Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Top 10 Horror Novels That Will Keep You Up at Night

By Thao Pham Apr 1, 2024

10 Neal Shusterman’s “Unwind”

Shusterman depicts a culture that has distorted views on the worth of human life. Parents can relax in this world knowing that their adolescent children’s organs are available for donation. Parental unwinding allows for the elimination of undesirable offspring while the child “technically” continues to live on through organ donation.

With the constant fear of unraveling hanging over every choice, readers are left to ponder the fundamental nature of humanity and the significance we assign to each day. Shusterman’s writing is so precise that it slices right through our

While you sleep, think about the terrifying possibilities of a future that isn’t as far-fetched as we would like to think it is in Unwind, an unforgiving tour de force. Get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that will bend your beliefs to the breaking point.

9 Author John Fowles’s “The Collector”

Silence of the Lambs transports readers to the unsettling world that served as inspiration for the novel.

In these pages, Fowles explores Frederick’s warped psyche. When he kidnaps Miranda, he gives form to his twisted desires and sends her into a captivity nightmare.

One thing that makes The Collector stand out is how Fowles manages to go beyond the norms of typical thrillers. The fight for Miranda’s life is fought not just against the elements, but also against her own biases and assumptions.

By doing so, Fowles compels readers to face unsettling realities regarding human nature, ethics, and empathy. You are engrossed in a struggle between captor and hostage as Fowles’s masterful narrative pulls you into the brains of the troubled.

Reading The Collector is more than just reading a novel; it’s an immersive experience that will make you think about how far you’re willing to go to survive in the dark.

8 Agustina Bazterrica’s Tender Is the Flesh

The story takes place in a dystopian future where governments have decriminalized eating human flesh after a devastating virus made it impossible to eat any kind of meat. Humans are subsequently bred for their flesh as a result of this.

Bazterrica deftly crafts a story that compels the reader to bear witness, against their will, to the utter frailty of the human soul and the unspeakable brutality inflicted against people who are perceived as inferior.

The profound questions it raises about the nature of humanity and the delicate equilibrium between moral civilisation and legal barbarism make Tender Is the Flesh an indelible impression on the mind.

When you complete reading, you will feel uneasy about how low humanity can go.

7 Iain Banks’s The Wasp Factory

Review of Iain Banks’s The Wasp Factory – a horror novel without spoilers

Frank Cauldhame, the protagonist, is a 16-year-old boy who lives on an isolated island with his father. Banks expertly weaves a story that immerses you in the protagonist’s dark thoughts.

Frank has been educated by his father to despise women from a young age, and he also recalls the incident when the family dog bit off his genitalia when he was three years old. This is why Frank enjoys causing other people grief and why he thinks everyone is destined to suffer.

As part of his daily routine, Frank routinely kills and mutilates tiny animals for use in strange rituals. After consulting his self-made gadget, the Wasp Factory, which utilizes real wasps to foretell the destiny of others, he murders three relatives.

The revelation of multiple life realities by Frank deepens the novel’s gloom. Most importantly, his father has been administering hormones to him in an effort to make him look more masculine, and he has been told a deception about his gender. Because of this knowledge, Frank’s anger spirals out of control.

Those who are easily scared should probably skip this book. Banks doesn’t sugarcoat the ugly side of humanity; rather, he compels readers to face the brutal realities of psychological fear, blood, and violence.

6 Nina G. Jones’s “Take Me With You”

Jones explores the complex layers of a relationship between two people using a harsh and unfiltered writing approach. Sam, the “Night Prowler,” is a meticulous and brilliant predator; the protagonist, Vesper, is an aspiring nurse who finds herself unknowingly captivated by him. The story devolves into a disturbing closeness as Sam methodically pursues Vesper.

Fearlessly delving into the intricacies of power dynamics, manipulation, and control, Jones compels readers to face their innermost anxieties. Exploring the mental toll of confinement, Vesper fights for her life while desperately trying to hold on to who she is.

Jones expertly spins a yarn of terror that will have readers nervous and wondering if they are truly safe. The comment Jones made in response to a question on possible trigger warnings—”If you need one, this is not the book for you”—is not without merit.

5 Chandler Morrison’s Dead Inside

Chandler Morrison’s Dead Inside is one of the most messed-up books I’ve ever read.

