#30 – After Midnight – edited by Charles L. Grant (Tor, 1986)
#28: The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty (Harper Collins, 1971 and beyond)
As a young child, this cover image ruined me. At 4 or 5 years old, I thought it was a real photograph of a real demon, and that if I stared at it too long, it would somehow come and find me. This landmark cover didn’t change much through the 1970s. But most likely, the publisher got too many complaints and obscured the image as you can see from below.
#27: Weaveworld – Clive Barker (Pocket Books, 1988)
Not sure if this dude on the cover just won the lottery, or got kicked in the nuts…? Despite the questionable cover art, I dig the gold texturing. The novel itself is an epic of horror and fantasy.
Here’s the artwork under the front cover:
#26 – Dead White – Alan Ryan (Tor, 1983)
An underrated novel that seeps under the skin with its deceptively simple prose. Evil, floating clowns arrive in a ghost caravan to get revenge on a small upstate town.
Check review here.
#19: Floating Dragon – Peter Straub (Berkley, 1982)
I remember reading passages of this novel back in 1982. I remember the metallic blue cover, the tight font on a crowded page, and the complicated prose that went beyond my 10-year-old level of reading comprehension. Diving into this years later, I can say that Floating Dragon is one of my favorite horror novels. It’s a door-stopper, a New England epic of the supernatural, and while not perfect, contains so many wonderful tropes of the genre and re-imaginings of suburban dread and nuclear panic that marked the late 1970s, early 1980s. It’s truly a marvel in its scope, and doesn’t shy away from the gruesome. Classic Straub worthy of reading again and again.
Let the terror begin again.
#17: Rockabye Baby – Stephen Gresham (Zebra, 1984)
Not only do you have a creepy doll on the cover, but you have a creepy dude wearing surgical gloves and his mother’s wig. Jesus H. As glorious and shiteous as a 1980s horror book cover can get. I’d love to see somebody reading this on the subway. I’d go over and give them a hug.