Some people love to spend Halloween at massive gatherings while dressed as the latest pop culture trend, while others want to just keep a low profile and curl up with a spine-chilling book. The following 10 books are wonderfully terrifying recent releases (within the past 2 years) that are guaranteed to captivate your imagination on Halloween Eve or anytime.
LITTLE GIRLS by Ronald Malfi (2015)
After her father commits suicide, estranged daughter Laurie moves back into her family home, bringing along her husband and child. But as Laurie stays in the house, she begins to recall frightening moments from her own childhood and begins hearing noises around the house. Her daughter also has a new playmate who looks quite a bit like a neighborhood girl who died many years ago. Laurie must try to maintain her sanity while uncovering what happened in her childhood home.
HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt (2016)(COVER PHOTO)
This Dutch novel recently received a translated English language release, and it may be my favorite book of this year so far. Because of an old witchcraft curse, a small town maintains a strict lockdown after dark. But some teens decide to break the rules and go viral with the details of the curse, awakening a very old evil and bringing it back to the present.
CONSUMED by David Cronenberg (2014)
Wish David Cronenberg would return to his early cinematic stylings of hyper-gore and body horrors? Well, he did it two years ago in book form. CONSUMED is not for the faint or weak-stomached. Even I had to put it down a number of times, and I do this stuff for a living. The book focuses on a couple of Internet journalists. While their work takes them to some pretty dark places, they take each other quite farther. This read boasts a lot of intense and highly sexualized cannibalism.
NIGHT MUSIC: NOCTURNES VOLUME 2 by John Connolly (2015)
Ten years after the release of his first collection, Connolly returns with volume 2, and it is well worth the wait. This collection contains superbly chilling tales that range in tone and style. Notables include a rape/revenge story, one about bootleggers battling a creature, and a tale about a haunted library.
WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor (2015)
Based off the popular podcast of the same name, Night Vale is a small desert town where ghosts, vampires, aliens, and shape shifters are a regular occurrence. This exploration of town’s residents and conspiracies is unique, quirky, and delightfully humorous.
THE APARTMENT by S.L. Grey (2016)
THE APARTMENT is high-concept psychological thriller about a troubled married couple on a house-swap vacation. After a traumatizing incident at their home in Cape Town, a family decides to take a vacation and house-swaps with a friendly, artistic couple in Paris. But their Paris pad comes with even more horrors and secrets.
THE MOTION OF PUPPETS by Keith Donohue (2016)
A woman, Kay, becomes amused with a peculiar puppet in a store window. Late one night, she feels she is being followed and ducks into the shop to hide, but she does not return home that night or the next day. Her husband Theo begins a frantic search for her, while Kay finds herself trapped in a horrific fantasy world.
THE LONEY by Andrew Michael Hurley (2016)
After the remains of a child are discovered on an isolated stretch of beach known as “the Loney”, a man recalls his family journeying to the area to visit an ancient shrine and perform a strange ritual during his youth.
GHOSTLY: A COLLECTION OF GHOST STORIES by Audrey Niffenegger (2015)
This amazing collection is pretty much a history course in horror short stories with entries ranging from the eighteenth century through modern day. Many veteran authors like PG Wodehouse and Ray Bradbury are included in this thoughtful compilation. There is a lot of variety and something for everyone.