The most recommended books on ghost hunting

Who picked these books? Meet our 37 experts.

37 authors created a book list connected to ghost hunting, and here are their favorite ghost hunting books.
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Book cover of Silent Invasion: The Pennsylvania UFO-Bigfoot Casebook

Nicole Cushing Author Of Mothwoman

From my list on paranormal investigation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a weirdo, so of course I’m attracted to the idea that the universe may be weird, too. I like the idea that the universe is able to hold itself together ninety-nine percent of the time, but every once in a while it just has to let its freak flag fly. Even if paranormal experiences are nothing more than waking dreams, they may still be worth our attention (the same as any dream). Even if such experiences aren’t objectively “real”, they’re subjectively fascinating. I love exploring the line between reality and unreality. Like Fort, I don’t believe it to be as cut and dry as mainstream science would have us believe.

Nicole's book list on paranormal investigation

Nicole Cushing Why did Nicole love this book?

Stan Gordon has spent the last fifty years investigating the paranormal in Western Pennsylvania. He’s observed the locations where events allegedly occurred. He’s interviewed witnesses. And, in Silent Invasion, he documents some of his stranger cases. 

How strange? Well, in the early seventies Gordon received reports of bigfoot being observed alongside landed UFOs. I love this book because it is so damned weird (but, at the same time, so well-documented). That’s not to say that I find all of Gordon’s anomalies anomalous. (The “metallic droppings” he found out in the woods in 1972 look to me to be Brillo pads.) But many of his other reports are not so easily dismissed. 

By Stan Gordon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Stan Gordon began his journey in field investigations of UFOs and other Paranormal encounters in Pennsylvania in 1965. During 1973 UFOs began to make widespread appearances in the sky across the Keystone State. It was during the summer of that year however when a mysterious wave of events began to unfold. Alarmed citizens over a widespread area reported close encounters with huge hairy Bigfoot-like creatures. Frightened residents called local authorities and media outlets reporting enormous footprints and terrified animals. As the pace of the abnormal encounters quickened through the following months, more eyewitness reports of other strange creatures, and a…


Book cover of The Girl in the Sequined Dress

Cassandra Joy Author Of Death & Chaos

From my list on spicy paranormal romance you’ve never read.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved both the fantasy and romance genres. (CS Lewis may or may not be directly responsible.) Discovering paranormal romance was the best day of my life. Since then, many years ago, I’ve read thousands of PNR books, both popular and less well-known, and love sharing my favorites with anyone who will sit still for five seconds. I even worked on a degree in English Literature for a while before switching to a more “practical” major. Blah. Because of those years of analyzing why some books are truly loved, I know you’ll enjoy these titles as much as I do.

Cassandra's book list on spicy paranormal romance you’ve never read

Cassandra Joy Why did Cassandra love this book?

This is an “episode”; three episodes make a “season”. Yep, this series is patterned off of a tv show. What else would you expect from a series that was inspired by two different monster hunting shows: Supernatural and Scooby-Do?

Humor. Epic levels of teamwork… and drama in the team. A revolving door of baddies. Moments that make you want to just wrap our hero/heroin up and hold them forever.

The Hunter Chronicles series has all of that. This first episode is an excellent introduction to Val and all of her guys… Some of whom aren’t human. The whole team’s delightful.

And sexy. Don’t forget sexy.

These shorter stories—that make a much longer one—are like rich little snacks that I love to savor.

RH: Monster Hunters

By Leslie Ayla,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Girl in the Sequined Dress as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hunting ghosts was never so sexy…

So there I am, minding my own business, trying to exorcise a ghost who likes to take her unsuspecting victims for a joyride, when said ghost sets her eyes on me. Now I’m faced with fighting off an unwanted spirit and I have to deal with my four teammates, my four best friends, pushing for more.

Can we make it through to the other side unscathed or will our relationship fall casualty to the girl in the sequined dress?

The first episode in The Hunter Chronicles, The Girl in the Sequined Dress kicks off…


Book cover of The Red Tree

Kirstyn McDermott Author Of Perfections

From my list on literary horror that will get under your skin.

Why am I passionate about this?

