Do you want to read a horror novel this October? Are you a coward? Do need to sleep with the light on because Pennywise is going to eat you? Well, I have you covered. Here is a list of my favourite non-scary horror novels.
1.Carrie by Stephen King
“Carrie knew she should not use the terrifying power she possessed… But one night at her senior prom, Carrie was scorned and humiliated just one time too many, and in a fit of uncontrollable fury she turned her clandestine game into a weapon of horror and destruction… “
I am not the biggest King fan, but if I had to pick a favourite it would be Carrie. If you are easily scared, Carrie is a great read. Its monsters are human, it is relatively tame by King standards and you can say that you have a Stephen King book, giving you horror reading points all around.
Warning: This is an adult book. It might have some language and references younger readers might not enjoy.
2.The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
“First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own. “
This book has just been made into a series on Netflix, so if you wanted a bandwagon to jump on this is it.
The Haunting of Hill House is one of my all time favourite classic horror novels. I can be a little funny about adaptions of it because a lot of them focus more on the haunting and not the people element in the story. This is a great non-scary read because you are not entirely sure if the haunting is real or in the main character’s head. It certainly has its creepy moments but overall it is very tame.
3.Anything by Grady Hendrix
Whether it is Horrorstor, My Best Friend’s Exorcism or We Sold Our Souls, Grady Hendrix’s books are brilliant for first time horror readers. They are amazingly written, contain strong characters and the horror element is never too scary. Overall they are just a lot of fun to read.
You can read my separate reviews for them all here:
4.Dracula by Bram Stoker
“When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries in his client’s castle. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England: a ship runs aground on the shores of Whitby, its crew vanished; beautiful Lucy Westenra slowly succumbs to a mysterious, wasting illness, her blood drained away; and the lunatic Renfield raves about the imminent arrival of his ‘master’. In the ensuing battle of wills between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries – led by the intrepid vampire hunter Abraham van Helsing – Bram Stoker created a masterpiece of the horror genre, probing into questions of identity, sanity and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.”
Yes, my little coward, you can read Dracula. One of the most famous horror novels of all time is perfectly safe for anyone who is a bit of a chicken.
It has the usual horror things like vampires and blood drinking, but by today’s standards it isn’t scary at all. If you can sit through a Scooby Doo episode about vampires you will probably be fine with this book.
If you are a little worried about the “older English” listen to it on audiobook. It is free through most channels because it is so old and listening to older books can make the language easier to follow.