As the weather turns chill and the darkness creeps earlier and earlier, it’s time to stay inside with a scary read. From a family jumping through alarming hoops to get an inheritance, to two variations on the creepy haunted house, monsters lurking at the window, and much more, there’s something to spook everyone.
The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell
In 1860s England, Elsie, pregnant and recently widowed, travels to the crumbling country estate of her husband’s family. Kept company by only a few servants and her husband’s cousin, Elsie discovers a realistic life-size wooden figure in the attic garret. As the figure and others like it begin popping up around the house, seemingly moving of their own free will, violent deaths begin to occur. Is Elsie going crazy? Or is something more sinister at play?
The Homecoming by Andrew Pyper
For a scare close to home, try this atmospheric horror novel set at an isolated PNW lodge. As dictated in his estranged father’s will, Aaron, his sisters, and his mother have all been called to a lodge where they learn that they’ll inherit millions, but only if they stay inside the grounds for 30 days with no outside access. With the trees pressing in from all sides, they start to see strange things in the forest that suggest they’re not alone.
A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill
Noah Turner, born just before his father’s death from cancer, recounts the story of his family: from his parents’ meeting, to the haunted house his family feverishly constructed just before his father’s death, and into Noah’s own years growing up. Always hovering on the edge is a sense of being watched, of monsters. And then the day comes that the monster is outside Noah’s window. Why are they so interested in the Turner family, and what do they want?
The Hungry Ghost by Dalena Storm
While in a coma, Sam is possessed by a hungry ghost. When she awakens, her girlfriend, ex-husband, and mother can tell something is wrong but aren’t sure what. As they come together to try and stop the ghost from ruining everything Sam once loved, a kitten is born who understands everything that has happened. The story is told from all perspectives, including the ghost and the kitten, heightening the tension.
Kill Creek by Scott Thomas
Sam McGarver is one of four horror novelists invited to spend Halloween at the Finch House, one of the world’s most infamous haunted houses. There’s something waiting for them inside, though, and what started as a publicity stunt will become a fight for survival.
The Toll by Cherie Priest
While on their way to their honeymoon cabin in Okefenokee Swamp, Titus and Melanie come across an old single-lane stone bridge. They begin to cross … and then hours later Titus wakes up by himself in the middle of the road, without Melanie, and with no bridge in sight. What happened, and how does it connect to disappearances from the nearby town of Staywater, Georgia every 13 years?
Find even more suggestions for recently published horror novels with our Seattle Picks: Horror booklist.
~ posted by Andrea G.