15 Horror Books That Will Keep You Up All Night

Ghosts, ghouls and gremlins, oh my! The trees are bursting with colorful leaves, the autumn air has grown crisp and cool, jackolanterns are donning doorsteps, and as we’re now on the cusp of Halloween, I’m sure you’ve been searching the stacks for the next bone-chilling book to add to your list.

Look no further! Here, we’ve compiled a list of best-selling horror and suspense author, Darcy Coates’ extraordinary tales of terror. Guaranteed to give you all the goosebumps you need this sinister season, the following list of spooktastic recommendations is your one-stop-shop for satisfying scare sessions. You won’t be able to put down these intriguing novels and short story collections, and you won’t want to turn out the light. It’s time to get a hold of that safety blanket and revel in all things creepy in these fifteen Darcy Coates horror books to keep you up all night!

 

1. The Whispering Dead

 

Book one in the new Grave Keeper series is first on the list for a reason. As Darcy Coate’s most recent release, this nightmarish tale is sure to leave you gnashing your teeth. It follows the quest of Keira, a homeless woman fleeing from a storm and deadly pursuers. When she finds shelter in an abandoned groundskeeper’s cottage at the corner of a cemetery, she not only stumbles through the darkness in search of safety, but also onto the presence of something that should have long since been silenced. Something that has left its imprint on the world it once inhabited. This suspenseful novel will be released May fourth, 2021, and is now available to pre-order.

The cemetery is alive with faint, spectral shapes, led by a woman who died before her time…and Keira, the only person who can see her, has become her new target. Determined to help put the ghost to rest, Keira digs into the spirit’s past life with the help of unlikely new friends, and discovers a history of deception, ill-fated love, and murder.

 

2. The Haunting of Ashburn House

 

This ghostly story digs into the dregs of your soul, stirring up shivers as it submerges into the secrets of the house and those buried in its history. Reminiscent of Shirley Jackson’s, The Haunting of Hill House, the Ashburn house possesses fright around every bend, only unraveling its riddles as Adrienne loses herself inside of it.

Strange messages are etched into the walls. Furniture moves when she leaves the room. There’s something here―something powerful, angry, and hell-bent on shaking things up. Worse, a grave hidden in the depths of the forest hints at a terrible, unforgivable secret. Eventually Adrienne can’t ignore that a twisted thing lives in the house, its hungry eyes ever-watchful. Chasing the threads of a decades-old mystery, it isn’t long before she realizes she’s become prey to something deeply unnatural and intensely resentful.

 

3. Hunted

 

Survivalist horror at its finest, Hunted makes the genre new by introducing the paranormal in this novel of “man versus nature” and the unnatural. It tells the story of missing twenty-two-year-old Eileen, who disappeared while hiking through the Ashlough Forest. The police declare the search concluded after their standard time frame for death by exposure has passed. But when her brother, Chris, goes searching for Eileen with a band of his friends, he soon realizes that the shadows of the forest are the least of his worries.

As they stray further from the hiking trails and the unsettling discoveries mount, they begin to believe they’re not alone in the forest… and that Eileen’s disappearance wasn’t an accident.By that point, it’s too late to escape.

 

4. Craven Manor

 

How many spine-tingling tales have begun with a naïve protagonist moving into an old estate? Too many to count; and there’s a reason why this format is continually remade. We, as readers, can relate to the desire to move and start over, often believing the shift in the air will remodel our spirits. But whether the characters in the books choose to set down roots in order to update the old home or their own life, we know the story has other plans for them. Such is the case in Craven Manor as Daniel, a man in dire need of work, accepts a job offer from a note slid under his door. Although he feels wary, Daniel accepts the position in his great need and moves into a groundskeeper’s cottage behind the crypt of an old estate.

He’s determined to ignore the strange occurrences that plague the estate.But when a candle flickers to life in the abandoned tower window, Daniel realizes Craven Manor is hiding a terrible secret… one that threatens to bury him with it.

