Literary Horror Books, recommended by Sue Rainsford

The most unnerving and disturbing novels are often those books that leave room for interpretation and uncertainty. Here, the acclaimed Irish novelist Sue Rainsford selects five frightening works of literary horror, by authors who are masters of the unsettling implication—because nothing is quite so scary as what you dream up to fill the voids.

The Best Shirley Jackson Books, recommended by Joan Passey

Shirley Jackson, the 20th-century horror author, has had a remarkable resurgence in popularity in recent years, with a series of screen adaptations bringing her writing to a new audience. Joan Passey, an academic at Bristol University and co-editor of an upcoming collection of essays on the ‘mother of horror’, selects five books that offer the best introduction to Shirley Jackson’s work.

The Best Ghost Stories, recommended by Will Maclean

If you love to get scared silly then we have reading recommendations for you. Will Maclean, author of the unsettling new novel The Apparition Phase, selects the best ghost stories to read at Halloween, including writing from the queen of screams Shirley Jackson, and a four-page, pitch-black nightmare that might just be the perfect ghost story.

The Scariest Books, recommended by Xavier Aldana Reyes

Whether you’re scared most by graphic body horror, the uncategorisable, or the blurring of boundaries between supernatural menace and psychological unraveling, this list will have something for you. Reflecting on the complex nature of fear, Xavier Aldana Reyes surveys the best modern horror and explores whether the genre might offer consolation as well as terror.

The best books on Zombies, recommended by Greg Garrett

Zombies have returned with a vengeance in recent years, the secret to their undying popularity lying in their ability to embody many different kinds of menace, from social unrest to pandemics, financial insecurity to international terrorism. Greg Garrett, author of Living with the Living Dead, recommends five books to help you prepare for the zombie apocalypse

The Best Horror Stories, recommended by Darryl Jones

Why was 1897 such a great year for horror? How did Charles Darwin’s discoveries impact the genre? Trinity College, Dublin professor Darryl Jones selects some of the best of the genre—and discusses why we find these stories so fascinating.

The best books on Horror, recommended by Kim Newman

Which are the best horror books ever written? Novelist and horror expert Kim Newman, author of Anno Dracula, talks us through his top five and reveals which of the classics is, for him, the greatest of them all.

The best books on The Gothic, recommended by Nick Groom

‘The Gothic’ can refer to ecclesiastical architecture, supernatural fiction, cult horror films and a recent subculture. Here, Nick Groom—who is professor in English at the University of Exeter and is also known as the ‘Prof. of Goth’—recommends five of the best books on the Gothic, showing how this term remains central to the way we think of our identities today.