6 Scary Good Book Covers

Welcome aboard, train wreck.

They say you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. But isn’t that the point of a book cover, to grab you attention. They are designed to catch your attention. From a bookshelf they holler, “Hey. Look at me. Pick me up. Choose me.”

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What makes a book cover stand out? Color? Font? Shocking images?

The pulp fictions of the 40s used scandalous pictures to sell their stories. Some authors are so popular that all they need is the title of the book and their name on the cover. So, what makes someone grab a book off a shelf and take it home?

For me, it depends on what I’m looking for. Of course, BookTok has made it significantly harder to know what I want. Because I want them all. But when it comes to horror, I like to see something that lets me know what I should expect when I read the book. I’m not looking for blood, guts, and gore. But a splash of blood, a handprint or fingerprint, some splatter, that’s ok.

So, I’m giving you my favorite horror book covers. You may notice a theme because I just adore this author.

We Sold Our Souls: A Novel by Grady Hendrix

From the Amazon description – From the New York Times best-selling author of The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires comes a hard-rocking, spine-tingling horror novel.

Every morning, Kris Pulaski wakes up in hell. In the 1990s she was lead guitarist of Dürt Würk, a heavy-metal band on the brink of breakout success until lead singer Terry Hunt embarked on a solo career and rocketed to stardom, leaving his bandmates to rot in obscurity.

Now Kris works as night manager of a Best Western; she’s tired, broke, and unhappy. Then one day everything changes—a shocking act of violence turns her life upside down, and she begins to suspect that Terry sabotaged more than just the band. Kris hits the road, hoping to reunite Dürt Würk and confront the man who ruined her life. Her journey will take her from the Pennsylvania rust belt to a celebrity rehab center to a satanic music festival.

A furious power ballad about never giving up, We Sold Our Souls is an epic journey into the heart of a conspiracy-crazed, pill-popping, paranoid country that seems to have lost its very soul.

Why I love it

This cover is just gorgeous. The font type. The colors. The whole layout. It literally looks like a Rolling Stone cover and I am here for all of it. If you haven’t read this, you should. Everything on the cover will make sense once you get into the book.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires: A Novel by Grady Hendrix

From the Amazon description –

The New York Times Best Seller
A Barnes & Noble Best Fiction Book of 2020
A Goodreads Choice Awards Finalist

Steel Magnolias 
meets Dracula in this ’90s-set horror novel about a women’s book club that must do battle with a mysterious newcomer to their small Southern town, perfect for murderinos and fans of Stephen King.

Bonus features:
   • Reading group guide for book clubs
   • Hand-drawn map of Mt. Pleasant
   • Annotated true-crime reading list by Grady Hendrix
   • And more!

Patricia Campbell’s life has never felt smaller. Her husband is a workaholic, her teenage kids have their own lives, her senile mother-in-law needs constant care, and she’s always a step behind on her endless to-do list. The only thing keeping her sane is her book club, a close-knit group of Charleston women united by their love of true crime. At these meetings they’re as likely to talk about the Manson family as they are about their own families.

One evening after book club, Patricia is viciously attacked by an elderly neighbor, bringing the neighbor’s handsome nephew, James Harris, into her life. James is well traveled and well read, and he makes Patricia feel things she hasn’t felt in years. But when children on the other side of town go missing, their deaths written off by local police, Patricia has reason to believe James Harris is more of a Bundy than a Brad Pitt. The real problem? James is a monster of a different kind—and Patricia has already invited him in. 

Little by little, James will insinuate himself into Patricia’s life and try to take everything she took for granted—including the book club—but she won’t surrender without a fight in this blood-soaked tale of neighborly kindness gone wrong.

Why I Love It

I love the bleeding peaches. You already know, by the title, vampires are involved. The peaches bring that southern charm that is so prevalent in this book. The covers pulls in the horror and humor that reigns this story.

