Only the Lonely: 13 Classic Works of Isolation Horror

Only the Lonely: 13 Classic Works of Isolation Horror

Only the Lonely: 13 Classic Works of Isolation Horror - 952

Only the Lonely

As I sat down to write, an image arose in my thoughts—Jamie Lee Curtis in John Carpenter’s seminal 1978 horror film, Halloween. Curtis’s character, Laurie Strode, is out on the street banging on the doors of neighbors’ houses, screaming for help. The children she is protecting have run screaming down the street. People who might otherwise be able to help are either not at home, or they are suspicious of pranksters, or they don’t want to get involved, but there are other people. There are police in Haddonfield, and neighbors, and a hospital. Yes, all of those things prove not very helpful to Laurie Strode, but all of that horror is unfolding in a community. Which is terrifying enough on its own…

But for me, that kind of fear pales in comparison to the terror of isolation—of being alone and far from any assistance when the unimaginable happens, whether that be the brutality of nature, a cruel human enemy, or some malignant evil with its sights set on you. These stories get under my skin, spark my worst imaginings, and inspire me to want to share that fear with readers. I love isolation horror in all mediums, but if you want to feel those same chills, here are thirteen must-reads, spanning 120 years—from classics to newer books that keep the terror alive!

to-build-a-fire

at-the-mountains-of-madness

who-goes-there

we-have-always-lived-in-the-castle

the-shining

white-and-other-tales-of-ruin

the-ruins

the-terror

dark-matter

breaken

the-hunger

mexican-gothic

all-the-white-spaces

There are so many wonderful examples of isolation horror on the bookshelves out there, but consider these thirteen—from classic to contemporary—a taster set to get you started, and to give you some insight into the stories that have inspired so many of my own works over the years. Isolation is one of the building blocks of some of the greatest horror stories ever written, because it’s one of the things we fear the most. So when you’re headed out to the edge of the world… bring a friend!


road-of-bones


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