None of these are books
are recent releases. While writing this list I realized I haven’t really kept up with the horror genre like I used to. Part of it was because there for a while it seemed every book was about kids being evil, being possessed by evil or killed by evil and I just could not get into those books. Then there was Clive Barker and others like him. I thought he/they took the fun out of horror. The books on the list are about, on the face of it, man against monster or good vs evil. I like their simplicity and, dare I say it, the near innocence compared to later authors.
Music to listen to while perusing the list:
Books listed in no particular order:
1. The Shining by Stephen King. 1977. Psychic young boy moves with caretaker dad into a haunted hotel during its off season. I have yet to see a good film version of this story. I thought Stanley Kubrek’s verson (1980) was ridiculous and I couldn’t watch the tv mini-series version (1997) past the first episode cause the kid got on my nerves.
2. Hell House by Richard Matheson. 1971. Classic. Psychic returns to the haunted house that nearly killed him on a previous visit. A movie was also made from this book with Roddy McDowell in 1973.
3. Night Shift by Stephen King. 1978. Collection of short stories by King. I was sixteen when I first read this. My parents left me alone for the first time in NC while they went to visit family in TN. I read this book and had to leave all the lights on all night long. A few movies made from these short stories: Cat’s Eye, 1985; Children of the Corn, 1984; Maximum Overdrive, 1986; Graveyard Shift, 1990; The Lawnmower Man, 1992; The Mangler, 1995.
4. Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. 1975. Vampire moves into an old haunted house sitting above a small town and proceeds to turn everyone into vampires. The original tv mini-series in 1979 based on this book is great.
5. The Keep by F. Paul Wilson. 1981. One of my favs. Set during WWII the Nazis move into an old keep awakening an ancient evil. The movie (1983) was pretty good, too.
6. The Stand by Stephen King. 1978/1990. Also one of my favorites. Pandemic kills all but a few. The remaining survivors must choose between good and evil. The showdown takes place in Las Vegas, NV. I love the 1994 tv mini-series.
7. They Thirst by Robert McCammon. 1981. Vampires take over L.A.
8. Seminar in Evil by Daoma Winston. 1972. Technically this is a gothic novel but it still sent chills down my spine. A group of college students try to create a group mind with horrifying results.
9. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty. 1971. Young girl is possessed by a demon. A priest attempts to exorcise it. Everyone knows the movie starring Linda Blair (1973). I did not see this movie in theatres and I’m just as glad.
10. Watchers by Dean Koontz. 1987. An intelligent golden retriever named Einstein is tracked by his exact opposite who wants to kill him. He and the couple who helps him try to outrun the monster and the government attempting to get them back. Several movies were made from this book. The one starring Corey Haim (1988) is the best version.
11. Phantoms by Dean Koontz. 1983. Sisters return home to find the entire population of their little town has disappeared. Pretty decent movie version was made in 1998.
12. Son of The Endless Night by John Farris. 1985. Easily the scariest of all the books listed, imho. About demon possession.
Hope you enjoyed the list and if you haven’t read them, try a few.