At long last, it’s Spooky Season again! If you’re anything like us, you are beyond ready for crisp fall air, oversized sweaters, and pumpkin-flavored everything. Best of all? Fall means cozying up with wonderfully creepy novels that are sure to keep you up all night with both their page-turning plots and haunting subject matter. Looking to jump-start the system with pulse-pounders that will thrill and chill you in equal measure? Check out these eight thrillers, all of the demonic variety. From dealing with demonic possession, to mysterious monsters unleashed onto us all, to myths and legends steeped in the underworld, these books all take inventive and spellbinding looks at symbols of the most ancient evils. And whether you are looking for unexpected laughs and quirky characters or atmospheric settings and nerve-shattering reveals, this list has something for everyone itching to get in the seasonal mood.
In this psychological page-turner, mother-of-two Alison is distressed when she discovers that her estranged mother, Mavis, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Despite suffering through a traumatic childhood at the hands of Mavis’s alcoholism, Alison agrees to take Mavis in when Mavis claims she wants to rebuild their relationship in the time she has left. But when disturbing, otherworldly occurrences begin happening after Mavis’s arrival in Alison’s cozy Vermont home, Alison has to face what her mother really is to protect her family from the dawning nightmare.
The New York Times bestselling author of the “otherworldly treat” (People) The Drowning Kind and The Children on the Hill returns with a spine-tingling psychological thriller about a woman who, after taking in her dying, alcoholic mother, begins to suspect demonic possession is haunting her family.
Alison has never been a fan of Christmas. But with it right around the corner and her husband busily decorating their cozy Vermont home, she has no choice but to face it. Then she gets the call.
Mavis, Alison’s estranged mother, has been diagnosed with cancer and has only weeks to live. She wants to spend her remaining days with her daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters. But Alison grew up with her mother’s alcoholism and violent abuse and is reluctant to unearth these traumatic memories. Still, she eventually agrees to take in Mavis, hoping that she and her mother could finally heal and have the relationship she’s always dreamed of.
But when mysterious and otherworldly things start happening upon Mavis’s arrival, Alison begins to suspect her mother is not quite who she seems. And as the holiday festivities turn into a nightmare, she must confront just how far she is willing to go to protect her family.
After his younger sister disappeared from his side at the Hawthorne Museum of Natural History when he was young, paleontologist Simon Nealy never wanted to return to his hometown or the museum. But when the aunt who raised him dies, Dr. Nealy accepts a job at the Hawthorne to face his past. When he begins work at the museum, however, he’s haunted by strange sounds, bloody footprints, and horrifying shadows. As he begins reading his predecessor’s notes, he realizes he and his family might be part of a horrifying history that is unfolding again.
A haunted paleontologist returns to the museum where his sister was abducted years earlier and is faced with a terrifying and murderous spirit in this chilling novel.
Curator of paleontology Dr. Simon Nealy never expected to return to his Pennsylvania hometown, let alone the Hawthorne Museum of Natural History. He was just a boy when his six-year-old sister, Morgan, was abducted from the museum under his watch, and the guilt has haunted Simon ever since. After a recent breakup and the death of the aunt who raised him, Simon feels drawn back to the place where Morgan vanished, in search of the bones they never found.
But from the moment he arrives, things aren’t what he expected. The Hawthorne is a crumbling ruin, still closed amid the ongoing pandemic, and plummeting toward financial catastrophe. Worse, Simon begins seeing and hearing things he can’t explain. Strange animal sounds. Bloody footprints that no living creature could have left. A prehistoric killer looming in the shadows of the museum. Terrified he’s losing his grasp on reality, Simon turns to the handwritten research diaries of his predecessor and uncovers a blood-soaked mystery 150 million years in the making that could be the answer to everything.
Professor David Ullman, an expert on the demonic in Milton’s Paradise Lost, is devastated when his wife leaves him. Desperate to distract himself and his increasingly melancholy twelve-year-old daughter, Tess, he accepts a mysterious invitation for him to visit Venice to witness a “phenomenon” that might interest him. Once there, hauntingly inexplicable things begin to occur, culminating in Tess falling off a roof, uttering, “Find me.” Now, David must descend into the worlds he knows better than anyone, but had always thought were only imagined, to save his daughter in this mesmerizing work of literary horror.
Fans of The Historian won’t be able to put down this spellbinding literary horror story in which a Columbia professor must use his knowledge of demonic mythology to rescue his daughter from the Underworld.
Professor David Ullman is among the world’s leading authorities on demonic literature, with special expertise in Milton’s Paradise Lost. Not that David is a believer—he sees what he teaches as a branch of the imagination and nothing more. So when the mysterious Thin Woman arrives at his office and invites him to travel to Venice and witness a “phenomenon,” he turns her down. She leaves plane tickets and an address on his desk, advising David that her employer is not often disappointed.
That evening, David’s wife announces she is leaving him. With his life suddenly in shambles, he impulsively whisks his beloved twelve-year-old daughter, Tess, off to Venice after all. The girl has recently been stricken by the same melancholy moods David knows so well, and he hopes to cheer her up and distract them both from the troubles at home.
But what happens in Venice will change everything.
