Books Like The Exorcist
Virtually everyone is familiar with the 1973 supernatural horror film, The Exorcist. The movie starred Linda Blair, Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, and Jason Miller. The Exorcist also featured some of the most memorable scenes in horror history as it followed two priests trying to rescue a 12-year old girl suffering from demonic possession. However, not everyone knows that The Exorcist is based on the 1971 horror novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty. The author went on to write the screenplay for the movie, which explains why it was so successful. Blatty actually based his story on a case of demonic possession that he had heard about while still in University. Although a slew of lesser sequels followed the movie, Blatty never wrote a sequel to the novel. However, there have been many other horror books featuring demonic spirits and possessions over the years, so check out these books like The Exorcist.
by Jeffrey Konvitz
The Sentinel by Jeffrey Konvitz was published shortly after The Exorcist and also received a film adaption in 1977. Just like The Exorcist, the screenplay for The Sentinel was done by the original author. The Sentinel is about Allison Parker, an aspiring model who can move into her dream apartment finally. Unfortunately, the brownstone on Manhattan's Upper West Side is also home to a range of sinister tenants. One of these tenants is a blind priest, who strangely enough, appears to be watching Allison 24/7 through an upstairs window. Things eventually reach a point where Allison begins to hear strange noises from the apartment above her, which is supposed to be empty. Then, just as it appears that things couldn't be any worse for the already mentally fragile woman, she discovers that the truth is more shocking than she could ever have imagined.
by Grady Hendrix
My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix was published in 2016 and has been described as an unholy hybrid of Beaches and The Exorcist. The novel is set in 1988 and follows a high school sophomore, Abby. Abby has been best friends with a girl named Gretchen since fourth grade, but then things change after a skinny-dipping incident. Gretchen acts completely different afterward and appears to have become the catalyst for all kinds of bizarre events. This causes Abby to try and investigate the reason for her friend's weird behavior, but she uncovers some startling secrets along the way.
by Tom Lewis
HELL: The Possession and Exorcism of Cassie Stevens by Tom Lewis is another novel that has drawn favorable comparisons to The Exorcist. The story is set in a quiet coastal New England town, where Cassie Stevens lives. Cassie had a near-death experience when she survived a crash, but ever since she has been plagued by supernatural phenomena that terrify her. This leads to her friends and classmates eventually shunning her as it appears that something evil is taking over. HELL comes very close to the legitimate scares of The Exorcist and should not be missed by horror fans.
by Graham Masterton
The Manitou is another horror novel that received its own film adaptation in the seventies. While it is not as popular or well-known as The Exorcist, it has its fair share of scares as well. The novel is about a woman named Karen Tandy, who goes to the hospital because of a growing tumor on her neck. After using X-rays on it, doctors are shocked to discover that the tumor is actually a living creature that is being born. It soon becomes apparent that whatever will emerge from the tumor will cause carnage unless a way is found to prevent it. Although Masterton did not work on the screenplay, he was said to be pleased with the film adaptation.
by Kirk Kilgrave
The Possessed by Kirk Kilgrave is a horror novel about a woman named Jocelyn. Although she doesn't believe in the supernatural, Jocelyn is very concerned about the consequences when her mother and sister begin using an Ouija board. They intend to contact Jocelyn's deceased father, but then strange events start to take place. Initially, Jocelyn is able to find rational explanations for everything happening around her, but this doesn't last very long. When Jocelyn finally accepts that an evil entity has infested her home she turns to paranormal investigators as well as a priest for help.
by Daryl Gregory
With Pandemonium, author Daryl Gregory took a very unique approach to the subject of demonic possession. Although it has plenty of horror undertones, the book is actually a combination of science fiction and fantasy as it is set in an alternate version of our world. In this world, possession is not just isolated incidents, but an epidemic that randomly struck a lot of people. One of these people is Del Pierce, who was possessed as a young boy but managed to get the demon exorcised. Unfortunately, Del is involved in a car accident many years later and discovers afterward that he is possessed again. This causes Del to frantically try and find answers on how to get rid of the demon as it appears to be growing in power.
by Frank De Felitta
The Entity by Frank De Felitta was published in 1978 and received a film adaptation in 1982. It also shares another similarity with The Exorcist as the author was inspired by a real case that took place in 1974. It's about a young single mother, Carlotta Moran, who lives with her three children when her life is suddenly turned upside down. Carlotta claims that she is attacked nightly by an unseen assailant who also terrorizes her children, but because of the supernatural nature of these events, she is not believed by anyone. It's not until two graduate students in parapsychology become involved that the horrifying truth is uncovered.