May 19, 2019

Horror, Horror and Even More Horror

Looking for a new apartment in Berlin, my life right now is pretty much a psychological horror movie itself, but that does not prevent me from craving for more, more, more horror, especially in the form of written fiction - or a real life haunted house I can move into, if I must!
And speaking of haunted houses, I am especially excited that it is time for the horror book club again where we will discuss Michael McDowell's The Elementals, a haunted house-Southern Gothic merger. Meeting is on Friday, May 24th, at 7.30 pm at the Otherland Bookshop as usual.
I must say it is a pity there are so few other books available from McDowell; apparently he has co-written Beetlejuice as well as Nightmare Before Christmas and an intriguing book series titled "Blackwater", which is, unfortunately, out of stock... Hope Valancourt takes notice!

On a further note; the votings for the horror books have been somewhat monopolistic with the only source of suggestions being me. And having decided to go by classic horror tropes (we will discuss haunted houses and terrible places on our next meeting), I prepared a short list sorted by tropes that you can expand according to your own taste and which can serve as a basis for our votings. I bet there are many more good books out there, so please help me improve it in terms of books as well as categories! (List has been edited)

P.S. Books that did not make the votings so far are:
The Beauty - Aliya Whiteley
Universal Harvester - John Darnielle
The Fireman - Joe Hill
My Best Friend's Exorcism - Grady Hendrix
Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror - Ellen Datlow (ed.)
The White People and Other Weird Stories - Arthur Machen
Hell House - Richard Matheson
The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson

Here are all the subgenres I could think of to creep you out! Please mind that categorical overlaps are inevitable and my list is very incomplete (need your help there) AND that this is not a full list of any horror book ever written, the books listed are only suggestions for our reading group.


The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings - Edgar Allan Poe
Rosemary's Baby - Ira Levin
The Great God Pan - Arthur Machen
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Washington Irving

Cosmic Horror

The House on the Borderland – William Hope Hodgson
At the Mountains of Madness – HP Lovecraft
Occultation and Other Stories – Laird Barron
The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky – John Hornor Jacobs
Teatro Grottesco – Thomas Ligotti

Creature Horror

The Hatching – Ezekial Boone
Jaws – Peter Benchley
The Rats – James Herbert
The Terror – Dan Simmons
The Shuddering – Ania Ahlborn

 Creepy Kids

The Bad Seed – William March
Baby Teeth – Zoje Stage
The Turn of the Screw – Henry James
We Need to Talk About Kevin - Lionel Shriver

Feminist Horror

Her Body and Other Parties - Carmen Maria Machado
You Know You Want This - Kristen Roupenian
The Doll's Alphabet - Camilla Grudova
Sawkill Girls - Claire Legrand

Home Invasion

The Cabin at the End of the World – Paul Tremblay
Bedfellow - Jeremy C. Ship

Horror Retellings

Alice - Christina Henry
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories - Angela Carter
Kissing the Witch - Emma Donoghue
Unbury Carol - Josh Malerman

Japanese Horror 

Zoo - Otsuichi
Summer, Fireworks and My Corpse - Otsuichi
In the Miso Soup - Ryū Murakami
The Ring - Kōji Suzuki
Ju-On - Kei Ohishi 


My Best Friend's Exorcism - Grady Hendrix
Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones - Micah Dean Hicks
The Exorcist - William Peter Blatty

Psychological Horror

Misery - Stephen King
The Ones that Got Away - Stephen Graham Jones
The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner - James Hogg
Haunted  - Chuck Palahniuk

Short Stories

Sefira and Other Betrayals - John Langan
Wounds: Six Stories from the Border of Hell - Nathan Ballingrud

Southern Gothic

Boy's Life - Robert McCammon
The Listener - Robert McCammon


Seeing Red – David J. Schow
The Mirror of Night – Roberta Lannes
Books of Blood (Vol. 1-3) – Clive Barker
In the End, Only Darkness – Monica J. O‘Rourke
Exquisite Corpse – Poppy Z. Brite

Stephen King

The Stand
Skeleton Crew
Pet Sematary 


Fevre Dream – George R. R. Martin
Let the Right One In – John Lindqvist (SE)
The Living Blood - Tananarive Due
Fledgling – Octavia Butler
They Thirst – Robert McCammon
Lost Souls - Poppy Z. Brite
The Traveling Vampire Show - Richard Laymon
Blood Cruise - Mats Strandberg
Carrion Comfort - Dan Simmons


The Last Werewolf - Glen Duncan
Carnivorous Lunar Activities - Max Booth III
Dreadful Skin - Cherie Priest
Wolf Hunt - Jeff Strand

Women's Names (I made this one up, there is no such category, but an astonishing amount of horror books with a human female name)

Elizabeth - Jessica Hamilton
Katie - Michael McDowell
Carrie - Stephen King
Christine - Stephen King
Dolores Claiborne - Stephen King
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurrier
Eleanor - Jason Gurley
Carmilla – Sheridan Le Fanu

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