20 Must-Read Paranormal & Supernatural Books Of 2021
Time to expand your paranormal book collection with the best books on the subject from the past 12 months.
Spanning fact and fiction, including titles for adults and children, there have been plenty of paranormal book releases in 2021. To help you pick the page-turners from the vast supernatural selection, we've put together a list of 20 must-read supernatural-themed books, all of which are either well respected, best selling or the most talked about paranormal publications of the year.
So, in no particular order, here's our list of the top paranormal books of 2021, which includes supernatural novels, reference books on paranormal investigation, short story collections, journals of ghostly encounters and haunting stories for kids...
'Using Equipment: Guidance Notes for Investigators of Apparitions, Hauntings, Poltergeists & Similar Phenomena' - Steven Parsons
Steve Parsons been investigating ghosts, haunted houses and the paranormal for over 45 years. He's written numerous books on the paranormal, including the must-read 'Guidance Notes for Investigators of Spontaneous Cases' for the Society for Psychical Research, as well as countless journal articles and magazine articles. This latest update to the guidelines released in August 2021 get invaluable advice on how to use 21st electronic ghost hunting devices and how to interpret the evidence obtain through such gadgets. If you consider buying one book on this list, make it this one.
'The Haunting Season' - Bridget Collins, Natasha Pulley, Et Al.
The instant Sunday Times bestseller brings together eight best-selling, award-winning authors, all of them master storytellers of the sinister and the macabre. This dazzling new collection of original haunted tales will take readers from the frosty Fens to the wild Yorkshire moors, to the snow-covered grounds of a haunted estate, to a bustling London Christmas market. These mesmerising stories will capture your imagination and serve as your indispensable companion to cold, dark nights.
The book features new and original tales from Bridget Collins, Imogen Hermes Gowar, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Andrew Michael Hurley, Jess Kidd, Elizabeth Macneal, Natasha Pulley and Laura Purcell.
'Chasing Ghosts' - Marc Hartzman
Marc Hartzman examines the phenomenon of ghosts from ancient hauntings through to modern-day legends in his beautifully illustrated new book, 'Chasing Ghosts: A Tour Of Our Fascination With Spirits & The Supernatural'. The book offers a fresh and entertaining take on things that go bump in the night and is as much about our fascination with the unknown as it is ghosts and ghouls.
The wonderfully researched book takes readers on a fascinating journey through pivotal moments in supernatural history, including the Fox Sisters and the rise of spiritualism movement, famous haunted sites like the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia and the LaLaurie House in New Orleans, plus famous ghost stories like the Bell Witch of Tennessee and the Greenbrier Ghost of West Virginia.
The book also examines people with supernatural obsessions, including famous figures like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and paranormal investigators like Ed and Lorraine Warren.
There's nothing new in this book, its content is pretty similar to many other books on parapsychology, but the way it ties the history of the subject into modern beliefs and ghosts in popular culture is its strong point and gives the subject matter more of a narrative. The tales are presented in a very matter of fact and balanced way, presenting paranormal beliefs and skeptical explanations equally, often without forming a conclusion allowing the reader to decide for themselves. This makes the book accessible to believers and skeptics alike.
'The Feminine Macabre' - Amanda R. Woomer & Patti Negri
In a world where the paranormal seems to be dominated by men, paranormal author and Spook-Eats blogger, Amanda Woomer, called upon her fellow female paranormal enthusiasts worldwide to help compile this journal celebrating women in the paranormal community with a fitting foreword by Patti Negri. From folklore and death culture to tarot, dark history, ghosts and more, these women share their experiences, research, and theories but with a feminine twist.
Since the book's release in March, Amanda has once again called on her female army to put together a second volume, with a foreword by television medium, Michelle Belanger.
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'The Penguin Book Of Exorcisms' - Joseph P. Laycock
An unsettling and chilling account of real-life exorcisms through the centuries, from ancient Egypt and the biblical Middle East to colonial America and twentieth-century South Africa. Learn how a variety of cultures from all around the world have developed different approaches to deal with possessions and the supernatural phenomenon associated with them including, levitation, feats of superhuman strength, speaking in tongues and aggression. The signs of spirit possession have been documented for thousands of years and across religions and cultures, even into our own time.
'Paranormal Playtime' - Penny Griffiths-Morgan
'Paranormal Playtime: The School That Never Sleeps' is the latest release from British paranormal historian and podcast host, Penny Griffiths-Morgan. The book focuses on the haunting of the British Schools Museum in Hitchin, a historic building which houses the world's last remaining purpose-built monitorial schoolroom.
Penny's meticulous level of detail is impressive. Not only does she interview witnesses who have had paranormal encounters at the museum, but she delves into censuses to confirm names, collects stories from archives of local newspapers, speaks to locals about the other hauntings in the area, and examines the importance of other historic local buildings.
'The Ghost Hunter Chronicles: The House In The Woods' - Yvette Fielding
'The House In The Woods' is the first book in television ghost hunter, Yvette Fielding's new supernatural series for kids, and there's far more than you'd expect in this first instalment of 'The Ghost Hunter Chronicles' including ghosts, wartime secrets, and of course plenty of scares.
