Nightmarish Conjurings Top Horror Books of 2018

Image Courtesy of  Thibault Martin-Lagardette

Image Courtesy of Thibault Martin-Lagardette

When it comes to horror, sometimes a book can be just as effective as a film. Whether it’s a classic such as Dracula, or the newest YA novel from an aspiring author, horror sink its teeth into our minds through the use of written words. To celebrate the new year, we here at Nightmarish Conjurings have looked back at some of our favorite books that we read in 2018. Hopefully you’ll find something that speaks to your soul and leaves you with nightmares for days to come!

Molly Henery’s Pick

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IT
Author: Stephen King
Release Date: 1986
Synopsis: Welcome to Derry, Maine. It’s a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry the haunting is real. They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grow-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But the promise they made twenty-eight years ago calls them to reunite in the same place where, as teenagers, they battled an evil creature that preyed on the city’s children. Now, children are being murdered again and their repressed memories of that terrifying summer return as they prepare to once again battle the monster lurking in Derry’s sewers. (Amazon)

Tiffany Blem’s Pick

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MY BEST FRIEND’S EXORCISM
Author: Grady Hendrix
Release Date: 2017
Synopsis: The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act…different. She’s moody. She’s irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she’s nearby. Abby’s investigation leads her to some startling discoveries - and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil? (Amazon)

Vicki Camp’s Pick

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PENPAL
Author: Dathan Auerbach
Release Date: 2012
Synposis: In an attempt to make sense of his own mysterious and unsettling memories, a man begins to reconstruct his past. As the games and adventures of his youth become engulfed by a larger story, he finds that it forms a tapestry of unbelievable horror that he never could have expected. Each chapter completes a different piece of the puzzle for both you and the narrator, and by the end of it all, you will wish that you could forget what he never know. (Amazon)

Kellie Haulotte’s Pick

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FINAL GIRLS
Author: Riley Sager
Release Date: 2017
Synopsis: Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie-scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to - a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls: Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempt, they never meet. (Amazon)

Sarah Musnicky’s Pick

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YOU
Author: Caroline Kepnes
Release Date: 2014
Synopsis: When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card. There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight - the perfect place for a “chance” meeting. As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all white quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way - even if it means murder. (Amazon)

James Roberts’ Pick

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I AM BEHIND YOU
Author: John Ajvide Lindqvist
Release Date: 2018
Synopsis: Four families wake up one morning in their trailer on an ordinary campsite. However, during the night something strange has happened. Everything outside the camping grounds has disappeared, and the world has been transformed into an endless expanse of grass. The sky is blue, but there is no sign of the sun; there are no trees, no flowers, no birds. And every radio plays nothing but the songs of sixties pop icon Peter Himmelstrand. As the holiday-makers try to come to terms with what hdraas happened, they are forced to confront their deepest fears and secret desires. Past events that each of them has tried to bury rise to the surface and take on terrifying physical forms. Can any of them find a way back to reality? (Amazon)

Abigail Braman’s Pick

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DRACULA
Author: Bram Stoker
Synopsis: Dracula is an 1897 Gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker. Famous for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula’s attempt to move from Transylvania to England so he may find new blood and spread undead curse, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing. (Amazon)

Jay Kay’s Pick

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THE TERROR
Author: Dan Simmons
Release Date: 2007
Synopsis: The men on board the HMS Terror have every expectation of finding the Northwest Passage. But what they don’t expect is a monstrous predator lurking behind the Arctic ice. When the expedition’s leader, Sir John Franklin, meets a horrifying end, Captain Francis Crozier takes command, leading his surviving crewmen on a last desperate attempt to flee south across the ice. But another winter is rapidly approaching, and with it, scurvy and starvation. Crozier and his men may find that there is no escaping the terror stalking them southward. And with the crushing cold and the fear of almost certain death at their backs, the most horrifying monster among them may be each other. (Amazon)

Natalie Hall’s Pick

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PET SEMATARY
Author: Stephen King
Release Date: 1983
Synopsis: When Dr. Louis Creed takes a new job and moves his family to the idyllic rural town of Ludlow, Maine, this new beginning seems too good to be true. Despite Ludlow’s tranquility, an undercurrent of danger exists here. Those trucks on the road outside the Creed’s beautiful old home travel by just a little too quickly, for one thing…as is evidenced by the makeshift graveyard in the nearby woods where generations of children have buried their beloved pets. Then there are the warnings to Louis both real and from the depths of his nightmares that he should not venture beyond the borders of this little graveyard where another burial ground lures with seductive promises and ungodly temptations. A blood-chilling truth is hidden there - one more terrifying than death itself, and hideously more powerful. As Louis is about to discover for himself sometimes, dead is better… (Amazon)

Kino McFarland’s Pick

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SADIE
Author: Courtney Summers
Release Date: 2018
Synopsis: Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him. When West McCray - a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America - overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late. (Amazon)

Elissa Wagner’s Pick

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CHRISTINE
Author: Stephen King
Release Date: 1983
Synopsis: Evil is alive in Libertyville. It inhabits a custom-painted red and white 1958 Plymouth Fury named Christine and young Arnold Cunningham, who buys it. Along with Arnold’s girlfriend, Leigh Cabot, Dennis Guilder attempts to find out the real truth behind Christine and finds more than he bargained for: from murder to suicide, there’s a peculiar feeling that surrounds Christine - she gets revenge on anyone standing in her path. Can Dennis save Arnold from the wrath of Christine? (Amazon)

Dolores Quintana’s Pick

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HUNGRY GHOSTS
Author: Anthony Bourdain
Release Date: 2018
Synopsis: On a dark, haunted night, a Russian Oligarch dares a circle of international chefs to play the samurai game of 100 Candles - where each storyteller tells a terrifying tales of ghosts, demons and unspeakable beings - and prays to survive the challenge. Inspired by the Japanese Edo period game of Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai, Hungry Ghosts reimagines the classic stories of yokai, yorei, and obake, all tainted with the common thread of food. (Amazon)

Shannon McGrew’s Pick

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CITY OF DEVILS: 13 TALES OF THE UNCANNY, UNLUCKY & UNHOLY
Author: Staci Layne Wilson
Release Date: 2018
Synopsis: Los Angeles and Lucifer are a lot alike. They both seduce and lure with promises of wealth, fame, beauty or love. But those promises are often empty; and even when they’re not, there’s a price to pay. (Amazon)