18 Spine Tingling Books To Curl Up With

18 Spine-Tingling Books to Curl Up With

18 Spine-Tingling Books to Curl Up With

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Halloween may be long over, but that doesn”t mean it”s too late to give yourself nightmares. You may have already perused our collection of books like American Horror Story and our crop of modern murder mysteries, but if you”re looking for even more scares, we”ve got a collection just for you. We reached out to our editors to find out what books scared them the most; some of them just came out this year, and some have been around for decades. Read on to see the results.

The Shining Girls

The Shining Girls

“The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes is a sci-fi mystery that puts you in the shoes of two main characters as it alternates chapters: a ruthless, repulsive time-traveling murderer and the one victim who got away and is now hunting him. There are mystical elements to this story, but it”s mainly a thrilling and gruesome crime novel. This is probably the most gory of the bunch, and there”s a major ick factor as you”re forced to read the chapters from the killer”s point of view. It”s a frightening read with some nail-biting moments.”

Tara Block, love and sex editor

Dark Places

Dark Places

“I read Gillian Flynn”s other two books after I loved Gone Girl so much, and Dark Places is the one that has stuck with me. The story of multiple murders of one family in a rural Kansas town is made all the more foreboding by the fact that the day of the murders unfolds in every other chapter. There”s a mystery element that”s fascinating, but this is way more horror than Flynn”s other works. This book freaked me out so much that I couldn”t read it before bed.”

Shannon Vestal, TV and movies editor

It

It

“Stephen King”s It is hands down the scariest book of all time. A shape-shifting clown that lives in the sewers and murders all the children in one town? Not cool.”

Kelsey Kennick, editorial intern

In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood

“Nothing like knowing the scary story is true to keep you up at night. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is brilliantly written so that you feel like you are inside the mind of psychopaths. When I first read it as a high school senior, it took me years to get it out of my mind.”

David Grant, president of POPSUGAR Studios

Wait Till Helen Comes

Wait Till Helen Comes

“My childhood was haunted by this book. Mary Downing Hahn”s Wait Till Helen Comes is about a girl who moves into a house with a ghost that tries to drown her in the pond. Yes, the story is a little more complicated than that — but that is the part I really remember. I have no idea how I came to own the book, but I read it and was basically petrified for a while afterwards.”

Aemilia Madden, editorial assistant

House of Leaves

House of Leaves

“This is by far the most terrifying haunted house story of the 21st century. Mark Danielewski”s House of Leaves is a behemoth in size and a monster in content. It”s about a mysterious hallway that suddenly appears in the house of an unsuspecting family. They begin to explore unimaginable and physically impossible depths and unlock horrors they never could have conceived. Never has a book made me so worried about what lurks in the darkness and what dwells in the dim corners of a harmless house.”

Ryan Roschke, assistant entertainment editor

The Winter People

The Winter People

“Forget just reading with the light on. You”ll want to read Jennifer McMahon”s thrilling ghost story The Winter People in the middle of the day, preferably not alone, and with a good view of the door — just in case. Also, steer clear of closets and wardrobes. I couldn”t put this book down even though it scared the crap out of me, and I”m getting goosebumps just thinking about the “sleepers.” Set in West Hall, VT, the novel includes excerpts from the diary of a woman who was murdered in 1908 as it follows a modern-day girl who discovered the diary in her home after her mother mysteriously disappeared.”

Tara Block, love and sex editor

IQ84

IQ84

“I have a weird one! 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. It”s not your typical “scary” book, but the creepy, disturbing world inside its pages — a mysterious cult leader, freaky gnome-like creatures, and a lot of bending of time and space — genuinely kept me awake at night. It”s a long book and hard to put down, so it really invaded my brain for the several weeks I spent obsessively reading it!”

Lindsay Miller, entertainment editor

Night Film

Night Film

“In Night Film by Marisha Pessl, the daughter of a reclusive, enigmatic filmmaker known for pushing boundaries with his horror films is found dead under mysterious circumstances, and a journalist becomes obsessed with finding the truth. This haunting story also creatively incorporates fake news clippings, Wikipedia entries, and other media throughout. It”s petrifying, inventive, and deeply engrossing. Let”s just say you might not be able to sleep at night. While a lot of the horror of the novel is more in your head — à la an Alfred Hitchcock film — it”s straight-up bloodcurdling at times.”