The fun read contains just the right amount of adventure, mixed with ghostly frights and a dash of humour. Yvette has successfully mixed the quintessential quirky Britishness of franchises like 'Harry Potter' and 'Doctor Who' with a supernatural adventure, the likes of which you'd find in Netflix's 'Stranger Things'.
'Life With Paranormal Encounters' - Connor Biddle
Paranormal enthusiast and filmmaker, Connor Biddle, has revealed the story behind his award-winning online ghost hunting show in a new book. Connor created the YouTube channel Paranormal Encounters in 2012, and appears in the show alongside his girlfriend India Hopwood. They create videos together that follows them as they explore their fascination with the mysterious world of the paranormal at some of the most paranormally active locations in America.
Now the story of the series, its creation and Connor's first steps into the paranormal world are told in his first book, 'Life with Paranormal Encounters True Ghost Stories & How An Award-Winning Show Was Created', which topped Amazon's list of best selling occultism new releases.
'The Paranormal: An Open-Minded Guide' - Cameron Cutts
'The Paranormal: An Open-Minded Guide' is an attempt to examine all things paranormal from the perspective of a believer and a skeptic to challenge your perception of the paranormal. In this book you'll learn how a speck of dust can be mistaken for a ghostly manifestation, how Houdini once tried to pass a bill that would have made fortune telling for profit illegal and just how easily you can be fooled into believing that something is paranormal even when it is nothing more than good showmanship. Delve into some of the most interesting hauntings in history to see if you believe the legends or find yourself dismissing them as nothing more than a hoax.
'Ghosts Of Cannock Chase' - Lee Brickley
Lee Brickley, a British paranormal expert, ufologist, and cryptozoologist, shot to fame in 2014 due to his coverage of the black eyed child phenomenon and other supernatural reports from Cannock Chase. His new book on the area includes terrifying reports of paranormal activity from the United Kingdom's most haunted town. Cannock Chase is home to some of the weirdest and most terrifying paranormal encounters recorded anywhere in the country. The small mining town is situated near a huge twenty-six mile square forest that seems to be the centre of all the supernatural activity.
'The Great American Ghost Trip' - Richard Estep
The latest paranormal book from author, Richard Estep, who's known for his appearances on 'Haunted Hospitals' and 'Paranormal 911'. In this 2021 publication Richard documents his ten-day-and-night road trip to ten of the country's most haunted locations with a team of paranormal investigators.
Traveling 4,000 miles in search of uniquely American ghosts, their quest took them to an asylum whose former inmates are said to speak from beyond the grave, a jail with ties to a nearby house with a very dark reputation, the hallowed ground of one of the Civil War's most fearsome battles, and a house believed to be haunted by the spirit of a little girl - who may be something entirely more sinister.
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'Quantum Paranormal' - Patrick Jackson
Patrick Jackson's book, which offers a very different perspective on the paranormal, is by far the most odd and unusual book on the list. 'Quantum Paranormal: A 21st Century Analysis Of Paranormal Phenomenon' attempts to sway readers away from their belief in ghosts and instead convince them that invisible alien spheres are the cause of hauntings. The author believes that the things that go bump in the night are in fact the subtle signs of the operation of a global network of invisible extraterrestrial craft that are protecting Earth's airspace from hostile invasion.
The book covers this unusual theory in great detail and even offers up logical explanations for common haunting phenomenon. However, as the research only relies on the normal, mostly flawed methods employed by ghost hunters, the book fails to offer any compelling evidence that would convert a paranormal believer, let alone a skeptic. What makes this book an interesting read is not Patrick's theory but his journey - the story of what happens when someone takes their belief in the paranormal too far.
'Deliverance' - Jason Bray
Reverend Jason Bray's book 'Deliverance: Everyday Investigations Into The Supernatural By An Anglican Priest' documents his terrifying work with ghosts as a deliverance minister and his supernatural encounters. The Anglican vicar works as an exorcist, helping people to rid their homes of ghosts and spirits, as well as conducting tasks more commonly associated with your average reverend, such as weddings and baptisms.
Reverend Bray's journey into the world of ghosts started shortly after he was ordained and moved into a new home, where he noticed a constant cold and dark atmosphere. The terrified reverend asked his local vicar for help and eventually his home was blessed, this led him to explore the field of deliverance for himself and now he helps people deal with similar problems in their own homes.
'The Deep' - Alma Katsu
From the acclaimed and award-winning author of 'The Hunger' comes an eerie, psychological twist on one of the world's most renowned tragedies, the sinking of the ill-fated Titanic. Between mysterious disappearances and sudden deaths, the guests of the Titanic have found themselves suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone from the moment they set sail. Several of them, including maid Annie Hebley, guest Mark Fletcher are convinced there's something sinister afoot.
