Top 5 Horror Reads of 2020

Updated: Sep 4, 2020

by Gloria McNeely

#5 Urntold Tales of Horror and Dread by JB Lovet

This short story collection aims to bring you a chill with the compact tales included. Aimed at the horror fan who in this frightfully busy world may struggle to find the time to read as much as they'd like to, this book is intended to sate that appetite for dread in the spare moments between the genuine terror of a schedule that is too full.

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#4 Burnt Offerings by Robert Marasco

Ben and Marian Rolfe are desperate to escape a stifling summer in their tiny Brooklyn apartment, so when they get the chance to rent a mansion in upstate New York for the entire summer for only $900, it’s an offer that’s too good to refuse. There’s only one catch: behind a strange and intricately carved door in a distant wing of the house lives elderly Mrs. Allardyce, and the Rolfes will be responsible for preparing her meals.

But Mrs. Allardyce never seems to emerge from her room, and it soon becomes clear that something weird and terrifying is happening in the house. As the suspense builds towards a revelation of what really lies behind that locked door, the Rolfes will discover that their cheap vacation rental comes at a terrible cost . . .

The basis for a classic 1976 film adaptation and an acknowledged influence on Stephen King’s The Shining, Burnt Offerings is one of the most original and scariest haunted house novels ever written. This edition, the first in decades, features a new introduction by award-winning author Stephen Graham Jones.

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#3 Dark Divinations Collection edited by Naching T Kassa

It’s the height of Queen Victoria’s rule. Fog swirls in the gas-lit streets, while in the parlor, hands are

linked. Pale and expectant faces gaze upon a woman, her eyes closed and shoulders slumped. The medium speaks, her tone hollow and inhuman. The séance has begun. Join us as we explore fourteen frightening tales of Victorian horror, each centered around a method of divination. Can the reading of tea leaves influence the future? Can dreams keep a soldier from death in the Crimea? Can a pocket watch foretell a deadly family curse? From entrail reading and fortune-telling machines to prophetic spiders and voodoo spells, sometimes the future is better left unknown. Choose your fate.

Choose your DARK DIVINATION.With stories by: Hannah Hulbert, Ash Hartwell, Joe L. Murr, Emerian Rich, Naching T. Kassa, Michael Fassbender, Jon O’Bergh, Stephanie Ellis, H.R.R. Gorman, R.L. Merrill, Rie Sheridan Rose, Daphne Strasert, Alan Fisher, and Jeremy Megargee

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#2 Remains by Andrew Cull

Grief is a black house.How far would you go? What horrors would you endure if it meant you might see the son you thought you'd lost forever?Driven to a breakdown by the brutal murder of her young son, Lucy Campbell had locked herself away, fallen deep inside herself, become a ghost haunting room 23b of the William Tuke Psychiatric Hospital.There she'd remained, until the whispering pulled her back, until she found herself once more sitting in her car, calling to the son she had lost, staring into the black panes of the now abandoned house where Alex had died.Tonight, someone is watching her back.

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#1 The Unforseen by Dorothy Macardle (gothic)

In 1938, Virgilia Wilde, an Irish writer,

leaves England to begin a new life in the tranquil setting of

Wicklow with her daughter Nan. As strange visions threaten those around her, Virgilia must decide if she can intervene and prevent tragedies to come, or if her worst fears must play out as she helplessly looks on…

This follow-up to the critically acclaimed haunted-house novel The Uninvited is a sharply observed account of pre-World War II Dublin, as well as a darkly prophetic forecast of things to come. The Unforeseen reaffirms Macardle as Ireland’s answer to Shirley Jackson.

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Gloria McNeely is a writer and reviewer from Ireland. She has a BaA in English and Music from UCD and has been studying creative fiction since she left. She enjoys all genres of fiction but has a deep love of horror. When not reading or writer, she is also a horrorlesque performer and collector of ornamental skulls.

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