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8 Unexpectedly Intense Dark Fiction Novels

by Ahlissa Eichhorn



1. Ritualistic Human Sacrifice

by C.V. Hunt



Sure, the title informs you of the general gist of the story but doesn’t come close to describing the depravity inside. This novella is guaranteed to make you pause for composure and/or feel phantom pains in various parts of your anatomy.

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2. Elizabeth

by Ken Greenhall


This once forgotten novel is best described as a mixture of Lolita and Suspiria. Written in 1976, the content inside is morally defunct. Pair that with supernatural elements and it makes for an eye-widening adventure with a very disturbed teenage girl.



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3. True Crime

by Samantha Kolesnik


First time authors have the unspoken luxury of setting the tone of their career. Kolesnik’s debut is a brutal and stomach-churning monument in dark fiction. You’ll feel heartache, disgust, and disbelief all on the same page.



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4. Strange Girls: Women in Horror

edited by Azzurra Nox



Anthologies are great opportunities to get a feel for different voices and subgenres. The range within this one collection is vast and the content tromps right through the extreme territory. The best part? You’ll never know which story will be your undoing.


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5. The End of Everything

by Meg Cabot


Told from the point of view of a pre-teen girl, this Cabot novel dives into pretty touchy subject matter. It excels at making the reader uncomfortable and shocked with what’s wholly conceivable to everyday people.


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6. The Virgin Suicides

by Jeffrey Eugenides


I know. The title is actually quite alarming and should be an obvious red flag. To an extent, it is. However, what makes The Virgin Suicides a literary taboo to this day is the depth of character explored and the trials of youth experienced by a set of tragic girls.


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7. Headcheese

by Jess Hagemann


Sounds pretty funky, right? It’s one of the most unique books you’ll ever read, and it’ll open your mind to worlds you didn’t even know could exist. The graphic content and illustrations are surefire ways to stimulate a reaction out of you, physical and emotional.



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8. The Exorcist

by William Peter Blatty


You may have only seen the movie and that’s about as intense you may want to get. But what if I told you the book is worse? The Exorcist was written in 1971 but it was not restrained by its time in any sense. The foulness of language, the questionable situations, and the utter sacrilege make for a trifecta of filth in this horror classic.



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Ahlissa Eichhorn runs Haunted by Deadlines, a horror blog that contains book reviews (both new and old), film reviews (both good and bad), and editorials on the genre. She is the current Nightmare Librarian for Fangoria magazine, a features judge for Nightmares Film Festival and a creative writer herself. She’s what you think a nerdy horror fan would be, except cooler and more into Meat Loaf than any one woman should be.


You can also follow her adventures in horror on Instagram!

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