The most recommended books about exorcisms

Who picked these books? Meet our 23 experts.

23 authors created a book list connected to exorcisms, and here are their favorite exorcism books.
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Book cover of The Walker in Shadows

Kate Watterson Author Of The Lake House

From my list on steep cliff page-turners.

Why am I passionate about this?

Kate Watterson is the author of thriller novels for various publishers, and has always been a fan of the suspense genre. Good tension and a bit of danger balanced by an investigator who is on the trail, and she turns pages into the night. It is all about the hunt and the solution in her opinion, and of course, being perched on the edge of your seat.

Kate's book list on steep cliff page-turners

Kate Watterson Why did Kate love this book?

This book has everything; atmosphere, a masterful voice, a definite sense of history and place, and a good old-fashioned reason for how the plot unfolds. The mystery is revealed at the perfect pace, with small snippets and the characters are an interesting mixture of different generations so there is a dynamic that flows through the story is an ebb and flow of perspective.

A touch of paranormal is one of her signatures and it really works here.

I just couldn’t put it down. If you crave a few chills and a desire to look over your shoulder with some trepidation after the lights go out, I highly recommend it. Ms. Michaels handles that perfectly.

By Barbara Michaels,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ghosts, a mysterious diary and a harrowing of a family split by the American Civil War sit at the heart of The Walker in the Shadows, a haunting Gothic romance by New York Times bestseller Barbara Michaels.

The house next door to Pat Robbins - eerily identical to the home she shares with her teenage son, Mark - has been empty for years. And it's not surprising, as there's a feeling of darkness radiating from the house that seems to scare everyone away.

But now new tenants are moving in: friendly Josef and his lovely daughter, Kathy, who has stolen…

Book cover of The Exorcist

Matt Cardin Author Of What the Daemon Said: Essays on Horror Fiction, Film, and Philosophy

From my list on religion, horror, and the supernatural.

Why am I passionate about this?

Religion and horror have long appeared to me like the double helix of some mysterious, transcendental strand of DNA. This relationship has been lived out in my own life. I am simultaneously an author of supernatural horror stories, a critic and scholar of the field, and a student of religion and philosophy with a master’s in religious studies, a Ph.D. in leadership studies, and a lifetime of involvement in various Christian churches. As both a writer and a human being, I hold a special focus on the mutual implications of religion, horror, and creativity, which all seem to arise from and lead back to the same ultimate mystery.

Matt's book list on religion, horror, and the supernatural

Matt Cardin Why did Matt love this book?

Blatty’s classic novel is recommendable as much for its cultural impact, which is of course inextricably bound up with its legendary film adaptation, as for its own content. With the story of young Regan, a 12-year-old girl in the modern technological world who becomes possessed by an ancient demon, Blatty, a committed Roman Catholic, deliberately set out to communicate a vivid sense of supernatural evil to a modern, skeptical, jaded audience. Many people don’t realize that The Exorcist is actually a Christian novel. As Blatty himself later put it, if he could get people to believe, even fictionally/emotionally, in demons, they would also know what it feels like to live in a universe where God and angels are real. The result, regardless of your religious beliefs, is unforgettable.

By William Peter Blatty,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Father Damien Karras: 'Where is Regan?'
Regan MacNeil: 'In here. With us.'

The terror begins unobtrusively. Noises in the attic. In the child's room, an odd smell, the displacement of furniture, an icy chill. At first, easy explanations are offered. Then frightening changes begin to appear in eleven-year-old Regan. Medical tests fail to shed any light on her symptoms, but it is as if a different personality has invaded her body.

Father Damien Karras, a Jesuit priest, is called in. Is it possible that a demonic presence has possessed the child? Exorcism seems to be the only answer...

First published…

Book cover of My Best Friend's Exorcism

Jaq Evans Author Of What Grows in the Dark

From my list on people who are unsure of horror genre.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a horror and speculative fiction author who reads everything but who is tired of strict genre definitions and loves introducing people to work they might not have considered—especially the spooky stuff, and especially when I’m asked about horror recommendations for non-horror lovers. I think dark fiction gives us a way to process painful emotions in a safe space; it offers catharsis for being alive in a difficult world; it can definitely be a lot of fun while also giving you a way to empathize with people outside your own direct experience. I’ve tried to hit on all of that in this list!  

Jaq's book list on people who are unsure of horror genre

Jaq Evans Why did Jaq love this book?

This was my first Grady Hendrix book, and it had everything that makes his work an instant buy for me now: the characters are well-realized and imperfect, with their relationship at the forefront of the horror; it’s incredibly funny; the scary scenes are burned into my brain to this day. I love the ‘80s vibes of this novel (it has a certain Heathers flair)—from the outfits to the TV evangelist exorcist.

