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Thursday, July 1, 2021

Mother Horror's Haunted House Recommendations

 

THE LITTLE STRANGER by Sarah Waters (want to read)
"But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life? Little does Dr. Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become intimately entwined with his."

REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier 
I read this in 8th grade and did this huge book report on it. I've read it several times since. "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."

COLDHEART CANYON by Clive Barker (want to read)
"But the original owner of the mansion was a beautiful woman devoted to pleasure at any cost, and the terrible legacy of her deeds has not yet died. There are ghosts and monsters haunting Coldheart Canyon, where nothing is forbidden . . ."

BURNT OFFERINGS by Robert Marasco (want to read)
"But Mrs. Allardyce never seems to emerge from her room, and it soon becomes clear that something weird and terrifying is happening in the house. As the suspense builds towards a revelation of what really lies behind that locked door, the Rolfes will discover that their cheap vacation rental comes at a terrible cost . . ."

THE SHINING by Stephen King
Okay sure, it's a hotel, not a house but you know what? The family lives in it and it pretty much destroys their lives so it's on here. The Overlook Hotel is haunted AS FUCK! Top 10 favorite King books.

THE GOOD HOUSE by Tananarive Due (want to read)
"The home that belonged to Angela Toussaint's late grandmother is so beloved that the townspeople in Sacajawea, Washington call it the Good House. But that all changes one summer when an unexpected tragedy takes place behind its closed doors, and the Toussaint's family history—and future—is dramatically transformed."


THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR by Anne Rivers Siddons (want to read)
"Disappointed by their diminished privacy, Colquitt and Walter soon realize something more is wrong with the house next door. Surely the house can’t be haunted, yet it seems to destroy the goodness of every person who comes to live in it, until the entire heart of this friendly neighborhood threatens to be torn apart."

EVERY HOUSE IS HAUNTED by Ian Rogers
There are a bunch of stories in here that are "must reads" if you enjoy Shirley Jackson style, quiet horror. I love this collection. 

THE NIGHTMARE ROOM by Chris Sorensen
Book 1 in a series of spooky books. This takes place in a farmhouse (I love a haunted farmhouse). Chris Sorensen conjures up some scary scenes that freaked me out.

THE HOUSE OF SIGHS by Aaron Dries (want to read)
"The bus leaves a trail of carnage in its wake as it rockets towards a house that has held its secrets for far too long, a place where crows now gather, ready to feed on whatever is left behind."

HOME IS WHERE THE HORROR IS by C.V. Hunt (want to read)
"The solitude of the cabin is an enticing alternative for Evan to start anew. But disturbing things begin to happen once Evan moves in and it leaves him to question if staying with his brother wasn’t the better option. And then there are the neighbors . . ."

THE ELEMENTALS by Michael McDowell
Three Victorian houses overlooking the ocean, two of them are normal but one is fucking haunted. This is one of the strangest Southern Gothic novels I've ever read. The family is hilarious, actually but there are some scary scenes too!

BAG OF BONES by Stephen King
One of my all-time favorite ghost stories. This guy goes out to this lake house and is haunted by a woman from the past. There are even a few jump scares in this one

THE SWITCH HOUSE by Tim Meyer
This is one of my favorite indie-published books. It's just so absorbing and weird and scary. I love it.

BELOVED by Toni Morrison
This is a harrowing, haunting read that will hurt your soul forever and ever and ever. What could be worse than being haunted by the ghost of your baby? This book will break you, but goddamn, it's so worth it

THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by Shirley Jackson
This is the goddamn OG haunted house story of all time. If you haven't read it, now is the TIME! All other haunted house books borrow the same spice blend to season their scares from this one.

WITHIN THESE WALLS by Ania Ahlborn 
I can use this book for "That Cult Life" too but it works as a haunted house story just as well. A man and his daughter move into a house where bad cult shit happened and it's not ready to stay buried.

FIVE STORIES HIGH: One House Five Hauntings. Five terrifying stories. Edited by Jonathan Oliver
This anthology gathers a few really decent short stories in the vein of haunted house tropes. I especially enjoyed, GNAW. It's worth the price of admission.

THE BIRD EATER by Ania Ahlborn
Another Ania? Yes. I love her storytelling voice. This one is about Holbrook House, nicknamed "The Devils' Den" and it certainly lives up to the foreboding name. 

THE FLOATING STAIRCASE by Ronald Malfi (want to read) I need it in my LIFE now!
"When Travis discovers that a former occupant of his house—a ten-year-old boy—drowned in the lake, he draws connections to his own childhood tragedy. As his brother and wife warn him to leave well enough alone, Travis is pulled into a dark obsession, following the house’s secrets to the floating staircase—and into the depths of madness . . ."

LOCKE & KEY by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. "Welcome to Lovecraft" 
I love, love, love, LOVE this graphic novel series so fucking hard and twice on Sundays. This family goes through a horrible trauma, moves into this estate, finds all these secret keys that do dark, magical things and I love it all day long forever. 

THE FAMILY PLOT by Cherie Priest (want to read) Emily Hughes at Tor Nightfire recommends!
"The property is in unusually great shape for a condemned building. It’s empty, but Dahlia and the crew quickly learn it is far from abandoned. There is still something in the Withrow mansion, something angry and lost, and this is its last chance to raise hell before the house is gone forever."

