Reading Guides: Horror

Printable Guide With Library Holdings

Recommended Horror Reading


“Horror is not a genre, like the mystery or science fiction or the western. It is not a kind of fiction meant to be confined to the ghetto of a special shelf in the ghetto of libraries or a bookstore … horror is an emotion.” --- Douglas E. Winter in the introduction to Prime Evil (New York: New American Library, 1988)

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Suggested Titles

Horror Classics

Andrews, V. C. / Flowers in the Attic --- PS3551.N454 F46 1979
The classic tale of four children hidden in the attic by their selfish mother.

Barker, Clive / The Great and Secret Show: The First Book of the Art --- PR6052 .A6475 G7 1989
In the little town of Palomo Grove, two great armies are amassing; forces shaped from the hearts and souls of America.

Benchley, Peter / Jaws --- PS3552.E537 J39 2005
The classic, blockbuster thriller of man---eating terror that inspired the Steven Spielberg movie and made millions of beachgoers afraid to go into the water. (Library also has film)

Blatty, William Peter / The Exorcist --- PS 3552 .L392 E9
The story of a young girl possessed by the devil.

Bradbury, Ray / Something Wicked This Way Comes --- PS3503.R167 S66 1999
Two inquisitive boys standing precariously on the brink of adulthood will soon discover the secret of the satanic raree-show's smoke, mazes, and mirrors, as they learn all too well the heavy cost of wishes—and the stuff of nightmare. (Library also has audiobook)

Jackson, Shirley / The Haunting of Hill House --- PS3519.A392 H3 2006
Four seekers have come to the ugly, abandoned old mansion: Dr, Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of the psychic phenomenon called haunting; Theodora, his lovely and lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a lonely, homeless girl well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the adventurous future heir of Hill House.

King, Stephen / The Shining --- PS3561.I483 S5 1977
Chilling bestseller about a boy with psychic powers and the evil forces which try to destroy him and his family. (Library also has film)

Leroux, Gaston / The Phantom of the Opera --- PQ 2623 .E6 F213 1987
Under the Paris Opera House lives a disfigured musical genius who uses music to win the love of a beautiful opera singer. (Library also has eBook and film)

Lewis, M.G. / The Monk --- PR4887 .M7 2002
One of the most extravagantly dark works of Gothic fiction ever written in English, admired by the likes of Lord Byron and the Marquis de Sade, The Monk tells of the violent downfall of the monk Ambrosio.

Lovecraft, H.P. / The Dreams in the Witch House and Other Weird Stories --- PS3523.O833 A6 2004
Plagued by insane nightmare visions, Walter Gilman seeks help in Miskatonic University's infamous library of forbidden books, where, in the pages of Abdul Alhazred's dreaded Necronomicon, he finds terrible hints that seem to connect his own studies in advanced mathematics with the fantastic legends of elder magic.

Matheson, Richard / I Am Legend --- PS3563.A8355 I18 2007
A novella, and ten short stories, introduce us to the last man on earth; a man planning a funeral for his unsuspecting wife; and a man whose telephone rings inside his head—with calls from his dead father.

Shelly, Mary Wollstonecraft / Frankenstein --- PR5397 .F7 2004
Classic tale of a terrible monster, eight feet tall, capable of deeds guaranteed to make the blood run cold. (Library also has eBook)

Stoker, Bram / Dracula --- PR6037.T617 D7 1997
The aristocratic vampire that haunts the Transylvanian countryside has captivated readers' imaginations since it was first published in 1897. (Library also has eBook)

Stevenson, Robert Louis / The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Other Famous Tales --- PR5485 .A1 1961
A respected doctor by day turns into a monstrous criminal at night in late nineteenth-century London. (Library also has eBook)

Straub, Peter / Ghost Story --- PS3569 .T6914 .G45
For four aging men in the terror-stricken town of Milburn, New York, an act inadvertently carried out in their youth has come back to haunt them.

New Titles

Abbott, Patricia / Concrete Angel --- PS3601.B392C66 2015
An atmospheric and eagerly-awaited debut novel from acclaimed crime writer Patricia Abbott, set in Philadelphia in the 1970's about a family torn apart by a mother straight out of 'Mommy Dearest', and her children who are at first victims but soon learn they must fight back to survive

Buehlman, Christopher / Lesser Dead--- PS3602.U3395L47 2014
The secret is, vampires are real and I am one. The secret is, I'm stealing from you what is most truly yours and I'm not sorry

Carey, M. R. / Fellside --- PR6103.A72F45 2016
Confronting the possibility that she might be forced to spend the rest of her life in a maximum security prison on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors, Jess Moulson discovers that the prison is haunted by the ghost of a little boy who imparts a chilling message.

Darnielle, John / Universal Harvester ---PS3604.A748U55 2017
Life in a small Nevada town takes a dark turn when mysterious footage begins appearing on VHS cassettes at the local Video Hut.

Hendrix, Grady / My Best Friend's Exorcism: A Novel --- PS3608.E543M93 2016
1988. Charleston, South Carolina. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act--different.

Hill, Joe / The Fireman --- PS3608.I4342F57 2016
A mysterious “fireman” protects those infected with a terrifying plague that causes its victims to burst into flame.

Hurley, Andrew Michael / The Lonely --  PR6108.U6L66 2016
Smith is forced to confront the terrifying and mysterious events that occurred 40 years earlier, when he visited The Lonely as a boy.

Janz, Jonathan / Children of the Dark --- PS3519.A59C55 2016
When a serial killer escapes from prison during the worst storm of the decade Will and his friends must confront unfathomable horrors

King, Stephen / Mr Mercedes - PS3561.I483M7 2014
A crazed killer who used a stolen Mercedes to murder thousands, taunts the retired detective who worked the case.

Murakami, Haruki / Strange Library - PL856.U673F8813 2014
In a fantastical illustrated short novel, three people imprisoned in a nightmarish library plot their escape.

Oppel, Kenneth / The Nest -- PZ7.O614 Ne 2015
When wasps come to Steve in a dream offering to fix his sick baby brother, he thinks all he has to do is say yes. But yes may not mean what Steve thinks it means.

Percy, Benjamin / Red moon - PS3616.E72R39 2013
On the eve of the emergence of a new and unrecognizable world that will challenge the existence of humanity, a group of people begin to notice they are different from everyone else.

Reid, Iain / I'm thinking of ending things --- PR9199.4.R455I6 2016
Jake and a woman known only as The Girlfriend are taking a long drive to meet his parents at their secluded farm. But when Jake takes a sudden detour, leaving The Girlfriend stranded at a deserted high school, the story transforms into a twisted combination of the darkest unease, psychological frailty, and a look into the limitations of solitude.

Scalzi, John / Lock in - PS3619.C256L63 2014
A virus sweeps across the nation that renders its victims fully awake and aware but unable to move.

Starr, Jason / The pack - PS3569.T336225P33 2011
New to the role of stay-at-home-parent, Simon Burns befriends a tight-knit group of other dads at the playground whose warm welcome into their "pack" may have been literal when he begins to suspect that they are actually werewolves.

Wellington, David / Positive --- PS3623.E468 P67 2015
Years after a plague killed 99 percent of the population, turning them into infectious zombies, Finnegan and his family live in a barricaded New York City, safe from danger. But Finn's sheltered life fractures when his unsuspecting mother falls sick with the zombie disease—latent inside her since before her son's birth.

Last Updated: October 2017

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