Five Horror Novels You Probably Haven’t Heard About

4 min read Didn’t get enough scares? Then keep the momentum going with these five horror books that you probably haven’t heard of.

Scary hands

Photo Credit: (Daniel Jensen) Halloween is in the rear-view, but some may want to continue the great scares and horrors of the holiday.

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By Michael Aaron Coopersmith | mcoopersmith@radford.edu

Halloween is in the rear-view, but some may want to continue the great scares and horrors of the holiday. If that is you, then these books may be just what you need.

1. Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado 

One could say that horror is a bit of a “Boys Club.” With Jason and Freddy hogging up the lime-light, one might grow tired of these male-centric horror stories. 

If you want a breath of fresh air, I recommend this horror anthology. Each tale within this book stars a woman and revolves around the many horrors of being a woman. But it’ll strike a chord with the reader regardless of gender.  

Her Body and Other Parties
Photo Credit: (Carmen Maria Machado) One could say that horror is a bit of a “Boys Club.”

2. Let’s Play White by Chesya Burke 

African American horror movies, such as Get Out and Us, have started to make their way into the mainstream and the horror zeitgeist. 

Let’s Play White is an anthology; so, the range of its messages expands with each story you read. From a girl that can see ghosts, to a woman clinging in fear, to a purse with the remains of a baby, each story can send a shiver down your spine.

Let's Play White
Photo Credit: (Chesya Burke) Let’s Play White is an anthology.

3. Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez 

This book is the first volume in a horror comic book series written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriquez. 

This story entails a family that moved to a small town called Lovecraft in Massachusetts. The reason they moved involves them trying to start a new life after dealing with a traumatic home invasion that led to the death of their father. 

Throughout this book, one can see how each character deals with trauma. In the family’s new home, a supernatural power grows and begins to plot against them.

If you like the feeling of tension increasing with every page’s turn and character-driven story arches all wrapped up in comic book structure, then you should pick up the first volume of Locke and Key.

Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft
Photo Credit: (Joe Hill/Gabriel Rodriguez) This story entails a family that moved to a small town called Lovecraft in Massachusetts.

4. The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole 

This book is regarded as the original gothic novel. Since it was published in 1764, it has a leg up on the well-known Edgar Allen Poe. 

This book would even begin the literary movement known as British Gothic. 

This story takes place at a crumbing castle (representing illegitimacy with the crown) filled with haunting ghosts and a mad king chasing a princess around. Meanwhile, a mysterious stranger aids her in her escape but eventually finds out a secret that would change everything. 

Give this a look if you’re in the mood for a classic gothic tale that started it all.  

The Castle of Otranto
Photo Credit: (Horace Walpole) This book is regarded as the original gothic novel.

5. The Road by Cormac McCarthy  

For my last pick, I find that this story doesn’t get enough credit during October. 

Within the story, the world has engulfed in an environmental disaster that leaves father and son with little options other than travel south across the North American continent. 

This book is a gritty tale of a father trying to raise his son in a world that grows harsher every day. They must survive in a world that is violently foreign to both of them. 

It’s a depressing read, but if you’re willing, give it a look.  

The Road
Photo Credit: (Cormac McCarthy) This book is a gritty tale of a father trying to raise his son in a world that grows harsher every day.