Horror and Gothic Literature

See also: Halloween Holiday Fiction

Jones and Newman's 100 Best Horror Books: Published in Horror: The 100 Best Books (1988) by Stephen Jones and Kim Newman, the 100 horror books considered the best written. Listed in chronological order, with author, title, pub. year only, from Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus (c.1592) to Ramsey Campbell's Dark Feasts (1987).

Tales of Terror (Berwyn Public Library, IL): 4-page PDF. 'Welcome to the world of horror fiction, where monsters roam the streets, vampires attack at night, ghosts haunt every home, and mayhem is the norm.' Author, title, summary for about 25 fiction works, from Bitten by Kelly Armstrong to Nightworld by Paul F. Wilson. 'Most titles and annotations taken from The Horror Readers? Advisory: The Librarians Guide to Vampires, Killer Tomatoes, and Haunted Houses by Becky Spatford and Tammy Clausen.' Compiled Sept. 2005.

Transformation Stories List: 'This list includes books, short stories, movies, web sites, and other works that feature physical shapeshifting. All methods of transformation are covered; werewolves and other animal shapeshifters, nanotechnology, magic spells, etc. Most of the List's material is science fiction, fantasy, or horror.' The books list starts here, listing books by author's last name, with publication info and summary.

Horror (Chicago Public Library, IL): Author, title, summary and webcat link for 15 books listed in no particular order, including I am legend by Richard Matheson, Clive Barker's Books of blood, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks, The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole, and My soul to keep by Tananarive Due.

Horror - Recent Releases (Seattle Public Library): Author, title, short summary for about 30 recently published books of fiction that 'includes metaphysical or occult elements, ghoulishly elaborates on our childhood fears of monsters (human or not) lurking in the dark or of being held hostage by a psychotic killer.' From Max Brooks' World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War to David Wellington's Monster Island.

Recent Horror 2006 (Enoch Pratt Free Library - Baltimore): List of about 15 horror books published in 2005 and 2006, with summaries and webcat links.

Horror and the Supernatural (Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH): Author, title, summary, webcat link for about 12 recent horror novels, from Fledgling by Octavia Butler to F. Paul Wilson's Midnight Mass. Compiled Oct. 2006.

New England Horror (Springfield Library, Springfield, MA): Author, title, summary for 5 short story collections and about 15 novels. Updated Jan. 2008.

Psychopaths and Serial Killers: Books to Keep You Up Nights (Lynne M. Kennedy, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY): A mix of horror books, thrillers, and mysteries. Author, titles, publication info, and summary for each of about 70 books. Some authors whose books are included are Anna Salter, James Patterson, Rochelle Majer Krich, Jonathan Kellerman, Tami Hoag, Thomas Harris, Bret Easton Ellis, Jeffrey Deaver, Catherine Coulter, Michael Connelly, John Connolly, and Caleb Carr. All published in 1990s or 2000s.

Get Spooked! (Lynne M. Kennedy, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY): List of 20 scary novels, published between 1988 and 1998, with authors, publication info, and summaries. Followed by Get Spooked Again!, with 14 titles published in 2000 and 2001. Also, The Wood, the Bad and the Ugly: Horror Stories in the Woods (2006).

Wrong Next Door: A Selected Reading List of Elves, Beasts, Spirits and Other Dubious Neighbors (Deb Warner, Durham County Library, NC): Provides author, title, summary of each of more than 25 novels. From Tina McElroy Ansa's The Hand I Fan With, about a ghost, to Roger Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October, about a battle between the Openers and the Closers to determine the fate of the Elder Gods. Compiled Oct. 2000, updated 2009.

Fiction: Serial Killers, Mad Bombers, and Other Twisted People (Bookbytes): Extensive summaries/reviews for about 40 recommended novels, from Michael Allegretto's The Watchmen to Michael Weaver's Impulse. Updated Aug. 2006.

Monsters and Maniacs Bibliography (Berwyn Public Library, IL): 'All of the novels listed here focus on a monster, be it a human serial killer, an ancient spirit in the guise of man, or a supernatural being in some kind of grotesque form.' Author, title summary for about a dozen novels, from One Safe Place by Ramsey Campbell to The Forbidden Zone by Whitley Strieber.

Werewolves, Vampires and Ghosts (Duluth Public Library, MN): Author and title only (no summaries) for novels and short story collections featuring these critters: Werewolves (about 20 books), Vampires (about 50), and Ghosts (about 25). Updated 2005.

Horror (Halton Hills Public Library -- Georgetown, Ontario, CAN): Author, title, and webcatalog link for about 60 works of horror, from Steve Alten's Meg to Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Out of the House of Life.

In the Mood for a Spine-Tingling Tale? (Omaha Public Library, NE): Author and title only for about 70 scary books, from Steve Alten's Trench to various titles by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. Compiled Sept. 2001.

Hooked on Horror (Tompkins County Public Library, Ithaca, NY): Author and title only for books in these categories: Haunted Houses and Ghosts (about 25 titles); demonic possession/Satanism/black magic/witches (about 40 titles); and monsters (about 15 titles). Compiled 2003.

Demonic and Satanism Bibliography (Berwyn Public Library, IL): Author, title summary for 7 novels, including The Exorcist by William Blatty, The Influence by Ramsey Campbell, Christine by Stephen King, Cold Fire by Dean Koontz, The Monk by Matthew Lewis, and others.

