A few months ago, I shared my list unjustly neglected Non-Supernatural horror novels. This one was more difficult to compile but I'm glad to share it with you.

1. Fengriffen by David Case. This guy isn't as well-known as he should be. He may be best remembered for the Amicus movie And Now the Screaming Starts on which this short novel is based. This one is an excellent, chilling gothic pastiche brought back to print by Valancourt Books.

2. Undertaker's Moon by Ronald Kelly. I mentioned before that I consider this the perfect werewolf novel or something to that extent. I stand by that. It's has a wonderfully done backstory with plenty of action, suspense, and gore. It's a true tour de force

3. Nightblood by T. Chris Martindale. This book has been getting more respect lately thanks to Grady Hendrix's Paperbacks from Hell. This story has been described as 'Salem's Lot with guns which is basically true but I found it more satisfying despite being half the length of King's classic vampire novel. Another gem given new life by Valancourt.

4. Citadel of Fear by Francis Stevens. An entertaining and fascinating "lost civilization" novel written in the time in which this subgenre was popular and has its share of pulp horror.

5. Malpertuis by Jean Ray. Anything by this guy is worth your attention. He is well known to devoted weird fiction fans but unknown in most circles. This novel is regarded by some as his masterpiece. It is unique for placing Greek mythological figures in a gothic mansion setting.

6 The Black Castle by Les Daniels. Part vampire horror/part historical fiction, this novel has been regarded as a true literary manifestation of a Hammer horror movie. This one pulled off a vampire's existential musings without losing itself in it.

7. The Door of the Unreal by Gerard Biss. People have commented that the reveal of the villain was obvious but I don't care. This 1920 werewolf novel has an excellent setting and was consistently intriguing. There's a good reason H P. Lovecraft recommended this one.

8. Hill of Dreams by Arthur Machen. This novel skirts the line of supernatural horror and mystic aestheticism. This one is largely existential horror because of the overarching theme of spiritual solitude about an artistic soul who doesn't fit into any place he finds himself in. A beautiful but sad book.

9. Devil in the Darkness by Archie Roy. An usual haunted house story written economically and to great effect. Roy really made this one come alive.

10. Ancient Images by Ramsey Campbell. These type of lists should include Campbell more often. This book in particular combines Campbell's flair with themes from Algernon Blackwood and Arthur Machen while throwing in a love of old horror movies. Highly entertaining and readable.

One of these days I'll come up with a sci- fi horror novel list but it's been a long time coming. The list is only half done. I urge you to pursue the books on this list.

Written by Nicholas Montelongo

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