The Blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Darkly Humorous Horror

Posted over 3 years ago by Amy H

I’m getting too old for just plain horror; now I need it to be funny as well, or I’ll never get to sleep. Fortunately, the darkly humorous horror genre is exploding with options. Try one of these for a fun, spooky, amusing, and possibly weirdly terrifying reading or viewing experience …

Humorous Horror Books

The John Dies Trilogy by David Wong

"John Dies at the End"
Book | Audio | eAudio
"This Book is Full of Spiders"
Book | Audio | eBook
"What the Hell Did I Just Read"

You should not have read this post with your bare eyeballs.

NO, don't look away. It's too late….They're watching you.

My name is David Wong. My best friend is John. Those names are fake. You might want to change yours.

You may not want to know about the things you'll read on these pages, about the sauce, about Korrok, about the invasion, and the bleak future ahead. But it's too late. You read this post. You're in the game. You're under the eye.

The only defense is knowledge. You need to read these books, to the end. Even the part with the bratwurst. Why? You just have to trust me.

The important thing is this:

The drug is called Soy Sauce and it gives users a window into another dimension.

John and I never had the chance to say no.

You still do.

Unfortunately for us, if you make the right choice, we'll have a much harder time explaining how to fight off the otherworldly invasion currently threatening to enslave humanity.

I'm sorry to have involved you in this, I really am. But as you read about these terrible events and the very dark epoch the world is about to enter as a result, it is crucial you keep one thing in mind:

None of this is was my fault.

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendix

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix

In the 1990s, heavy metal band Dürt Würk was poised for breakout success—but then lead singer Terry Hunt embarked on a solo career and rocketed to stardom as Koffin, leaving his fellow bandmates to rot in obscurity.

Two decades later, former guitarist Kris Pulaski works as the night manager of a Best Western—she’s tired, broke, and unhappy. Everything changes when a shocking act of violence turns her life upside down, and she begins to suspect that Terry sabotaged more than just the band. Kris hits the road, hoping to reunite with the rest of her bandmates and confront the man who ruined her life. It’s a journey that will take her from the Pennsylvania rust belt to a celebrity rehab center to a music festival from hell.

A furious power ballad about never giving up, even in the face of overwhelming odds, this is an epic journey into the heart of a conspiracy-crazed, pill-popping, paranoid country that seems to have lost its very soul…where only a lone girl with a guitar can save us all.

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

SUMMER 1977. The Blyton Summer Detective Club solved their final mystery and unmasked the elusive Sleepy Lake monster—another low-life fortune hunter trying to get rich. And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids.

1990. The former detectives have grown up and apart, each haunted by disturbing memories of their final case that cannot be easily explained. Intrepid Andy is tired of running from her demons. To find answers, she will need Kerri, the one-time kid genius, now drinking her ghosts away with Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the club. They will also have to get Nate, the horror nerd currently residing in an asylum. Luckily Nate has not lost contact with Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star who was once their team leader . . . which is remarkable, considering Peter has been dead for years. The time has come to get the team back together, face their fears, and find out what actually happened all those years ago at Sleepy Lake. It’s their chance to end the nightmares and, perhaps…save the world.

Also available in eBook and eAudiobook.

Gil’s All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez

Gil's All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez

Duke and Earl are just passing through Rockwood county in their pick-up truck when they stop at the Diner for a quick bite to eat. They aren't planning to stick around-until Loretta, the eatery's owner, offers them $100 to take care of her zombie problem. Given that Duke is a werewolf and Earl's a vampire, this looks right up their alley. But the shambling dead are just the tip of a particularly spiky iceberg. Seems someone's out to drive Loretta from the Diner, and more than willing to raise a little Hell on Earth if that's what it takes. Before Duke and Earl get to the bottom of the Diner's troubles, they'll run into such otherworldly complications as undead cattle, an amorous ghost, a jailbait sorceress, and the terrifying occult power of pig-Latin.

And maybe--just maybe--the End of the World, too.

Gory, sexy, and flat-out hilarious, "Gil's All Fright Diner" will tickle your funnybone--before ripping it out of its socket and setting it on fire.

Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard

Book one of the Johannes Cabal Series

Johannes Cabal, the necromancer / Jonathan L. Howard

Johannes Cabal, a brilliant scientist and notorious snob, is single-mindedly obsessed in heart and soul with raising the dead. Well, perhaps not soul--he hastily sold his years ago in order to learn the laws of necromancy. But now, tormented by a dark secret, he travels to the fiery pits of Hell to retrieve it. Satan, who is incredibly bored these days, proposes a little wager, Johannes has one year to persuade one hundred people to sign over their souls or he will be damned forever.

Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink

Welcome to Night Vale : a novel / Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

Located in a nameless desert somewhere in the great American Southwest, Night Vale is a small town where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace parts of everyday life.