While I’ve been a voraciously omnivorous reader my whole life, I’ve always been drawn most to stories that take me into the darkest of dark places, and that sometimes leave me there, alone and without a light. Horror, weird fiction, and the contemporary gothic all have a permanent home in my heart, and they’re the genres in which I most like to play as a writer. Most of all, I love those dark stories that stretch boundaries and defy conventions, that wield language as the beautifully vicious weapon it can be, and challenge me to do the same.

Kirstyn's book list on literary horror that will get under your skin

Kirstyn McDermott Why did Kirstyn love this book?

Kiernan is, without question, one of the best practitioners of dark weird fiction working today. I’ve been reading their work almost since I started writing myself and will happily – and gratefully – admit to the early influence on my own writing. While their short stories always held a greater attraction for me personally, The Red Tree is a powerful and ambitious novel that brings together everything I love about their work. Sarah Crowe is burned-out writer fleeing from all her life contains, including herself, and the old, isolated farmhouse chosen as a refuge proves to be precisely the opposite. There are stories nested within stories, autobiography threaded through metafiction, dread mingled with wonder, and a satisfying ambiguity that resists a neat resolution. 

By Caitlin R. Kiernan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Sarah Crowe left Atlanta—and the remnants of a tumultuous relationship—to live in an old house in rural Rhode Island. Within its walls she discovers an unfinished manuscript written by the house’s former tenant—an anthropologist obsessed with the ancient oak growing on a desolate corner of the property.
 
Tied to local legends of supernatural magic, as well as documented accidents and murders, the gnarled tree takes root in Sarah’s imagination, prompting her to write her own account of its unsavory history.  
 
And as the oak continues to possess her dreams and nearly almost all her waking thoughts, Sarah risks her health…


Book cover of Charles Fort: The Man Who Invented the Supernatural

Nicole Cushing Author Of Mothwoman

From my list on paranormal investigation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a weirdo, so of course I’m attracted to the idea that the universe may be weird, too. I like the idea that the universe is able to hold itself together ninety-nine percent of the time, but every once in a while it just has to let its freak flag fly. Even if paranormal experiences are nothing more than waking dreams, they may still be worth our attention (the same as any dream). Even if such experiences aren’t objectively “real”, they’re subjectively fascinating. I love exploring the line between reality and unreality. Like Fort, I don’t believe it to be as cut and dry as mainstream science would have us believe.

Nicole's book list on paranormal investigation

Nicole Cushing Why did Nicole love this book?

Charles Fort was the o.g. paranormal investigator. One hundred years ago, he made a sweeping study of all the weird stuff mainstream science refuses to examine. Even now we use the word “Fortean” to describe the study of ghosts, bigfoot, ufos, ESP, etc. Steinmeyer’s biography reveals the complicated man behind the adjective. 

Was Fort a kook? Not really. Steinmeyer reveals him to be more of a gadfly, playfully thumbing his nose at science but never investing too much belief in his own eccentric theories, either. For Fort, the real and the unreal were two sides of the same coin. His quarrel was with those who insisted the quarter only had heads and refused to investigate the possible existence of tails.

By Jim Steinmeyer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'I am the first disciple of Charles Fort. Henceforth I am a Fortean'

Since Ben Hecht wrote this line in reviewing The Book of The Damned in 1919, Charles Fort - whose very name spawned an adjective, Fortean, defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as 'relating to or denoting paranormal phenomena' - has so divided opinion that to Theodore Dreiser he was "the most fascinating literary figure since Poe;" to The New York Times he was "the enfant terrible of science;" and to HG Wells he was "one of the most damnable bores who ever cut scraps from out of…


Book cover of Hell House

Charlotte Greene Author Of Gnarled Hollow

From my list on haunted houses to scare the bejesus out of you.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer of sapphic horror and romance fiction, and a professor of nineteenth and twentieth literature and Women’s and Gender Studies. I’ve been an avid reader of ghost-focused fiction since I was a little kid. This fascination was, in part, encouraged by my horror-loving parents, but I think I’ve just always loved being scared, and for me, the scariest thing imaginable is a haunted house. I’ve read widely in the genre, by turns spooked, thrilled, and baffled, and this reading eventually encouraged me to write my own haunted house novels. If you love a chilling tale, you’re going to love the books on this list.

Charlotte's book list on haunted houses to scare the bejesus out of you

Charlotte Greene Why did Charlotte love this book?

