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Pies Top Picks for a Sleepless Night


I have always loved a good, scary book. I read The Exorcist when I was just 12, already bored with what the children's section of my local library offered. I began looking at what was on my Mother's shelves and in the adult sections. It was there I discovered writers like Thomas Tryon, Stephen King and Mary Shelly. Now when October rolls around, I am often on the hunt for this genre to feed my warped soul. Here are my picks, a mix of classics and some new discoveries and all are available in both book & kindle format. 


Warning: Read at Your Own Risk

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If ghost and complicated plots are up your alley then look no further. Waters is most well known for her lesbian/victorian fiction, which is so well written two were made into acclaimed mini series. The Little Stranger is quite different in both period and plot. Though a touch slow at first, it is well worth the effort.

I can't remember when I read The Collector or even if it was before or after I saw the excellent movie based on it. I only know I've never forgotten this unique and chilling book. A titillating character study of obsession taken to the extreme. Not your typical horror story, the shivers are in the telling.

On a scale of 1-10 in creepiness, Rosemary's Baby is a solid 9.9. Even if you have seen the movie, a fairly faithful adaptation, the book will still surprise you. After reading you will want to watch the movie again. I know I did.

I discovered Elizabeth Hand's Generation Loss, which searching out women horror writers. When I discovered the main character was a photographer it really peeked my interest. I found it to be an unrelenting, coarse journey that is part thriller, part character study and part horror story. I liked it a lot.


Also discovered during that hunt, Sara Gran, another strong female writer not afraid of the dark. I read this book, Come Closer in three sittings. Beautifully written, this tale about a women possessed by a female demon creeps up on you slowly, like a chill up the spine. So good.

This book was a big deal back in the seventies and personally gave me many nightmares, which might be why I  remember it so fondly. A so-so film version was made directed by the great Robert Mulligan back in 1972. I would love to see it attempted again, with the right treatment I am sure it could be brilliant.

Probably more haunting than horror, I first picked up this book in my teens (with this same great cover above, who could resist it?) but I never finished it. I gave it another go earlier this year and was blown away. Now one of my all time favorite books and at the top of my required reading list. It propelled me into reading every one of Jackson's novels (many of which could be on this list) and even her biography

No list would be complete without least one Stephen King book and though I have read many, the first and still my favorite was Carrie. Probably one of the few where the film is better known than the original and a new version is due out next year. This book made such an imprint I can still remember exactly where I found it. I was in 8th grade and checked it out via a bookmobile as my school at the time had no actual library.

I just finished this devilish tale of possession inherited. Yet another female writer, Ania Ahlborn originally self published Seed, it was snapped up by 47 North. A division of Amazon specializing in horror, fantasy and sci fi and a great place to find new writers. I was originally attracted by the cover's design and then after reading the stellar reviews I downloaded the sample. It is free to borrow if you have an Amazon Prime account and just 2.99 for kindles if you don't. I was not a bit disappointed and have already pre-ordered her next book, The Neighbors.

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top montage  & content © Lara Rossignol

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Reader Comments (3)

Great list. I was excited to see the Shirley Jackson book -- and I have the same copy with that great cover! Also, another really creepy King read is his novella, "The Mist." I think they made a TV movie out of it (didn't watch), but that story literally kept me reading into the wee hours.
October 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly
I read We Have Always Lived in the Castle after you initially recommended it, and I am still SO taken by it. I tell anyone who wants a good read to find it. I always love your book suggestions - thanks!
October 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjenna
I've been your "friend" on Goodreads for a while now, and I'm always thrilled when you add books to your shelves. We have quite similar taste, especially in the scarier titles! I've been wondering about 'Seed', and based on your rec, I'll put it on my Kindle immediately. Thank you!!!
November 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAoi

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