THE HOUSE ON ABIGAIL LANE by Kealan Patrick Burke
When people go upstairs, they vanish. This is like a found footage collection of accounts about the parapsychological shit that happens inside this house and it's pretty creepy! I loved it!

NO ONE GETS OUT ALIVE by Adam Nevill (want to read) I own it! I love Adam Nevill! I need time!!!
"She hears things in the night. Feels them. Things...or people...who aren't there in the light. Who couldn't be there, because after all, her door is locked every night, and the key is still in place in the morning. Concern soon turns to terror when the voices she hears and presence she feels each night become hostile. It's clear that something very bad has happened in this house. And something even worse is happening now. Stephanie has to find a way out before whatever's going on in the house finds her first."

THE GRIP OF IT by Jac Jemc
This is one of those books where you're not really sure if the house is haunted or if the people living in it are just dealing with so much shit, they haunt themselves. Really great tension and slow-building dread.

THE AMITTYVILLE HORROR by Jay Anson (want to read) I saw the movie and I've been hunting for the right paperback and I finally found it!! Yes!
"This is the spellbinding, shocking true story that gripped the nation about an American dream that turned into a nightmare beyond imagining—“this book will scare the hell out of you”

HELL HOUSE by Richard Matheson
I read this during the start of the pandemic, March 2020 in one day. I absolutely devoured it and I loved it so hard. REALLY, really fun haunted house book. I would totally read it again.

THE HOUSE by Bentley Little (want to read) Should this be my first Bentley Little?
"They share a dark bond. A haunted childhood. A shocking secret. A memory of the houses they lived in—each one eerily identical to the next. From the remote foothills of the west to the green lawns of suburbia, they are returning—to the past, to the unspeakable events they long to forget...to the house.

Now, their journeys are about to converge in a terrifying challenge to confront their nightmares—or be trapped inside them forever...."


BLACK HOUSE by Stephen King and Peter Straub
Here it is!! This book is FUCKING TERRIFYING!! It is! It so is!
The Talisman was like this fantasy/horror hybrid but this is like straight madness! There are scenes I still think about to this day. 

THE SIREN AND THE SPECTER by Jonathan Janz
This guy investigates paranormal stuff and he is invited to stay at a haunted house in his hometown and then he gets haunted by a woman from his house. And then there is the situation with the neighbors! (blushing) This book is one of Janz's best in my humble opinion

THE WOMAN IN BLACK by Susan Hill
This is the book that started the whole "woman in the attic" trope! And it's so good--I mean, it's kinda slow and the scares are pretty tame but I had fun and I pictured whats-his-name as the lead role because I read it after I saw the movie. That Harry Potter kid.

KILL CREEK by Scott Thomas
This book is the modern version of Hill House and Hell House with all these writers invited to stay the night at a haunted house. Madness and murder ensue. SUCH A GOOD TIME!! This is a great summer read or Halloween read or just anytime you need a distraction. 

THE ATROCITIES by Jeremy C. Shipp
A woman takes a job as the governess to a young girl but when she arrives, there's this massive, weird house to deal with and the mystery of the child. This book is weird and wonderful.

THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS by John Bellairs
My first ever haunted house book and it still holds up. All kids need it!!

HAUNTED NIGHTS edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton
Okay, I might have picked this because of DIRTMOUTH by Stephen Graham Jones but all the stories are so great in this anthology! Ellen and Lisa did a great job curating this one special with all the Halloween vibes. But for this post: DIRTMOUTH is a favorite short story forever and ever and always


TWELVE NIGHTS AT ROTTER HOUSE by J. W. Ocker
This one grows on you. I had a hard time with it at first but over the last few years, I've recommended it to people who love haunted house stories so here I am again saying this one is unique!! No spoilers but this one can be easily spoiled!! *wink*

THE GRAVEYARD APARTMENT by Mariko Koike (want to read)
"Originally published in Japan in 1986, Koike’s novel is the suspenseful tale of a young family that believes it has found the perfect home to grow into, only to realize that the apartment’s idyllic setting harbors the specter of evil."


No. House of Leaves is not on here because I don't like it. 






Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Short Story Collections for Summer

 



Short story collections are my FAVORITE. I love them. I never stop talking about how the best way to get to know an author is to read a bunch of their short stories *before* you buy and invest time/money in a novel. PLUS! Summer is the perfect time to dive into a collection (or two, or three) because you can read one story here or there and drop your bookmark in between tales. I look forward to settling into a novel during the crisp, cool days of Fall & Winter--Summer has this feeling of urgency. Especially living in the Pacific Northwest, we really need to get outdoors and enjoy the good weather and the sunshine while we have it, no time to linger indoors with a whole novel demanding our attention! All of this being said, here are some of my recommendations for amazing authors everyone needs to know and the short story collections that will convince you of this:

Look for my full SCREAM Magazine this summer! I loved this collection
It's very difficult to pick a favorite Stephen King short story collection but if I had to, I would choose JUST AFTER SUNSET or FULL DARK, NO STARS. One of my all time favorite King short stories is N.