Fans of American Horror Story are united in one thing: they can’t decide which season is the greatest. Seasons of this cult program stand alone narratively and may be enjoyed without having seen any of the others. Over the course of several seasons, a large number of performers play a wide variety of characters, and numerous guest stars make cameos (usually to die a gruesome death).
Although certain seasons are more popular than others (Murder House, for example), the question of which is the best is always passionately contested by viewers.
Why not buy up some novels that go along with your favorite season of American Horror Story this scary season? This collection of literature spans the horror spectrum, from Roanoke to Coven to 1984, and you’ll have a great time giving way to your fears while reading them.
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THIS HOUSE IS HAUNTED
BY JOHN BOYNE
Eliza is a new governess at Gaudlin Hall in the mid 1800s. The two children in her care greet her, but she is perplexed to see that neither of the children’s parents are home. Eliza feels that something is amiss in the house, and she knows that she must find out what it is in order to keep the children, and herself, safe.
WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE
BY SHIRLEY JACKSON
The seven Blackwoods were reduced to two after an accidental overdose of arsenic one fateful evening. Constance has returned to her sister Merricat and their uncle after being exonerated in the killings. The locals already had reason to be wary of the Blackwoods, and the sudden appearance of Charles, the relative nobody knows anything about, just added to their concerns.
THE POISON THREAD
BY LAURA PURCELL
Dorothea’s assignment to Oakgate Prison allows her to pursue her interest in phrenology and its possible relationship to criminal behavior. She soon meets Ruth, a juvenile inmate who blames her supernaturally powerful needle and thread rather than herself for her actions. Dorothea first rejects Ruth’s fantastical claims, but as she learns more about the jail and its inmates, she begins to question if there aren’t any supernatural powers at play after all.
BY MADELEINE ROUX
Dan Crawford is overjoyed to be graduating high school and beginning the summer program at New Hampshire College Prep. However, he finds out upon arrival that the building he would be staying in was formerly an asylum for the criminally insane. Dan and his new pals examine the history and architecture of their summer house since he is so engrossed by it, but they quickly find themselves in over their heads when they unearth mysteries that refuse to remain buried.
THE WITCH OF WILLOW HALL
BY HESTER FOX
In the early 1800s, the Montrose family and their three daughters relocate from Boston to the country, settling into their new mansion, Willow Hall. However, the sisters quickly discover that the once-happy house has a horrible past that is beckoning to them.
BY STACEY HALLS
After many miscarriages, Fleetwood Shuttleworth is finally expecting a child with her worried husband. However, Fleetwood unearths a letter that foretells her untimely death if she gives birth again. Alice, a midwife she encounters soon after, assures her that she and her child will be OK. After Alice is falsely convicted of witchcraft, everything start to fall apart for Fleetwood.
SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES
BY RAY BRADBURY
A week before Halloween, a traveling carnival visits a tiny Midwestern town, promising to make all the residents’ Halloween wishes come true. Two young boys, however, would soon learn the hard way that wishes come with a price.
BY JENNIFER HILLIER
With its vintage carnival games and sweet treats, Wonderland is a wonderful place for families to spend a day out together. A decomposing body, however, is found in the middle of the halfway at night. The investigation into the victim’s identity and manner of death has been turned over to Deputy Chief Vanessa Castro. She’s getting closer to the truth, but the dirty tales about the amusement park’s murky past are creeping ever closer.
THE GRAVEYARD APARTMENT
BY MARIKO KOIKE
TRANSLATED BY DEBORAH BOLIVER BOEHM
A newlywed couple moves into a brand-new apartment complex that is located right next to a cemetery. Strange happenings shock them and their neighbors, and one by one, people start to leave their new home.
BY MARISHA PESSL
A young woman’s body is discovered in lower Manhattan; the coroner rules her death a suicide, but journalist Scott McGrath has his suspicions. As his investigation continues, he is forced to confront her father’s legacy: a cult-like fan base for the horror films he directed and the fact that he hasn’t been seen in public for over 30 years.
THE CONFESSIONS OF FRANNIE LANGTON
BY SARA COLLINS
In a gruesome double murder case, Frannie Langton, a former slave and housekeeper, is accused. A large number of people go up to court to watch the proceedings with rapt attention. Frannie is portrayed as a witch, a seductress, and a variety of other negative stereotypes in the media. But she insists she has no recollection of that night.
BY HELEN STEADMAN
Jane is learning to use herbs to treat illness, and she’s an apprentice healer. Her protected existence in a rural community, however, will not shield her from the impending disaster. Soon, Jane and her mother realize their safety may not be as secure as they had imagined, and John Sharpe discovers his mission in life: to hunt witches and redeem people from the evils of witchcraft.
THE BALLAD OF BLACK TOM
BY VICTOR LAVALLE
Charles Thomas Tester does his best to support his family, and he does it by turning a profit on his understanding of magic. When Tom delivers an arcane book to a sorceress in Queens, he unwittingly plunges into New York’s shadowy underbelly.
A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS
BY PAUL TREMBLAY
To her parents’ dismay, fourteen-year-old Marjorie shows indications of severe schizophrenia. When the medical professionals try to help and fail, the family of four in their previously stable suburban New England home turns to a Catholic priest. In an effort to cover mounting medical bills, the family agrees to be filmed, and they become the subjects of a popular reality program that follows their daughter’s decline into disease and the priest’s attempts to exorcise her demons until catastrophe strikes. Check out my review here: Book Review: Head Full of Ghosts
AFTER THE FIRE
BY WILL HILL
A native of the Fence, Moonbeam has never experienced anything outside of it. When she adheres to Father John’s directives, she will be protected. However, when a new member of the family arrives, Moonbeam begins to doubt Father John’s leadership. It’s not a good idea to challenge Father John, either. This tale is based on the true story of a girl who joins the Branch Davidians cult in Texas and learns that asking questions can help set her free.
THE GLASS WOMAN
BY CAROLINE LEA
After an unimaginable catastrophe, Rosa marries a traveling trader in return for a dowry so that she and her children may get by. They go across Iceland to his distant property by the sea, and he has high standards for Rosa to keep the house and be a good Christian wife while they are there. Rosa, however, becomes isolated since she is banned to speak with the people or her neighbors. As a result, she is compelled to engage in clandestine social interactions. Some frightening details concerning her new spouse emerge soon.
GHOST SUMMER: STORIES
BY TANANARIVE DUE
This anthology of summer chillers takes readers from a sleepy Florida village to a terrifyingly plausible future. Check out my review: Blogging A to Z Day 8: Hidden Gem – Ghost Summer by Tananarive Due
BY NICK CUTTER
Once a year, Tim Riggs takes a group of youngsters camping; the three-day outing has become a staple of the boys’ lives. But this year, a bioengineered monster arrives at their campsite on the back of an unexpected invader. Soon, it’s just the lads vs nature, illness, and each other.
Well, that’s it for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little foray into the world of scary books to go along with your favorite season of American Horror Story. Be sure to let me know in the comments below which novels you’re most looking forward to reading – and don’t forget to share with your friends! Stay spooky, everyone.