Graham Masterton first burst onto the horror scene with The Manitou, which was published in 1976 and adapted into an equally creepy movie. Since then, he's written over thirty horror novels, making him an undisputed master of the terrifying and macabre. But with such an extensive bibliography, how do you know where to start?
To help you out, we've curated a list of the most essential, nightmare-inducing Graham Masterton books. From tales of demonic possession to vengeful reincarnates from bygone eras, each one features a unique combination of history, horror, and the supernatural that will make you scared to see the sun go down.
Seymour Wallis is convinced his house is alive—in fact, he believes it's breathing. While his claims are mostly met with a gimlet eye, Detective John Hyatt is willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. It’s a decision John regrets the minute he crosses the threshold and encounters the home's hidden horrors. It's obvious that there is, indeed, a centuries-old, malevolent force living within the walls—and it has no plans of moving on.
The Devil in Gray
What’s more terrifying than the murderous ghost of a Confederate soldier? The murderous ghost of a Confederate soldier you can’t see. But how do you fight such an elusive enemy? Detective Martin Decker is determined to find out, but he’ll need a little help from a young girl with Down syndrome—the only person who’s been able to describe this “devil in gray.” Can Decker follow her leads and destroy the invisible killer before it strikes again, or is he about to become its next unwitting victim?
The Devils of D-Day
One of Masterton’s earliest historical horror novels, The Devils of D-Day recounts the slaughter of hundreds of German soldiers by thirteen black tanks during the 1944 Invasion of Normandy. Cartographer Dan McCook has always been fascinated by the strange event, but in his attempt to uncover the tanks’ mysterious origins, he unleashes the furies of hell on an unsuspecting modern world…
The suicide of a loved one is always shocking, but the way Lloyd’s fiancée ended her life was particularly unsettling: She burned herself alive. Lloyd has a hunch that there's more to the story, and his suspicions are confirmed when he learns his beloved was involved with a dangerous cult. Masterton’s signature blend of historical fiction and ancient folklore is on full-display as Lloyd is plunged into the world of Native American mysticism and the heinous crimes of the Third Reich.
The novel that made Masterton a revered name in the horror genre, The Manitou revolves around the reincarnation of an ancient Native American shaman in modern day New York. It’s up to a self-described psychic and his medicine man sidekick to stop the reborn spirit before it annihilates the white race as revenge for the genocide of its people.
When an antiques dealer finds himself in possession of a strange and unusual chair, he assumes it’s just another piece he’ll have trouble selling. But every time he gets get rid of it, the chair returns to wreak havoc on his life...Published in 1981, The Heirloom will delight fans of demonic possession and haunted objects.
Masterton’s 2013 crime horror novel, White Bones, marks the introduction of Irish detective Katie Maguire. On a remote farm, the skeletons of 11 unknown women are uncovered in a mass grave. The remains, which date back to the early 1900s, bear the marks of a skilled and ruthless butcher. Even so, a series of findings causes Detective Katie Maguire to question if the killer isn't dead—or even a human man—at all.
Restaurant critic Charlie McLean and his son, Martin, are looking forward to long a weekend together in the rural town of Allen’s Corners, Connecticut. Little do they know, they’ve made a reservation at a restaurant that serves a particular kind of meat (hint: it walks on two legs). Fans of body horror will revel in this terrifying and disgusting tale—but maybe skip lunch before cracking it open, okay?
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