Don't Look Behind You

I’m an absolute wimp about horror movies. A complete garbage fire. I can’t watch one without crawling up a wall and imagining movement in every shadow for weeks. But perversely enough, I love frightening books. I cannot get enough of them.

I don’t 100% know what the difference is - I suspect it’s something to do with creating my own mental image of a story as opposed to having one created for me - but whatever it is, it’s crucial.

I’ve found popular perception of horror lit to be pretty narrow (“Have you heard of this guy, Stephen King?”), but it’s so much broader than that - it’s pervasive across genres on both the micro and macro level. It can be that pinch of spine-tingling tension that elevates an otherwise ordinary narrative, or it can be the whole damn entree. The Shining is a horror novel, but so is Beloved.

Some of the books I write about here will be books you wouldn’t necessarily consider horror - they might be dark fantasy, or true crime, or thrillers, or literary fiction. But don’t worry, you’ll get a good dose of proper horror here too (here’s a preview). Some emails might be about just one book, others will be short lists - hey, it’ll be a fun surprise for us both.

I strongly recommend signing up for newsletter updates at the bottom of this page so you don’t miss a book, but if you’re more of a desktop reader, bookmark jumpscares.substack.com. Full disclosure that I may roll out a paid option here at some point, but there’ll always be a free option, and for the time being it’s all free.

Wanna suggest something I might not have read? Drop me a line!