100 books like The Woman in Black

By Susan Hill,

Here are 100 books that The Woman in Black fans have personally recommended if you like The Woman in Black. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Jane Eyre

Jawahara Saidullah Author Of We are...Warrior Queens

From my list on transporting you across time and place.

Why am I passionate about this?

Travel and writing are my two great passions. Since I was a child, I escaped reality by escaping into my own mind. I had relied on my stories of the warrior queens ever since I learned about them as a child. It was only a few years ago, when I lived in Geneva, that I had a memory flash at me of the statue of Queen Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi on a rearing horse with a curved sword held in one hand. I knew then that it was time to tell a story—my own story and that of my favorite warrior queens.

Jawahara's book list on transporting you across time and place

Jawahara Saidullah Why did Jawahara love this book?

This is one classic that everyone should read because it’s a pleasure to do so. I read this as a 13-year-old, and it quickly became the yardstick against which I measured every other love story. Yes, it’s a love story, and that is the heart of this book, but it’s not a sappy romantic tale. 

This book explores class structures, mental disorders, and a glimpse into another time. Intense yet leashed emotions form the backbone of the story. As a teen and even now, the brooding, dark quality of this tale really appeals to me.

By Charlotte Brontë,

Why should I read it?

33 authors picked Jane Eyre as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Introduction and Notes by Dr Sally Minogue, Canterbury Christ Church University College.

Jane Eyre ranks as one of the greatest and most perennially popular works of English fiction. Although the poor but plucky heroine is outwardly of plain appearance, she possesses an indomitable spirit, a sharp wit and great courage.

She is forced to battle against the exigencies of a cruel guardian, a harsh employer and a rigid social order. All of which circumscribe her life and position when she becomes governess to the daughter of the mysterious, sardonic and attractive Mr Rochester.

However, there is great kindness and warmth…


Book cover of Rebecca

Raemi A. Ray Author Of A Chain of Pearls

From my list on unique, moody settings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved mysteries since I was a kid and became hooked on the Fear Street books by RL Stine. In college, I took a class on suspense and mystery and was introduced to the greats: Chandler, Hammett, Collins, Christie, Doyle… I could go on and on. As I consumed more, I became enamored with mysteries that were more than just stories about victims but also used crime as a vehicle to comment on the region’s social and economic issues. My favorite mysteries are more than the sum of its body parts. They also scrutinize the worlds where these heinous crimes were allowed to occur.   

Raemi's book list on unique, moody settings

Raemi A. Ray Why did Raemi love this book?

You can’t mention du Maurier’s Rebecca without mentioning Manderlay. The estate is essential to the entire spooky tale. I loved the way the house on a cliff feels sentient and antagonistic without the story ever venturing into the paranormal or supernatural. The reader is in the narrator’s head the entire time, and we’re left wondering what she’s imagining and what’s real. It’s such a well-crafted, haunting story. 

I also enjoyed the exploration of realistic morally gray characters: Maxim, Rebecca, Mrs. Danvers, and Jack. Everyone was at odds with the second Mrs. DeWinter, and their motivations were all complex and wonderfully twisted. 

By Daphne du Maurier,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

* 'The greatest psychological thriller of all time' ERIN KELLY
* 'One of the most influential novels of the twentieth century' SARAH WATERS
* 'It's the book every writer wishes they'd written' CLARE MACKINTOSH

'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .'

Working as a lady's companion, our heroine's outlook is bleak until, on a trip to the south of France, she meets a handsome widower whose proposal takes her by surprise. She accepts but, whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory…


Book cover of Mexican Gothic

David Ferraro Author Of The Alchemy of Moonlight

From my list on Gothic with dark and haunting family secrets.

Why am I passionate about this?

Horror has had a place in my life since my parents let me watch horror movies at far too young an age. But horror comes in many forms, and I’ve found that my love for atmosphere supersedes that of cheap thrills. In Gothic literature, atmosphere is everything. Done right, it paints an unsettling picture that builds tension for readers hoping to get lost in a disquieting world. A lover of classics, I was drawn to Gothic texts, from Dracula to the works of Edgar Allen Poe, and my Gothic novel The Alchemy of Moonlight is a love letter to the pioneers who shaped these shadowy worlds for generation of readers.

David's book list on Gothic with dark and haunting family secrets

David Ferraro Why did David love this book?

Isolated locations are the cornerstone for building tension in a slow-burning mystery such as this.

With a strange family keeping secrets from our protagonist, to the quiet unease of something not quite right, the mounting dread of this Gothic tale takes readers on a journey both unique and unsettlingly familiar.

It crawls under your skin and remains, unbidden, like Noemi’s dreams of blood in a house that doesn’t want to let her go, just as the cousin she’s come to rescue seems destined to succumb under the rule of an oppressive family.

The resurgence of Gothic literature this new classic has inspired made it possible for my book to see the light of day.

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 The Little Stranger

Sarah Porter Author Of Projections

From my list on unusual ghost stories for someone who loves spooky.

Why am I passionate about this?

