Horror Novels

31 Days of Horror Book Covers: #28


#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.



31 Days of Horror Book Covers: #24


#24: The Nebulon Horror – Hugh B. Cave (Dell, 1980)

Back in the 1980s Horror Boom, every child was possessed, pissed, or eating the souls of their elders.


Soul Eater – K.W. Jeter (Tor, 1983)


As a writer, when you’re at your lowest, it’s time to remember and re-read the writers you love and cherish and emulate. For me: Horror, Ramsey Campbell. For Science Fiction, Thomas Disch. For Fantasy, Lucius Shepard. For Crime, David Goodis. And all this peaks and sings true when you watch a clip of Ursula K. Le Guin talking about the importance of writing using only your imagination, plain and simple, because that’s all writers have.

31 Days of Horror Book Covers: #20


#20: Killer Crabs – Guy N. Smith (Signet, 1979)

Look out, Maryland.

Guy N. Smith was known for his no-nonsense books. Hence this title, and others such as The Sucking Pit and Slime Beast.

31 Days of Horror Book Covers: #17


#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.

31 Days of Horror Book Covers: #16


#16: The Cipher – Kathe Koja (Dell Abyss, 1991)

At the tail end of the Horror Boom, the Dell Abyss line went against the grain from the typical horror paperbacks crowding the shelves, and put out books that broke free from convention. This was also true of their book covers. Both grotesque and surreal, The Cipher is one of the better titles to emerge from this short-lived imprint.

31 Days of Horror Book Covers: #9


#9: Night Shift – Stephen King (Signet, 1979 – cover art by Don Brautigam)

At seven years old, this paperback mystified me with its step-back/peek-a-boo cover art. Above is the inner-cover, and the bottom is how it was displayed on the bookshelves.

The cover is inspired by the tale I Am the Doorway