So you’ve watched The Sandman on Netflix—even the bonus episode. Now you have to figure out what to do with yourself while you wait to see if the series get renewed for a second season. If you’ve already read the whole comic book series by Neil Gaiman and now you’re looking for more horror and dark fantasy with the same vibe, we’ve got you covered. Here are horror books you should read if you loved The Sandman.
Much like Sandman, Matt Ruff’s Lovecraft Country has been adapted into an unforgettable and incredibly dark series, featuring all sorts of supernatural beings. The year is 1954. Twenty-two year old Army veteran Atticus Turner’s father has gone missing, and so he sets off on a road trip to New England to find him. Along for the ride are his Uncle George—publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide—and his childhood friend Letitia. Their journey is full of treacherous roadblocks and horrifying monsters, both natural and supernatural.
In Dead Water by C.A. Fletcher, a water-borne blight rocks a small community on a remote island on the Northern Atlantic. The rumors say that the illness could possibly be a water-borne neural infection from the shellfish farm. Or maybe the whole thing is just a case of mass hysteria. Or maybe the island and its inhabitants are simply cursed. Whatever the cause of the illness, it’s tearing the community apart. Especially after the ferry service fails, leaving the community cut off from the rest of the world.
A Dowry of Blood is a dark and imaginative retelling of Dracula from the perspective of one of the vampire’s brides. Constanta was saved from the brink of death from a mysterious stranger. Now, she’s been transformed from a medieval peasant into a bride fit for Dracula, the undying king. But the longer Constanta remains with Dracula, the more she realizes that her beloved is capable of doing horrible things.
The dark horror fantasy novel Hex welcomes readers to Black Spring, a picturesque Hudson Valley town whose beauty is marred by the haunting of the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. The Black Rock Witch walks the streets, entering homes at will and standing next to children's beds. To keep the curse from spreading, the elders of Black Spring have quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance. But the town’s teens refuse to stay in lockdown, and so they decide to break the elder’s strict regulations to go viral with the haunting. But no decision is without its consequences.
Set in 1895, A Witch in Time follows sixteen-year-old Juliet LeCompte who has a passionate but doomed romantic entanglement with the married Parisian painter Auguste Marchant. Juliet’s mother, a witch, tries to put a curse on Marchant, but she botches the spell, thus unwittingly binding Juliet to Marchant throughout the rest time. Now, Juliet must relive her affair and her tragic death throughout history. But Luke Varner, the demon who has been tasked with seeing out Juliet’s mother’s badly crafted curse, has fallen in love with Juliet in all her incarnations. In her present-day incarnation as Helen, a magazine executive in Washington DC, Juliet (now Helen) starts to remember her past and her previous lives. Does this mean she will finally find the power to break the spell?
Matt Query and Harrison Query’s Old Country is a horror thriller about former marine Harry and his wife Sasha. The couple thinks they’ve finally found the perfect home in a peaceful, secluded valley, but not everything is as it seems. Shortly after their arrival, their neighbors show up and warn the young couple of a malevolent spirit that lives in the valley. Harry and Sasha think that surely the warnings must just be an old wives’ tale. But as the seasons change, the evil manifestations they witness become nearly impossible to deny.
What happens when you can’t trust your own memories? That’s what happens to Sydney in The Seven Visitations of Sydney Burgess. After a masked intruder knocks her unconscious, everything feels like a blur. When she comes to, she runs to her neighbor’s house and calls the police, only to have the cops tell her that she can no longer trust her memories. Because that intruder in now lying dead in her guest room, and he’s been murdered in a way that seems intimately personal. What has Sydney forgotten about her past? About herself?
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Emily Martin has a PhD in English from the University of Southern Mississippi. She’s a contributing editor at Book Riot and blogs/podcasts at Book Squad Goals.