Last updated: August 18, 2021

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In this article we will test your courage and ask you: Do you dare to dive into the fantastic world of horror books? If the answer is yes, stay with us to discover the thrilling plots of these dark texts! Welcome to Monederosmart!

Horror stories are one of the most chosen by readers all over the world, as their themes are gripping and at the same time versatile, since they can also contain love, action, suspense, drama and adventure. Get to know all the variants of this mysterious genre!




Summary

  • Horror books are works written with the aim of frightening the reader and generating tension, suspense and adrenaline throughout. These stories usually include ghosts, vampires, zombies, monsters and other fantastic and scary creatures.
  • You can find different types of horror books, among which texts for adults, teenagers and children stand out, which differ from each other mainly because of their approaches, genres and themes, among other particularities.
  • It is important that when buying a horror book you take into account certain relevant factors, such as their different types and varieties, characters and formats, among other important aspects not to lose sight of.

The Best Horror Books: Our Picks

Buying guide: What you need to know about horror books

The main objective of this buying guide is to provide you with relevant information about the product you are interested in buying. Therefore, we will tell you about the most important and outstanding features of horror books, including their advantages and disadvantages.

Children's horror books are usually short stories with a more tender, humorous and reflective approach. (Photo: Roman Samborskyi / 123rf.com)

What are the characteristics of horror books?

The main characteristic of horror books is that they are written to generate tension and frighten the reader with their chilling stories. Therefore the plots and characters are always involved in dark episodes often combined with suspense, mystery, fantasy, and even love.

Supernatural or paranormal themes (of ghosts, vampires, zombies and monsters) are commonplace in this literary genre, as well as murder, disease and anything surrounding death. However, you can also find scary stories for children with a more tender or humorous approach.

Horror books for adults, for young people, or for children - what should you pay attention to?

You can find endless variations of horror books written especially for an adult, teenage or children's audience. These books have specific characteristics that determine their content, themes, approach and characters, among other particular aspects.

For adults. Horror books for adults are the most varied and versatile in terms of their themes, as you can find variants of psychological horror, horror and romance, horror and suspense, etc. Among the classics you will find "Dracula", "Frankenstein" and "The Exorcist", among many others.

For teenagers. Teenagers tend to choose horror works with dynamic themes, so books like "It" or "Carrie" could be a fantastic choice. Older ones can dabble in novels such as "The Black Cat" or "Macabre Tales" (both by Allan Poe).

Children's. It may seem strange and even perverse that there are children's horror books; however, these "scary" stories for children give a different approach to the genre, combining it with humour, tenderness and fun, where in the end the bad guys don't end up being as bad or terrifying as they seem.

For adults For young people For children
Subgenre Novel, short story Novel, short story Short stories
Some books "Dracula", "Frankenstein", "Legends", etc. "It", etc. "Good night, monsters!", "You don't scare me", "By profession, ghost", etc.
Characters Humans, ghosts, vampires, etc. Humans, ghosts, vampires, monsters, zombies, etc. Animals, monsters, zombies and ghosts good
Main characteristics They are the most common and varied in their themes They are usually books made into films or TV Scary stories have a funnier approach

What is the difference between classic and contemporary horror books?

Classic horror books originate from 18th century gothic novels, based on castles, ghosts and vampires. From them come the most emblematic texts of the horror genre, such as "Dracula" or "The Phantom of the Opera", two masterpieces that basically talk about love.

Contemporary horror has kept the essence of the genre, but its scripts and scenarios have adapted to the times. On the other hand, blood does not seem to be the main star of these books, as psychological (and less explicit) horror is here to stay, as shown in "Where Fear Dwells", for example.

What are the sub-genres of horror books?

Although horror is a genre in its own right, horror books can be presented in various sub-genres, among which short stories and novels stand out. Here we will describe the characteristics of these two literary variants so that you can get to know their main peculiarities.

Short stories. Short stories are short stories written in books of a few pages, or in longer works containing several short stories. Although there are many horror stories aimed at adult audiences, you will find these variants mainly oriented to children, through more tender and funny approaches.

Novels. Unlike short stories, novels are long stories (usually starting at 150 pages or more) that present a story with a longer and more detailed development than short texts. In the horror genre you will find a much greater number and variety of novels than short stories.

