Free worldwide delivery Last order dates for Christmas
Welcome back (Sign out)
Christmas Inspiration
Features

13 Best Horror Books for Friday 13th

October 13, 2017

13 Best Horror Books for Friday 13th

It’s quite rare that we get a Friday the 13th in October (the spookiest of months), so in honour of this auspicious occasion we’ve picked out 13 of the best horror books of all time (not all of it is Stephen King, we promise!). These scary reads have been chosen for their impact on the horror genre & popular culture, and their overall supreme creepiness.

Frankenstein

Grandmother of the modern horror genre, Mary Shelley redefined the Gothic when she wrote Frankenstein. This is a cautionary tale of man’s hubris in the quest to create life. Make sure you get your horror facts straight before Halloween - Frankenstein is the name of the scientist, not the monster!

Dracula

Although the concept of the vampire has existed for centuries, it was not commonly found in Western popular culture until Dracula was published in 1897. Since then vampires have become some of the most prevalent figures in both horror and romance, as evidenced by the popularity of Anne Rice, the Sookie Stackhouse novels (aka True Blood), and yes, Twilight.

Necronomicon

H.P Lovecraft was a prolific writer of disturbing, scary, and mind-boggling stories. His most well-known creation is the dread Cthulhu, a cosmic entity worshipped by cultists which waits in the sunken city of R’lyeh until it may rise again and destroy humanity.

The Haunting of Hill House

Four characters stay in the old Hill House mansion to investigate reported supernatural occurrences. The fear in this ghost story comes from the complex psychological relationship between the characters and the events unfolding around them.

Rosemary’s Baby

The success of this novel in the late 60s helped to launch a huge surge in the popularity of horror books as a genre. Rosemary Woodhouse comes to believe that her new neighbours intend to sacrifice her as yet unborn baby to the Devil. As it turns out, they do want the baby but for a very different reason - it is the Antichrist.

The Exorcist

Everyone knows that the film of The Exorcist has been terrorising viewers for decades, but the book is even scarier. Although the film is fairly faithful to its source material, Blatty delves into much darker places in his novel. The evils that can be concocted by the imagination will always be more terrifying than anything that can be shown on a screen, and he takes full advantage of that fact.

The Shining

This is the book that established Stephen King as an authority on the horror genre. Aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic Jack Torrance accepts a job at the Overlook Hotel as the winter caretaker, moving his wife and son with him. However, the hotel has a violent history and a certain knack for affecting the sanity of its inhabitants, leaving Torrance’s family in grave danger.

The Amityville Horror

The Lutz family moves into a five-bedroom house for a bargain price (a huge red flag!) but cannot stay in it longer than a few weeks after being plagued by supernatural phenomena. This book is a self-proclaimed ‘true story’, but there have been several lawsuits concerning its truthfulness. Regardless, this story solidified the concept of the haunted house as a staple of the horror genre.

Ghost Story

In one of the finest horror novels of the 20th century, a group of elderly men who call themselves the Chowder Society meet up regularly and swap scary ghost stories. They also share a deadly secret from their past which comes back to haunt them in their old age.

The Woman in Black

Written in the traditional Gothic novel style, The Woman in Black is a modern horror classic. The story centres around a mysterious apparition haunting a small English town, whose appearance foreshadows the deaths of children in the town.

It

We haven’t just included It because of the popularity of the new film - it’s popular for a reason! This colossal novel is one of Stephen King’s finest horror stories, with a monster who shapeshifts in order to best hunt its prey - typically small children, hence its common appearance as Pennywise the Clown.

Silence of the Lambs

Hannibal Lecter is a name that every horror fan knows as the ultimate cannibalistic serial killer. Silence of the Lambs is the second Hannibal book, following his introduction in Red Dragon. Popularised by Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal in the 1991 film of the same name, an incarcerated Lecter provides clues to FBI agent Clarice Starling - in exchange for intimate details about her unhappy childhood - to catch the serial killer known as Buffalo Bill.

World War Z

Countless books on zombies have been written since Night of the Living Dead - which largely invented the modern zombie - hit cinemas in 1968, but none of them have had as much impact as World War Z. Max Brooks paints a terrifyingly believable portrait of the zombie apocalypse. This ‘oral history’ is so detailed and matter-of-fact that it reads like an actual piece of non-fiction, which is why it has made our list of the best horror books of all time.



For more fearsome reads, check out our Horror & Ghost Stories collection!

  • Frankenstein cover
    Frankenstein

    Obsessed by creating life itself, Victor Frankenstein plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, which he shocks into life by electricity. But his botched creature, rejected by Frankenstein and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy his maker and all that he holds dear.

    View Book
  • Dracula cover
    Dracula

    First published in 1897, Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' established the ground rules for virtually all vampire fiction written in its wake. This volume has an exquisitely designed foil-stamped binding, with distinctive coloured edging and an attractive silk-ribbon bookmark.

    View Book
  • Necronomicon cover
    Necronomicon

    The best of H.P. Lovecraft's stories in one handsome leatherbound volume, a companion to THE COMPLETE CHRONICLES OF CONAN.

    View Book
  • The Haunting of Hill House cover
    The Haunting of Hill House

    Four seekers have arrived at the rambling old pile known as Hill House: Dr Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of psychic phenomena; Theodora, his lovely assistant; Luke, the future inheritor of the estate; and Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman with a dark past.

    View Book
  • Rosemary's Baby cover
    Rosemary's Baby

    Ira Levin's classic novel reissued with a new introduction by Chuck Palahniuk.

    View Book
  • The Exorcist cover
    The Exorcist

    The terror begins unobtrusively. Noises in the attic. In the child's room, an odd smell, the displacement of furniture, an icy chill. At first, easy explanations are offered. Then frightening changes begin to appear in eleven-year-old Regan...

    View Book
  • The Shining cover
    The Shining

    One of the true classics of horror fiction, THE SHINING is regarded as one of Stephen King's masterpieces.

    View Book
  • The Amityville Horror cover
    The Amityville Horror

    Provides a chilling account of the four weeks of terror experienced by an Amityville, Long Island, family after moving into a house in which a particularly gruesome mass murder had once been committed.

    View Book
  • Ghost Story cover
    Ghost Story

    One of the great classics of modern horror!

    View Book
  • The Woman in Black cover
    The Woman in Black

    Beautiful hardback edition of the bestselling classic ghost story.

    View Book
  • It cover
    It

    Film tie-in for the new 2017 film, in theatres from September 8th.

    View Book
  • Silence Of The Lambs: 25th Anniversary Edition cover
    Silence Of The Lambs: 25th Anniversary Edition

    A stunningly repackaged edition, with a new introduction from the author, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Thomas Harris's legendary Hannibal Lecter bestseller. Now fans of the new Sky Living TV series Hannibal can read the book that launched a legend.

    View Book
  • World War Z cover
    World War Z

    An Oral History of the Zombie War. Based on extensive interviews with survivors and key players in the 10-year fight-back against the horde, World War Z brings the very finest traditions of American journalism to bear on what is surely the most incredible story in the history of civilisation.

    View Book

Share this post

Tags