Connect with us

Bizzare & Odd

10 Novels That Are Scarier Than Most Horror Movies

You can’t do jump-scares in a book. There’s no computerized special effects, or actors covered with gruesome makeup and KY jelly. You can always put a book down for a few days. And yet, the creepy prose of horror’s greatest writers has the power to hold you trapped in a spell of terror that no film crew can match.

Here are 10 horror novels that are scarier than almost any movie you could be watching. Better read these with all the lights on, kids.

Top image: Michael Komarck art for “Call of Cthulhu”.

10 Novels That Are Scarier Than Most Horror Movies

1. The Shining by Stephen King

The movie version of The Shining is a pop culture touchstone — but as usual, the book is even better than the movie. There’s a reason King is considered a horror master: The tense atmosphere and freaky supernatural occurrences get into the reader’s head and make you begin to doubt your own grip on sanity, along with that of the characters. Most people are probably familiar with the premise of the book: An alcoholic father takes a job as the off-season caretaker of an isolated mountain resort, in order to work on his writing and become closer to his family. The son is a psychic, a “shiner”, who can see the hauntings in the hotel. Sure the book is chock full of supernatural visions — but equally disturbing is the human-on-human violence. The child’s-eye view of his parents’ deteriorating relationship — and sanity — is meant to dredge up uncomfortable memories of childhood’s confusion and powerlessness.

10 Novels That Are Scarier Than Most Horror Movies

2. Haunted: A Novel in Stories by Chuck Palahniuk

The one-star and five-star reviews of this book actually say the same thing — it’s absolutely disgusting and disturbing. A group of would-be writers answers an advertisement for a three-month writing retreat. When the attendees arrive, they’re locked in an old-theater, with dwindling supplies. The novel is actually a series of short stories strung together under the artifice of the captives telling tales, and the tales become more horrifying and grotesque as the situation deteriorates. A situation made worse by the participants themselves, as they begin to practice murder and self-mutilation in the belief they are in some kind of reality show. It is said that when Palahniuk read the first tale “Guts” on book tour, people were fainting left and right. The reader is freaked out, not just by the graphic violence and unnerving supernatural bits — but also, the uncomfortable questions about what people will do for fame.

10 Novels That Are Scarier Than Most Horror Movies

3. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Four people venture to spend a summer in the reportedly haunted Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for proof of ghosts, Theodora, his assistant, Eleanor, a young recluse, and Luke, the heir to the house. The group begins to experience strange and unexplained events. That plot might be familiar to you if you’ve seen either the intense 1963 psychological thriller movie The Haunting or the goofy, bad 1993 version of The Haunting. Jackson was such a master of creating suspenseful tension that there is even an award named for her that recognizes contemporary literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic. What makes the novel so effective is its unreliable narrator, Eleanor. Being limited by her incomplete perspective makes the reader just as unsure and vulnerable as she is. This perspective become more suffocating and tense as the line between the real and unreal and the living and dead becomes more and more blurred.

10 Novels That Are Scarier Than Most Horror Movies

4. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

While The Turn of the Screw has a gothic feel to it, Henry James was breaking away from a tradition of blatant “screamers” and “ragers,” and creating ghosts that were eerie extensions of the everyday. The story is about a young governess that takes a position at the secluded Bly house to care for an orphaned brother and sister. The governess begins to see apparitions of the former governess that died under scandalous rumors, and another dead servant Quint, who’d terrorized the house and possibly sexually molested the boy and other servants. She becomes convinced the children can also see the ghosts and are being hunted by them. The stiff and formal language along with the unfamiliar mores of the time might be a barrier to a modern reader — but if you let it flow over you, an eerie and unsettling scene takes shape. Nothing is ever explicitly stated in the story, from the crimes of the deceased servants to whether the children can actually see the ghost, to what was the actual reality of the ending. The written word allows for an ambiguity and unresolved tension that allows scholars to still argue about what was real and what might have been madness. The questioning for answers is what makes the story so creepy and evocative. Well, that and the creepy kids. Apparently unnerving, creepy children are not a new idea.

