The current pandemic is more than enough to scare a lot of people. One of the ways to deal with the fear is to face it head on and accept that we are now living in a new world. Another way to deal with it is to divert your fear by reading horror and thriller books that will make the pandemic seem like a walk in the park.

If you are one of those who does not easily get scared, or if you have already read all the outbreak-related and apocalypse horror books out there, you will definitely enjoy reading these occult horror books with a fresh and very dark plot.

Daemortis, by Rae Killhim

The author takes us to a world where Daemortis is feared and known for taking the souls of children and keeping them for eternity. The story revolves around Alyssa Grand who lives in a small town where children suddenly start to go missing. Alyssa soon learns that Daemortis exists.

Her journey to learn the truth about Daemortis and stop her from hurting her friends quickly shifts to a discovery of more sinister things happening in their small town. It is about the quest to save her life before she is doomed to an eternity of darkness, along with the people that she is trying to save. The sequel, Daemortis: Purgatory is also a must-read.

The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, by Stuart Turton

It is difficult to carry the burden of finding out who killed someone. It becomes more difficult if the dead person has to die every day and the only way to break the cycle is if you discover who the killer is.

This is the story of Aiden Bishop, who is supposed to find out who killed Evelyn Hardcastle. Until Aiden finds out who killed Evelyn, she wakes up occupying another person’s body. Aiden must solve the mystery before another everything resets, another life is taken, and a new clueless host must suffer. This book will keep you guessing until the very end.

Grave Mistakes, by Ivy Asher and Raven Kennedy

The book starts in a seemingly normal fashion. A poor and desperate soul, looking for a way to bounce back and start over suddenly finds himself hired as a night guard for a graveyard. You are probably wondering, why then is this book included in the list.

The horror starts when the lead character finds out what he is really guarding – the gateway from Hell. This is literally one hell of a job and will make those performance reviews seem like a piece of cake. After all, if he does not perform his job well, all hell will break loose and he will be dragged to a worse kind of hell – the actual one.

The Poe Consequence, by Keith Steinbaum

It is a common plot to see someone’s death turn into an endless cycle of more deaths because of revenge. Such is the story between two rival gangs, the Alvarado Street Diablos and North Rampart Lobos. When the Alvarado Street Diablos do a drive-by killing to avenge the death of one of their members, they accidentally hit an innocent bystander. A few hours later, the guilty North Rampart Lobos member suffer a gruesome and unexplainable death, followed by the deaths of the members of both gangs every day, at the same hour.

Will they be able to figure out who or what is killing them before they both become extinct?

Destiny’s Dark Light, by Sara Dobie Bauer

This book by Sara Bauer is about two star-crossed lovers who find themselves on the opposite sides of a magical world. The story is about Cyan Burroughs, a light which destined to battle Dorcha, a dark sorcerer who wants to rule the world. And Liam Cody, a man with a dark past who has a mysterious impact on Cyan’s powers and her ability to control it.

What if the person you are destined to love and protect is also the same person that could keep you from fulfilling your destiny to overcome the most formidable and evil enemy that you are meant to defeat?

They Came with the Rain: A Horror Novel, by Christopher Coleman

If you enjoyed the Bird Box, The Silence or The Stand, then this book should be right up your alley. Rain can be a symbol of hope and new beginnings especially after a dry spell. This was how the story starts.

After a massive sinkhole opens at the town’s edge, it starts raining in the small and isolated town of Garmella, and people start to feel relieved. However, they will soon realize that the rain brought about something ancient and ominous. Ramon Thomas, the town sheriff, along with Allie, his deputy, must face their fears and confront the evil that came with the rain, or it is the end of the world as they know it.

A Discovery of Witches: A Novel, by Deborah Harkness

This book is the first of three and has all the occult elements that one can expect from an occult horror book – vampires, witches, and immortals. Diana Bishop, a young scholar from a long family line of witches, finds herself romantically involved with Matthew Clairmont, a vampire geneticist.

Together, they must find out the importance of an enchanted manuscript known as the Ashmole 782 and face dark and sinister villains along the way as they enter a world that most people dismiss as a mere figment of one’s imagination. With vampires and witches, there are infinite possibilities and plot twists which will keep you reading until the end.

If you are looking for the books that challenge your tolerance for horror and darkness, but also tickles your brain and keeps you on your feet while you are trying to guess what happens next, then these books are the best. The classic occult themes are present, but the authors have taken the characters to a whole new level and the timing of the plot twists are impeccable. These books will keep you engaged and curious as to how the main character will overcome a darkness so great that it is almost beyond hope to persevere and succeed.