 

5. The Carrow Haunt

 

The Carrow Haunt holds all the things we love about Gothic literature: creepy homes with a crime-filled past and something unexpectedly deviant waiting within its walls. Remy, a tour guide of the infamously haunted Carrow House hosts seven guests for a week within the walls so that they can research its ghostly phenomena. Remy is excited to get the chance to witness the haunted happenings that she speaks of during her tours, but what she doesn’t realize is that she will learn much more than she ever wished about this ancient building.

Doors open on their own. Seances go disastrously wrong. Red liquid seeps from behind the wallpaper. Their spirit medium wanders through the house during the night, seemingly in a trance. Then one of the guests dies under strange circumstances, and Remy is forced to consider the possibility that the ghost of the house’s original owner, a twisted serial killer, still walks the halls. But by then it’s too late to escape.

 

 

6. The Haunting of Rookward House

 

For a house so stained with trauma, even the most dedicated cleaning cannot scrub away the past.

When sorting through his mother’s attic, Guy finds the deed to a house and decides to flip it for profit. It proves to be a handful to fix, with its abandoned air and weathered exterior, but putting in good work brings good fortune, right? Wrong…. The more time that Guy hammers away at Rookward House, the more he realizes that what had originally seemed too good to be true is, in fact, truly evil.

The dilapidated rooms aren’t as empty as they seem. Forty years ago, a deranged woman tormented the family that made Rookward its home. Now her ghost clings to the building like rot. She’s bitter, obsessive, and fiercely jealous… and once Guy has moved into her house, she has no intention of letting him go.

 

7. The House Next Door

 

The House Next Door takes a different approach to the haunted house theme. Rather than the protagonist living inside the devious structure and learning of its horrors over time, the story of these troubled tenants is seen through the eyes of their neighbor. After having witnessed the Marwick House purge its residents time and time again over the years, Josephine feels a responsibility to warn her new neighbors, but in order to confront the monstrosity that waits on the other side of their door, she must first face her own mounting fears.

No family stays at Marwick House for long. No life lingers beyond its blackened windows. No voices drift from its ancient halls. Once, Josephine swore she saw a woman’s silhouette pacing through the upstairs room… but that’s impossible. No one had been there in a long, long time […] but now someone new has moved next door, and Marwick House is slowly waking up. Torn between staying away and warning the new tenant, Josephine only knows that if she isn’t careful, she may be its next victim…

 

8. The Folcroft Ghosts

 

Do you really know who you live with?

A tale fit for fitful sleep, The Folcroft Ghosts confronts the natural fear of the supernatural along with the common anxiety of vulnerability. Tara and her brother Kyle are sent to stay with their grandparents, May and Peter Folcroft, in their picturesque home in the mountains. And just as the siblings begin to settle in, they also start to see curious and unsettling things. Shadow figures watch them through the fog and objects mysteriously appear where they were not before. And to top it all off, their new guardians are proving to be just as unstable as the specters that surround them.

Tara and Kyle try to keep up the pretext of a happy family, but a forgotten journal and a locked room provide clues to the desperate lies and secrets entwined with the Folcrofts’ legacy.

 

9. House of Shadows

 

As the introduction of The House of Shadows series, this Darcy Coate’s novel encompasses everything the Gothic needs, with its balanced flare for terror and romance. When Sophie’s family is rocked with bankruptcy, she accepts the hand of the wealthy, Mr. Argenton, in order to support them. However, she soon finds herself in charge of the enormous Northwood mansion, a gargantuan task in this remote location and, she soon finds, a dangerous venture.

The malevolent spirits—produced by grisly deaths—resent her intrusion into their home […] Trapped in Northwood and desperate for an escape, Sophie’s fate is further complicated as she finds herself drawn to the tall, dark-eyed man she married. She suspects her feelings are returned, but Mr Argenton is hiding something… and his secrets are so dangerous that they might just be unforgivable.

 

10. Dead Lake

 

There’s something so exciting about finding the perfect peculiar story at just the right time. A magical and ominous pressure is in the air, and tingling alights the fingertips when you lay your hands on a tome of fright and anticipation. Dead Lake is just the book to satisfy your craving for a menacing mystery woven with suspenseful prose.

