Behold! The Most Twisted, Haunting, Scariest Books You can Give to Someone You Love…
Books and novels in the horror, thriller and paranormal genres are what everyone is reading nowadays. It’s true, the popularity of scary books—those delicious tomes brimming with suspense, psychological drama, and mysteries of the unknown—is on the rise, and for a good reason.
They speak to our inner fears as well as to our desire to figure out a perilous situation vicariously. We not only get an escape from reality, but there’s a problem which needs to solve. This is why the thinking person often gravitates to books that challenge and inform, as well as entertain.
Let’s face it, we love reading graphic novels and watching TV shows like The Walking Dead because we put ourselves in the character’s situation and image what we would do. How would I escape from the zombies? Or from the serial killer? Where would I hide? Would I fight? Would I be a hero? Would I outsmart the evil thing that’s after me? Would I die?
This is why horror fiction strikes a chord with so many different readers. It makes us think and gives our imagination a workout. The good news is, if you are a fan of horror, you have a lot of great choices when it comes to selecting your next book. We are experiencing a period of abundance when it comes to intelligent, deep, expertly-written horror and thriller novels and books. In other words, you are so lucky right now!
If you’re not a fan of reading books yourself, there is a good chance you have someone in your family or group of friends who is. We all know a bibliophile who is always raving about the recent book they found. If we’re describing someone you know and love, then we come to our big question, which is:
What’s the Best Gift for a Horror Book Lover?
When it comes time to give the horror-book lover a special gift, there are many choices. We’ve compiled a list to help you pick a book that not only falls into the horror, thriller, paranormal genres, but these books also offer psychological dives into mysterious worlds that truly challenge readers.
Ready to Shop for Your Next Horror Novel?
This curated list offers a variety of choices and each book makes a great gift. Whether you’re giving it to someone in your family or a friend, you can’t go wrong with the gift of a book, ever.
1. Ever Hear that as Soon as We’re Born, We’re Already Dying?
Okay, that’s really bleak! So why not have a little fun with it? In All That Withers by John Palisano, you’ll find a collection of the Greatest Short Story Hits of the past decade.
If this were music, it’d be in one of those bins at the front of the store where they want you to re-buy all those songs you loved growing up as a stocking stuffer. So why not stuff a stocking with dread and self-loathing?
In 2016 Bram Stoker Award winner John Palisano’s first collection, All That Withers, the stories range from Lovecraftian musings to terrifying explorations of the inhuman condition, with Palisano creating vivid images of desperate people engaged in ordeals which could happen to many of us…how they respond is the difference between their survival and oblivion.
Fun fact: the collection is named after an as-yet-to-be-released (finished) epic poem. Because why not?
The book is currently on sale, save five dollars and get it on the author’s website for $15.
2. Did You Know, the Victorians Loved to Celebrate Christmas by Telling Ghost Stories before the Hearth?
Is it any coincidence that the most famous ghost story of all – Dickens’s A Christmas Carol – is set at Christmas? This makes Ghosts: A Haunted History by Lisa Morton, an especially appropriate selection this time of year.
Illustrated throughout in both color and black and white, the book traces the entire history of these restless spirits, beginning with the great Babylonian hero Gilgamesh’s unnerving encounter with the ghost of his friend Enkidu, and tracing the belief in ghosts clear up to the 21st-century rise of “ghost tourism” and paranormal investigations.
Ghosts also travels around the world to talk about the Jamaican duppy (which can be thwarted by making it count out loud), the Asian preta (eternally hungry ghosts), the Scottish fetch (the ghost of a living person, believed to appear to loved ones during times of distress), and more.
Ghosts examines the history of terrifying hauntings, in both fiction and real eyewitness accounts. See why Michael Dirda in The Washington Post says, “Ghosts abounds with phantasmic lore of every kind,” and Rue Morgue Magazine calls it, “A perfect companion for those who…still find themselves riddled in goose-pimples when they hear a creak in the floorboards in the dead of night.”
Get your copy of Ghosts on Amazon.
3. Ruby Should Have Listened when They told Him, KEEP AWAY FROM PSYCHO JOE
This thrilling horror treat is witty, offbeat and clever. Plus it has cartoons! From author Brent Michael Kelley, it’s Keep Away from Psycho Joe.
Freshman year is over, and not a moment too soon for Ruby. He and his mom moved from Milwaukee to the tiny town of Bluehills at the beginning of the school year, and ever since he’s been in trouble. Now that school’s out for the summer, Ruby doesn’t know how he’ll fill his days. Ideally, he’d just pass the time watching movies with his pal Cludes…and Cludes’ lovely cousin Justine.
Whatever he does, he should probably keep away from the neighbor up the road, a man known around town as Psycho Joe. If the crude flyers posted all over the area are to be believed, Psycho Joe is a dangerous man – especially to young people.
As Ruby starts digging up the dirt on his mad neighbor, each answer leads to new, darker questions. Things get stranger and stranger the deeper Ruby digs. Just how dangerous is Psycho Joe? Are there unearthly forces at work in Bluehills? Will the answers drive Ruby insane, too?
Find Keep Away from Psycho Joe on Amazon.
4. Falling Into this Oubliette is a Haunting Thrill Ride You Won’t Regret
In Oubliette — A Forgotten Little Place, author Vanta M. Black pulls you into the depths of an oubliette in a French Castle and weaves you through a collection of stories about the unfortunate souls who met their fate within it.
Wondering what an oubliette is? Known as a cold, brutal form of punishment, an oubliette is a pit inside a castle where prisoners, criminals, and undesirables were thrown and left to die. About 15 feet deep, and sometimes fashioned with spikes at the bottom, the intention wasn’t to kill outright, but for the person to stay alive long enough to suffer as they lay dying on a nest of bones—their predecessors—who perished in the oubliette before them.
When you read Oubliette, you’ll meet two sisters from Southern California who are lured to the castle for the opportunity of a lifetime. You’ll also witness an act so vile that it gives birth to the “thing” that controls the oubliette. Find out what happens to a simple parish priest during the time of the Black Death who goes beyond simply losing his faith. Watch a pregnant woman succumb to madness—or is it something else—as the French Revolution rages outside the fortified walls. And that’s only the beginning.
Save when you buy Oubliette direct from the author’s website, plus free shipping and signed copies available.
5. Explore Heartache, Happiness, and Horror with Twisted Reunion’s 28 Stories
Begin a new holiday tradition by gathering your family in front of the tree and reading a short story every night before Christmas. This collection from author Mark Tullius is disturbing and weird and makes the perfect gift for the twisted person on your gift list.
As long as the kids are old enough for some adult situations, they’re sure to cheer for the beautiful baby boy who’s handy with a knife, the artist whose paintings come to life, and the little kid who calls for his mommy to turn on the lights.
What woman doesn’t want to read about a Changed Man, or about the badass detective who poses as a prostitute To Catch a Killer? While men can consider the doctor of death, having a Twisted Memory, and are sure to enjoy some Woodshop After Math.
You might want to save the story, Surviving the Holidays for Christmas Eve. Dress up as Santa before reading it, and make it a night the family will never forget!
Ready to shop? Shop on the author’s website.