Horror as a genre has been around forever, with roots in Ancient Greece and Rome folklore, with stories of beings such as demons, witches, vampires, werewolves and ghosts. As a literary genre it has well and truly stood the test of time, with werewolf stories being just as popular in Medieval French Literature as they are today! The genre is by no means on the decline, in 2018, The Telegraph reported that there had been a four year high in Horror fiction sales, and thanked horror shows such as Stranger Things, and the new film adaptation of Stephen King’s I.T for the “incredible resurgence” in the genre. 

So, to get in the Halloween spirit, we’ve rounded up 5 amazing works of horror fiction in various different languages to get you in the spooky mood!

Let The Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in) by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist. The 2004 novel centres around the relationship between a 12 year old boy Oskar and a centuries old vampire child, Eli. The book was a best seller in Sweden and was also translated into several languages. There is also a Swedish language film of the same name, as well as an English language film adaption titled ‘Let me in’. 

You can purchase the English translation HERE

Ring (リング Ringu) by Japanese author Koji Suzuki. Ring was published in 1991, and there are 5 more books in the series, the most recent of which was published in 2013. The novel is about a cursed video tape that causes whoever watches it to die within 7 days. There have been several film adaptions of Ring, including the hugely popular 2002 American version that most western audiences will be familiar with! 

You can purchase the English translation HE

The Vegetarian (채식주의자) by Korean Author Han Kang, published in 2007. The novel tells the story of a young woman whose decision to stop eating meat ,after a bloody nightmare about human cruelty, leads to devastating consequences in her personal and family life. The English translation was produced by Deborah Smith and published in 2015, to international critical acclaim. In May 2016 it won the Man Booker International Prize. 

You can purchase the English translation HERE

The Blind Owl (بوف کور‎,) is a 1936 novel by Iranian Author Sadegh Hedayat. The novel is widely regarded as the greatest modern Persian novel ever written, and a major literary work of the 20th century. It centres around the despair and hallucinations of the unnamed narrator after losing a mysterious lover. Such is the novels significance, it has been translated into over 15 languages, including Finnish, Armenian, Japanese and Malayalam. After the books initial release, it was banned in Iran, accused of causing many suicides in its readers! 

You can purchase the English translation HERE

The Black Spider (Die Schwarze Spinne) is a 1842 German language novel by Swiss author Jeremias Gottthelf and tells the story of a young woman who makes a pact with the devil, sealed by a kiss, that brings generations of terror to her community. The novel has been translated into English several times, as well as multiple other languages. 

You can purchase the English translation HERE


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