Nineteen-year-old pawn shop owner Jackie Fierro is given a paper marked "KING CITY" by a mysterious man holding a deer skin suitcase. Everything about him and his paper unsettles her, especially the fact that she can't seem to get the paper to leave her hand, and that no one who meets this man can remember anything about him. Jackie is determined to uncover the mystery of King City and the message man before she herself unravels.

Night Vale PTA treasurer Diane Crayton's son, Josh, is moody…. and a shape shifter. And lately Diane's started to see her son's father everywhere she goes, looking the same as the day he left years earlier, when they were both teenagers. Josh, looking different every time Diane sees him, shows a stronger and stronger interest in his estranged father, leading to a disaster Diane feels helpless to prevent. Diane's search to reconnect with her son and Jackie's search for answers collide as they find themselves coming back to two words: "KING CITY". It is King City that holds the key to both of their mysteries, and their futures...if they can ever find it.

Also available in Audiobook, eBook and eAudiobook.

Unnoticeables by Robert Brockway

Unnoticeables : [a novel] / Robert Brockway

There are angels, and they are not beneficent or loving. But they do watch over us. They watch our lives unfold, analyzing us for repeating patterns and redundancies. When they find them, the angels simplify those patterns and remove the redundancies, which then either melts the people they target or turns them into unstoppable, soulless shells bent on consuming more victims. Carey doesn't much like that idea.

As a punk living in New York City, 1977, Carey is sick and tired of watching strange kids with unnoticeable faces abduct his friends. He doesn't care about the rumors of tar-monsters in the sewers or unkillable psychopaths invading the punk scene--all he wants is to drink cheap beer and kick some butt.

Kaitlyn isn't sure what she's doing with her life. She came to Hollywood in 2013 to be a stunt woman, but last night a former teen heartthrob tried to eat her, her best friend has just gone missing, and there's an angel outside her apartment. Whatever she plans on doing with her life, it should probably happen in the few remaining minutes she has left.

There are angels. There are demons. They are the same thing. It's up to Carey and Kaitlyn to stop them. The survival of the human race is in their hands. Which pretty much means we are well and truly doomed.

Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore

Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore

Something really strange is happening in San Francisco. People are dying, but their souls are not being collected. Someone—or something—is stealing them and no one knows where they are going, or why, but it has something to do with that big orange bridge. Death Merchant Charlie Asher is just as flummoxed as everyone else. He’s trapped in the body of a fourteen-inch-tall “meat puppet” waiting for his Buddhist nun girlfriend, Audrey, to find him a suitable new body to play host. To get to the bottom of this abomination, a motley crew of heroes will band together: the seven-foot-tall death merchant Minty Fresh; retired policeman turned bookseller Alphonse Rivera; the Emperor of San Francisco and his dogs, Bummer and Lazarus; and Lily, the former Goth girl. Now if only they can get little Sophie to stop babbling about the coming battle for the very soul of humankind.

Also available in Audiobook, eBook and eAudiobook.

Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore

Reincarnation blues : a novel / Michael Poore

Ten thousand tries, to be exact. Ten thousand lives to “get it right.” Answer all the Big Questions. Achieve Wisdom. And Become One with Everything. Milo has had 9,995 chances so far and has just five more lives to earn a place in the cosmic soul. If he doesn’t make the cut, oblivion awaits. But all Milo really wants is to fall forever into the arms of Death. Or Suzie, as he calls her. More than just Milo’s lover throughout his countless layovers in the Afterlife, Suzie is literally his reason for living—as he dives into one new existence after another, praying for the day he’ll never have to leave her side again. Every journey from cradle to grave offers Milo more pieces of the great cosmic puzzle—if only he can piece them together in time. Darkly enchanting and wisely hilarious this is the story of everything that makes life profound, beautiful, absurd, and heartbreaking. Because it’s more than Milo and Suzie’s story. It’s your story, too.

Funny Horror Movies

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil - movie

Starring Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk and Katrina Bowden
Directed by Eli Craig
Rated R

Two lovable bumbling West Virginian schlubs are headed to their "fixer-upper" vacation cabin to drink some beer, do some fishin', and have a good time. But when they run into a group of preppy college kids who assume from the way Tucker and Dale look that they must be in-bred, chainsaw-wielding killers, suddenly everyone’s vacation takes a bloody and hilarious turn for the worse.

