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8 Emotional Horror Books to Read if You're a Cancer

Horrors that hit close to home for the sensitive cynics of the zodiac.

horror books for cancers
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  • Photo Credit: "Floating Staircase" by Ronald Malfi

From June 22nd to July 22nd, Cancer season is upon us. There's no reason to panic—even if this water sign is inclined to give in to strong emotion. This sign of the Crab is deeply loyal, empathetic, artistic, and eager to help those they care about. But on the other hand, they can be mercurial, conniving pessimists who don't open themselves up to trust.

Every sign has its horrors, though. Rather than dwelling on Cancers' potential personal faults, focus on the scares that keep them glued to the page. Here are eight horror books that will make any Cancer quake with fear.

Floating Staircase

Floating Staircase

By Ronald Malfi

Sensitive Cancers are the homebodies of the zodiac.  There's no place else they'd rather be than in their cozy sanctuary—but what if the place they felt the most comfortable was the source of all their terror?

Travis Glasgow is a horror writer who's just bought his first house with his wife, Jodie. They move into the home in Westlake, Maryland which is just a stone's throw away from his older brother's home. But while Travis relishes the chance to get over his dark past and reconcile with his estranged sibling, his new house has very different plans.

It starts with strange noises that awake him in the night. Then there are the watery footprints in the basement, trailing out toward the lake and its eerie, inexplicable staircase. After finding out that the home's former occupant was a 10-year-old boy who drowned in that very lake, Travis starts to make connections to his own difficult childhood. Spiraling into a dark obsession, Travis follows the house's secrets to the lake, to the staircase, to the brink of madness...

What Lurks Beneath

What Lurks Beneath

By Ryan Lockwood

It may seem a bit on the nose, but this sign of the Crab loves to relax by the water. Sometimes, though, what swims through the depths brings anything but peace and comfort.

It begins in the underwater caverns of the Bahamas—a pair of professional divers are exploring the unknown when a flesh-eating monster rips them to shreds. But now the attacks creep closer and closer to shore, putting the sun-bathing tourists at risk of a gruesome end. Eric Watson, an underwater vehicle expert, and Valerie Martell, a marine biologist, must race against the clock to identify this aquatic killer.



By Bill Braddock

Cancers are a sign that latch on to a close-knit group of friends. There's nothing they love more than sharing a nice meal with their pals. But sometimes feasts can be more intense than one bargained for...

When football season hits, College Heights sees a rush of partying students every Saturday. It means good business for the local brewery. Usually. This Saturday isn't the same haze of beer-pong and karaoke. It's a storm of arson, murder, and cannibalism. As a scene straight out of hell sweeps the streets, a charismatic drug dealer, a disenfranchised army vet, and a tough-as-nails girl must fight for their lives as a demented sociopath indulges in sadistic fantasies amidst the chaos.

The Hymn

The Hymn

By Graham Masterton

This water sign is highly emotional, persuasive, and intuitive. Which can certainly be good things. However, when looked at in a less positive light, Cancers can come across as manipulative. Though that certainly lays the groundwork for a great cult horror story.

Lloyd Denman is devastated by the loss of his fiancée, Celia Williams, who committed suicide by setting herself on fire. Haunted by the shocking way his seemingly happy love ended her life, Lloyd sets out to find the truth about her baffling death. He finds a lead in the California desert, where a pile of ash and bone are all that's left of a busload of people who committed a mass suicide in the same way. As the police flounder, Lloyd is pulled into the dangerous ring of the Salamanders, a cult dedicated to world domination, built upon the same ancients secrets as Hitler's Third Reich.

YA horror books

There's Someone Inside Your House

By Stephanie Perkins

Makani Young moved to rural Nebraska a year ago to live with her grandmother, but she still hasn't quite adjusted to her new life. It doesn't help that, one by one, her high school peers start to die in increasingly gruesome ways. As her past comes back to haunt her, will she be able to survive the twisted plans of a killer?

Suspicious and insecure, Cancers hate when anything in their personal life spins out of control. They hate drama. And this book gives them a pretty fair reason as to why they might.

scariest books ever

The Haunting of Hill House

By Shirley Jackson

For more unsettling haunted house horror that cuts these Crabs right to the core, no book is more appropriate than the preeminent tale by Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House.

Four individuals arrive at a notoriously eerie abode called Hill House. Dr. Montague, is an occult scholar out to collect evidence of the paranormal, and Theodora is his lighthearted assistant. Eleanor is a lonely, delicate woman with her fair share of experience with poltergeists. Luke is the unlucky heir of Hill House. Their time at Hill House seems at first to be nothing more than an uncomfortably creepy brush with the unexplained, but soon the house will have gathered enough power to claim one of them as its own...



By Robert Bloch

It may seem like an oddly specific attribute to apply to a zodiac sign, but that doesn't make this any less true: Cancers love their mommas. A Cancer and their mother share an unbreakable bond that might make dating one difficult. It might also turn one into a creepy murderer.

The inspiration behind Hitchcock's famous film of the same name, this book also drew inspiration from the chilling true tale of Ed Gein. Norman Bates adores his mother. Though people are under the impression that she's been dead for the past two decades, Norman knows better. He's been living with her in the old house on the hill above the Bates motel.

As Norman spies on a beautiful woman undressing in the hotel, Mother helps keep Norman's filthy thoughts in check. She's always there. Always ready to protect him with her butcher knife.

summer horror novels

Ghost Summer

By Tananarive Due

Known for being highly imaginative and moody, this water sign can be hard to pin down. One good way to keep their attention with their quickly shifting sensibilities is with a collection of short stories that deliver a diverse range of terrors.

In this collection by Tananarive Due, there's a little something terrifying for everyone—and every mood. The title novella, Ghost Summer, is joined by "Patient Zero," "The Lake," "The Knowing," "Herd Immunity," and more.