Recommendations for novels about haunted houses, please

I’m longing to read a novel about a haunted house. Lots of ghosts, and at least be reasonably scary. More than one ghost would be nice. I don’t care if your recommendation is for a book intended for adults or is YA.

I suppose I should offer some already-read examples to demonstrate my idea of scary, though. These aren’t all haunted houses, but they should help give the idea.

Not Remotely Scary to me:
[li]The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters[/li][li]House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski[/li][li]The Turn of the Screw by Henry James[/li][li]Coldheart Canyon by Clive Barker[/li][/ul]

Adequately Scary to me:
[li]The Shining by Stephen King (I liked Doctor Sleep too, but it wasn’t scary)[/li][li]The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub[/li][li]Bird Box by Josh Malerman[/li][li]If You Could See Me Now by Peter Straub[/li][li]A Winter Haunting by Dan Simmons (totally rips off If You Could See Me Now but at least it was scary)[/li][li]Neverland by Douglas Clegg [/li][li]Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill[/li][li]The The Devouring trilogy by Simon Holt[/li][li]The Forest of Hands and Teeth trilogy by Carrie Ryan[/li][/ul]

What should I read?

Hell House by Richard Matheson is a classic of the genre.

Drawing Blood, by Poppy Z Brite, was pretty good, as I recall. It’s got a lot of explicit sex, for better or worse.

Last Days is a decent novel I read recently, following a documentarian investigating a cult; it’s got some strong haunted-house elements to it.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson


This tells me that you and I are completely at odds when it comes to what is scary, but I’ll still suggest The Woman in Black, by Susan Hill.

The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons is good.

I just read this recently. It really freaked me out - I LOVED this book!

Glad to hear it. I read it back in the mid-eighties and I remembered I liked it a lot at the time. But I was worried that maybe the book wouldn’t live up to how I remembered it thirty years later.

Would Ghost Story by Peter Straub qualify?

One of my top three favorite books of all time!

I will suggest Burnt Offerings, by Robert Marasco.

I checked out my Goodreads list and came up with a few more. I rated all of these 3 stars.
This House is Haunted by John Boyne
The Elementals, by Michael McDowell
Rooms, by Lauren Oliver. Not scary, but I still think it fits.

The Haunting of Hill House seriously messed me up. Really good stuff.

Shirley Jackson’s last novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a cracker, like everything she wrote.

Rustication by Charles Palliser is, as this review notes, a sordid pleasure.

Not a novel, but what the heck … since you seem to like a lot of Stephen King’s stuff.

1408, a short story in his collection Everything’s Eventual, is an excellent way to spend 30 minutes or so if you want to be scared.

I may not be the best to suggest one since I tend to dislike the genre but have you read The Amityville Horror?

Hmm… I’ve read a lot of these already :frowning:

I liked:

  • Drawing Blood by Poppy Z Brite
  • 1408 by Stephen King

Didn’t like:

  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson - though it’s the basis for one of my favorite old horror movies, I found it pretty dull. We Have Always Lived in the Castle was much more interesting

  • Ghost Story by Peter Straub - this is actually one of my least favorite Peter Straub books

  • The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons - I was so bored by it I didn’t bother finishing it

I’m currently reading It, by Stephen King, and it might fit your bill. There is one particularly scary house the protagonists keep ending up in, at 29 Neibolt Street, but mainly it’s more of a haunted-sewer situation.

I guess, a little. But I’ve read just about everything King has written up until the past decade. Ditto Peter Straub, Clive Barker, and Dean Koontz.