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Find Light in Darkness With These Six Christian Paranormal Thrillers

Discerning readers can hunt monsters with righteous cause in these classic and new novels from Christian creators.
on Oct 26, 2022 · 4 comments

At this most spookiest time of the year, maybe you’re okay with saying Halloween. That name comes from All Hallows Eve, the night before All Saints Day on Nov. 1.

Or maybe you prefer some evangelical nicknames, like the popular harvest festival.

Either way, here at Lorehaven we believe in some kinds of fearful fiction. Christians don’t believe in darkness for its own sake. The best kinds of scary stories, however, can remind us of Christ’s power, and send us further into his word to seek his light.

Toward that end, we’ve opened our archives and found six Christian paranormal thrillers you will love.

Parents, be advised: these novels are meant for teen readers and older!

Dark is the Night, Mirriam NealDark is the Night

Hunting for teen reader–appropriate vampires who long for spiritual redemption?

In a moonlit South Carolina swamp, a werewolf bites vampire hunter Skata. That’s okay, because Skata takes wolfsbane for just such emergencies.

Mirriam Neal’s Dark is the Night keeps the punches and the fangs rolling. This pits Skata against the vampire who turned his wife and forces him to ask: are all vampires wholly evil? An old friend fighting beside Skata faces her need to forgive. A pastor stakes his claim on preaching grace to his enemies. And a vampire cares more deeply than he thirsts.

Neal casts all characters as complete persons, no matter their time spent on the page. Humor and hope lighten the burden of heavy themes of war against the night. Unanswered questions and a teasing epilogue leave readers eager for the next installment.

Best for: Teen and adult fans of Supernatural and/or The Vampire Diaries, and fans of vampire or werewolf stories.

Discern: Scattered swearing; scenes of violence and its aftermath, such as torture, murder, and child endangerment; a pastor preaches grace to vampires (while also battling vampires and werewolves) and picks locks during an investigation.

König’s FireKönig’s Fire

Want to face grown-up, groaning realities in a Romans 8 thriller with zombie plant-men?

Deus et natua non faciunt frusta. “God and nature do not work together in vain.” But rebel humans wage their wars against both.

Marc Schooley’s novel König’s Fire (2010) guides readers into 1940s Germany, when the Nazi army enlists reluctant soldier Sascha König to help execute their newly invented evil. In a hidden prison cave, they demand König imitate Nebuchadnezzar of old, heating a fiery furnace to destroy the innocents. König’s conscience and visions, however, plus the groanings of a decayed forest full of vengeful creatures, will challenge this evil.

Schooley turns up the spiritual heat and eeriness that haunts this deep-thought historical fantasy. Some readers may feel smothered by biblical and literary allusions. Others will lean even closer, risking the singe of powerful prose that may convict our very souls.

Best for: Fans of paranormal parables whose darkness beckons to light.

Discern: Nazi soldiers commit atrocities that are mostly off-page but with serious consequences, resulting trauma in the souls of good men, heroes forced to make hard decisions in the complexity of war, implied compromise with war crimes, gritty themes of man’s sinful nature versus God’s wrath.

König’s Fire won the 2011 Carol Award for best Christian-made speculative novel. The title is currently out of print. As of this review’s publication, Amazon offers used copies.

Let the Ghosts Speak, Bryan DavisLet the Ghosts Speak

Shall discerning readers ponder how unhappy hauntings may work in a Christian world?

Perhaps you have, at some time or another, let yourself be talked into going to a party, and then regretted it. Justin Trotter did too—only he then met ghosts and was falsely accused of murder.

In Let the Ghosts Speak, Bryan Davis has created a work of straight horror. Its setting in nineteenth-century France puts catacombs within the story’s reach, but the story’s potential historical aspect is little used. In this world, ghosts walk in pairs bound by guilt and hope, and the living commit crimes on the lurid edge of insanity. A strong spiritual note underscores the novel: ghosts are rationalized in the context of Christian belief, and the hope of heaven shines in the darkness.

Although often grim, Let the Ghosts Speak gives a captivating read of murder, mystery, and spirituality.

Best for: Fans of horror and ghost stories.

Discern: Multiple and brutal character deaths, one man is accused of incest and necrophilia, references to suicide and prostitution, one person steals a brooch from a corpse, someone performs what appears to be a magical ritual, and several artifacts are suggested to have supernatural power.

The Oath, Frank PerettiThe Oath

Fearing not just the demons in our world, but the darkness of a greater threat within?

