly what she wants or where she's even going.

She also sees ghosts, which makes things extra complicated, especially when she'd do anything to be normal.

But normal people don't go exploring an abandoned and supposedly haunted lighthouse on the Oregon coast, where she ends up getting the attention…

The Bad Place

By Dean Koontz,

Book cover of The Bad Place

CJ Vermote Author Of Do I Know You

From the list on suspense with a splash of paranormal.

Who am I?

My love for reading suspense helped me develop the desire to write novels. It is as if I always have a movie in my head, so why not write them out. I have dyslexia, and reading along with learning is a challenge, but both have become my escape. I’ve always been fascinated by how a good suspense plays out and the relief that comes with the resolution. I added the paranormal world because I had a NDE (near death experience) in the 80s and became open to the paranormal. I became unafraid and see the paranormal as good. 

CJ's book list on suspense with a splash of paranormal

Why did CJ love this book?

This was the first book by this author, and I’ve been a fan ever since. 

Dean Knootz takes terror to a new level in this book. If you remember being afraid of the boogieman at night as a child or have ever had a nightmare you will connect with this book. Fear of going to sleep becomes so real, it brings the fear of what sleep will bring.

For Frank, the nights bring a different terror every time he opens his eyes. Sometimes it felt like he had just closed his eyes for a few minutes, but what he woke up to made him hope he could close his eyes and wake up in a normal bed, in a normal room. Detectives are watching him, hoping for answers, but it takes one boy with Downs Syndrome to unlock the mysteries. 

I am more aware of my dreams after reading this…

By Dean Koontz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Frank Pollard awakens in an alley, knowing nothing but his name and that he is in danger. Over the next few days he develops a fear of sleep because when he wakes he finds blood on his hands and bizarre and terrifying objects in his pockets. Distraught and desperate, Frank begs husband-and wife detective team Bobby and Julie Dakota to get to the bottom of his mysterious, amnesiac fugues. It seems a simple job, but they are drawn into ever-darkening realms where they encounter the nightmare, hate-filled figure stalking Frank. And their lives are threatened, as is that of Julie's…

Spirits of the Cage

By Vanessa Mitchell, Richard Estep,

Book cover of Spirits of the Cage: True Accounts of Living in a Haunted Medieval Prison

Sylvia Shults Author Of Days of the Dead: A Year of True Ghost Stories

From the list on for paranormal enthusiasts.

Who am I?

I've been a paranormal investigator (a paranormal reporter, actually) for over a decade. One of the very best parts of my job is that I get to gorge myself on books of true accounts of the paranormal. It's exciting to see what else is out there, and what other people have experienced – both historically, and personally. I'm so grateful for the chance to add to this body of work; there are many renowned investigators and writers out there, and I'm thrilled to be counted among them. And someday, someone will read about my experiences and be terrified and intrigued and inspired by them.

Sylvia's book list on for paranormal enthusiasts

Why did Sylvia love this book?

I will read absolutely anything that Richard Estep writes. He has written books about the Villisca Ax Murders, Malvern Manor, and other crazy-haunted places. This one, about a site in his native England, is utterly terrifying. Estep writes with a very straightforward, matter-of-fact style (his writing reminds me much of my own style), and the evidence he presents for this haunted site is deeply chilling -- especially since his team is one of the groups that has investigated the Cage. 

By Vanessa Mitchell, Richard Estep,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When single mother Vanessa Mitchell moved into a historic cottage in Essex, she had no idea that a paranormal nightmare was about to unfold. The cottage, known as the Cage, used to imprison those accused of witchcraft back in the 1500s. From her first day living there, Vanessa saw apparitions walk through her room, heard ghostly growls, and was even slapped and pushed by invisible hands. Unable to handle the dark phenomena after three years, Vanessa moved out and paranormal investigator Richard Estep moved in. Spirits of the Cage chronicles the years that Vanessa and Richard spent in the Cage,…

Dark Lover

By J. R. Ward,

Book cover of Dark Lover

T.L. Sturgis Author Of Flirting with Darkness

From the list on paranormal stories that takes a new a fresh approach.

Who am I?

My name is Tyeshia Sturgis, aka T. L. Sturgis. I’m an American author of horror, thriller, and fantasy. In the fantasy genre, I wanted to write something that I enjoyed reading about, and who doesn't like vampires right? My passion came from both newer and older authors and I wanted to write my vampire series but with a new world. Through hard work and dedication, I believe that I've accomplished just that. I knew it would be a challenge… but it helped me become a better writer. I write/read 6-8 hours a day and love what I do and also help mentor other authors and try to motivate people to read and write more. 

T.L.'s book list on paranormal stories that takes a new a fresh approach

Why did T.L. love this book?

Jr Ward is an amazing author. She was one of the reasons why I decided to start my vampire series. You got to read this series it will keep you hooked from beginning to end.

Why? Vampires of course! I was looking for a series that wasn't the same traditional story and I found it in this series.

I felt passion when reading this book. You could tell the author put a lot of hard work into this series and it helped me by showing me it’s okay to switch up the rules on a story told a hundred times over.

By J. R. Ward,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There also exists a secret band of brothers like no other - six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Among them, none relishes killing their enemies more than Wrath, the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood...

The only pure-bred vampire left on the planet, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But when one of his most trusted fighters is killed - orphaning a half-breed daughter unaware of her heritage…

Book cover of The Haunting of Hillwood Farm

Kelly Moran Author Of Ghost of A Promise

From the list on paranormal romances with a ghostly twist.