10 Novels That Are Scarier Than Most Horror Movies

5. Books of Blood Volumes 1-3 by Clive Barker

Nightmare Magazine rates this collection of stories by Clive Barker as its number one horror book. This is probably a matter of taste, based on what kind of horror does it for you, but this collection of stories covers such a gamut that one is probably going to be one that hits your sweet spot. Of course the rest might sicken you with intense gore and general misanthropy. Barker always meant the stories to be published as a single work, so the collection represents that author’s singular vision of a book. This leads to a diverse collection of ghost stories, a gore-fest, and even a farce with a dancing chicken.

10 Novels That Are Scarier Than Most Horror Movies

6. The Terror by Dan Simmons

In 1845 the Franklin Expedition, which consisted of 126 men on the two ship the H.M.S Erebus and H.M.S Terror, went to the Arctic circle in search of the fabled Northwest Passage. None of the men returned alive from this expedition. Dan Simmons blends historical fiction and horror to tell of the deaths of these men. The two ships are trapped in ice for years and as the supplies dwindle and go bad, madness and disease descend upon the crew. In the midst of the more mundane murder and cannibalism, a giant unknown beast begins stalking the men and killing them off in ones and twos. Simmons is masterful at setting a scene with a great attention to details that shows off his extensive research (though this tends to make for very long books). The book is a harrowing tale of survival horror builds fear with an inescapable environment and boosts of adrenaline from being hunted.

10 Novels That Are Scarier Than Most Horror Movies

7. John Dies at the End by David Wong

David Wong and his penis obsessed best friend John take a drug known as soy-sauce that opens their mind to a higher plane and reveals to them an lunatic array of monsters like wig-wearing scorpions, that threaten to infest the world. The book takes every pop culture trend of the past twenty years, peppers it with 14-year-old dick and fart humor, and blends it all together with a huge heaping of splatterpunk gore. This one is probably not going to be for everyone. However it does successfully blend laugh-out-loud humor with legitimate horror. Despite the absurdity there are thrills to be had with the grotesque monsters, the existential dread of facing things beyond your comprehension, and bugs staring out at you from air conditioning vents while you sleep. The book has already been made into a movie — but it’s hard to imagine how the foul-mouthed meditations on how shit the human condition is, and all the existential dread, is going to translate without words. The film will also be lacking descriptive phrases like “the heavy monkey of sleep rested its warm, furry ass on my eyelids”. The visual medium can’t always match the beauty of prose.

10 Novels That Are Scarier Than Most Horror Movies

8. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

There was a golden age of horror movies from the late sixties to through the 1970’s, that was brought on by a renaissance of quality horror novels like The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Shining. In a world where we’re all jaded by fountains of blood , it is a testament to a book’s quality that it can remain a staple on the “best horror novel” lists. The story is about an innocent young girl, who’s possessed by an ancient demon, an old priest that specializes in exorcisms and the research of demons, a young priest struggling with his faith after the death of his mother, and a police detective investigating a grisly murder. The book is engaging, and of course has its intense moments of supernatural activity and shocking moments that might be considered tame by today’s standards. The truly unsettling thing about the book — and what makes it linger as a classic — is how it tackles larger themes about belief and the unfairness of the world. It questions a god that allows an innocent to be struck down and made to suffer and questions why there is evil in the world. It leaves the reader very much aware of your own vulnerability and the vast unfairness of it all — which are the most terrifying things to contemplate.

10 Novels That Are Scarier Than Most Horror Movies

9. The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories by H.P. Lovecraft

Lovecraft is difficult to pin down or talk about because of his cult like status, but it is hard to have a list of scary books and ignore him. He redefined what horror could be and influenced pop culture from Arkham Asylum to the Evil Dead movies. But whether you find his stories immediately frightening depends on your ability to take his dense prose. Some think his wordy descriptions paint an eerie and unsettling world. Some just find him tiresome. The development of the Cthulhu mythology is all about the lingering slow burn. Lovecraft often follows a pattern in his short stories: an educated man encounters an ancient horror so vast and beyond comprehension that he is driven mad by the mere thought or glimpse. Despite all of our civilization and education, we’re powerless pawns against a large brutal universe of half-glimpsed horrors. Despite being such a famous property, there hasn’t been much of an attempt to bring it to the big screen. There just isn’t much to see, instead the subtle and dense prose builds up a thick mythology of cosmic horror.