  • by Frank Peretti
  • standalone supernatural thriller
  • Thomas Nelson, October 2003 (originally Word Publishers, July 1995)
  • read more in the Library

Steve Benson is called to research a gruesome mystery in the American northwest. An animal attack has taken his brother’s life. Struck with grief, the wildlife biologist is also drawn into the secrets of Hyde River. People vanish. Their friends and family won’t answer questions. And an even darker reality lurks in the mountains, seeking whom he may devour.

Unlike novelist Frank Peretti’s two Darkness books, The Oath tracks the lives of unbelievers, aiming to include secular readers. Yet with expected suspense, slow-reveals, and terrifying imagery, this literary creature features a foe you might not expect.

Peretti packs more tensions into a bombastic finale, refusing to look away from realities of evil—and predictable yet only crucial way to defeat it.

Best for: Teens and older readers who don’t mind a slow-building, intense horror/paranormal story (without visible angel-versus-demons battles).

Discern: Men and women discuss extramarital affairs, but keep explicit physical actions off-page; descriptions of results following attacks by bears and other animals; spiritual manipulations by villains who overtly worship sin; mild vulgarities, but occasional misuses of God’s title as exclamations; existential dread of being slow-corrupted from within and then devoured.

That Pale Host, L. G. McCaryThat Pale Host

Need to beware the acceptable sins that haunt grown-up readers even closer to home?

Conceive, if you can, a story that unites the best of Christian social drama with The Twilight Zone. You would likely get L. G. McCary’s debut standalone That Pale Host.

This psychological suspense tale watches struggling mom Charlotte Madsen confront infertility and then traumatic childbirth. Ghostly reflections haunt her years of marriage and parenting, mirroring her family’s real-world struggles with socially acceptable sins and even spiritual abuses. Slice-of-life scenes may feel overlong, but help portray the realistic evangelical realm of Bible studies, dance classes, and peer pressures.

That Pale Host slips through the walls of time, exposing how otherwise happy homes can still host spectral groanings too deep for words—and the hope of healing that often lingers just out of reach.

Best for: Adult fans of social dramas in modern evangelical communities, who don’t mind edgier elements like psychological and spiritual hauntings.

Discern: Physical and spiritual suffering provokes a woman’s existential dread of broken relationships and her child’s safety; ghosts constantly afflict vulnerable heroine, who often responds with acts of anger and hatred; churchgoing couples spread gossip and fall into other sins; villain verbally abuses teenage girl using a vulgar word, then resorts to worse crimes.

Disclosure: novelist L. G. McCary manages social media for Lorehaven. As usual, we received a free pre-release copy of the novel, and wrote this review independently.

Saint Death, Mike DuranSaint Death

Itching to investigate the paranormal and battle demonic powers in the truly scary Los Angeles?

What do you get when you cross a quasi-Catholic folk cult, an interdimensional conspiracy, and a hard-boiled reporter/Earth Guardian? Why, Mike Duran’s Saint Death, of course.

This second installment in the Reagan Moon series conjures a menagerie of the grotesque and macabre. When an anonymous tip leads Moon to a shrine used for human sacrifice, he learns demonic forces are threatening Los Angeles. But this time our loner hero must team with a band of fellow oddballs to stand a chance of averting catastrophe.

But can he can hold readers’ attention through swarms of internal monologues and plagues of overwrought prose? That will depend on readers’ affection for the noir genre. Those who don’t mind passively perplexed protagonists will find plenty of Peretti parallels in this noncommittally theistic paranormal thriller.

Best for: Adults interested in a gritty angels-and-demons yarn with astronomical stakes.

Discern: Creepy violence, mild-to-moderate language, and low-to-midlevel supernatural beings without much reference to supreme rulers of their good or evil hierarchies.

Find even more Christian-made paranormal thrillers

Lorehaven helps fans of all ages explore fantastical stories for God’s glory. Find the newest fiction for young readers plus teens+YA and adults. Get articles and podcasts that engage the best Christian-made fantasy, sci-fi, and beyond. Subscribe free to join our Guild for monthly book quests!
  1. Ticia says:

    Adds a couple of these to my Christmas present list for my son.

  2. Stephen Smith says:

    What a great list. I like the format you used with the intended audience and caveats after each book. Excellent!

  3. Two of my favorites on this list (“The Oath” and “That Pale Host”), and I read and loved the first Reagan Moon book. And the others look interesting. Gah! Too many good books! My TBR pile threatening to turn into a monstrous abomination!

What say you?