I really enjoy feeling grounded in place and time, especially with horror and speculative fiction, where you need to suspend your disbelief. This book manages to walk the perfect line between being way over the top yet also having a very relatable and emotionally resonant story of friendship.

By Grady Hendrix,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked My Best Friend's Exorcism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act different. She s moody. She s irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she s nearby. Abby s investigation leads her to some startling discoveries and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil? Like an unholy hybrid of Beaches and The Exorcist, My Best Friend s…

Book cover of All of a Winter's Night

Kate Charles Author Of Desolate Places

From my list on murder and mayhem in English churches.

Why am I passionate about this?

One of my favourite reviews described my book as ‘a bloodstained version of the world of Barbara Pym.’ Perfect! I write crime novels set in the Church of England. I also read mysteries with churchy connections—lots of them. My shelves hold hundreds, featuring clerical sleuths (and even a few clerical murderers), books set in churches, cathedrals, and monasteries (past and present). I love to explore the questions I am so often asked when talking about the books I love: why is there such a plethora of them, and why does the Church, which represents ‘goodness,’ appear so often in novels which feature unspeakable crimes?

Kate's book list on murder and mayhem in English churches

Kate Charles Why did Kate love this book?

Set in the evocative, spooky borderlands known as the Marches, between England and Wales, this is part of a series by Phil Rickman. Through the novels we follow the trials and tribulations of Merrily Watkins, a parish priest and the official exorcist for the Hereford diocese of the Church of England—thus introducing a strong element of the supernatural. Merrily is a believable and sympathetic protagonist, with her share of human weaknesses, and she’s surrounded by a rich, unforgettable cast of ongoing supporting characters: daughter Jane, musician Lol, and the wonderful Gomer Parry. It was difficult to choose one book from this fine series, but I settled on this one because it features one of my own favourite churchesKilpeck, in the wilds of Herefordshire.

By Phil Rickman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All of a Winter's Night as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Aidan Lloyd's bleak funeral is followed by a nocturnal ritual in the fog, it becomes all too clear that Aidan, son of a wealthy farmer, will not be resting in peace.

Aidan's hidden history has reignited an old feud, and a rural tradition begins to display its sinister side.

It's already a fraught time for Merrily Watkins, her future threatened by a bishop committed to restricting her role as diocesan exorcist for Hereford. Suddenly there are events she can't talk about as she and her daughter Jane find themselves potentially on the wrong side of the law.

In the…

Book cover of The Good Demon

Caitlin Seal Author Of Twice Dead

From my list on spooky YA zombies, ghosts, and demons.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a writer and all-around nerd living in California. When I was a kid, I loved scaring myself silly with ghost stories. My school’s tiny library had a stock of Goosebumps books that I devoured like candy. Ever since, I’ve loved stories about the things we are afraid of—especially the ones that make us question where that fear comes from. The books on my list blend my love of horror and fantasy. They are stories to make you shiver, and stories to make you think. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Caitlin's book list on spooky YA zombies, ghosts, and demons

Caitlin Seal Why did Caitlin love this book?

The Good Demon is unlike anything else I’ve read. It’s eerie, intimate, and spellbinding. Clare’s demon was her best friend, her Only, right up until her parents called a priest to cast the demon out. Now the only thing Clare wants is to get her demon back. It’s hard to say more about this book other than that it is very, very, good. The horror elements are scary in the way of abandoned houses and shadows seen from the corner of your eye. If you like your stories strange and moody and your characters flawed, you should definitely give this book a try.

By Jimmy Cajoleas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

It wasn't technically an exorcism, what they did to Clare. When the reverend and his son ripped her demon from her, they called it a "deliverance." But they didn't understand that Clare and her demon-known simply as Her-were like sisters. She comforted Clare, made her feel brave, helped to ease her loneliness. They were each other's Only.

Now, Clare's only comforts are the three clues that She left behind:
Be nice to him
June 20
Remember the stories

Clare will do anything to get Her back, even if it means teaming up with the reverend's son and scouring every inch…

Book cover of Fade

J. Trevor Robinson Author Of The Mummy of Monte Cristo

From my list on fantasy novels with unforgettable characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

Monsters and magic have always had a hook on me, ever since I was just a kid going through a stack of Stephen King paperbacks that I was definitely too young for my brother to have given me – not that many would call his work “fantasy” exactly, despite the amount of vampires ghosts and magic that say otherwise. Urban fantasy, blending those elements with the familiar world we know, is a particular favourite of mine. So much so, that I wrote my own! Granted, the urban area in question is 19th-century Paris, but I say that still counts.

