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The 7 Best Classic Horror Novels You Should Read This Year

These Classics Have Been Inspiration To So Many

By E.A. WilcoxPublished 3 years ago 4 min read
The 7 Best Classic Horror Novels You Should Read This Year
Photo by Ján Jakub Naništa on Unsplash

The horror genre has now splintered into so many sub-genres it can be hard to keep track. Not only hard to keep track but so much of it has gotten muddled up and lost in the craft (in my own opinion). The fact is, there's actually an art to telling chilling tales and this list is just a few where their writer has honed that art form. Here are 7 of the best classic horror novels of all time.

1) Dracula

By Cameron Gibson on Unsplash

"Dracula" is a seminal work in the horror genre and one of three major books by Bram Stoker, who also wrote "The Jewel of Seven Stars" and "The Lair of the White Worm." This novel explores the universal theme of good versus evil, but more specifically it is a vampire novel. The story is about Count Dracula, who moves from Transylvania to England. In London, he encounters various obstacles in his quest for new blood, one being a group of people who try to stop him.

2) Frankenstein

By Laura Chouette on Unsplash

Like many of horror's best works, Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" is based on the idea that the monster eventually rebels against its creator. This novel is one of three by Shelley; others include "The Last Man" and "Valperga." Victor Frankenstein is an Albatross around his creator's neck. He is responsible for the Creature that haunts him by taking on a life of its own. This novel explores topics such as creation, morality, and the media with Frankenstein's monster at the center.

3) The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

By Brandi Redd on Unsplash

Robert Louis Stevenson said he wanted to write a horror story for what

"seemed to me a sufficient motive; to express the antagonism of good and evil, and to account for the fact that one man may treasure up evil thoughts, but how he comes by them I am unable to explain."

This novel was published in 1886. Dr. Henry Jekyll can no longer control his dual nature; thus, he creates a potion to separate the good and evil in his character. But, when Jekyll drinks the potion, he turns into Mr. Edward Hyde, who is despicable and cruel.

4) The Turn Of The Screw

By Prasanna Kumar on Unsplash

"The Turn of the Screw," written in 1898 by Henry James, is considered one of the best ghost stories of all time. In this novel, a governess comes to take care of two children who live in a large country estate. But soon she begins seeing the ghosts of a man and woman who had been her predecessor with the children. Then she sees ghosts moving from room to room of the house as well as spying on her from outside through windows and mirrors. She can't get anyone to believe her story, even after she captures one of the ghosts on camera while taking a picture.

5) The Haunting Of Hill House

By Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Shirley Jackson's "The Haunting of Hill House" is about four people who stay in a purportedly haunted mansion known as Hill House during the summer. The story is told from the point of view of Eleanor, a woman who becomes obsessed with the house and its past. The novel is considered one of the best horror novels ever written. It has been adapted to movies over the years as well as staged by many theatres.

6) I Am Legend

By Pavel Neznanov on Unsplash

Richard Matheson's "I Am Legend" was published in 1954 and is about Robert Neville, a scientist who is the last living man on Earth after a biological war has killed most of humanity. The novel has been adapted several times to movies, including "The Last Man on Earth" (1964), "The Omega Man" (1971) and "I Am Legend" (2007). In this novel, Neville struggles with the fact that he is immune to the virus and wants to find a cure for it.

7) Psycho

By Alice Hampson on Unsplash

"Psycho" was published in 1959 by Robert Bloch and inspired a 1960 motion picture of the same name directed by Alfred Hitchcock. In this novel, Norman Bates is a troubled man living with his domineering mother. He takes a job as a hotel manager and becomes friendly with a young woman named Mary, who is on her honeymoon. This novel is known for the first shocking shower scene in movies. It also explores ideas of non-standard sexuality. Also, Norman's character has been explored in more depth by Alfred Hitchcock in his 1960 film. It also inspired "Psycho II" (1983), which was directed by Richard Franklin and written by Tom Holland.

Final Thoughts

Whatever you plan on reading this year I hope you pick p one or two of these to enjoy. If you're wanting some taste breakers then I'd recommend Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde which is fairly short. If you're a vampire fiend and have never read Dracula then by all means sink your teeth in. Whatever you choose, happy reading!

I bet you're wondering why I've left the likes of H.P. Lovecraft out of this list. Why would any horror novel fan in their right mind leave Lovecraft out of this list? He's a legend and has shaped the horror genre in so many more ways than we can count. The fact of the matter is Lovecraft will have his very own article. So don't forget to subscribe for more content like this.

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Comments (1)

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran2 years ago

    Thank you for sharing this list!

E.A. WilcoxWritten by E.A. Wilcox

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