Books with Creepy Atmospheres

Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm.

You may know by now that I am all about atmospheric novels, especially if they are creepy. I love when the setting itself is a character. I had so many books to choose from that it was difficult to narrow it down to five! I might post more recommendations in the future.

Misery by Stephen King

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Just look at this cover! Does that not scream creepy atmosphere? This house in the middle of nowhere becomes Paul’s prison, and it is absolute terrifying. Stephen King is a master at making you feel like you are a part of the story, and hearing about the house made me claustrophobic. I am currently reading The Shining, and its setting is even more haunting. I am sure that is a common theme throughout all of his novels!

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig


Part of what makes House of Salt and Sorrows so surprisingly dark is the setting. You can just feel the dreariness. There is nothing better than an isolated island for the backdrop toe a dark and twisted tale. This is one of those books where I wish a map was included because I am so intrigued by the world and the setting.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

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I think The Death of Mrs. Westaway might just have one of my favourite settings. I love spooky houses that are not necessarily haunted, but you know something sinister is going on there. The house is at the center of the story and I would definitely consider it a character. Ruth Ware brought the house to life and I could picture it so perfectly in my mind.

The River by Peter Heller

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I had mixed feelings about The River, but the one thing I truly loved was the setting. I mean, the book is named after it! A river setting can either be really peaceful or downright frightening, as was the case in The River. Our two main characters are confronted with both the rough conditions of the river itself as well as with the other people also on the river. It makes for a heart-racing story!

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand


In some ways the setting of Sawkill Girls reminds me of the one in House of Salt and Sorrows- both are set on an island where sinister things are afoot. What makes the Sawkill Girls setting so unique is the forest that almost feels alive and is such an integral part to the story. I will not say any more than that!


What is your favourite creepy setting? Do you enjoy when the settings itself is a character?kkbLogo


14 thoughts on “Books with Creepy Atmospheres

  1. I haven’t read any of these books, but Mara Dyer trilogy has one of the creepiest atmosphere I’ve ever read! Many unexplainable things happened and we don’t really know whether it’s actually real or if it’s only Mara’s imagination :/

  2. I got a library copy of House of Salt and Sorrow, really need to pick it up soon!
    Also I think I would really like sawkill girls!


  3. misery is a book I absolutely cringed while reading. I don’t think i’ve ever seen the movie but the book without a doubt scared the hell out of me and I read it when I was a teen. wtf was I thinking lmao. this is a great list!

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