J.'s book list on fantasy novels with unforgettable characters

J. Trevor Robinson Why did J. love this book?

Can you call it “urban fantasy” when most of the action happens in rural areas? You really get a sense of how much young Paxton Locke lost when his mother murdered his father to summon a demon, and how that shapes him in the present into a man who goes out of his way to help others all over the country. Paxton isn’t the only character whose layers we get to dig into either. Without spoiling anything, he does pick up a sidekick in his travels who is more than meets the eye, and the narration occasionally switches to some other colourful characters on their own arcs to intersect Paxton’s.

By Daniel Humphreys,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From Dragon Award nominee Daniel Humphreys
Son of a Witch

Family drama is bad enough without adding magic and human sacrifice. Ten years ago, Paxton Locke’s mother killed his father in a mysterious ritual that – thankfully – went incomplete. Now, Paxton makes his living as a roving paranormal investigator, banishing spirits while Mother languishes in jail.

When a terrified ghost warns him of a dangerous, newly-freed entity, Paxton faces a fight far beyond simple exorcism. In a battle for his very soul, will he be able to endure – or simply fade away?

Harry Dresden's sorcery goes on a…

Book cover of Dybbuk

Lenny Cavallaro Author Of The Ibbur's Tale

From my list on Jewish paranormal literature.

Why am I passionate about this?

I come from a rather strange background: southern Italian and Eastern European Jewish. As a child, I heard both Italian (Neapolitan dialect) and Yiddish. I later learned that my maternal grandmother’s brother was the well-known Yiddish poet and playwright, Jacob Adler, creator of Yente (who wrote under the name B. Kovner to avoid confusion with the great actor by that name). I have been involved with what some call the “occult,” “paranormal,” or “supernatural” for many years, and these appear in much of my recent writing. Moreover, The Ibbur’s Tale draws on various elements drawn from the history of my mother’s family, including the fate of some during the Holocaust. 

Lenny's book list on Jewish paranormal literature

Lenny Cavallaro Why did Lenny love this book?

This study offers a thorough presentation of the traditional (and non-traditional) Jewish thoughts about various topics, including ghosts and apparitions, magic and superstition, and even reincarnation. However, the main thrust is the analysis of six (presumably) documented accounts of possession by spirits and subsequent exorcisms. 

I have listed this work for two reasons. First, it underscores the significance of possession within a community not known for performing exorcisms. Then, more personally, I found the presentation challenging, intriguing, and perhaps even provocative. If such malevolent possession has been documented, why not a benevolent ibbur?

By Gershon Winkler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An astonishing book chronicling and dramatizing six documented reports of possession and exorcism in the Jewish experience. Also features a fascinating historical look at the traditional Jewish perspective on reincarnation, ghosts, apparitions, magic and superstition.

Book cover of Within These Wicked Walls

Lyssa Mia Smith Author Of Revelle

From my list on young adult fantasy with high-stakes romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

Long before I was an author of romantic fantasies, I was an avid reader of all things romance. Genre romance. Fantasy Romance. Romantic Fantasy. Romantic suspense. An adventure where the characters smile at each other for a heartbeat longer than usual. Give me even a hint of attraction between two characters, and I’m hooked. Give me life-or-death stakes and a first kiss that takes hundreds of pages, and I’m addicted. As a psychologist, helping young adults sort through real-life romance dilemmas is one of my favorite parts of the job. Now that I get to write these stories, I’ve made it my mission to devour all the best high-stakes YA romances I can find—or write.

Lyssa's book list on young adult fantasy with high-stakes romance

Lyssa Mia Smith Why did Lyssa love this book?

Jane Eyre retelling in Ethiopa with magic—need I say more? Rich, quirky Magnus lives in a seriously haunted house, and the only exorcist willing to help him is broke, blunt Andromeda. I could not love these two more. Magnus is a beautiful weirdo who has been haunted and spoiled for far too long, and Andromeda puts him in his place. The banter, the creepiness of the house that is literally trying to kill them—no wonder Reese Witherspoon picked this one for her book club! 

By Lauren Blackwood,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Within These Wicked Walls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?


"Lauren Blackwood’s can’t-miss debut is a magical, Ethiopian-inspired remix of Jane Eyre." - Harper's Bazaar

What the heart desires, the house destroys...

Andromeda is a debtera―an exorcist hired to cleanse households of the Evil Eye. She would be hired, that is, if her mentor hadn’t thrown her out before she could earn her license. Now her only hope of steady work is to find a Patron―a rich, well-connected individual who will vouch for her abilities.

When a handsome young heir named Magnus Rochester reaches out to hire her,…