Who am I?

I adore all things ghostly, from TV shows to books to movies. I immerse myself. For me, I think it began as a young girl with poems from my grandmother’s favorite book and films or programs we’d watch together. The what-if factor and the vast unknown is addicting. It chronically makes us think or sit at the edge of our seats. I’ve even visited haunted locations before and had a couple of experiences. Romance ties into that for me. We all strive for it and hope to find it. It can be as elusive as fog. By combining the two genres, readers like me get the best of all worlds. 

Kelly's book list on paranormal romances with a ghostly twist

Why did Kelly love this book?

This book takes place at a farmhouse in Massachusetts and the setting is phenomenal. It carries that haunted house vibe and mixes it with the psychic ability element, which hits all my “must-read” feels. The hero and heroine are at odds as a believer/non-believer, laying a realistic backdrop I admire. Kathryn is one of the few romantic suspense/paranormal authors who has a genuine ability to fit in the ghostly niche while still creating a HEA. Her descriptive details put you right there amidst the haunting while rooting for the couple.

By Kathryn Knight,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

After tragedy strikes, Callie Sinclair is left with a gift she never wanted—the ability to communicate with ghosts. But when a desperate widow begs for her help, she reluctantly agrees to investigate the strange occurrences at Hillwood Farm. She quickly realizes she’s dealing with a dangerous presence beyond anything she’s ever experienced, and something else becomes equally clear—the only other living person in the house, Mrs. Turner’s handsome grandson, thinks she’s a scam artist. While she’d prefer to just ignore him, her heart beats a little faster every time he’s nearby.

Luke Turner doesn’t believe in spirits. He’s moved back…

Book cover of The Penguin Book of Vampire Stories

Rae Lori Author Of A Kiss of Ashen Twilight

From the list on contemporary paranormal fantasy that span time.

Who am I?

I’ve been a huge fan of vampires, werewolves, elves, fairies, and all sorts of supernatural-themed creatures since I can remember. In addition, I grew up on sci-fi and fantasy movies and novels, which inspired me to pen my first short story at ten years old and send it in for publication. Since then, I’ve enjoyed creating art and writing stories that feature fantastical characters and creatures in extraordinary worlds having adventures. Though I have had two book series and numerous short stories published, I have many more stories and novels in the vault that I can’t wait to share with my readers.

Rae's book list on contemporary paranormal fantasy that span time

Why did Rae love this book?

This anthology holds a special place in my heart! Like most anthologies, my enjoyment varies with each story, but I love the variety of works published from the 1800s to the 1980s. In addition, it introduced me to John Polidori, a.k.a the father of vampire fiction, who I incorporated into my series as a family member to one of my characters. 

Of particular interest is the story "Bite-Me-Not" or "Fleur de Feu" by Tanith Lee, which is one of those stories that linger like a wistful, haunting dream that begs your return to its waiting arms. I am in awe of the lyrical prose, the dark yet beautiful characters, and the overall presentation. Though many of the other stories aren’t as engaging as this, I still love losing myself in all the vampire stories across the centuries and how the written word has changed with each take on my fave…

By Various,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

They're lurking under the cover of darkness and between the covers of this book. Here, in all their horror and all their glory, are the great vampires of literature: male and female, invisible and metamorphic, doomed and daring.

Their skin deathly pale, their nails curved like claws, their fangs sharpened for the attack, they are gathered for the kill and for the chill, brought frighteningly to life by Bram Stoker, Fritz Leiber, Richard Matheson, Robert Bloch, Charles L. Grant, Tanith Lee, and other masters of the macabre. Careful they are all crafty enough to steal their way into your imagination…

The Apparition Phase

By Will Maclean,

Book cover of The Apparition Phase

Daisy Pearce Author Of The Silence

From the list on provoking a sense of dread.

Who am I?

Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a ghostbuster. I was the kid with the stack of ghost books and horror film obsession, sparked full of adrenaline and excitement. I knew about ouija boards and poltergeists before I knew my times tables and even now - older, more cynical, less drawn to graveyards - I still feel that same thrill when I am holding a horror novel in my hands. I write about discomfort, about fear. I’m well-acquainted with it. I like the feeling of being unnerved and want to evoke that in the stories I tell and the ones I read, like the books below. Hope you enjoy! 

Daisy's book list on provoking a sense of dread

Why did Daisy love this book?

So good! A ghost story rich in texture, set in Britain during the seventies. Twins Tim and Abi live in an insular world, obsessed with the paranormal. After they prank a school friend with a fake ghost photograph events start to spiral out of control. Nostalgic without being syrupy, this book felt like stepping back into my own ghost-obsessed childhood. It’s that familiarity, as well as the slow burn of the strange and unnerving events, that kept me absolutely hooked.

By Will Maclean,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


'A delight for both the expert and the uninitiated, this creepy tale is a carapace of cosy nostalgia wrapped round a solid thread of dread ... A page turner that keeps you in dreaded suspense of what you are about to be shown ... A claustrophobic and entertaining read that left me breathless ... Horror for the connoisseur.' ALICE LOWE

'Hallucinatory brilliance ... The Apparition Phase may be the perfect novel for our phantom present.' GUARDIAN
Tim and Abi have always been different from their peers. Precociously bright, they spend their evenings in…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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