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Creature Feature: 7 Grisly Books Featuring Monsters

The only thing scarier than the monsters within us, are the monsters among us. 

pair of animal eyes glowing in dark snowy forest
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  • Photo Credit: Neil Rosenstech / Unsplash

The idea of terrible monsters lurking in the shadows isn’t a new concept. Just look at any culture’s mythology and folklore and you’ll find beasts of all shapes and sizes hunting helpless humans only to be defeated by a hero. But as our stories have evolved, so have the things that go bump in the night. 

They may include aliens or unexplained creatures hell-bent on blood. Even if they resemble the monsters from ancient legends, these modern stories give us new reasons to be terrified.

These creatures have always represented the things we can’t explain, the darker sides of our own human experience. And as long as we find reasons to be afraid, the monsters will always hunt us from the dark.

Here are seven creature feature books with monsters guaranteed to make you sleep with the light on.

Into the Drowning Deep

Into the Drowning Deep

By Mira Grant

If you thought mermaids were real, would you go into the deep to find them? That’s what the Atargatis did seven years ago.

They left to film their “mockumentary” in the Mariana Trench, never to be heard from again. Some thought it was a hoax. Others a tragedy. But for Victoria Stewart, it was personal. Now, she’s determined to shed light on the truth of what happened to her sister and the Atargatis crew.

Only, some things are meant to stay secret. And some secrets have a price.

The Mist

The Mist

By Stephen King

If you’re going to be trapped anywhere by a mysterious mist with hungry beasties in it, a grocery store isn’t a bad location.

Especially when said beasties are giant behemoths with tentacles, appendages, and six legs. But even a grocery store will run out of supplies eventually.

That’s when things go from bad to worse. And all David Drayton wants is to get him and his son out alive.



By Laurel Hightower

In the 1960s, several reports of a humanoid creature with wings and red eyes were reported in West Virginia. Fast forward to today, and the legend of Mothman continues.

Addy isn’t thinking of those legends when she drives through the mountains of modern-day West Virginia in a snowstorm. The storm is bad enough, but when she experiences bizarre electrical problems, a charismatic trucker offers to help. When he crashes and disappears down a ravine, she feels like she has no choice but to help.

But when a creature with red eyes gets between her and the trucker, she has to make the hardest decision of her life: abandon the stranger or confront a nightmare.



By Peter Benchley

Quite possibly the epitome of the creature feature novel, Jaws single-handedly made millions of people terrified to swim in the ocean.

The book launched the movie, which became a global phenomenon that had a profound impact on popular culture. After all, it was just another lazy day at the sleepy Atlantic resort.

But when the shocking remains of a mutilated young woman wash up on the beach, it’s a terrible omen of the terrifying monster lurking beneath the waves.

The Hatching

The Hatching

By Ezekiel Boone

There’s nothing that will send the creepy crawlies up my spine faster than a book about carnivorous spiders.

It all starts deep in the jungle of Peru where a tourist is devoured whole by a swarming mass. And in Minneapolis, where a fatal plane crash leads to a gruesome discovery. An earthquake baffles scientists in India and China “accidentally” drops a nuclear bomb on an isolated region of its own.

As these mysterious events sweep the globe, it becomes clear. Something is awake. And it wants out.

How to Sell a Haunted House

How to Sell a Haunted House

By Grady Hendrix

Are puppets a creature? They’re not exactly human. And Pupkin is more than a creepy doll. He’s a nightmare.

From the moment Louise finds out that her parents died suddenly, she dreads returning home. She doesn’t want to confront their death, doesn’t want to deal with her brother, and really, really doesn’t want to deal with the remnants of her mother’s lifelong obsession with puppets.

But she never realized that some houses don’t want to change. They don’t want to be sold. And Pupkin has plans for them all.

The Only Good Indians

The Only Good Indians

By Stephen Graham Jones

We all make mistakes when we’re younger. Thankfully, most don’t end up literally coming to life to hunt us down.

Things aren’t so lucky with four American Indian men. For ten years they’ve tried to forget the disturbing event that happened on a fateful hunting trip.

But that horrible moment doesn’t want to be forgotten. If anything, it wants revenge.

Tracked down, one by one, the four childhood friends desperately try to outrun the past while clinging to the tenuous strands of their aimless future.

Featured image: Neil Rosenstech / Unsplash