We all love a good
ghost story. When we were young, the first horrifying tales we ever heard came from a book. As we grew up, though, we got our paranormal fix from movies and TV. While those are great ways to get scared shitless, there’s something about using your own imagination that is more terrifying than anything entertainment execs can come up. When you pair your brain with a nonfiction book on hauntings, exorcisms, and all-around eerieness, that’s when the real fear factor amps up. We scouted out the 10 spookiest paranormal books that will convince you ghosts are real.
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‘Abduction’ by John E. Mack
A Harvard psychiatrist and Pulitzer Prize winner unpacks over 60 cases of alien abduction in this book. See if you can catch the startling similarities between the stories’ physical descriptions, on-board UFO medical procedures, and messages received during these paranormal sightings.
‘The Amityville Horror’ by Jay Anson
The Lutzes move in to their new Long Island home, where a young man once killed his entire family, and end up staying only 28 days due to demon haunting. Smells, wall drippings, and doors being ripped from the hinges were just a few occurrences that sent them fleeing from the home. A slew of experts tried to rid the place of poltergeists, but the Lutzes had to relocate.
‘The Demonologist’ by Gerald Brittle
Ed and Lorraine Warren spent three decades hunting demons. In this book, the couple lay out the smells, screams, and psychology associated with these beings, which, they claim, are drastically different from ghosts.
‘The Myrtles Plantation: The True Story of America’s Most Haunted House’ by Frances Kermeen
The Myrtles, a 28-room bed-and-breakfast in Louisiana, is considered America's most haunted house. Written by the former owner of the property, this book catalogs the many terrifying encounters that changed Kermeen’s mind about the existence of ghosts.
‘Confrontation With Evil’ by Steven A. LaChance
You know the original version of
The Exorcist was pulled from real life, right? This book examines the 1949 demonic possession of a little boy and the exorcism that inspired the film.
‘The Haunted’ by Robert Curran
A journalist details the haunting of the Smurls, a multi-generational family living in a 92-year-old duplex in West Pittston, Pennsylvania, in this book. Exorcisms by a Catholic bishop failed to stop the strangulation, sexual molestation, and levitation the Smurls experienced as a result of the unseen ghouls. Stranger still: as of the publication date, the family still lived in the home.
‘Beware the Night’ by Ralph Sarchie and Lisa Collier Cool
Though his "day job" was a cop in the South Bronx in New York, Ralph Sarchie liked to moonlight as a paranormal investigator. In this book (which was later made into a movie called
Deliver Us From Evil), he explores multiples cases of haunting, invasion, and violation by otherworldly forces and how they connect to true crime.
‘Shadows of the Dark’ by John Zaffis
John Zaffis is a psychic researcher, exorcist specialist, and the man behind the Syfy series
Haunted Collector. In this book, he takes readers on a lifelong ghost hunting journey via his most disturbing case reports.
‘Secret Life: Firsthand, Documented Accounts of UFO Abductions’ by David M. Jacobs
Based on hundreds of accounts from abductees, Professor David M. Jacobs of Temple University reveals what it’s like to be taken hostage by aliens as well as proposes a theory for why aliens are so fascinated with us.
‘Ghostland’ by Colin Dickey
Plan your own ghost-sighting tour with this book which visits haunted battlefields, cities, graveyards, hotels, and asylums across the country.