10 Novels That Are Scarier Than Most Horror Movies

10. The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers

Lovecraft often gets a free ride for his dense and archaic prose because, you know, his stuff is old and dated. The King in Yellow counters that theory. Lovecraft read this short story collection and was deeply influenced by how Chambers linked together stories by the device of a strange half-explained text of such a horrible and disturbing mythology that corrupted and brought doom upon any reader. The thing is, Chambers’ prose is brilliantly clear and clean, his characters are sympathetic in their doom… and he predates Lovecraft. The first-person narrative makes the corruption of the characters subtle but vivid. Only the first four stories of the collection are actually related to horror, so it’s slightly cheating to call it a horror book — and truthfully one of the most eerie and unsettling stories in the book is about the Prussians laying siege to Paris and the horrors of war.

Comments

Bizzare & Odd

Meet Susan: how working remotely will change us in the future

© DirectlyApply

The Covid-19 pandemic has seriously affected the labor market. Employers transferred employees to a remote mode of operation, scientists are trying to understand how the new conditions will affect us and what will happen if we keep them. 

Some large companies are already thinking about closing their offices and points of sale in favor of working through the Internet, and Twitter invited all employees to stay on the remote forever.

Susan model illustrating the effect of office work on the body / © DirectlyApply
Susan model illustrating the effect of office work on the body / © DirectlyApply

According to a study conducted by IWG (International Workplace Group) , before the pandemic, 80% of respondents would prefer a job with more flexible working conditions. In April of this year, commercial property provider Cresa presented its study, which showed that 29% of people who switched to remote work feel less productive than in the office, despite the control of their bosses.

At the same time, some companies noted that the hybrid mode of operation (combining an office and a remote office) seems to them effective, and they are going to use it further. But such a schedule can affect people’s health. The DirectlyApply job search platform has shown what consequences await the “remote” workers if they do not change their daily habits.

Its creators invited a group of clinical psychologists and fitness experts to study how udalenka affects a person physically and psychologically. Experts explained what changes will occur with this mode of operation after 25 years. As a result, Susan appeared – a model of a typical remote employee of the future, on which they analyze in detail all the negative consequences.

50% of people around the world work outside the office for approximately 2.5 days

So, a constant presence in front of the monitor will cause “computer vision syndrome”, in which the eyes become dry and sore, and vision – blurred. In addition, red spots will begin to appear on the squirrels, and large bruises under the eyes.

Lack of physical activity and sitting in the wrong position will lead to curvature of the spine, back and neck pain, obesity and a tech neck (the effect of constantly looking at mobile devices and tablets): the skin will sag around the neck, and a second chin will appear. From constant work on the keyboard, the hands are deformed. A lack of vitamin D will cause hair loss, the skin will turn pale, dull and wrinkle.

Susan / © DirectlyApply
Susan / © DirectlyApply

Finally, a person working remotely will be constantly under stress, which will cause a mode of work and lack of personal contacts. From this, in turn, blood pressure rises, and the state of health worsens even more.

To preserve it, the authors of the study advise to adhere to several rules. It is important to maintain a constant mode of work, regularly perform physical exercises and from time to time go out to recover after a day spent at the computer. Psychologist Rachel Allan notes:

“Adhering to one lifestyle and level of productivity is necessary to maintain emotional health when working remotely. Routine gives us the opportunity to manage our time and maintain our attention. Think about how you want to manage your time and what will work best in the wider context of your life.”

One of the main problems that we encounter when working remotely is the lack of direct contact with people. Staying alone for long periods can increase the level of the stress hormone cortisol. Dr. Allan believes that “some of our most important professional relationships come from informal conversations and unstructured moments that organically arise in the physical workplace.” According to her, “remote work may require us to consciously create opportunities for informal communication with colleagues.”

Continue Reading

Bizzare & Odd

1947 film predicts smartphones and other modern technology

Inspired by Barjavel’s essay, a 70-year-old documentary offers the evolution of portable pocket television as well as a way people interact with objects. Today, parallels are drawn between the objects, like smartphones described in a short documentary.

Anne-Katrin Weber, television historian at Lausanne University, said:

People using miniature television devices in public places; professional meetings held by telephones with a picture; cars equipped with television screens; shops that advertise their products on television: these topics are from the 1947 short film Television: Oeil de Demain. Produced and directed by Raymond-Millet.

The film combines documentary and science fiction sequences, while also offering a television image in post-war France, as well as creative speculation about future developments.

