Ghosts, whether you love them or hate them, they’re always around, whether in a good book or perhaps the next blockbuster in cinemas.

However, the portrayal of ghosts has changed a bit lately. While earlier, ghosts were often portrayed as ghoulish spirits trying to cause drama and death. These days, ghosts represent traumas, mysteries, and secrets from the past.

It's undeniable that ghosts are often more than what they seem at first glance, and with these thoughts in mind, let me introduce you to some of the best ghost books released in the recent years.

What is our selection of the top Ghost Books?

Melissa Weller and The Curse of Branford Manor, by Robert Sounvonnakasy (2023)

This is the first book in a small series and one of my favorite ghost books of the year. Once you finish it, trust me, you’ll crave for the next chapter. I believe it’s one of those books that could be turned into a successful blockbuster.

But anyway, let me get to the topic. Russelfield is a small town in Alabama without anything special in particular. Apart from the locals, who often share a legend about the Branford Manor. Sure, the elders in the area no longer bother about it, but the youth love the haunted profile of the house.

Whoever enters that house is supposed to die. It’s said that some people have never managed to escape it, while others died days after coming out. Melissa is about to find the truth about this house. A prolific taekwondo student, she is determined to take the challenge and break the curse.

I won’t get into spoilers, but get ready for the adventure of a lifetime. A bit humorous at times, scary as Hell, and with many confusing elements and plot twists, this story is likely to turn your world upside down.

It’s one of those where things don’t always make sense, but they do fall like pieces in a puzzle at some point.

I’m not sure how to describe the book. It has got elements from The Karate Kid and the oriental fighting culture, as well as modern horror aspects that will send shivers down the spine, definitely a must-read for the genre fans.

How to Sell a Haunted House, by Grady Hendrix (2023)

The story follows Louise. Her world turns upside down when her parents pass away. She knows she needs to get back and deal with the house, but she also has a few concerns.

On one side, she doesn’t fancy leaving her daughter with the ex-partner. At the same time, she knows her parents’ house will bring in all sorts of memories. Besides, it’s most likely filled with all kinds of things she doesn’t care about.

Her father used to be a scientist, so there are books and papers everywhere. On the other hand, her mother had a passion for dolls, which are all over the house.

And as if all these were not enough, she now has to live without the two people who loved her unconditionally. Her brother Mark is also hanging around the area, struggling to live and switching one job after another.

They need to get rid of the house now, but the house has a different plan. A fresh layer of paint and clearing all the rubbish won't do, as there's much more to this place, and none of them knows about the hidden secrets in there.

Tell Me I’m Worthless, by Alison Rumfitt (2023)

It all started about three years ago, when Alice and two of her best friends decided to spend a night in an abandoned house. Since then, her whole life has changed to 180 degrees.

It feels like she has always been haunted by bad choices. She does anything for money, including selling self-made videos of herself. She hangs around people she hates, and she needs alcohol to get over every bad day.

Old memories are still taunting her until one day, when one of her friends asks her to get back to the house. Alice knows she needs to get in there and find some answers, as well as what actually happened years ago.

Together, the two friends need to face all the horrors that took place in that house. They have to face one challenge after another, confront their friendship and even rescue their other friend, who the house has decided to claim.

This is one of the most thrilling ghost stories you'll read. It's super fast paced, and things just happen so fast that you won't realize what's going on. It's about horror, drama, relationships, and traumas that destroy people overtime.

Lotería, by Cynthia Pelayo (2023)

If you’re into Spanish horrors and occultism, you may already know that Spanish culture puts emphasis on religion and takes such things very seriously. Every house in a Spanish speaking country has a few religious icons, and believe it or not, many people don’t even mention the devil’s name.

Now, Lotería is basically a game. Don’t worry if you’ve never played it before, you’re not alone. It’s just like bingo. The difference is instead of matching random numbers, you’re supposed to match random images.

There are not less than 54 cards, and each of them tells a story. Don't get me wrong, they're not new stories, but they're adapted to match today’s requirements in terms of horror. Many of these stories are based on South American superstitions, beliefs, and myths.

In other words, this book will bring in a collection of ghost stories, but not only. There are also vampires, ghouls, murderers, you name it. It’s grim, no doubt about it, but there’s a good thing about this collection. There’s a new horror story starting whenever you’ve had enough of the previous one.

While it may look like folklore to some, trust me, this is one of the scariest ghost books you’ll ever read.

The Drift, by C. J. Tudor (2023)

Hannah wakes up one day to realize her life has just gone upside down. A severe snowstorm ruins everything around her. She ends up in a secluded boarding school, trying to find a way out along with other survivors. Everyone has got a secret, but no one wants to let it out.

Then, the story moves on to Meg. Meg finds herself gently rocking yards in the air. She’s in a cable car, but it’s not moving. There are five other people around her. No one knows each other, and more importantly, no one knows how they got there.

They’re all going to the so called Retreat, but things turn ugly, and I'll refrain from sharing any more spoilers at this point.

Then, we have Carter. Carter is by himself in a ski cabin. A storm causes a power cut, but they have a generator. However, this generator won't last long, and Carter and the others need to figure out who they really are in order to survive an imminent danger.

So far, it looks like three different stories, I know. But here comes the good part. This isn't a collection of ghost stories. They all have something in common, and as you reach the end, you realize every story is a piece in a big puzzle.

A serious danger lurks in the past, and it's not just about a bunch of people trying to survive it. Instead, it aims to destroy the whole humanity. I know you’re probably trying to figure out what it is now, but I won’t give you too many spoilers, I’ll let you discover this amazing secret yourself.

Don't Fear the Reaper, by Stephen Graham Jones (2023)

This is the second book in The Indian Lake trilogy and my favorite, by far. Sure, I recommend going through the first part. However, even if you choose not to, comprehending the plot won't be too difficult.

On the 12th of December, 2019, Jade returns to the small picturesque town of Proofrock. The town name doesn’t ring too many bells, but an unfortunate event puts it on the map straight away.

Jade is quite familiar with prison life. She spent a bit of time there, but her conviction was overturned, and managed to get back home just before Christmas.

Things turn seriously wrong when a prison transfer drives by the town. And unfortunately for everyone in Proofrock, serial killer Dark Mill South manages to escape. The indigenous murderer is on a killing spree in order to revenge 38 men hanged back in 1862.

It has nothing to do with the local community, but the fact that a madman hangs around freely is more than enough to mortify everyone.

Ready to complete his plan, the murderer is ready to spill blood anywhere he goes. Thirty-six hours later, the story is over. But these thirty-six hours are filled with drama, a few dozen bodies, and quite a few scary plot twists.

Bottom line

If you’re into ghost stories, ghoulish novels, and horror books, I believe the above mentioned list will satisfy your hunger for a good thrill. Sure, the list could be longer, but these are by far the top titles out there.

If you are looking for more horror, check out the top scary paranormal & supernatural horror books and chilling short horror stories collection.

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