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12 Books That Are Just as Twisted as American Horror Story

Aug 12 2014 - 3:05am

We've still got a few months until American Horror Story: Freak Show [1], but we are starving for any information regarding the new season. And now, with a leaked character list [2] and a sneak peek at one of the characters [3], our excitement is at an all-time high. Sure, we can look back at everything we already know [4], and we can even theorize about what we don't [5], but what else can we do? We've figured out the perfect way to prep for the freak show: books. Keep scrolling for a list of absolutely terrifying novels that will help you relive the previous seasons and prime yourself for the season to come.

Source: FX [6]

If You Loved Season One: Murder House

Source: FX [7]

The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson

The Amityville house is definitely one of the more famous haunted houses, with two film adaptations bearing its name. If you're thrilled by the nightmarish ghosts, possessions, paranormal occurrences, and more from the first season of AHS, this is right up your alley.

Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin

In Rosemary's Baby, Rosemary slowly becomes convinced that her neighbors are satanic witches and that they mean to harm the baby growing inside her. On AHS, Vivian Harmon experiences similar distress with so many spirits vying to steal her baby. What's more, without giving too much away, the fathers in both instances are seriously evil points of contention.

Hell House by Richard Matheson

Yet another incarnation of your typical haunted-house story, Hell House will surely make you want to sleep with your light on. With so many angry spirits, violent episodes, and deaths, you'll be hearing echoes of AHS the entire time.

If You Loved Season 2: Asylum

Source: FX [8]

The Shining by Stephen King

OK, even though The Shining takes place in The Overlook Hotel, it may as well be considered an asylum. Not only is Jack Torrance, the hotel's Winter caretaker, driven absolutely mad over the course of the novel, but the place is practically crawling with ghouls and spiritual entities, just like the halls of Briarcliff on AHS: Asylum.

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

A huge theme of AHS: Asylum is that the world's ugliest, most evil monsters are actually just humans. American Psycho is also a testament to that. Patrick Bateman, the sadistic, psychopathic main character of the novel, deceives those around him with ease, much like Dr. Thredson, aka Bloody Face. We're sure Bateman would feel right at home in Briarcliff.

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

As you might remember, the second season of AHS features an attempted exorcism, so it's easy to see why we're recommending the original satanic tale of doom: The Exorcist. If you thought the film adaptation of this one was scary, the book is much, much worse.

If You Loved Season 3: Coven

Source: FX [9]

Carrie by Stephen King

In AHS: Coven, young, extraordinary witches find solace at Miss Robichaux's Academy in New Orleans, and oddly, Carrie White would probably fit right in there. Stephen King's first novel about a high school girl with telekinesis is perfectly chilling and just the right vibe.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Everyone knows the story of Frankenstein, a deranged doctor who assembles a brutish monster from the combined parts of many different human beings. It sounds an awful lot like Kyle, the frat boy whom Madison and Zoe put back together and revive on AHS.

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

OK, so, this one isn't exactly tipping the scary scale, but there are quite a few unsettling elements to it: creepy children with dangerous abilities, horrific monsters, and evil villains. Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children will definitely make you think of Miss Robichaux's Academy For Exceptional Young Ladies (even in name!), and of course, all the children's strange abilities will take you right back to the coven.

If You Think You'll Love Season 4: Freak Show

Source: FX [10]

It by Stephen King

It, the terrifying story of a maniacal clown that feeds on children, has been hailed as one of the scariest books of all time. Ryan Murphy, of course, promised an even more horrifying clown in AHS: Freak Show, so you can see why this might be a good primer.

Horns by Joe Hill

This novel tells the tale of Ig, who wakes up one day with a glaring set of horns on his head. What's more, he discovers he can force others to do his evil bidding. If Ig doesn't belong in the new season of AHS, we're not sure who does.

Misery by Stephen King

OK, maybe it's only because Kathy Bates is going to be in the new season of AHS, and maybe it's because she also terrified audiences with her performance as Annie Wilkes in Misery the movie, but this book is still a great way to freak yourself out for Freak Show. It's more than that, though. Wilkes shows off a brutish strength and lack of mercy that would certainly land her somewhere among the group of freaks misfits . . . Right?

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