The uncanny slips into the gaps between the objective world and the world of human experience with all its dreams, apprehensions, and intuitions. This intermediate space is the habitat of ghosts and also the zone where my mind does its wanderings. It's where my books come, and explorations of that space in other peoples' books draw me in, deeply and inescapably.

Sarah's book list on unusual ghost stories for someone who loves spooky

Sarah Porter Why did Sarah love this book?

I adored this fascinating twist on poltergeists! In writing about ghosts, what’s important isn’t only the stories of the dead but their relationship with the living.

The Ayres family—failing aristocrats in a decrepit mansion—might be haunted by the ghost of a dead Ayres child or else by an imposter. What fascinated me was the way their love and loss make them vulnerable to predation. It’s a quietly disturbing story with a very unquiet payoff.

By Sarah Waters,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Little Stranger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

After her award-winning trilogy of Victorian novels, Sarah Waters turned to the 1940s and wrote THE NIGHT WATCH, a tender and tragic novel set against the backdrop of wartime Britain. Shortlisted for both the Orange and the Man Booker, it went straight to number one in the bestseller chart. In a dusty post-war summer in rural Warwickshire, a doctor is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, the clock in its stable…


Book cover of The Only Good Indians

Michele W. Miller Author Of The Lower Power

From my list on supernatural terror with real-world adversity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write horror and crime thrillers grounded in my unusual lived experience as an author and attorney who has also overcome poverty, incarceration, and violent crime. I feel most fulfilled when I read a book that both entertains and expands me in meaningful ways, immersing me in lives, cultures, and history I might not otherwise know. So I love Social Horror novels, which feature characters who face significant human adversity beyond my own experience and leave me questioning what was worse, the human or the supernatural.

Michele's book list on supernatural terror with real-world adversity

Michele W. Miller Why did Michele love this book?

After a “massacre” of a herd of elk on a protected reservation forest—a scene which spoke more of frenzied bloodlust than hunting for sustenance—four Blackfoot men become the prey of a creature bent on revenge.

Jones’s narrative satisfied my thirst for wholly original horror while exploring the clash of Native American traditional and contemporary culture. The story touches on the characters’ drive to assimilate, guilt and sense of identity, and the need to move beyond resentments to create a life worth living.

I loved the originality of the beast, the slice of reservation life, and the endearing, flawed characters, all rendered with gorgeous precision.

By Stephen Graham Jones,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Only Good Indians as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Thrilling, literate, scary, immersive."
-Stephen King

The Stoker, Mark Twain American Voice in Literature, Bradbury, Locus and Alex Award-winning, NYT-bestselling gothic horror about cultural identity, the price of tradition and revenge for fans of Adam Nevill's The Ritual.

Ricky, Gabe, Lewis and Cassidy are men bound to their heritage, bound by society, and trapped in the endless expanses of the landscape. Now, ten years after a fateful elk hunt, which remains a closely guarded secret between them, these men - and their children - must face a ferocious spirit that is coming for them, one at a time. A spirit…


Book cover of The Turn of the Screw

Linda Griffin Author Of Stonebridge

From my list on good old-fashioned haunted house.

Why am I passionate about this?

Maybe because I grew up in San Diego, a city that boasts what ghost hunter Hans Holzer called the most haunted house in America, I’ve always loved ghost stories. I never encountered a ghost when I visited the Whaley House Museum, as Regis Philbin did when he spent the night, but I once took a photograph there that had an unexplained light streak on it. Although I conceived a passion for the printed word with my first Dick and Jane reader and wrote my first story at the age of six, it took me a few decades to fulfill my long-held desire to write a ghost story of my own.

Linda's book list on good old-fashioned haunted house

Linda Griffin Why did Linda love this book?

I’m fond of the subtle, psychologically complex writing of Henry James, and this is his best ghost story.

I like the 19th-century convention of a framing story to add verisimilitude instead of the modern presumption of willing suspension of disbelief. The consequent delay in getting into the story and the old-fashioned literary style and pacing might be challenging to some modern readers, but for me they enhanced the atmosphere and foreshadowing and gave another “turn of the screw” to the suspense, which continues until the last word.

By Henry James,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A most wonderful, lurid, poisonous little tale' Oscar Wilde

The Turn of the Screw, James's great masterpiece of haunting atmosphere and unbearable tension, tells of a young governess sent to a country house to take charge of two orphans, Miles and Flora. Unsettled by a dark foreboding of menace within the house, she soon comes to believe that something, or someone, malevolent is stalking the children in her care. Is the threat to her young charges really a malign and ghostly presence, or a manifestation of something else entirely?

Edited and with an Introduction and Notes by David Bromwich
Series…


Book cover of Wylding Hall

Amanda Desiree Author Of Smithy

From my list on creepy epistolary horror novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always admired epistolary novels—stories told in the form of diaries, letters, or other mass media. They seem so real and so much more believable than plain narratives. When dealing with fantastic subjects, like paranormal phenomena, any technique that can draw the weird back into the real world helps me become more invested as a reader. It’s a quality I’ve also tried to capture as a horror writer. Moreover, the epistolary format pairs well with unreliable narrators, often filtering stories so as to make them more ambiguous and disturbing. From the many epistolary works I’ve read over the years, here are my picks for the most compelling—and creepy.