As the name might suggest, this novel is very much a spiritual descendant of Shirley Jackson’s Hill House, with a very similar setup: ghost hunters visit a haunted house that’s been abandoned for decades. That, however, is where the similarities end. In Matheson’s work, the haunting is more physical, with bodily threats to the ghost hunters at every turn, and the psychological and spiritual terror it inflicts does far more damage to them at each step, turning them against each other in violent and sometimes deadly ways.

By Richard Matheson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Hell House is the scariest haunted house novel ever written. It looms over the rest the way the mountains loom over the foothills." -- Stephen King

From the author of I Am Legend comes Richard Matheson's Hell House, the basis for the supernatural horror film starring Pamela Franklin, Roddy McDowall, Clive Revill.

Rolf Rudolph Deutsch is going die. But when Deutsch, a wealthy magazine and newspaper publisher, starts thinking seriously about his impending death, he offers to pay a physicist and two mediums, one physical and one mental, $100,000 each to establish the facts of life after death.

Dr. Lionel…


Book cover of Mothman: Behind the Red Eyes

Nicole Cushing Author Of Mothwoman

From my list on paranormal investigation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a weirdo, so of course I’m attracted to the idea that the universe may be weird, too. I like the idea that the universe is able to hold itself together ninety-nine percent of the time, but every once in a while it just has to let its freak flag fly. Even if paranormal experiences are nothing more than waking dreams, they may still be worth our attention (the same as any dream). Even if such experiences aren’t objectively “real”, they’re subjectively fascinating. I love exploring the line between reality and unreality. Like Fort, I don’t believe it to be as cut and dry as mainstream science would have us believe.

Nicole's book list on paranormal investigation

Nicole Cushing Why did Nicole love this book?

While many readers would cite John Keel’s The Mothman Prophecies as the definitive account of the late ‘60s cryptid sightings in West Virginia, I have a strong preference for Wamsley’s books on the subject. He has reprinted vintage newspaper articles (yes, Mothman sightings were the subject of mainstream local news articles back in the day). He also publishes transcripts of his interviews with witnesses, and photographs of these witnesses. You get to see them and read their accounts, in their own words. They sound credible.

He also makes sure to reprint news articles that offer natural explanations for the sightings. (Was the Mothman just an oversized bird, the sandhill crane? A giant owl? Experimental weather balloons released by a high school science club?) 

Good stuff!

By Jeff Wamsley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Look deeper into the mystery of the Mothman legacy with the most extensive collection of data ever assembled. Research materials include: Firsthand eyewitness accounts, Rare documents and press archives, UFO/Men in Black encounters, Silver Bridge disaster, TNT Area archives, Illustrations, maps, and photos.

"Mothman goes under the microscope as Jeff Wamsley continues to dig for more clues to this complex mystery.ᅠ A required investigative resource for those who are searching for answers." - John A. Keel, Author, The Mothman Prophecies.

"More riveting than ever! Once again Jeff Wamsley has put together the definitive, absolutely must-have book on one of the…


Book cover of Episode Thirteen

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 chronicle of a doomed reality TV show taping feels the most like a modern found-footage movie of any epistolary novel with its addition of instant messages and video footage to diaries and emails. The converging of different media corroboration adds a high level of realism to the story—an impressive trait that’s often lacking in cosmic horror.

Further, I’m impressed by the breadth of subjects Di Louie covered (Hindu mythology, occult mysticism, 1960s/1970s pop-culture references) and the way he expanded the haunted house trope beyond my expectations.

This book captivated me so much that I was more interested in reading it than in sightseeing while on my vacation.

By Craig DiLouie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Fade to Black is the newest hit ghost hunting reality TV show. Led by husband and wife team Matt and Claire Kirklin, it delivers weekly hauntings investigated by a dedicated team of ghost hunting experts.

Episode Thirteen takes them to every ghost hunter's holy grail: the Paranormal Research Foundation. This brooding, derelict mansion holds secrets and clues about bizarre experiments that took place there in the 1970s. It's also famously haunted, and the team hopes their scientific techniques and high tech gear will prove it. But as the house begins to reveal itself to them, proof of an afterlife might…


Book cover of The Haunting of Maddy Clare

Loretta Marion Author Of House of Ashes

From my list on mysterious old houses with a haunting presence.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an author of mysteries with three published books in the genre to date. Novels involving a mysterious house will immediately grab my attention. Throw in an otherworldly presence and I’m hooked. So it was no surprise when my muse guided me to create a mystery series that centers around a Victorian home haunted by the spirits of its original inhabitants. Inspiration came from personal experience—a real-life ghostly encounter in my New England country home which bordered an ancient cemetery—and influence from classic tales that delve into the paranormal and the psychological. This is the type of book I will always rush to read (and write).

