Gailey never fails to write with a creeping sense of dread that slowly wraps its way around you and pins you to the page.
After ten years of being sent away by her cold mother from the house her father built, Vera Crowder is called back to help her dying mother clean out the house.
But dark secrets lurk in the shadows and floorboards of Crowder House, and Vera might not be able to leave until she confronts them all on their own.
This gothic horror had me checking under the bed before I drifted to sleep. It's sure to haunt you in the best possible way. -Jessi
Themes of faith, sacrifice, and family are explored in this fascinating take on the home invasion story, with potentially global repercussions.
Beginnings are hard for me, it almost always takes upwards of 50 pages for a book to truly grab my easily distractible brain. Not so with Cabin. The first 15 pages here are so tense, so quietly unsettling, so good at getting you emotionally invested in this family and their backstory right before the shit hits the fan. Tremblay grabs me right from the start and refuses to let go, dragging me through every upsetting, compulsively readable page, just as compelling as the first go-around even though I know how it ends.- Jessie
This was my first Grady Hendrix book, and I can't WAIT to dive into his backlist... though I'm low-key worried I won't love anything as much as I love this one.
Outside of "ooh, a spooky house!" I went in completely blind. I had NO IDEA about the particulars, which heavily involve a thing that deeply unsettles me. I LOVE being scared... so I found this surprise delightful, even as I was cringing with dread. I don't want to say too much, in case I spoil it for folks who also love a good creep out.
How to Sell a Haunted House expertly tows the line between sleep-with-the-lights-on horror and over-the-top camp horror.
It is a slow burn, so if you are looking for scary action right from the get, look elsewhere. The really creepy stuff doesn't start happening until you've been given a really in-depth sense of who Mark and Louise (and their extended family) are as people. I was completely invested in their story, their frustrating rivalry, their weirdness. It made the story feel... heartbreakingly human. BUT when that scary shit starts, boyyyy it does NOT let up!
The way this book addresses insurmountable grief, generational trauma, loss, and acceptance is so beautiful and poignant. The last 30 or so pages had me openly weeping. It was a deeply cathartic cry, and never in my dreams did I think I'd have that from a book about fuckin' [REDACTED].
A tremendous achievement. I struggle to find a single flaw. - Jessie
With Japanese folklore, a sentient house that devours its victims with a black grin, and an incisive look at the complexity of people, this ghost story is vicious with visceral terror that cuts deep! - Jessi
If you loved Mexican Gothic, you need to read The Hacienda.
Set in post- Mexican War of Independence, this gothic horror novel follows Beatriz, a woman desperate for a home of her own after her father's execution leaves her and her mother destitute. Beatriz marries for stability and money, a decision her mother disagrees with.
But Beatriz gets more than she bargained for when she arrives at San Isidro Hacienda and realizes a malevolent entity inside the house wants to kill her. And the worst part? No one believes her.
This book is the best gothic horror I've ever read. It's propulsive and haunting, and will chill you to the bone. Filled with angry ghosts, forbidden romance, and a murder mystery, I found it nearly impossible to put down. - Jessi
Kingfisher is an expert at writing unnerving and macabre body horror, and she really shines on What Moves the Dead, a gothic horror retelling of The Fall of the House of Usher.
If you like some freaky fungi with your horror (like Mexican Gothic), you’ll love this one. - Jessi
A poetic, scary, and blazing debut. This is next-level haunted house horror for fans of MEXICAN GOTHIC and WITHIN THESE WICKED WALLS that infuses a coming-of-age story about grief, rage, secrets, and queerness with a profound exploration of family history and the parasitic nature of French and American colonialism in Vietnam. SHE IS A HAUNTING is a feast for the senses, as intoxicating as it is deadly. - Alyssa
Looking for an original haunted house story, steeped in family drama? Delightfully spooky and fiercely poignant, DELICIOUS MONSTERS blends supernatural horror, true crime sleuthing, and the trauma of abuse, betrayal, and vengeance with an empowering message about our need for social justice and mercy. For fans of Tiffany D. Jackson and Melissa Albert. - Alyssa
This Gothic horror did not disappoint, with an unreliable narrator, psychological twists, and hungry entities that haunt the halls of a crumbling mansion at night. Jane is a practical, logical woman, prone to studying mathematical theorems in her spare time. But when she enters into an arranged marriage with Dr. Lawrence, an enigmatic surgeon, little does she know that he comes with a significant amount of baggage - a haunted mansion, and maybe even murder? The tension increases page by page as the characters question their sanity, and slowly sink into madness. I felt a sense of creeping dread reading this that left me shaken.