Shaun of the Dead

Shaun of the Dead - movie

Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Kate Ashfield
Directed by Edgar Wright
Rated R

Shaun is a salesman with no direction in his life. His colleagues disrespect him, he has a superficial relationship with his parents, and his girlfriend Liz breaks up with him, unhappy spending every date at his local pub where he drowns his sorrows with his best friend and equally directionless housemate. At home, their third housemate Pete, complaining of a bite wound from a drunk, berates Shaun to get his life together. By morning, a zombie apocalypse has overwhelmed London, but hungover Shaun is slow to notice. There comes a day in every man’s life when he has to get off the couch – and kill some zombies. It’s now up to slacker Shaun and his best pal to save their friends and family from becoming the next entrée in the community zombie buffet. Shaun finally wakes up from sleepwalking through life, determined to win back his ex-girlfriend, reconcile his relationship with his mother, and in the process, possibly save London.


Zombieland - movie

Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Woody Harrelson
Directed by Ruben Fleischer
Rated R

In the early twenty-first century, zombies have taken over America. A shy and inexperienced college student in Texas has survived by following his 30 rules: such as "look in the back seat," "double-tap," and "avoid public restrooms." He decides to travel to Ohio to see if his parents are alive. He gets a ride with a boisterous, zombie-hating, good-old boy seeking the last Twinkie and headed for Florida, and soon they confront a young woman whose sister has been bitten by a zombie and wants to be put out of her misery. The sisters were headed to an LA amusement park they've heard is zombie free. Can the kid from Ohio get to his family? And what about rule thirty-one?

What We Do in the Shadows

What We Do in the Shadows - movie

Starring Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi and Cori Gonzalez-Macuer
Directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi
Rated R

Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav are aging vampires who are finding that modern life has them struggling with the mundane - like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, not being able to get a sense of their fashion choices without a reflection, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming flatmate conflicts. A mockumentary crew (who are wearing crucifixes) follow four vampire roommates, reality-television-style, as they negotiate the many challenges they face.

Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods - movie

Starring Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth and Anna Hutchison
Directed by Drew Goddard
Rated R

Five teenagers head off for a weekend at a secluded cabin in the woods. They arrive to find they are quite isolated with no means of communicating with the outside world. When the cellar door flings itself open, they of course go down to investigate. They find an odd assortment of relics and curios, but when one of the women, Dana, reads from a book, she awakens a family of deadly zombie killers. However, there's far more going on than meets the eye.

He Never Died

He Never Died - movie

Starring Henry Rollins, Booboo Stewart and Kate Greenhouse
Directed by Jason Krawczyk
Rated R

Jack's in a rut. Depression and severe anti-social behavior has whittled down his existence to a bare minimum as he strives to avoid a powerful impulse to eat other people. He spends his days hanging out in a diner, watching television, playing church bingo or sleeping. Then all in one day, he finds out he has a daughter from a long-ago relationship and some hired thugs show up. Jack's monotonous life is stirred up and the question of his endless existence comes to light.

The Entire Bruce Campbell Oeuvre, especially:

Bubba Ho-tep

Bubba Ho-Tep (movie)

Starring Bruce Campbell, Ossie Davis and Bob Ivy
Directed by Don Coscarelli
Rated R

Finally! Here’s the "true" story of what really did become of Elvis Presley. He’s an elderly resident in an East Texas rest home, who switched identities with an Elvis impersonator years before, then missed his chance to switch back before the impersonator died accidentally. Elvis teams up with Jack, a fellow nursing home resident who thinks that he is actually President John F. Kennedy, and the two valiant old codgers sally forth to battle an ancient evil Egyptian entity who has chosen their long-term care facility as his happy hunting grounds.

Army of Darkness

Army of Darkness (movie)

Starring Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz and Marcus Gilbert
Directed by Sam Raimi
Rated R

A discount-store employee ("Name's Ash. Housewares.") is time-warped to a medieval castle beset by monstrous forces. Initially mistaken for an enemy, he is soon revealed as the prophesized savior who can quest for the Necronomicon, a book which can dispel the evil. Unfortunately, he screws up the magic words while attempting to collect the tome, and releases an army of skeletons, led by his own evil “Deadite” counterpart. What follows is a thrilling, weirdly amusing battle between Ash's 20th Century tactics (handy chainsaw and “boomstick” gun) and the minions of darkness.

Ash vs. Evil Dead

Ash vs. Evil Dead - Television Series

Starring Bruce Campbell, Ray Santiago and Dana DeLorenzo
Created by Ivan Raimi, Sam Raimi and Tom Spezialy
Rated TV-MA

A television series set approximately 30 years after the first three "Evil Dead" films, and serves as a sequel to that trilogy. Ash Williams works at the "Value Stop" as a simple stock boy. Also working at the store is his friend Pablo and the object of Pablo's affections, Kelly. Ash has seemingly done very little with his life since returning from 1300 AD at the end of "Army of Darkness," and the beginning of the series sees him living in a trailer and drinking alone in bars. However, Ash must soon renounce his routine existence and become a hero once more by taking up arms and facing the titular Evil Dead. Pablo and Kelly decide to join him on his quest to save humanity.

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