Did you know that when Stephen King finished writing "Carrie" (the novel that made him famous) he threw it away because he didn't like it? (luckily his wife convinced him that it was very good!)

Which horror books have been made into films?

Horror is a genre with a huge box-office success, which is why countless spooky novels were taken to the big screen years later to duplicate their commercial success. Among the best known are "The Exorcist", "The Shining" and "The Ring", among many others.

We can also mention the emblematic film "Psycho"

We can also mention the emblematic film "Psycho", by director Alfred Hitchcock, "The Devil's Seed", directed by Roman Polanski, or "The Silence of the Lambs" (also known as "The Silence of the Lambs") starring the brilliant Jack Nicholson. Dracula, for example, was one of the most widely adapted.

Buying criteria

In this last section of the article we will tell you what are the buying criteria you should take into account when buying horror books, since within this literary genre you can find a huge variety of works aimed at different types of audiences with different interests.

Themes

Horror is a very broad genre, so you will be able to find numerous variations of themes adapted to the diverse interests of readers. Below, we will mention some of the most common themes of this literary genre so that you can get to know its main peculiarities.

Horror and mystery books. Mystery is closely associated with horror books, as these works manage a constant climate of fear, tension and suspense that keeps the reader expectant and frightened. You will be able to find a great variety of texts of this type, among which "Misery" and "Rosemary's baby" stand out, among others.

Horror and love books. Although it may seem that horror and love do not go hand in hand, many books of this genre combine both feelings. In fact, "Dracula" is one of the darkest and most romantic stories ever written. Haven't you read it? We recommend it!

Horror and fantasy books. Most of the horror books contain fantasy, which is expressed through creepy characters such as zombies, monsters, ghosts, witches, warlocks and vampires. Among the classics of these works you will find timeless texts such as "Frankenstein" or "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde".

You can find a wide variety and assortment of horror books, adapted to the preferences of different types of readers. (Photo: Amnarj Tanongrattana / 123rf.com)

Other themes

In addition to the themes mentioned in the previous point, there are many other approaches to horror books to suit the preferences of readers. Here are a few more variations to consider when selecting the perfect book for you.

Horror and humour books. They say that there is no fear that cannot be overcome with a laugh, and perhaps that is why many horror books integrate humour or absurdity into their stories. You can find everything from children's stories to classics such as "The Canterville Ghost".

Psychological horror books. These are those that express terror through their characters' own fears and traumas and not through Machiavellian creatures that disembowel their enemies. You will find famous works in this style such as "The Picture of Dorian Grey" or "The Silence of the Lambs".

Characters

Undoubtedly, the soul of books are their characters, and horror works have protagonists with particular characteristics typical of the genre. The following are the most common characters in these works written for the brave.

Humans. In most horror books there are humans, who can be protagonists or secondary characters. If you are looking for a story where there are only people and not animals or fantastic creatures, you can find them mainly in psychological horror books such as "The Shining", among many others.

Supernatural creatures. There are numerous horror books starring supernatural or paranormal creatures such as ghosts, vampires, witches, etc. In addition to the classics ("Dracula", "Frankenstein", etc.) you can find works such as "Zombie Island" or "Ghosts".

Formats

Horror books can be found in different formats adapted to the uses and preferences of each reader. Below, we will detail the particularities of the different formats so that you can choose the one you consider most appropriate for you.

Bear in mind that these variants may have different costs

Physical books (on paper). This is the traditional format for books, which is not only convenient, but also allows you to move the copies from one place to another. Please note that these variants may have different costs depending on the quality, number of pages, title and author of the horror book.

You can find a large number of horror books on the internet

Virtual books. On the internet you can find a large number of horror books to download for free or for a fee (at a much lower price than physical books). You should consider that these variants are not mobile (unless you have your tablet or notebook with you) and are more tiring for the eyes.

These formats can be educational for young children

Audiobooks. As the name suggests, audiobooks are variants of works narrated by a voice-over, so you don't have to read the text but listen to it. These formats can be educational for young children, as they will be able to listen to the horror story with entertaining voices and animations.

The main characters in horror books can be humans or supernatural or paranormal creatures. (Photo: Gleb TV / 123rf.com)

(Featured image source: Jakkapan Jabjainai/ 123rf.com)

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