Gripping, twisty, horrifying and grotesque, I was repulsed by parts of this book but found myself unable to look away with the same sick curiosity that led to Jane and Augustine’s ruin. - Jessi
Olivia Prior has spent her entire life within the gray walls of Merilance School for Girls seeing ghouls and feeling like an outsider, the only connection to her family being her mother’s mysterious rambling diary. But when Olivia is summoned to the family estate by her estranged uncle, she soon realizes that her family is hiding a dark secret about the deaths of many of its members, and is thrust into a world where the lines between dreams and reality blur, where a seemingly innocent crumbling garden wall has a malevolent air around it, and where a family bloodline is the only thing keeping an ancient hungry entity from devouring the rest of Olivia’s family - and even the rest of the world.
Fans of Coraline, Stranger Things and gothic horror will enjoy this book about a family bound to a house - and the terrifying monster held on the other side of a crumbling garden wall that has more to it than meets the eye.
Read this one with a night light and make sure you check under your bed for ghouls before going to sleep! With creeping horror and dread, this book had me utterly transfixed and I read it in one sitting into the darkest parts of the night. - Jessi
I don't know what it is about Victorian gothic horror that supremely creeps me out and chills me to the core in a way that many other horror subgenres fail to do. I looooove horror, I read a lot of it! But few have spooked me quite like The Silent Companions. Laura Purcell is brilliant, and I REALLY gotta check out her other stuff!
This book drips with dread. It seeps into your bones like a wet winter night. The unease just builds and builds and builds until you just can't take it anymore.
You will never look at wood the same way again.
Perfect for fans of:
~ crumbling estates with a Past™️
~ creepy creepy children
~ dual timelines
This is a novel written as a documentary which is written by a blind man about videos of a shape-changing House that he obviously couldn’t see, which could also have been completely fabricated to make a great premise for the blind man’s opus, which we’ll never know because he’s deceased and so we can’t ask him, which is then edited by a complete stranger to the blind man and the project who becomes fanatically obsessed with learning the truth of the matter, but also professes in his increasingly schizophrenic tirades that he tends to lie a lot.
With me so far?
Come along, then. We’ll pick up the stragglers later.
The house of title fame belongs to a Pulitzer-winning photojournalist named Will Navidson who resides in this quaint countryside abode with his wife and two children. Everything seems just fine and dandy until the hallway appears.
This hallway doesn’t connect two rooms. Rather, it branches off a living room wall and extends into total darkness. It is dark, featureless, and eerily cold. The general consensus is that it’s giving everyone the heebie-jeebies. So of course, Navidson busts out the camera and goes exploring. The walk from the living room entryway to the wall inside takes him five and a half minutes to complete. Sufficiently creeped-out, the family did the only sensible thing they could do: they boarded up the hole and stuck a door on it. Not surprisingly, this doesn’t help. Unable to contain his curiosity, Navidson opens the door for a peek only to find that the hallway has stretched out even farther.
Soon, they discover an entire catacomb of corridors and chambers has manifested behind the living room wall. Navidson hires a team of explorers to investigate the area. When they don’t return, he and his own team move in to rescue them. What they step into is a dark and foreboding place whose architectural make-up alters and moves while they’re inside. Where the darkness had once been utterly silent, now an otherworldly growl begins to draw nearer.
But what Navidson and his team find in the darkness isn’t a growling monster, it’s more terrifying than that. What they find in the darkness is what slowly drives poor Johnny Truant insane, it’s what we can assume made the blind man so obsessed with Navidson’s story, and what probably drove him a bit crazy, too. The madness they uncover starts being mimicked by the book itself, with strange cross-outs, entire missing sections, incessant and disrupting footnotes, backwards print, and formatting that makes the writing near impossible to read.
Even though you’re positive you’re reading a novel and it’s fiction and you know in your noggin that the Navidson Record doesn’t exist, even though the characters in the book are themselves doubtful anything occurring is real at all, even though it makes no sense that a blind man would review a video documentary, even though there’s that ever-present Johnny Truant who has a penchant for fabricating wild, elaborate stories, what they find there in the darkness will make you keep the night light on. Even more frighteningly, you probably won’t be sure why.
And if that hasn’t convinced you, pick up the book and flip to the middle. Trust me on this one.
A fresh, creepy twist on the classic haunted house story, WHITE SMOKE explores real-life horrors, such as Mari’s struggles with her personal demons and the impact of gentrification, urban renewal, and racial injustice in Black neighborhoods. Another suspenseful, timely, and groundbreaking novel from Tiffany D. Jackson! - Alyssa