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Studying textbooks isn’t the only way to expand your mind; horror fiction can help stimulate your brain and jumpstart your creative thinking.

Originally posted March 29, 2019, this post has been updated slightly since its original publication.

Nothing is better than relaxing with a good book after a long day. It might be tempting to grab your smartphone or tablet, but they usually tire your eyes and offer little more than a distraction. The next time you’re done with your studying, we would advise you to pick up some good horror fiction. Our brains can benefit from having a little scare and suspense every evening.

The more relatable the characters and storylines are, the more compelling you’re likely to find a great work of fiction.

That’s why we recommend some great horror books about and for students in this article. Picking up one of these A+ titles will offer you a great way to unwind and could even improve your own writing skills.

All great writers will tell you that two things are the key to developing as a writer: write a lot and read a lot. You can learn so much from studying the writing style of seasoned professionals — whether it’s for the sake of entertainment, reading the work of fiction authors, or in your academic pursuits. For example, you can get great insight into how to write effective college essays by asking an expert the following: write my paper for me.

Getting some help with your school writing assignments also gives you more time to expand your mind with reading, so it’s a win-win!

1. Cinema of Shadows by Michael West

This ghastly story about a haunted movie theater and a professor and his parapsychology students who investigate it is a ghastly tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

The setting is fantastic, especially if you love movies as much as literature. Author Michael West builds a solid mystery that makes this more than just another typical ghost story. It’s a slow build but never boring. And when things do take a turn, there’s no shortage of horror. This book is wonderfully creepy and will send shivers down your spine.

Especially fascinating is the historical context provided for the theater and its tragic past.

West has repeatedly proven he’s a solid writer who knows how to write compelling stories with interesting characters, and this is no exception. He’s a great up-and-coming genre writer worth studying to enhance your own writing skills. This title is particularly good for horror writing prompts.

If you’ve already asked Edubirdie to write my dissertation, you can also send them your writing prompt and enjoy the improvement in your writing.

2. Asylum – Madeleine Roux

This thrilling and creepy novel revolves around sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford as he arrives at New Hampshire College Prep for their summer program. An outcast at his high school, Dan is actually looking forward to studying over the summer break as it offers him a chance to make new friends and prepare for his college escape.

When he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum — a last resort for the criminally insane.

Along with his new friends, Dan begins to explore the school and uncover its terrifying hidden secrets.

Along with outstanding writing, Madeleine Roux’s chilling novel includes found photos from real abandoned asylums, infusing this fictional tale with deeply unsettling elements of real-life horror.

3. The Truth Lies Here – Lindsey Klingele

When a journalist, a nerd, and the high-school football star team up to find a missing man, all hell breaks loose.

Penny, the journalist, finds out her conspiracy theorist dad has suddenly gone missing. To make matters worse, the citizens of her small Michigan town have started seeing strange men in black suits. She and her friends have to unravel a set of mysteries to find out who took her father and why.

This YA novel has a bit of everything: a “crazy” Big Foot-believing kook who may not be so crazy after all, a mysterious meteorite crash, strange lights in the sky, dead bodies in the woods, a love triangle, a strained father-daughter relationship, and a creepy supernatural mystery.

This one is highly recommended for fans of Stranger Things and The X-Files.

4. Poseidon’s Children – Michael West

We love Michael West so much that he claims two spots on this list.

Men used to worship the Olympian Gods long ago. But they abandoned them when Byzantium came in the 4th century BC. Long since forgotten and written off as an entertaining but improbably myth, all that’s about to change when the Coast Guard stumbles upon the ruins of an old civilization deep under the ocean.

At the same time, strange things start happening: attacks by strange creatures, cultic activity, and murders. Vacationing Larry Neuhaus finds himself in the middle of the mystery that he must scramble to unravel.

Part fantasy adventure, part horror fiction, Poseidon’s Children is the first book in the Legacy of the Gods series by West — and it’s a fantastic beginning. The ending will leave you hungry for more and offers a great lead-in to the next installment. But it’s also a perfect and satisfying standalone book.

5. Wake the Wicked – Michael Garrett, Christian Baloga

Michael Garrett and Christian Balog bring readers the full flavor of old-school horror stories. Containing 13 different spooky tales, this collection is enough to give you a quick scare even when your time is very limited.

Pick any story that seems interesting and get frightened for a short while. What’s amazing about this book is the fact that there are stories about everything and something for everyone — from a father obsessed with his dead daughter to super-intelligent wasps looking to eat everyone.

We guarantee you won’t be bored for a moment. And with these bite-sized tales of terror, there’s no excuse not to carve out some reading time while still focusing on your own writing and academic studies.

6. Pandora – Joshua Grant