First, in a tiny attic room at the address provided by the Thin Woman, David sees a man restrained in a chair, muttering, clearly insane… but could he truly be possessed? Then the man speaks clearly, in the voice of David’s dead father, repeating the last words he ever spoke to his son. Words that have left scars—and a mystery—behind.
When David rushes back to the hotel, he discovers Tess perched on the roof’s edge, high above the waters of the Grand Canal. Before she falls, she manages to utter a final plea: Find me.
What follows is an unimaginable journey for David Ullman from skeptic to true believer. In a terrifying quest guided by symbols and riddles from the pages of Paradise Lost, David must track the demon that has captured his daughter and discover its name. If he fails, he will lose Tess forever.
In this terrifying psychological portrait, Amanda seems to have an ideal life as a successful architect who has a loving marriage. But slowly, things are coming undone: there’s a recurrent, mysterious sound driving her crazy, her nocturnal habits are becoming increasingly erratic, and she keeps having a dream of a woman with pointed teeth standing over a sea of blood. After inexplicably burning her husband with a cigarette, Amanda becomes determined to find the answers behind the woman whispering in her ear, a woman she increasingly believes is the demon Naamah, the second wife of Adam.
After World War I, Jonathan wants nothing more than to find a place in the world where he can embrace his true gender. To embark on a new life, he stows away on the expedition ship of his explorer hero, James Randall. But then, disaster strikes. Suddenly, the ship and its surviving inhabitants are left trapped on the frozen Weddell Sea. Now, the survivors must wait out the winter as a supernatural force begins playing on their worst fears to pick them off one by one in this historical, survival horror novel.
Something deadly and mysterious stalks the members of an isolated polar expedition in this haunting and spellbinding historical horror novel, perfect for fans of Dan Simmons’s The Terror and Alma Katsu’s The Hunger.
In the wake of the First World War, Jonathan Morgan stows away on an Antarctic expedition, determined to find his rightful place in the world of men. Aboard the expeditionary ship of his hero, the world-famous explorer James “Australis” Randall, Jonathan may live as his true self—and true gender—and have the adventures he has always been denied. But not all is smooth sailing: the war casts its long shadow over them all, and grief, guilt, and mistrust skulk among the explorers.
When disaster strikes in Antarctica’s frozen Weddell Sea, the men must take to the land and overwinter somewhere which immediately seems both eerie and wrong; a place not marked on any of their part-drawn maps of the vast white continent. Now completely isolated, Randall’s expedition has no ability to contact the outside world. And no one is coming to rescue them.
In the freezing darkness of the Polar night, where the aurora creeps across the sky, something terrible has been waiting to lure them out into its deadly landscape…
As the harsh Antarctic winter descends, this supernatural force will prey on their deepest desires and deepest fears to pick them off one by one. It is up to Jonathan to overcome his own ghosts before he and the expedition are utterly destroyed.
In this horrifying, hilarious, and critically acclaimed novel from the author of THE CHANGELING, Pepper wakes up in a mental institution in Queens to find himself being hunted by a terrifying creature with the body of an old man and the head of a bison. Just before the creature can kill him that first night, the hospital staff corral it away. The next day, his fellow inmates confirm that the Devil haunts the halls at night, killing patients. Now, Pepper and his new inmate-allies must try to kill the Devil . . . that is, if he can even die.
In 1935 Prague, Jungian psychiatrist Viktor arrives at Hrad Orlu Asylum to interview the country’s six most dangerous killers imprisoned there. While he’s determined to prove that they all share an underlying quality called the Devil Aspect, he begins learning secrets that may prove they all share a darker truth. Meanwhile, police investigator Lukas is trying to track a new Jack the Ripper–type serial killer, one he fears may be connected to the Hrad Orlu inmates in more ways than one. THE DEVIL ASPECT is a pulse-pounding Gothic mystery set in the shadow of emerging Nazi Germany.
New York Times bestselling author John Connolly has created a quirky cast of characters led by a lovable young boy in THE GATES, the first of the imaginative and rollicking Samuel Johnson series. Samuel and his dachshund, Boswell, decide to get a head-start on trick-or-treating by beginning three days early. And it’s a good thing, too, since the slightly batty but well-meaning Abernathy family have gone a bit too far with their interest in the underworld and opened the gates to hell. . . . Now it’s up to one small boy and his faithful dog to save us all.
Bursting with imagination and impossible to put down, this “wholly original” (People) and “refreshing” (San Francisco Chronicle) novel from New York Times bestselling author John Connolly is about the pull between good and evil, physics and fantasy—and a quirky boy, who is impossible not to love, and the unlikely cast of characters who give him the strength to stand up to a demonic power.
Young Samuel Johnson and his dachshund, Boswell, are trying to show initiative by trick-or-treating a full three days before Halloween, which is how they come to witness strange goings-on at 666 Crowley Road. The Abernathys don't mean any harm by their flirtation with the underworld, but when they unknowingly call forth Satan himself, they create a gap in the universe, a gap through which a pair of enormous gates is visible. The gates to Hell. And there are some pretty terrifying beings just itching to get out...
Can one small boy defeat evil? Can he harness the power of science, faith, and love to save the world as we know it?
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