Charmed Lives: Witch Stories for Teens (Pasadena Public Library, CA): Author, title, summary for about 25 YA, Adult, and Juvenile books, from Demon In My View by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes to Magic Can Be Murder by Vivian Vande Velde. Compiled April 2006.

If You Like ... The Thirteenth Tale (Overbooked): 'Literary Gothics ... secrets and dark mysteries abound.' Author, title, publication info, and summary for about 15 novels similar to Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale.


Fangs A Lot! (Lincoln City Libraries, NE): 'Novels or short story collections that feature the bloodsuckers of the night. The tone and subject matter of these novels can range anywhere from the horror of Bram Stoker's Dracula, Stephen King's Salem's Lot or Brian Lumley's Necroscope series, to the more character-driven works of Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton or Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. One increasing popular subset to Vampire Fiction in recent years has been the emergence of vampires as romantic 'heroes.' This list includes a number of Vampire Romance novels.' Author, title, pub. year, and webcat link (for most) for about 280 titles. Compiled Feb. 1993; updated Jan. 2006.

Vampires (Madison Public Library, WI): Author, title, publication year, webcat link and summary for 20 novels and series, from Keri Arthur's Full Moon Rising to Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's books, with author, title, pub. year, and some webcat links for another 50 or so. Updated Jan. 2007.

One Good Bite Deserves Another: Vampires in Series (Lynne M. Kennedy, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY): Over 20 vampire series listed by author's last name, with titles, publication info, and summaries of series.

Vampire Central: A Selection of Novels About the Un-Dead (Lynne M. Kennedy, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY): Lists 32 books in order by author's last name, with publication info and summaries.

Vampyre Gothic (Reader's Advice): 'Not horror, but stories in which vampirism is an alternative (un)lifestyle.' Author, title, and Amazon link for about 450 titles, from Mario Acevedo's Felix Gomez series to Stephan Zielinski's Bad Magic. Compiled Aug. 1999, updated regularly.

Horror: Vampires (Reader's Advice): 'Tales of terror featuring the undead.' Author, title, and Amazon link for about 100 titles, from M.T. Anderson's Thirsty to John Wooley's Awash in the Blood. Compiled Sept. 1999, updated regularly.

Vampires (Hennepin County Library, MN): Author, title, pub. year, webcat link and summary for about 30 vampire novels, accompanied by a long list of authors (with webcat links) who write vampire fiction.

A Chill in the Blood: Vampire Fiction (Sheila Davis, Skokie Public Library, IL): Author, title, pub. year, webcat link for more than 45 novels about the undead, from Brian Aldriss's Dracula Unbound to Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Writ in Blood: A Novel of Saint-Germain.

Bloodtypes: Vampire Fiction for Every Taste (Deb Warner, Durham County Library, NC): Provides author and title only for about 350 books, listed by genre (story collections, general fiction, fantasy/science fiction, horror, mystery, romance, and young adult). Updated 2009.

Themes: Vampires (Romantic Times magazine): Discussion of the appeal of vampire fiction, accompanied by author and title for about 35 vampire romances and about 50 vampire non-romances. Compiled 1996. Another list was compiled in 2001, with author/title for about 20 books and 7 series.

Vampires (Halton Hills Public Library -- Georgetown, Ontario, CAN): Author, title, and webcatalog link for about 130 works featuring vampires, from Nancy Baker's Night Inside to Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Communion Blood: A Novel of Saint-Germain.

Vampire Fiction (Springfield Library, Springfield, MA): Lists 15 books in which vampires feature. Updated Jan. 2008.

Vampires (San Antonio Public Library, TX): Author, title, summary, and publication year for each of 14 books, from M. T. Anderson's Thirsty to Bram Stoker's Dracula. Updated Sept. 2004.

A Thirst for Blood: Vampires (AART, Rolling Meadows Library, IL): Author, title, publication year, and page count for 12 novels, from Elaine Bergstrom's Blood Alone to Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Hotel Transylvania.


Ghost Stories Great and Small (Lynne M. Kennedy, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY): Over 50 novels listed, with author, publication info, and summary, from R.A. Dick's The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1945) to Marc Levy's If Only It Were True (2000). Also a list of ghost story collections.

Ghostly Stars (Overbooked): Author, title, publication info, summaries for more than 20 novels featuring ghosts, from Coldheart Canyon by Clive Barker to The Unburied by Charles Palliser. Last updated June 2009.

They're Baaaack... Ghosts Fiction (Mesa Library, AZ): Author, title, summary for almost 25 novels of various genres that feature ghosts. Compiled July 2003.

Blithe Spirits -- Benign (Mostly) Ghosts in Fiction (St. Charles Public Library, IL): Lists about 30 novels featuring pretty nice ghosts. Prepared October 2001.


Themes: Werewolves (Romantic Times magazine): Discussion of the appeal of werewolf fiction, accompanied by author, title and link to review for about 40 werewolf romances and 7 werewolf non-romances. Compiled 2002.

Werewolves (Halton Hills Public Library -- Georgetown, Ontario, CAN): Author, title, and webcatalog link for about 20 works featuring werewolves, from Kelley Armstrong's Bitten to Patricia Windsor's The Blooding.


Zombie-licious (Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA): Author, title, cover image, webcat link, summary for 7 books about these 'undead creatures with a taste for human flesh.'

Back from the Dead: Mummies, Zombies, and Other Creepy Creatures (Springfield-Greene County Library, MO): Author, title, webcat link, cover image, summary for 7 novels by Stephen King, Anne Rice, Laurell K. Hamilton, SP Somtow, Richard Laymon, Alexander Irvine, and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough.