Looking for great horror reads--specifically I'm looking for great psychological and atmospheric horror reads. Not books about blatant monsters or evil entities being the focal point of the horror, but where the language, setting, character developments, and concept act as the focal points for evoking a sense of horror and dread. I'm looking for nuanced horror, that may at times erupt into direct horrific events (or not, simple only building tension to let it hang there in unease).
What do you suggest? I do see a thread up for "books that genuinely scared you", but I feel this isn't the same. I want books that evoke a sense dread or present horrific concepts overarching the plpt rather than a direct evocation of fear or sacredness in a given moment.
>pic is nothing specific, just first image result in Google from searching "atmospheric and psychological horror literature"
If ink on a piece of paper can scare you, you’re a bitch. Your life is horror.
First post proving that most people on lit can, in fact, not read
eat shit and die you retard
> books that evoke a sense dread or present horrific concepts
I had that feeling reading Solaris. Can’t really say how without spoiling the plot.
>Can’t really say how without spoiling the plot.
That's okay, just going off names. I'll look into it any recs I get. Thanks
I've been wanting to read Clive barker, this rec only strengthens that
His novels are ok too, but I prefer his short stories. Happy reading friend!
Put it under a spoiler. I loved solaris and am writing something partially inspired by it. I'd like to hear about your reaction to it.
I quite enjoyed Clive Barker’s Books of Blood
Seconded. When in doubt when it comes to picking horror, go with Clive Barker.
Tales of the Unreal. Unironically has some good stories.
Will check into, thanks.
Awesome, thank you.
A few of these I know, and a few I thankfully don't. Will have to check them out.
Will definitely look into, thank you.
One of the greatest horror novels ever written.
>The ocean at the end of the lane
super comfy weird fairy tale. i wouldnt call it scary at all but i definitely recommend it.
this is my personal most disturbing book of all time. the way they broke him down as a person to his very core is the most menacing depiction of pure evil
Anything by Clive Barker, start with Books of Blood, there's plenty on them. Robert W. Chambers and Robert Aickman are also very good choices.
>Robert W. Chambers
yes but... what is a repairer of reputations. wtf does he actually do.
>The Blind Owl
Bottom right Hazel Wood is (for YA) more than decent, if you're in the market for an Over the Garden Wall meets Borges & Paul Auster set up. MCs a bit precious unwordly affluent urbanite types, but it plays well off the fantasy elements. The Sequel's more streamline with all the set ups in place, and the eponymous book of fairy tales (plagiarized from the stories themselves) is decent in its own right.
King in Yellow. Dostoevsky meets They Live (film).
>King in Yellow. Dostoevsky meets They Live (film).
bruh movement of the day
Eric the Pie.....
Read if you dare.
A nice mix of folk horror and psychological horror
Dracula vs Frankenstein: The great debate. What is the best book out of these two?
Frankenstein. Dracula didn't age well.
Is House of Leaves a meme? I've almost bought it half dozen times but don't want to get got.
It's okay. After reading I would say it gets memed more than it's worth but still an alright read. It didn't blow my mind but I don't regret reading it.
B.R Yeager- Negative Space.
thought i was the only one who read this. What are your thoughts? I have read a few apocalypse party books it's generally pretty good.
What's it about?
uh. so basically there is a bunch of really fucked up kids in a shitty town and then a magic suicide epidemic happens.
Yeah I really recommend this one. I got such a feeling of dread while reading this.
Not outright scary but it's really in evoking the feeling something really bad is happennig.
He’s literally collecting (yous) on a spreadsheet somewhere. Pity him but don’t respond, you’re just enabling him
Its hard to consider this a horror when the author has stated before its an OTT satire.
I do like how butthurt it makes people though. I think the author kinda hates it now, though
Horacio Quiroga's short stories. "Drifting" in particular is my favorite, and was the first I had read of him.
Read Teatro Grottesco from Ligotti. Very atmoshperic and nightmare-dream like horror short stories.
Laird Barron is also good.
I'm also looking for more horror works similar to these two
Psychological horror, this book is pretty dark.
that's Ash's father btw
>author's name is Ketchup
>Stephen King quote on the cover
>not even The Arkansas Times #2 Bestseller
OP asked for recommendations, I gave him one. That book is really dark, I struggled reading it during certain parts.
Also you might find some good ones here
just trolling a bit.
heh, read 30/100, will look for more interesting stuff, thanks
>That book is really dark
probably hard to read then, well lit books are ideal
Oh (you) anon :3
bestseller ranking are fake anyway why would you judge a book by the amount of money spent on marketing the book.
Interjecting myself and my insistence that you understand me. Not for my sake.
All the best.
Robert Aickman wrote extremely subtle "strange stories" that have horror elements. I'd say Cold Hand in Mine is my favorite of his collection. For other "quiet horror" short stories, I'd suggest Lisa Tuttle and Ramsey Campbell. For something more contemporary, I also liked Mariana Enriquez's Things We Lost in the Fire and Brian Evenson's A Collapse of Horses.
As far as novels go, John Langan's The Fisherman (Lovecraftian horror) and Paul Tremblay's A Head Full of Ghosts (a take on the possession tale) are excellent as well. Hope this helps!
Nothing against OP but I think subtle/psychological horror is boring. I want gore and cool monsters.
>I want Gore and cool monsters
is the Wendigo pretty short? i want to read it when i go camping
>is the Wendigo pretty short?
yes, should take an hour or two. Perfect for camping in the woods, bonus points if your'e reading after sunset at campfire, and if there's a lake/river nearby. I would shit my britches.
Clive Barker has it all my friend
So which book has scared you the most?
One that gave you goosebumps, freaked you out, or made you feel disturbed by what you are reading?
Haven't read much 'horror' apart from King, some Ligotti and Ellison, but the most goosebumpy was The Wendigo by Blackwood. Not because of le scary monster, but I was in the right mood at the time of reading, and could imagine and feel the setting of wilderness very well. It was easy to put myself inside the story, beside/in place of characters. Such an amazing experience.
Regrettably, I couldn't do the same while reading The Willows. Perhaps it requires the right state of mind, or Wendigo clicked with me for some other reasons, idk.
There are a lot of books that aren't strictly horror but are still pretty damn scary, like ones in this goodreads list
I don't think a book has to be specifically horror with things that go bump in the night to be scary.
What you want is thriller, I know because I'm not a fan of horror, but I do enjoy thrillers.
I highly recommend No Exit by Taylor Adams.
It's about a college girl who gets caught up in a snowstorm and has to stop at a rest area along with four ither people.
While trying to get a signal, she happens to find a kidnapped little girl in one of the cars, but she doesn't know who it belongs to.
It's fucked if you think about it, because it's not like she can relocate the little girl to a safe location, because the rest area has her kidnapper lingering inside, but she's not sure who it is. Also keep in mind she's a weak woman and can be overpowered in a physical confrintation. She has to play it cool and decide who to trust.
I don't read much thriller but this one had me bent over my desk in a way that not a lot of books can do to you
A lot of thrillers use psychology horror to build the tension and create the feeling of dread and tension.
I've been more creeped out reading thrillers than horror books.
Horror is just too grimderp. It's becoming as one note as scifi/fantasy
Let the Right One In
>Not books about blatant monsters or evil entities being the focal point of the horror, but where the language, setting, character developments, and concept act as the focal points for evoking a sense of horror and dread.
Dracula. He's barely in the book, but the entire book evokes a sense of dread. I haven't read a ton of horror but it's the best horror book I've read.
I got more of a quaint 19th century goth feel from it. It was actually pretty comfy, since the prose is beautiful, even when it's talking about nothing
It's firmly in the Gothic literature canon, which is both comfy and full of people meeting in graveyards on the moor to share secrets and maybe see a ghost or something.