The appeal of horror books is in making you feel goosebumps on your skin, and making the hair behind your neck stand up. And what better way to accomplish that than to chronicle a true story? Indeed, ghosts and witchy laughter may seem slapstick to some, but when it comes to real events – everyone is spooked. And so, today, we’ve made a list of the best horror books based on true events.
List of Horror Books Based on True Events | Scary Novels Based on Real Events:
The Haunted by Robert Curran
This novel recreates the gruesome story of a demonic attack and possession which had dozens of eyewitnesses. It recounts the experiences of the Smurl family, who begin living in a haunted house. Soon, they’re unable to go anywhere without being followed by a mysterious and ghostly presence.
Audrey Rose by Frank De Felitta
This peculiar but horrific story follows a man who realizes that a girl was a reincarnation of his dead daughter. Disturbing and unsettling, this book deals with the Templeton family and their daughter Ivy is particular. Ivy deals with a lot of terrible nightmares that seem almost otherworldly. And then there’s a creepy man who seems to keep following them around, believing that Ivy is the reincarnated spirit of Audrey Rose, his daughter who died in an accident.
Ghostland by Colin Dickey
The most terrifying part of this book is that it classifies as non-fiction and even history. This book follows Colin, who after finding a ‘zombie home’ in Los Angeles, decides to go on a hunt to discover the supernatural elements in America. We follow him through derelict prisons, graveyards, shady motels and places labelled ‘the most haunted’. He looks for the part of history that Americans have tried to repress from their collective consciousness and bring it to light. And he does it in a way that will chill you to your bones.
Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
This classic novel tells the story of a young girl possessed by a malicious spirit. As her mother, a Jesuit priest and a weird detective try to rid her of the demon, a chilling story of horror follows. The most terrifying part, however, that this story is based on a real life exorcism event. The dark and beautiful prose only adds to the terror.
The Bell Witch by Brent Monahan
This novel is the story of the only documented case in the entire United States where a spirit caused the death of a human. Set in the green pastures of Tennessee, it’s the story of the spirit called ‘Old Kate’ who took root in the Bell house. The malevolent spirit wreaked havoc in the family, chilling them to the bone with scary noises and sounds. These events were noted by the local schoolteacher, whose manuscript fell into Brent’s hands. Brent organized it for the world to see – and fear.
There is No Lovely End by Patty Templeton
Set in 1884, this is the story of our protagonist Nathan Garlan who possesses a unique ability. This is the ability to see and hear people who don’t really exist. He uses his gift to help society prosper and rid it of demons, but his own mother wants him dead. On the other hand, Sarah Winchester, a wealthy heiress finds herself haunted by phantoms. Until she hears of Nathan in Boston who delivers people from their hauntings. But if Nathan’s mother gets to him first, a tragedy will follow. This book is part mystery, part horror and will definitely give you the heebie jeebies.
The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson
This novel follows the Lutz family in 1975 as they move into the house where Ronald Defeo murdered his parents and siblings a year before. The crazy and horrific events that follow lead them to vacate the home in 28 days due to the existence of paranormal entities. This novel is sure to spook out even the bravest of hearts.