Amanda's book list on creepy epistolary horror novels

Amanda Desiree Why did Amanda love this book?

This phantasmagorical oral history unfolds during one of my favorite time periods, the psychedelic late 60s/early 70s. It also fuses two of my favorite sub-genres, folk horror and haunted houses.

I could easily visualize the setting and the different characters as I read their statements and tried to piece together the reality of what happened during the band’s infamous time at Wylding Hall.

By Elizabeth Hand,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Wylding Hall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After the tragic and mysterious death of one of their founding members, the young musicians in a British acid-folk band hole up at Wylding Hall, an ancient country house with its own dark secrets. There they record the classic album that will make their reputation but at a terrifying cost, when Julian Blake, their lead singer, disappears within the mansion and is never seen again. Now, years later, each of the surviving musicians, their friends and lovers (including a psychic, a photographer, and the band s manager) meets with a young documentary filmmaker to tell his or her own version…


Book cover of A Head Full of Ghosts

V.P. Morris Author Of ShadowCast

From my list on thrillers with morally gray female protagonists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by people’s motives whether that be in real life or written on the page. That’s what drew me to write in the thriller genre to begin with because at the core, it's about finding out why people do things. But sometimes this genre portrays female characters as either innocent damsels or evil femme fatales, neither of which captures that women are a mix of good and bad like all other people. That’s why I try to write my female protagonists in my novels, short stories, and fictional podcasts, in a way that makes them conflicted humans and causes them to experience both downfalls and triumphs. 

V.P.'s book list on thrillers with morally gray female protagonists

V.P. Morris Why did V.P. love this book?

As an avid horror fan, not much creeps me out. This book did.

The story follows Merry, a young girl who is certain her teenage sister, Marjorie is possessed. Soon her religious parents believe Marjorie is possessed as well and invite a film crew to document the strange happenings in their home and an attempted exorcism.

The details of this alleged possession are terrifying, especially told from the perspective of a nine-year-old girl.

But just when you think you understand what happened with their family, the last few pages turn the tables on you and cause you to question what Merry has told you, how good of a person she actually is, and ask yourself how responsible could a child be in this horrific circumstance. 

By Paul Tremblay,

Why should I read it?

6 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 Wuthering Heights

Laura Liller Author Of His Hollywood Blonde

From my list on O.G. romances.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a scented candles and bubble bath girl. But my love of love doesn’t intersect with chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne; it’s a circle. I’m not sure if I’m inspired to write romance because of my reality or if my reality is enriched by my writing. In any case, I enjoy a healthy love life, which, to me, is a necessity when writing realistic love or sex scenes. I’ve dated…extensively, and it’s that very experience that makes my love scenes ring true. A little bit of a past goes a long way when devising a romantic scenario or plot. Comma placement can always be learned. 

Laura's book list on O.G. romances

Laura Liller Why did Laura love this book?

I’ve loved this book since I was thirteen. Even as an adolescent, I was swept up by the romance and the tragedy.

When I read this book, I’m instantly on the Yorkshire moors, sooty clouds hovering above, watching Heathcliff, his dark hair ruffling and his tattered sleeves flapping in the brittle wind. If unrequited love is a romance trope, then this book is the unqualified architect of the genre.

I periodically dust off my copy, yellowed pages and all, for a re-read. I’m such an immersive and visual reader; I can see the torture in Heathcliff’s eyes, the despair in Isabella’s, and the denial in Cathy’s. And just when I feel the setting is too dark and gothic, Hareton Earnshaw, the character I’ve come to view as the hero, realizes justice.

By Emily Bronte,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Wuthering Heights as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the great novels of the nineteenth century, Emily Bronte's haunting tale of passion and greed remains unsurpassed in its depiction of destructive love. Her tragically short life is brilliantly imagined in the major new movie, Emily, starring Emma Mackey in the title role.

Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket-sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition of Wuthering Heights features an afterword by David Pinching.

One wild, snowy night on the Yorkshire moors, a gentleman asks…


Book cover of The Haunting of Hill House

Linda Griffin Author Of Stonebridge

From my list on good old-fashioned haunted house.

Why am I passionate about this?

Maybe because I grew up in San Diego, a city that boasts what ghost hunter Hans Holzer called the most haunted house in America, I’ve always loved ghost stories. I never encountered a ghost when I visited the Whaley House Museum, as Regis Philbin did when he spent the night, but I once took a photograph there that had an unexplained light streak on it. Although I conceived a passion for the printed word with my first Dick and Jane reader and wrote my first story at the age of six, it took me a few decades to fulfill my long-held desire to write a ghost story of my own.

Linda's book list on good old-fashioned haunted house

Linda Griffin Why did Linda love this book?

I was late in coming to this and was glad to find its popularity richly deserved.

The characters are quirky enough to be entertaining on their own, and the house is a formidable opponent. I found the climactic scene where the ghost is banging on all the doors genuinely frightening, and then the plot took a completely unexpected turn. I was the one who succumbed to the haunting in the end.

By Shirley Jackson,

Why should I read it?

29 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…


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