Loretta's book list on mysterious old houses with a haunting presence

Loretta Marion Why did Loretta love this book?

The Haunting of Maddy Clare is a historic tale of ghost hunters who find exactly what they are seeking in Maddy Clare—a powerful and angry specter that haunts the barn where she ended her life. The characters are well drawn in a story that offers just the right balance of fright and romantic tension. The atmosphere is as dark and unsettling as one would hope to discover in a story about a haunting spirit, with enough mystery and suspense to keep the reader wondering about the ending for each of the characters—including Maddy Clare herself.

For readers who enjoy mysteries, ghost stories, and romantic suspense…The Haunting of Maddy Clare offers all of that and more.

By Simone St. James,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A woman of limited means and even less experience must confront a vengeful spirit in this haunting novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Broken Girls and The Sun Down Motel.

1920s England. Sarah Piper’s lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary agency sends her to assist an obsessed ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis—rich, handsome, and scarred by World War I—has been summoned to investigate the spirit of the nineteen-year-old maid Maddy Clare, who is said to haunt the barn where she committed suicide.

Maddy hated men in life, and she will not speak to them in death.…


Book cover of To Break a Covenant

Katya de Becerra Author Of What the Woods Keep

From my list on horror with mixed media format.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author of horror and thrillers, I have always been drawn to big mysteries, the darker the better. I blame this fascination on my love of David Lynch movies, which had originated in my early teens and persists to this day. I have also found that incorporating ‘found objects’ into mixed media narratives can help better simulate reality while also twisting it in unpredictable ways. It is no surprise that my debut What the Woods Keep is a mixed media genre-bender. While this storytelling method is not new, recent horror novels have used it in incredibly inventive and impactful ways. 

Katya's book list on horror with mixed media format

Katya de Becerra Why did Katya love this book?

A recent addition to the horror genre, this excellent debut novel excels in creating a surreal narrative drenched in dark atmosphere. To Break a Covenant centers around a terrifying, fractured faux-documentary about a town under control of a sinister presence. I dare you to read creepy descriptions of ‘found’ footage and not feel a chill as this mystery unfolds. 

By Alison Ames,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked To Break a Covenant as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Debut voice Alison Ames delivers with a chilling, feminist thriller, perfect for fans of Wilder Girls and Sawkill Girls.

Moon Basin has been haunted for as long as anyone can remember. It started when an explosion in the mine killed sixteen people. The disaster made it impossible to live in town, with underground fires spewing ash into the sky. But life in New Basin is just as fraught. The ex-mining town relies on its haunted reputation to bring in tourists, but there's more truth to the rumors than most are willing to admit, and the mine still has a hold…


Book cover of Second Glance

Renee Ebert Author Of Dead Eyes In Late Summer

From my list on women with pasts and futures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve heard stories of the 1918 Influenza pandemic, how the soldiers returning from WWI were infected and then spread the disease to every town throughout the United States, and that most who died were very young. The Twenties were exciting times and came immediately after the pandemic. With so much death among young people, those who survived wanted to live life recklessly.

Renee's book list on women with pasts and futures

Renee Ebert Why did Renee love this book?

This Picoult novel, written close to the time I began to shape my book, asks whether we can love across time. While the theme is much more grounded in practical and natural circumstances, the fact that the question is teased out in this novel helps shape the same question my character, Adelyn, finds herself embroiled in. Is Innis capable of breaking the barrier using the strength of a first love?

By Jodi Picoult,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
'Compelling, surprising and entertaining' Heat

Since the death of his fiancee Aimee, Ross Wakeman has been unable to fill the hole she has left in his life. Seeking to end his pain, he becomes a ghost hunter, despite never having seen a ghost.

However, when his job leads him to the town of Comtosook, it becomes apparent that Ross isn't the only one haunted by the past. When he meets the mysterious Lia, who brings him to life for the first time in years, redemption seems around the corner.

But the discoveries that await him are beyond…