We’ve all come across books that seem innocuous enough only to find that the inside is far creepier or messed up than we expected. Then there are other books which are just like: screw subtlety, I want to destroy any chance of you having peaceful dreams for the next several months. Well, this post is about the latter type. The scary, the creepy, the weird, and the *laughs nervously* wtf type covers.
NOTHING BUT BLACKENED TEETH – CASSANDRA KHAW: My soul almost left my body the first time I saw this cover. My overactive imagination was sitting there jumping for joy at the inspiration for the terror-filled imaginings it was going to be sending my way. Honestly, though – the lack of eyes, that…mouth, the claw like hands. Nope, nope. NOPE.
I AM LEGEND AND OTHER STORIES – RICHARD MATHESON: I’m not usually bothered by vampire imagery but these bloodsuckers look terrifying, especially skull dude at the front. They’re almost like zombie-vampires. Get those creepy faces away from me. Far away.
SHUTTER – COURTNEY ALAMEDA: I have no idea who’s imagination this cover imagery came from but I can safely say, I never want to be trapped there because jeez. If ghosts are real, please lord may I never discover that they look like this. I think it’s the mouth *shivers*
HOLLOW CITY (MISS PEREGRINE’S PECULIAR CHILDREN 2#) – RANSOM RIGGS: Is it just me or are vintage photos of children often creepy? They’re usually dressed in clothes devoid of any childish joy, mostly unsmiling, and the grainy black and white film gives them such a weirdly sinister feel. It’s all very Children of the Corn.
THINGS HAVE GOTTEN WORSE SINCE WE LAST SPOKE – ERIC LAROCCA: This cover is so weird and eerie looking. I have no idea what’s happening but I keep staring at it, eyes darting back and forth between the blood smeared shoulder and the vortex of head tissue. It’s certainly memorable.
THE OUTSIDER – STEPHEN KING: King has so many horror books that a few of the covers were bound to be scary. Those red eyes on the dark figure keep drilling further and further into me the longer I look at this. I keep imagining it brutally murdering me and then walking off wearing my face. Send help.
THE DOLL COLLECTION – EDITED BY ELLEN DATLOW: An entire book full of short stories about creepy dolls? No, thanks. Better yet, a creepy-ass cover featuring a discarded porcelain doll’s head with eyes I won’t be able to stop seeing for weeks, double no thanks.
WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE – SHIRLEY JACKSON: This book has long since been re-covered but there’s something about the old school edition that weirds me out. I’m not sure if its the posing, the hair draped/flying, or that single eye, just starting at me through the gap in the fence as though she’s plotting something.
JAWS – PETER BENCHLEY: This cover is similar in design to the movie posters. While I’ve never felt especially put off by them, despite my nervousness about deep water, the visual here hits me differently. I think it might be the black background, It’s almost like a swimmer moving through a deep, dark part of the ocean, not knowing what’s lurking just metres away from them.
MY WIFE JODIE – V. A. RUDYS: It’s all about the smile with this one and the way the face is lit to showcase it. Gives me such predatory vibes despite the seemingly controlling hand above.
IT – STEPHEN KING: Like I said, lots of King horror novels and lots of cover opportunities to scare the pants off people. Now, I don’t have a problem with clowns, but the one on this cover is flippin’ terrifying. The eyes, those teeth, you can definitely see this edition of Pennywise hunting down small children for a tasty snack.
A MONSTER CALLS – PATRICK NESS: While this isn’t a scary story and more of a tear-jerker, the cover is pretty sinister looking with the grayscale colour scheme and sketchy art style. There’s just enough detail to up the anxiety levels.
What creepy looking book covers have haunted your nightmares?