7 Books Guaranteed To Scare The Crap Out Of You

“They always come back for one last scare.”

Who doesn’t love to curl up with a good thriller/horror book on a chilly Halloween night? Here are some *spooky* suggestions on what to read!

⁃ Twisted by Andrew E. Kaufman

Okay, it is very rare when a thriller genuinely messes with my head, but Twisted by Andrew Kaufman? Well, this book really knocked that out of the park.

In Twisted, a psychologist starts experiencing strange things once a patient who’s killed ten children (whose bodies have never been found) arrives to the psychiatric ward where he works.

I have three things to say this book:

– “Creepy”: I’m talking scenes that bring you actual psychological terror.

– “Mental!”: I never thought spending time in a (fictional) psych ward would make me go out of my mind!

Keeps you guessing: No, really. You’ll find yourselves coming up with multiple guesses but no theory to support them, well…until the finale, which never crossed my mind.

If you’re looking for a crazy psychological thriller set inside a psychiatric hospital, this is the one!!

⁃ Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon

Dismantled has a really complex plot with a series of weird, creepy occurrences.

The story alternates between the “summer of the dismantlers” – The dismantlers being a group of close friends who used to hike the woods, and…basically do some crazy, bizarre stuff there; they believe in creating chaos as a way of “creating a balance” – and the present, where we get to explore the POVs of two of these friends who are now married, and haunted by a dangerous stalker.

This book is descriptive and slow-paced, but the fact that it’s slow is perfectly worth it as every chapter ends with a chilling revelation that makes you shudder; naturally, this was my favorite part, and it kept me completely invested all throughout.

⁃ The Turn Of The Key by Ruth Ware

If you love horror-inspired, creepy-home-based thrillers, or just someone who’s enjoyed Ruth Ware’s books in the past, you’re in for a treat in The Turn Of The Key.

This book is in the form of a letter where a nanny is writing to an attorney, pleading with him to see that she’s innocent – she certainly did not kill that little girl. Or did she?

The “Heatherbrae” house is the weirdest you’ve ever seen, and I love how the author put it – a house with a “luxurious split personality.” Have you ever felt like shaking a protagonist and getting her to “get the heck out of that house!!“? This is that kind of book!

Suspense builds progressively while providing chilling moments as Rowan settles in at this new house for her nannying job – the spookiness is real: there are creaking sounds above her room, her belongings are going missing, and the house itself has a spooky history – one that will keep you up at night, turning the pages until you’ve reached the last. So. Dang. Good…and scary.

⁃ It Will Just Be Us by Jo Kaplan

“Once this house has you, it doesn’t let go.”

It Will Just Be Us reads almost like The Haunting Of Hill House, with Netflix’s style of production. It‘s slow-moving, while maintaining its unsettling atmosphere, and holds your interest with some intriguing mysteries…

What secrets lie in the room at the end of the dim hallway of the third floor in Wakefield Manor?

What’s the identity of the faceless boy only she keeps seeing commit disturbing acts?

This one is unraveled early on and made one heck of a twist.

When creepy things starts to happen in this house, it becomes quite clear that the main character literally has nowhere else to go, and getting out will soon not be an option. As she she deals with her pregnant sister who’ll soon be giving birth, she starts noticing that the house has this elusive, mysterious hold on her; it’s her ancestral home after all, and there’s evil lurking somewhere within her family that she feels compelled to unravel.

This is a definite must read for Gothic haunted house horror fans!

⁃ Stranger With My Face by Lois Duncan

”Are you the one with my face?” I whispered.

“I came first.” She answered with a little laugh. “It’s you who has my face.”

I can see why this book was such a big hit back in the early 90’s. It’s original, scary and just…incredibly wicked. This is a suspense thriller that follows 17-year-old Laurie Stratton whose world is rocked by the arrival of a mysterious stranger in her life.

There are stunningly-executed spooky paranormal (and non-paranormal) scenes with a chillingly gorgeous setting – a house perched on a cliff overlooking the sea. I enjoyed every second of this brilliant classic.

⁃ Clown In A Cornfield by Adam Cesare

“Quinn looked to the horizon as the cornstalks swayed with the breeze. The corn itself could have been waving hello, or it could have been breathing.”

Admirers of the Scream franchise (or the slasher sub-genre in general) will devour this terrifying YA, “killer-clown” horror novel.

Quinn and her father move to small, sleepy town Kettle Springs for a fresh start. What Quinn is about to find out is that there’s a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat in this town, who – in order to “make Kettle Springs great again – goes homicidal and starts getting rid of the kids who live there.

Clown In A Cornfield is perfectly-paced, action-packed and filmic. I absolutely loved the main character Quinn Maybrook; Quinn is a strong heroine – she’s a teenager attempting to survive the corn horrors of Kettle Springs, which was brilliant (and terrifying!!) to witness.

I love how everything wrapped up in the end; there was a wonderful surprise in the final chapter that left me speechless, and then there was an other shocking discovery which concluded the story perfectly! This would make a perfect Halloween read, and it’s awesome to see the tempting cover is as fantastic as the content of the book. Adam Cesare provides readers with a pacy, intelligent plot that will leave you breathless.

⁃ Theme Music by Marie Vandelly

“I like this one,” I said. “It feels like home already.”

Theme Music is obscure, unapologetic and knife-wielding. The author’s writing is extremely sharp it terrified me.

Welcome to the Wheeler House…

The layout of this spooky place is so wonderfully detailed throughout the story; sometimes it would feel like this house has a life of its own.

From Dixie’s recollection, this is the house where her father brutally murdered her family with a axe at the breakfast table as Badfinger’s Baby Blue played in the background. Little does she know that coming back to her childhood home, twenty five years later, will dredge up sinister memories and, most importantly, the awful truth of what really happened on the day of her family’s massacre.

This book is truly boundary-breaking. It just knew how to be a thriller and a horror novel. In her debut, Vandelly proves herself as a master of both. The horror element explains the aftermath of our heroine’s past trauma and how it psychologically affects her in the present.

What was also interesting was the horror of the ways Dixie’s guilt -as to her father singling her out as the sole survivor of her family’s murder – manifested itself in the present. What is more terrifying than our worst nightmares infiltrating themselves into our real lives?

See any titles that sound appealing to you? Let me know, fellow bookworms!

9 thoughts on “7 Books Guaranteed To Scare The Crap Out Of You

  1. Good one! Sorry I haven’t been replying. We were evacuated from a major fire here in Oregon and gone from home for 2 weeks. Thankfully our home did not burn, but so many others did. I’m looking forward to getting back to reading, but I doubt I can read any of these after going through the horrific scare of fire. I’ve ordered a signed edition of CONFESSIONS ON THE 7:45 by Lisa Unger and can’t wait to dive in. In the meantime, reading BAD SISTER by Kevin O’Brien. Check him out! Hope you doing well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no, that’s awful!!! 😢 I’m so sorry Val. I’m glad you’re safe and sound. ❤️ and YES, Confessions On The 7:45 is a REALLY good thriller with an intricate plot! Hope you enjoy it too!! ☺️👍🏻

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