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Women in Horror Month: The Five Books That Have Influenced Me The Most

February is Women in Horror Month. This is a relatively new event to celebrate women who contributed to the genre. Here are my five picks for the best horror fiction written by women.

1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: This may be the novel that began women in horror. Frankenstein, in all its forms, is iconic in the horror genre. The original novel is a classic gothic tale, written as a framed story (told by Captain Robert Walton) and written in epistolary form. Brilliant.

2. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson: Jackson’s haunted house story is a chilling literary ghost story. The book relies on terror, never revealing the ghost, making it a much creepier read.

3. The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons: Another outstanding tale of an evil house. Siddons’ novel is hailed by the master himself, Stephen King, as one of the best genre novels of the 20th century.

4. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn: Flynn reached stardom for her novel Gone Girl, but I think Dark Places is a superior read. The story is told by the survivor of a family massacre, allegedly committed by her brother. A great mystery with some interesting tie-ins to satanic cults.

5. Night Film by Marisha Pessl: The winner of the 2013 Shirley Jackson award, Night Film is an interesting read. It’s the story of Ashley Cordova, daughter of mysterious film director Stanislas Cordova, and the investigation of Ashley’s suicide. Some genuinely terrifying moments in this one.