In 2021, the Pentagon finally confirmed that videos of unidentified flying objects recorded by navy pilots several years ago are, in fact, real. This was not a confirmation that UFOs are real, the Pentagon was simply verifying that the videos of navy pilots freaking out over some strange objects in the sky were not fake.
We’re a long way off from the U.S. government telling us aliens are real. Which is a damn shame. Humans have had a long love affair with the idea that we’re not alone in this galaxy. Some of our favorite stories to tell are of UFO and alien sightings, abductions, strange lights in the sky, unexplained phenomena, and government coverups or conspiracies.
Just like Scully tells Mulder, “The truth is out there, but so are lies.”
Remember that poster in Mulder’s office?
I WANT TO BELIEVE
We all want to believe!
Hollywood puts out blockbuster alien movies almost every year and audiences show up for it in droves. It’s almost like humankind actually wants to be subjected to an alien invasion. There are hundreds of movies about our quest for survival against an alien species that are always technologically more advanced than we are. It’s an obsession.
Recently, Jordan Peele released the trailer for his upcoming movie, NOPE, which went viral on Twitter.
Everyone was speculating about NOPE being alien horror. People think the title, NOPE is an acronym for
There is a shot from the movie that shows some alien dolls as well. This well-worn meme was making the rounds again:
All of this buzz and excitement lead me to wonder why we have so many beloved horror movies about aliens but not a lot of well-known alien horror books. I really had to stop and think about it. I came up with a pretty small list of alien horror novels that I’ve actually read.
The Tommyknockers by Stephen King is probably the most popular and to be honest, one of my least favorite King novels. It starts off really strong with a woman discovering a metal object buried deep in her yard. Over time, it releases a substance altering the minds of the residents in the small town nearby.
The book becomes disjointed and meanders off into strange territory making it hard to follow.
Fire in the Sky: The Walton Experience
The Walton Experience is the true account of Travis Walton and his alien abduction. I’ve never read the book, but the movie based on it with the same title, starring D. B. Sweeny is one of the scariest films I’ve ever seen. Walton and his co-workers are loggers working in a remote area of the White Mountains. They encounter something late at night in those woods and when Walton gets out of the truck to investigate, he’s struck by a beam of light. His co-workers leave him for dead but his body is never found. Less than a week later, Walton is back but he has a remarkable story that is hard to believe.
AND IT IS TERRIFYING. I also one hundred percent believe it. Why would he lie?
Another true account is Communion by Whitley Strieber. I read my mom’s copy of this book and it scared the living sh*t out of me. I truly believe reading this book is a rite of passage. Everyone must read it. It’s truly awful and it never leaves you. I feel like if you haven’t read this book, you don’t exist in the same perpetual threat of aliens as everyone else. So, you might need to level up and read this book just so that you can be eternally scared like the rest of us.
So those are three essential books about aliens but they’re all pretty old and dated. Still scary, don’t get me wrong, but maybe the potency is a bit dull. If we want newer generations to be properly terrified of aliens, we need them to have some modern alien horror stories. This is why I’m issuing a call for some new, fresh alien stories. Don’t get it twisted, I don’t want these to be set in space. I’m not looking for sci-fi horror on spaceships. We need short stories (maybe an anthology), novellas, and novels depicting alien abduction and encounters that take place right here on earth.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
The Interrupted Journey
For inspiration, read Betty and Barney Hill’s alien abduction story on the History Channel website or the book they collaborated on with author, John G. Fuller The Interrupted Journey. While the book was originally published in 1966, Vintage will be reissuing it on May 10, 2022, so it will be available to a whole new generation of readers.
The War of the Worlds
The real horror of aliens isn’t found in space. I think people can watch movies like Alien and know, deep down, none of that is a viable threat because space travel for average people like you and me, isn’t a possibility. There’s no way we’re going to find ourselves aboard a spacecraft with alien hitchhikers hiding in the air ducts.
So, what we need are fictional stories of aliens coming here…and not in an H. G. Wells War of the Worlds type of way.
What we need are normal, everyday encounters. People going up to a cabin by a lake for a family vacation and then…ALIENS.
Or maybe a group of guys goes on a hunting trip in the woods and…ABDUCTED.
Maybe a babysitter comes over to watch the kids of these wealthy people who are attending a party. She’s watching TV when the power goes out. She climbs the stairs to go check on the children and finds their beds…EMPTY…the window is open and there are strange lights in the sky.
See, my husband and I have this theory that out of all the millions of UFO sightings and alien abduction accounts, someone has to be telling the truth. They can’t all be lying. And I think every person knows at least one friend or acquaintance who has their own story, right? I had a high school math teacher that could easily get sidetracked from school work if a student asked him about the time he saw a UFO while hiking with his college buddies in the Sierra Nevadas. My little sisters also claimed to see a spaceship while they were playing on our swing set in the backyard. My mom sat each of them down in separate areas and had them draw what they had seen and they both drew the same disk-shaped object with lights.
So many stories. All we need are some horror authors to elaborate on them and make them even more terrifying.
Midnight from Beyond the Stars
I do need to highlight this book that could scratch the itch.
Midnight From Beyond The Stars edited by Kenneth W. Cain sounds like plenty of the stories are grounded in reality and right here on earth. The Table of Contents boasts excellent authors telling the kind of stories I’m asking for (I think)—though I haven’t read it yet. But one collection is not enough. Consider this a prompt; a challenge for novellas, novels, and more anthologies. Please & Thank you.