While Raymond-Millet’s work is almost forgotten today, his film received a standing ovation for “predicting our present” and although the small portable devices used in the film have long retractable antennas that resemble the first cell phones, it shows that 70 years ago smartphones already existed. In fact, they mirror today’s smartphones that are in the pockets of almost every person.

At the end of the film, the audience is transferred to the bedroom, where the man is having trouble sleeping. He seems to be “invoking” the hologram of a dancing woman who appears on the bed and looks at her while his wife is sleeping.

The film outline about upcoming television shows, really look like a fairly accurate forecast of modern digital media in terms of flexibility and hybridity of media technologies and their various forms of consumption.

Continue Reading

Bizzare & Odd

The time when US wanted to detonate a nuclear bomb on the moon

In the United States during the Cold War, there was a plan to explode a nuclear bomb on the moon as a “demonstration of dominance” before the Soviet Union. New details of the secret mission are revealed in a recently published book.

Intimidate the Soviet Union: Americans wanted to detonate a nuclear bomb on the moonPhoto: nasa.gov

The secret mission, codenamed Project A119, was conceived at the dawn of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union in the US Air Force Division, located at the Kirtland Air Base in New Mexico.

A report written in June 1959, entitled A Study of Lunar Research Flights, outlines plans for an atomic bomb exploded on the Moon’s “terminator,” the region between the Sun-lit portion of the surface and the darker portion of our planet’s natural satellite.

The explosion would probably be visible to the naked eye from the Earth, because the military planned to add sodium to the bomb, which was supposed to glow during the explosion.

A nuclear explosion on the lunar surface was certainly “one of the stupidest things the government could do,” says John Greenwald, Jr., author of Secrets from the Vault.

According to the Daily Mail, a recently published book details some of the most surrealistic offers in history.

John Greenwald has been interested in the secrets of the US government since he was 15 and has filed more than 3,000 requests for freedom of information. He oversees The Black Vault’s online repository, which has collected about 2.1 million pages of previously classified documents related to UFOs, mysterious murders and other mysterious phenomena.

According to Greenwald, the US Air Force was developing a lunar project to “show US dominance in space over the Soviet Union and, ultimately, over the whole world.”

The plan, of course, has never been implemented – perhaps because of a potential “unprecedented scientific disaster,” as one declassified document says.

The existence of this scheme was first discovered in 1999 in the biography of the world famous astronomer Carl Sagan, who died in 1996. Sagan was hired to work with him in Chicago by Dr. Leonard Raiffel, a physicist who was studying the possibility of creating a lunar nuclear bomb.

Leonard Raiffel (he died in 2017 at the age of 89) in an interview in 2000 claimed that the bomb would be as big as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

“It was clear that the main purpose of the proposed detonation was a PR act and a demonstration of sole domination,” the scientist told The Observer. – The Air Force wanted the mushroom cloud to be so large that it could be seen on Earth. The United States lagged behind in the space race.”

Photo: nasa.gov

In 1958, Raiffel was approached by senior US Air Force officers who asked him to “expedite” a project to study the visibility and consequences of a nuclear explosion on the moon.

According to the scientist, he made it clear that as a result, the pristine lunar environment will be destroyed, and this will be a huge damage, “but the US Air Force was mainly concerned about how a nuclear explosion would be perceived on Earth.”

“If the project were made public, there would be protests,” Raiffel said.

Greenwald’s book also explores the 1959 Army project on building a military base on the moon, code-named Project Horizon. The aim of the project was to create a permanent lunar colony for 10-20 people by the end of 1966. To get equipment there, it was projected to require an average of 5.3 Saturn rocket launches per month from August 1964 to November 1966.

In the entire history of the American space program, only 19 Saturns were launched.

“Military power based on the moon will be a strong deterrent to war because of the extreme difficulty, from the enemy’s point of view, of eliminating our ability to strike back,” the project suggested.

In a 1959 memorandum, US Army Research and Development Head Lieutenant Arthur Trudeau argued that if the United States created a permanent base on the moon, the prestige and psychological advantage for the American nation would be invaluable in confronting the Soviets.

The report indicated that creating an outpost of 12 people and maintaining it in working condition over the course of the year would cost more than $ 6 billion (which is equivalent to more than $ 53 billion in modern money).

Continue Reading
Advertisement

DO NOT MISS

Trending