Uninvited Others: Book 1 in the Haven Manor trilogy by S. Feaker

From the Amazon description – The secrets here are seldom told
None are known from young to old
Songs and footsteps in the hall
Just hold your breath when whispers call
The air will chill, your body shakes
With every new soul, it will take
Listen closely to the ghosts
For they know what it aches for most
Beware of shapes the shadows make
For you will be the next it takes

Moving can be an exhilarating escape from mundane life. But Jeremiah only feels a deep sense of fear at the thought of moving back to his childhood home. His wife, Scarlett, has been submissive and understanding since being told that their family would need to move, but Jeremiah didn’t tell her the whole story.
Haven Manor has the look of a modern-day castle but holds many secrets and a sinister history that pleads to be unearthed. Fighting against mental illness, drug addiction, alcoholism, and a confusing family dynamic, Scarlett will do everything in her power to expose the hauntings of Haven Manor. But beware, once you enter the gates of Haven Manor…….there is no escaping.

Why I Love It

Are you kidding me? Look at that cover. Literally, every inch holds something. Like the house in the book itself. This cover is reminiscent of the old Gothic horror novels that it does so well to emulate. Such an amazing cover for one of the best horror books I’ve ever read.

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson, Richard

From the Amazon description – Winner of the Bram Stoker Lifetime Achievement Award for best vampire novel of the century: the genre-defining classic of horror sci-fi that inspired three films.
The population of the entire world has been obliterated by a pandemic of vampire bacteria. Yet somehow, Robert Neville survived. He must now struggle to make sense of what happened and learn to protect himself against the vampires who hunt him nightly.
As months of scavenging and hiding turn to years marked by depression and alcoholism, Robert spends his days hunting his tormentors and researching the cause of their affliction. But the more he discovers about the vampires around him, the more he sees the unsettling truth of who is—and who is not—a monster.
Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend has been a major influence on horror literature. In 2012, it was named the best vampire novel of the century by the Horror Writers Association and the Bram Stoker Estate. The novel was adapted to film in 1964 as The Last Man on Earth, in 1971 as Omega Man, and in 2007 as I am Legend, starring Will Smith.

Why I Love It

Two words. Skull. Vampires. What the actual …? And there’s throngs of them. They are terrifying and captivating. And you are suddenly thrust into the point of view of the main character. This is what he would see. How’s that make you feel?

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

From the Amazon description –

The iconic anthology series of horror tales that’s now a feature film!

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a timeless collection of chillingly scary tales and legends, in which folklorist Alvin Schwartz offers up some of the most alarming tales of horror, dark revenge, and supernatural events of all time.

Available for the first time as an ebook, Stephen Gammell’s artwork from the original Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark appears in all its spooky glory. Read if you dare!

And don’t miss More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Scary Stories 3!

Why I Love It

Are you kidding me? You can’t find a Gen X kid that didn’t love these. These books sat right next my Goosebumps collection until I moved out of my parents’ house. I don’t know one person in my age range that can’t conjure the images in these books at the suggestion of certain stories and characters. The Gen X nostalgia is real.

My Best Friend’s Exorcism: A Novel by Grady Hendrix

From the Amazon description –

This ENHANCED DIGITAL EDITION features TONS of TOTALLY AWESOME ’80s bonus materials—including Satanic Panic educational pamphlets, a do-it-yourself exorcism cheat sheet, a Spotify playlist of awesome ’80s tunes, animated cover artwork, and much more!
From the New York Times best-selling author of The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires, this unholy hybrid of Beaches and The Exorcist blends teen angst and unspeakable horrors into a pulse-pounding supernatural thriller.

The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act…different. She’s moody. She’s irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she’s nearby. Abby’s investigation leads her to some startling discoveries—and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?

Why I Love It

Behold, even more Gen X nostalgia in all it’s glory. If you read my scary movies post, you will remember that I used to work in a video store. Before Netflix. Before DVDs. There were VHS tapes emblazoned with Be Kind Rewind stickers. And this book cover screams at my nostalgic self. I need this as a T shirt.

Told you there was a theme. Between reliving my youth and Grady Hendrix, this list is a love fest for my past.

Again, if you like what I post, please like, comment, share, and subscribe. Please consider donating to help keep this going. $1 and I’ll ask you what your favorite book is so we can talk about it. $5 and I’ll write a review of a book you suggest. $10 and I’ll write a blog suggested by you. If you read any of the books listed, please let me know what you thought of it. That’s all I’ve got for today, train wrecks. All aboard.


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