Anyone who isn’t already like dark romance and extreme horror won’t enjoy Dead Inside. Many have said that Morrison’s book is the most horrific thing they have ever read.

The protagonist’s necrophilia sets the tone for a novel that graphically portrays cannibalism, pedophilia, and rape right from the beginning.

The unusual and unexpected feeling of friendship in this novel will keep you up at night, and that’s before you even talk about the graphic and explicit content. Both the maternity doctor and the hospital security officer are struggling with their own dark urges, but they find comfort in the fact that they are both abnormal.

Also, Morrison tells a tough and unrepentant story without sugarcoating the unpleasant realities. Causing readers to ponder the meaning of life and the terrifying insight that being alive isn’t necessarily a blessing.

4 Asa Nonami’s “Now You’re One of Us”

Asa Nonami’s Nightmare Queens – Now You’re One Of Us

A young woman named Noriko marries into a big, loving family. Although the Shitos give off an air of friendliness and hospitality, Noriko quickly gets the creeps.

Things don’t match up, and there are talks going on late at night that make her wonder if someone is trying to hide something from her. In her quest to understand her new family, Noriko is entangled in a sinister underworld where appearances can be deceiving.

As Noriko’s formerly perfect life takes a terrifying turn into the unknown, Nonami expertly weaves a complex web of suspense that keeps you riveted. The unnerving sight of their blooming plants takes on a darker undertone as Noriko becomes encircled by suspicion.

Stunningly depicts the shadow side of close family ties, manipulative behavior, and the extent to which individuals will go to preserve a facade. Get ready. After watching Now You’re One of Us, you will start to doubt your assumptions about everyone we know.

3 Sara Tantlinger’s To Be Destroyed

A dark fixation takes root in Sara Tantlinger’s eerie novella, To Be Devoured; Andi, afflicted by her personal troubles, seeks solace in the vultures that swoop down on her neighborhood.

The author does a superb job of depicting Andi’s mental health issues, allowing the reader to feel her sorrow and despair. Using an unreliable narrator, Tantlinger expertly takes us further into Andi’s deteriorating mental state.

As her obsession increases, Andi’s acts become increasingly unpleasant, forcing her morality to collapse like the decaying flesh she wants.

An emotionally relentless attack on our own spiral into lunacy is To Be Devoured. As we observe Andi’s metamorphosis into a vessel of morbid cravings, Tantlinger deftly ensnares readers in a visceral emotional roller coaster, pulsating between empathy and horror.

2 Mathew Stokoe’s 2Cows

A hundred tons of murderous beef stampeding through the tube system, a coma in the girlfriend, a mother’s corpse in bits, a dead dog on top of the world, and a baby bound to the wall are the sole details provided by Goodreads for Stokoe’s first novel.

Stephen is a man whose nightmares are brought to life by his tragic mother, who he affectionately calls “The Hogbeast.” His one and only companion is Dog, a shattered dog.

Taking a work at the local slaughterhouse thrusts Stephen further into the terrifying world. Here, Cripps, the insane foreman, blurs the boundary between man and monster by convincing Stephen that murdering is the greatest way to empower himself.

Stephen finds a ray of hope in his upstairs roommate Lucy, who is fixated with vivisection, despite the horrific scenery around them.

By skillfully destroying the concept of good taste, Stokoe inflicts misery on readers through horrifying imagery. Get ready to be jolted to your very core by this blood-soaked maze; it’s not for the faint of heart.

1 Samuel R. Delany’s “Hogg”

The diabolical tale by Samuel R. Delany will ruthlessly strip you of your solace and thrust you into the abyss of human wickedness. Readers’ preconceived conceptions of pleasure and terror are tested in this “erotic” novel.

The reader is immediately repulsed by the unrestrained sexual excess, rape, pederasty, brutality, and abuse depicted on nearly every page.

An emotionally distant and desensitized child narrates the story from their warped perspective. Their mysterious link provokes a complicated blend of disgust and hesitant empathy, for though Hogg is loathsome, Delany’s portrayal of him is so captivating.

By pushing the bounds of what is considered depraved and what a reader is willing to suffer, Hogg challenges our preconceptions. Violence, rape, child molestation, racist slurs, and coprophilia are prevalent themes in the work.

As a whole, you shouldn’t borrow any of these books from the library if you’re looking for something to help you sleep.


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