There’s much to savor in this roundup of self-published horror and paranormal titles, including a sentient river, a rampaging Krampus, and ghosts from the past.
About the book: Professor Brodie Macbeth is tormented by nightmarish scenes pulled from the pages of her deceased father’s British history books.
“My grandmother gave me the idea for this book. When we granddaughters had children of our own, she cautioned us to always wake a child gently, never abruptly.‘The soul wanders while we sleep,’ she said. ‘It needs time to come back to us before we’re fully awake.’ But if evil steals a soul, what happens next? My grandmother never told me that part.”
The Black Parade
About the book: When Jordan Amador accidentally kills someone who can communicate with ghosts, her mistake comes with serious repercussions. She has to help 100 souls cross over to the afterlife. If she fails, her own soul won’t end up in the good place.
Author statement: “I am very passionate about diversity and inclusion, so I decided to focus the story on an Afro-Latina waitress and seer who has her own emotional and psychological damage on top of being responsible for the souls of the dead.”
Blind the Eyes (Threads of Dreams #1)
About the book: Seventeen-year-old Cole has to save a city plagued by monsters.
Author statement: “I meant to write a fun, action-packed YA fantasy, I really did. Instead, I got climate apocalypse, folkloric soul-sucking monsters, haunted nightmares, and repressive authoritarian regimes staffed by traumatized workers. But, hey, at least I added magic?”
Sean Paul Murphy
About the book: A young man faces a demonic force that he believes is responsible for the generational suicides in his family.
Author statement: “I grew up in an actual haunted house in Northeast Baltimore and experienced the tragic suicides of two of my siblings. A few years ago my mother asked me if I thought the entity in the house could be responsible, in part, for their deaths. Chapel Street is my response to her question.”
About the book: An artist and clairvoyant recovering from a painful divorce moves into a historic house in Charleston, S.C. Unfortunately, the ghosts of the former owners are the primary residents.
Author statement: “My own experience rebuilding my life after divorce inspired Charleston Green. The novel incorporates metaphorical magical realism with everyday life to present a fresh, relatable take on life-changing transitions and personal growth.”
Crazy, Sexy, Ghoulish
About the book: Romance and scares collide as a haunted house worker encounters the now-hot horror nerd she bullied in middle school.
Author statement:“My book is a love letter to the haunted houses I visited growing up in the ’80s and ’90s.”
The Forger and the Thief
About the book: In this tense historical thriller set in Florence, five strangers each carry a dangerous secret. Meanwhile, an apocalyptic flood threatens to reveal everything.
Author statement: “After a family visit to Florence, where we stumbled upon an exhibition detailing the damage of the 1966 catastrophic floods, I knew I had my storyline. I just never expected to be writing the Arno River as one of my characters.”
The Girl in the Mirror
About the book: Protagonist Sarah Greene is a successful realtor who sees spirits. While renovating an old house, she finds a mirror haunted by a teenager’s tormented ghost.
Author statement: “My book is a contemporary ghost story set in a fictional town near Santa Barbara, Calif. Themes include the lure of evil, the strength of family, and the power of faith.”
The House on Xenia
About the book: The sprawling house on Xenia Avenue has always protected its residents. When a body is discovered beneath the floorboards, along with some top-secret interstellar information, the house’s days are numbered.
Author statement: “This book was written to celebrate single mothers, but especially my mother who raised three children in a house on Xenia Avenue in Dayton, Ohio. She is the reason I write.”
Kings of the Earth
About the book: The surfing town of Great Water has a long history of unsolved and inexplicable occurrences. When a mysterious portal opens in the forest, unsuspecting residents are pulled inside and ghosts roam free.
Author statement: “I’ve long been intrigued by the paranormal, and although I’m originally from Ohio, far from the ocean, I became interested in surfing as a youngster. It was fun and rewarding to combine those two elements to create a haunted surfing town on the upper peninsula of Michigan.”
Timothy G. Huguenin
About the book: After Kelsea Stone inherits her estranged birth parents’ house, she discovers an angry presence lingering there.
Author statement: “I grew up in a beautiful, quiet area of West Virginia, where Little One is set. Though one of my main goals as a horror writer is to scare, I always try to write in such a way that highlights the beauty and mystery of the beloved hills there.”
Lullabies for Suffering: Tales of Addiction Horror
Edited by Mark Matthews
About the book: The six stories in this collection explore the horror and tragedy of addiction.
Author statement: “As a recovering addict, writing about horrors is part of how I release my trauma and cope with what it means to live stone cold sober in a world where addiction is an epidemic and my cravings persist despite two decades of sobriety.”
Piper Houdini: Apprentice of Coney Island
About the book: Piper Weiss has spent her childhood in an orphanage. But everything changes when she’s whisked away to live with her uncle—Harry Houdini.
Author statement: “My novel is set in Coney Island during the Roaring ’20s. It’s a time filled with silent movies, secret speakeasies, and an unscrupulous spiritualist movement that is the unwitting pawn in a plot to bring about hell on Earth.”
The 12 Terrors of Christmas
About the book: Ghosts, elves, werewolves, serial killers, and Krampus are among the monsters populating the pages of this story collection.
Author statement: “I was trying to imagine what it would be like if Santa was immortal because he is a vampire. I wrote the first story in the book to explore that idea and was happy with it, so I decided to create an entire Christmas horror anthology. It was a lot of fun to twist Christmas into something you won't find on the Hallmark Channel.”
What Haunts Us
About the book: This collection of 15 short stories defies ghost story conventions.
Authors Statement: “My definition of a ghost story is quite broad and not limited to the appearance of the spirits or souls of the dead. These stories explore those things we hold onto—memories, emotions, beliefs, people, and places. As such, I trust readers to reserve judgement as they enter the world or the moment and consider in what way each tale represents what haunts us.”