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Top 5 Horror Books to Read Before You Stream

October 22, 2020
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Boo! Did we scare you? 

Halloween is almost here and one of our favorite parts of staying at home more has been how much time we have to catch up on all things spooky. There are so many incredible horror movies and shows out, but behind some of the greatest horror streaming are the books that inspired them! If you want to read it before you stream/scream it, check out our spookiest horror novels turned into movies. These are some of the spookiest stories ever written for a variety of ages-- whether you've got a new horror fanatic or someone who is reaching for a story they've never read before.

Here is our list:

1. The Haunting of Hill House

Did you screaming watching the Netflix series? 

Our BAM Exclusive edition features a glow in the dark cover. First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

2. Witches

Witches is out on Netflix TODAY! This Roald Dahl classic was a childhood favorite, and it's perfect for a new generation of readers to fall in love with the horror story. But be careful-- "Witches are real, and they are everywhere!"

This is not a fairy tale. This is about real witches.

Grandmamma loves to tell about witches. Real witches are the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth. There's nothing they hate so much as children, and they work all kinds of terrifying spells to get rid of them. Her grandson listens closely to Grandmamma's stories--but nothing can prepare him for the day he comes face-to-face with The Grand High Witch herself

3. Bird Box

When Bird Box came out last year on Netflix, it was all anyone in the Books-a-Million office could talk about. And everyone unanimously agreed: the movie was incredible, but have you read the book?! The movie's sequel will be coming out in the next year, so now is the perfect time to start reading the first book.

Written with the narrative tension of The Road and the exquisite terror of classic Stephen King, Bird Box is a propulsive, edge-of-your-seat horror thriller, set in an apocalyptic near-future world--a masterpiece of suspense from the brilliantly imaginative Josh Malerman.

Something is out there . . .

Something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remain, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now, that the boy and girl are four, it is time to go. But the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat--blindfolded--with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children's trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. And something is following them. But is it man, animal, or monster?

Engulfed in darkness, surrounded by sounds both familiar and frightening, Malorie embarks on a harrowing odyssey--a trip that takes her into an unseen world and back into the past, to the companions who once saved her. Under the guidance of the stalwart Tom, a motely group of strangers banded together against the unseen terror, creating order from the chaos. But when supplies ran low, they were forced to venture outside--and confront the ultimate question: in a world gone mad, who can really be trusted?

Interweaving past and present, Josh Malerman's breathtaking debut is a horrific and gripping snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.

4. Carrie

Carrie is a classic, but I hadn't read the book until last year. There's so much more to the story than the movie gives us, and the book is incredibly terrifying.

BAM Exclusive! Carrie was the odd one at school; the one whose reflexes were always off in games, whose clothes never really fit, who never got the point of a joke. And so she became the joke, the brunt of teenaged cruelties that puzzled her as much as they wounded her.

There was hardly any comfort in playing her private game, because like so many things in Carrie's life, it was sinful. Or so her mother said. Carrie could make things move-- by concentrating on them, by willing them to move. Small things, like marbles, would start dancing. Or a candle would fall. A door would lock. This was her game, her power, her sin, firmly repressed like everything else about Carrie.

One act of kindness, as spontaneous as the vicious jokes of her classmates, offered Carrie a new look at herself the fateful night of her senior prom. But another act-- of furious cruelty-- forever changed things and turned her clandestine game into a weapon of horror and destruction.

She made a lighted candle fall, and she locked the doors....

5. Coraline

Coraline was the first horror novel I read growing up, and it continues to be a book for every age. It doesn't matter if you're 13 or 83-- this story will make your skin crawl.

This edition of New York Times bestselling and Newbery Medal-winning author Neil Gaiman's modern classic, Coraline--also an Academy Award-nominated film--is enriched with a foreword from the author, a reader's guide, and more. This middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, especially during homeschooling. It's a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.

When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous.

But there's another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

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