Sam is excited to spend a week at her uncle’s remote lake cabin […] But there’s something deeply unnatural lingering in the lake.The radio’s news reports talk about disappearances on a nearby hiking trail. The car won’t start. And Sam starts to believe she’s being stalked when she catches glimpses of a tall, strange man standing at the end of her dock, staring intently into the swirling waters below…

 

 

11. Voices in the Snow

 

Calling to horror classics such as Stephen King’s Misery and Thomas Harris’ The Silence of the Lambs, this first novel in the Black Winter series tells the story of Clare, trapped in the care of someone who claims to be helping her. She doesn’t remember what happened before she arrived in this gothic home, and they’re snowed in during a storm. The stranger states that he saved her from an accident, yet the memories that Clare does manage to hold onto don’t match up with this assertion, and the woods that surrounds them tells another story as well.

Between the claustrophobic storm and the inescapable sense of being hunted, Clare is on edge…and increasingly certain of one thing:her car crash wasn’t an accident. Something is waiting for her to step outside the fragile safety of the house… something monstrous, something unfeeling.Something desperately hungry.

 

12. The Haunting of Gillespie House

 

Another haunted house story to shake up your nightmares, this novel is about Elle, a house and property sitter who, while watching over the Gillespie property and its sprawling old mansion, discovers its derelict graveyard and an alarming mystery. The immense plot holds a collection of the house’s deceased occupants, all with the same year of death inscribed on their headstones.

Scratching in the walls… slamming doors… whispers in the night… a locked room…As Elle explores deeper into the house, she begins to unravel the property’s dark history. At its center is Jonathan Gillespie, a tyrannical cult leader and the house’s original owner.And as Elle soon learns – just because he’s dead, doesn’t mean he’s gone.

 

13. Quarter to Midnight

 

As humans, we’re frightened of events or things that are not as they should be. The uncanny raises the hair on our arms and turns our stomachs. The dead are supposed to stay dead, and they’re supposed to be quiet. This collection of short stories challenges our need for safety and marvels in the atmosphere of unease. Secret doors, dusty crawl spaces, missing children, mischievous mannequins… it has it all!

Quarter to Midnight collects fifteen gothic and macabre horror stories from USA Today bestselling author Darcy Coates.

 

14. Parasite

 

As Darcy Coate’s sole alien/ sci-fi novel, as of yet, Parasite stands with the best of her books as a work of mystifying terror. Transcending the typical alien colonization plots that have been overdone throughout the ages, Coates shows what would happen if, rather than a War of the Worlds sort of apocalypse, aliens took control by infiltrating our daily lives and bodies. The loss of the status quo or control is unfathomable to the advanced human race, where guards are regularly placed on the moon. But, when one guard comes across an alien species, and chooses to investigate it, the greatest loss of human history is at risk: humanity itself.

The parasitic alien wears its victims’ skins and adopts their personalities. It’s a perfect disguise, and allows the creature to spread without being detected. By the time humanity realizes it’s facing extinction, a third of its six hundred space stations have already gone dark.

 

15. Small Horrors

 

As another short story collection, Darcy Coates’ Small Horrors is composed of bite-sized scares to consume before bed or whenever you’re twitching with the need for a petrifying read.

Something mimics human voices as it lures you into the woods.One of the morgue’s corpses is missing.Your friend wants to meet late at night, but they’re not acting like themselves.Immerse yourself in the macabre, the gothic, and the chilling with this collection of fifty short stories.

 

These spine-chilling reads by Darcy Coates contain the themes we love in gothic literature, thriller, and suspense. They remind us why we return to horror over and over again: to get our ghostly dose of shudders and screams. Haunted mansions, long-buried family secrets, love and loss, and the dead that are not nearly as restful as they should be… all the best of the peculiar and perplexing are within these pages. Get your hands on a copy or two (or all fifteen!) Darcy Coates books and dive into the depth of your fears this Halloween season!

 

all in-text images via amazon / feature image via sourcebooks