So – you want something spooky? Horror hiding around every corner? We have an area of the library specifically for you. Welcome back to the Halls of Inspiration, the one library with a book for everyone.
Today, lets cover some horror suggestions that will inspire your next grimdark D&D campaign, Vampire chronicle, or whatever RPG you want to get started with your gaming group.
Horns By Joe Hill
I could add every piece of fiction that Joe Hill has written onto this list, and each one would be a great option. Joe Hill is a fantastic horror author, creating some truly unique and terrifying novels. The best way I can describe his style is ‘Stephen King, but faster’.
Horns is a tale of revenge of the highest order. Ignatius Perrish is grieving on the one year anniversary of the murder of his girlfriend. The morning after, Ignatius finds he is growing horns out of the side of his head. As he tries to understand what is happening to him, his girlfriend’s murderer comes to light, and Ignatius’s thirst for vengeance becomes uncontrollable…
Horns is a great novel if you enjoy magical realism. It is also tied into Christian stories about God and the Devil, which is a lot of fun to explore. However, this isn’t your mom and pop’s bible story. This is Old Testament stuff – hellfire and brimstone, death and destruction.
I can’t say enough about this book, so go and read it for yourself! Just don’t under any circumstances watch the movie – the two are nothing alike.
Pan’s Labyrinth By Guillermo Del Toro
From the classic movie by Guillermo Del Toro, Pan’s Labryinth is the dark fairytale of Ofelia, a young girl living in Spain in the 1940s. After being forced to live with her evil stepfather, The Captain, Ofelia discovers that she is actually a princess from a far off kingdom. A Faun and his friendly fairies lead Ofelia through an adventure to get her back to the kingdom. Meanwhile, rebels are surrounding the Captain’s military outpost. The fighting is becoming more and more dangerous, for more reasons than one…
Pan’s Labyrinth is a great read if you want to do more of a horror-fairytale story. It has some great characters and wonderfully tragic moments. And even if you aren’t a reader, you can just watch the movie!
Less Than Zero By Bret Easton Ellis
Less Than Zero might be one of the least discussed horror/contemporary genre works of the 1980s and 1990s. Written by Bret Easton Ellis, the novel tells the story of Clay, a college student who is coming back to L.A. to see his family and friends for the holidays. While visiting, he watches as his friends slowly spiral out of control as they attempt to find pleasure that grows further and further out of reach.
This is a wonderful novel about the horror of gluttony. The story is all about rich young people who have gotten everything they could ever want, and it still isn’t enough. Clay is powerless in the face of this destructive system and has become apathetic to it – similar to, say, a young vampire facing the power of the Camarilla.
If you are thinking of running any RPG about the power of class and wealth, I highly recommend this book, as well as American Psycho.