Years later, Annie, having survived that fateful night, has attempted to put her life back together. Working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic's sister ship, the Britannic, newly refitted as a hospital ship, she happens across an unconscious Mark, now a soldier fighting in World War I. At first, Annie is thrilled and relieved to learn that he too survived the sinking, but soon, Mark's presence awakens deep-buried feelings and secrets, forcing her to reckon with the demons of her past as they both discover that the terror may not yet be over.
'White Smoke' - Tiffany D Jackson
'The Haunting of Hill House' meets 'Get Out' in this chilling psychological thriller and modern take on the classic haunted house story from New York Times bestselling author Tiffany D. Jackson.
The phantoms of Marigold's old life keep haunting her, but a move with her newly blended family from their small California beach town to the embattled Midwestern city of Cedarville might be the fresh start she needs. However their new renovated picture-perfect home on Maple Street has its secrets. Household items vanish, doors open on their own, lights turn off, shadows walk past rooms, voices can be heard in the walls, and there’s a foul smell seeping through the vents that only Mari seems to notice. As the house closes in, Mari learns that the danger isn't limited to Maple Street.
'Nothing But Blackened Teeth' - Cassandra Khaw
A creepy classic haunted house story based on Japanese folklore, combining 'The Haunting Of Hill House' with 'The Ring'. Cat joins her old friends, who are in search of the perfect wedding venue, to spend the night in a Heian-era manor in Japan. Trapped in webs of love, responsibility and yesterdays, they walk into a haunted house with their hearts full of ghosts.
This mansion is long-abandoned, but it is hungry for new guests, and welcomes them all – welcomes the demons inside them – because it is built on foundations of sacrifice and bone. Their night of food, drinks, and games quickly spirals into a nightmare as the house draws them into its embrace. For lurking in the shadows is the ghost bride with a black smile and a hungry heart.
'Under The Whispering Door' - T. J. Klune, Kirt Graves, Et Al.
The author of joyous New York Times bestseller 'The House In The Cerulean Sea', T. J. Klune brings us a witty, haunting and kind story about a man who spent his life at the office - and his afterlife building a home. Wallace is outraged when a reaper comes to collect him from his own sparsely-attended funeral, but when Hugo, the deceased owner of a most peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace reluctantly accepts the truth.
Having spent all of his life working, Wallace wonders if he is missing something after drinking tea with Hugo and talking to his customers. The feeling grows as he shares jokes with the resident ghost, manifests embarrassing footwear and notices the stars. So when he's given one week to pass through the door to the other side, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in just seven days.
'The Taking Of Jake Livingston' - Ryan Douglass
A teen thriller that became an instant New York Times bestseller. Sixteen-year-old Jake Livingston sees dead people everywhere. But he can't decide what's worse: being a medium forced to watch the dead play out their last moments on a loop or being at the mercy of racist teachers as one of the few black students at St. Clair Prep. Both are a living nightmare he wishes he could wake up from. But things at St. Clair start looking up with the arrival of another black student, the handsome Allister, and for the first time, romance is on the horizon for Jake.
Unfortunately, life as a medium is getting worse. Though most ghosts are harmless and Jake is always happy to help them move on to the next place, Sawyer Doon, a powerful, vengeful ghost, has plans for Jake. Suddenly, everything Jake knows about dead world goes out the window as Sawyer begins to haunt him. High school soon becomes a different kind of survival game, one Jake is not sure he can win.
'When All The Girls Are Sleeping' - Emily Arsenault
For fans of 'People Like Us' and 'The Cheerleaders' comes an all new psychological suspense novel about one girl's investigation into her friend's sudden death and the unsettling possibility that a killer is still on the loose. Windham-Farnswood Academy is beautiful, prestigious, historic - the perfect place for girls to prep for college. But every student knows all is not as it seems. Each January, the Winter Girl comes knocking. She's the spirit who haunts the old senior dorm, and this year is no exception.
For Haley, the timing couldn't be worse. This month marks the one-year anniversary of the death of her ex-best friend, Taylor. When a disturbing video of Taylor surfaces, new questions about her death emerge. And it actually looks like Taylor was murdered.
Now, as Haley digs into what really happened last year, her search keeps bringing her back to the Winter Girl. Haley wants to believe ghosts aren't real, but the clues and the dark school history she begins to undercover say otherwise. Now it's up to her to solve the mystery before history has a chance to repeat itself and another life is taken.
'The Spirit Engineer' - A. J. West
Belfast, 1914. Two years after the sinking of the Titanic, high society has become obsessed with spiritualism, attending séances in the hope they might reach their departed loved ones.
William Jackson Crawford is a man of science and a skeptic, but one night with everyone sitting around the circle, voices come to him – seemingly from beyond the veil – placing doubt in his heart and a seed of obsession in his mind. Could the spirits truly be communicating with him or is this one of Kathleen's parlour tricks gone too far?
Based on the true story of Professor William Jackson Crawford and famed medium Kathleen Goligher, and with a cast of characters including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini, 'The Spirit Engineer' conjures a haunted, twisted tale of power, paranoia, and one ultimate, inescapable truth.
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