Tara Block, love and sex editor

The Shining

The Shining

“Have you ever read a book that makes your heart race? For me that was The Shining by Stephen King. It”s about a man named Jack who agrees to take care of the Overlook Hotel for the Winter. All you can do is watch as the hotel slowly drives him and his family insane. King builds the suspense so expertly, layering in multiple elements that will pick at your basest fears. The feeling of being watched, the suspense of turning a corner, the unpredictability of human beings . . . it”s all here. I had to stop once to turn on all the lights and lock all the doors.”

Ryan Roschke, assistant entertainment editor

Broken Harbor

Broken Harbor

“Tana French”s Broken Harbor (No. 4 in the Dublin Murder Squad series) follows a detective with his own murky past who finds himself attempting to solve a twisted murder of two small children and their father — along with the attempted murder of the mother — who were all found dead in their home. Adding to the mystery of the crime are the numerous holes smashed in the walls, the baby monitors scattered throughout the house, and the menacing animal trap in the attic. Nothing like a home break-in with a multiple homicide to have you hiding under your bed. You”ll be double- and then triple-checking your door locks while reading this psychological thriller.”

Tara Block, love and sex editor

The Call of Cthulhu

The Call of Cthulhu

“The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft, even if it”s only a short story. Because the truth does not always set you free! The narration is dark and suspenseful, and the open-ended conclusion leaves readers with a sense of hopelessness and ominous foreboding. Cthulhu is comin” for us all!”

Hilary White, network editorial assistant

Those Who Wish Me Dead

Those Who Wish Me Dead

“Michael Koryta”s Those Who Wish Me Dead. After a 14-year-old sees a murder and is put into the Witness Protection Program, ruthless hitmen track him down to the middle of nowhere. I feel like I can always see a dramatic plot twist a mile away, but not in this story! I was literally OMGing and tearing up out of fear while I read it . . . but I also couldn”t put it down.”

Emily Orofino, beauty editorial assistant

Misery

Misery

“I think the reason Stephen King”s Misery is so haunting is because it”s about human monsters, and not things that go bump in the night. Annie Wilkes holds terrifying power over her favorite writer, who”s suffered a terrible accident in the remote woods. It”s up to Annie to nurse him back to health, but if he doesn”t do what she wants, he”s only going to get worse. Every scene had all the hairs standing on the back of my neck, especially whenever he tries to escape.”

Ryan Roschke, assistant entertainment editor

Gone Girl

Gone Girl

“Gillian Flynn”s Gone Girl terrified/thrilled me. The plot was so carefully crafted and had me gasping at every page. I think I was most afraid of the psychology of the wife. I can”t possibly imagine what would drive a person to do such mad things for revenge.”

Anna Roberts, assistant food editor

Say Cheese and Die

Say Cheese and Die

“Does Say Cheese and Die by R.L. Stine count?! My elementary-school self felt scared through every page turn, and I didn”t look at a camera the same way for MONTHS.”

Lisette Mejia, assistant living editor

The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code

“I”m a scaredy-cat, so Dan Brown”s The Da Vinci Code made me sleep with the lights on because it was so dark and unpredictable!”

Lauren Turner, celebrity news and features editor

The Ruins

The Ruins

“If you think it”s safe in the daytime, think again. Scott Smith”s The Ruins follows a group of Americans as they”re terrorized by a supersmart, superdeadly form of plant life in a remote part of Mexico. Most of the horror takes place in broad daylight, but it doesn”t detract from the fact that the characters are in grave danger, with no chance of escape.”

Ryan Roschke, assistant entertainment editor

18 Spine-Tingling Books to Curl Up With This Fall

18 Spine-Tingling Books to Curl Up With This Fall

2014 Must Reads: The 100+ Best Books of the Year

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2014 Must Reads: The 100+ Best Books of the Year
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