Halloween just passed, but for those of you who aren’t ready to cede their horror reading for cozy holiday books, Anna has some more chilling tales for you…
Tired of the same witches, zombies, and werewolves? Dude, you and me both. Remember when Halloween was about Odin chasing you to Hell with his pack of demon dogs? Or, or, or, wait – what about when Halloween was about malicious water fiends waiting hungrily to drown you in your own toilet? Or what about when Halloween was about a long-limbed Internet horror that inspires children to kill each other?
At some point in history, sometimes quite recently, each of these terrors were considered real by some human living on Earth. They were taken 100% seriously and people were legitimately afraid of them and driven to weird extremes because of them.
The horror isn’t that the king of the gods is angry, or hungry, or insane, or whatever. Slenderman is just a bunch of doctored pixels. What’s scary is that people believe in him.
Belief can’t be stopped or killed. Belief will come for you until it wins. It will wait in the darkness at night and deprive you of sleep until your blurry eyes see what it wants you to, until your exhausted heart hammers itself out of your chest, until the rabbit in your mind runs in panic until it collapses, chest heaving in a rapid tempo of gasps for the last remaining air in the world.
Let’s see how scary belief can be.
The Road to Jonestown by Jeff Guin
Jim Jones was a charismatic man. His followers thought he’d been touched by God, so much so that they abandoned their lives and followed him to another continent to establish a new world. But what do you do when your prophet goes insane…and orders everyone to die?
This true story, a new take on the horrifying tragedy of the Jonestown mass suicide, will keep you reading well into the night. As Guin delves through FBI files in search of the truth, he plumbs the depths of Jim Jones’s madness, eventually retracing the steps of the man himself to visit the place where the massacre actually happened.
The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
Sometimes people do things because they’ve always done them. Some people cut the end off the turkey because great-grandma taught them to do that, never mind the fact that great-grandma’s pan, long melted to scrap, was simply an inch too short to accommodate the whole bird.
Other people stone each other to death. Nobody even remembers why they do that.
Still chilling years after its publication, this masterwork of psychological horror stands with Jackson’s repertoire of quietly heart-stopping psychological horror stories collected in this gripping volume.
It by Stephen King
There is a clown in the sewer. He lives on your fear of him. It doesn’t matter if you find that implausible. He’ll show you. He’ll convince you beyond a shadow of a doubt that he’s real. And he’ll do it by eating your friends first…
There’s no way to defeat the fiend of Derry, Maine except by mastering your own fear first. Yet fear is what it knows, what it’s good at…and what it demands. A group of children face It and barely survive…only to confront the true horror as adults.
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Seeing isn’t always believing. Sometimes, if your belief is strong enough, you know not to even look. But then, there’s also the possibility that you’re wrong. That’s what Malorie must face – or not face – when she must evacuate her children away from a monster that causes rational people to go violently insane with a single glance. As she guides their rowboat – blindfolded – Malorie knows that she’s being followed, knows she’s being watched…but is knowledge alone enough to save her family?