1920’s Horror Books

In the 1920s women who were in to jazz and wore short skirts were called flappers. So because the theme here is horror of the 1920’s I found a book combining horror and flapper girls called Lucille and the Healers by Anthony Burns. The story takes place in 1929 London England and follows a woman named Lucy Kitson, a 16 year old flapper who is trying to help her widowed mother make ends meat. Her world changes when she meets and falls in love with a writer from New York who is concealing a secret that makes him a marked man and endangers all that befriend him. The man is part of a cult called the healers and now Lucy is pulled into their supernatural world and must find a way to stop them before they take possession of more souls in London.

Another book I found written in 1929 is The Magic Island by William Seabrook. According to Time magazine this is the book that introduced the word zombie to the American public. The story follows a narrator as he explores ancient 16th century ruins in Hati. While he travels through the dark and mysterious jungle he hears the sound of voodoo drums and finds a group of mindless zombies roaming the island.

This book is written as a travelogue with the narrator describing what he sees in Hati. In addition to the zombies he also talks about seeing natives performing witchcraft, sex dances and sacrifices. Some of the reviews I looked at for this book called it dated and a little slow but its worth reading because it’s the first work of fiction that referred to zombies as mindless walking corpses. Previous to that the word zombie described a voodoo snake god.

Next on my list I want to talk about Moonshine by Alaya Johnson. This book takes place in 1927 in an alternate reality New York City where vampires, faeries and genies exist and a woman named Zephyr Hollis fights for equal rights for them all. One review I read for this book calls it True Blood meets Gangs of New York.

Zephyr Hollis comes from a family of demon hunters but felt her calling was in helping supernatural creatures and not hunting them. This book takes place during prohibition and the vampires, demons and other creatures represent the different immigration populations of the time. The story unfolds through the eyes of Zephyr and gives her point of view on life in the 20’s and tells what vampires have to endure to be considered equal with the living and fight the negative stereotypes associated with being a blood drinker.

Staying in New York in the 1920’s is Out Of Time by Monique Martin. The story follows a man named Simon Cross and his assistant Elizabeth West who have spent their lives searching for evidence of vampires. A freak accident happens and the couple is transported back in time where they find evidence that the undead are walking the earth. Now the name of the game is to survive the mob of vampires that want to kill them and make it back to the present.

The last title  I found was American Vampire which is a DC vertigo comic created by Scott Snyder. This is an ongoing series which is co written by Stephen King. It is set in 1925 and stars an actress named Pearl Jones who believes that she is about to get her big break into acting but instead is left for dead in the desert. Another main character is Skinner Sweet an outlaw in 1880’s Colorado who is on his way to be executed. Both characters become afflicted with a vampiric curse and the comic follows the two  as they deal with being vampires.

5 thoughts on “1920’s Horror Books

  1. Pingback: Flying the Standard: WHAT IS RIGHT WITH COMICS « wordworld

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