Looking for more books like Frankenstein or books like Dracula?
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, written in 1817 and Dracula by Bram Stoker, written in 1897, are some of the first novels to have come to light that really began the horror genre.
They have spawned countless remakes in the form of film and television and have inspired works about monsters and demons ever since – no matter how many times it is redone, the fascination with these horrible creatures continues to grab us as readers. Frankenstein tells the story of Doctor Victor Frankenstein, who looks to create new life through science, only for it to go disastrously wrong and beyond his control.
Dracula, on the other hand, deals with the elusive Count Dracula, who is looking to buy real estate in Britain and hires Jonathon Harker to be his lawyer, inviting him to his home in Transylvania, where Harker soon discovers the Count is not merely a man.
The following books like Dracula and Frankenstein are some of the few that create equally monstrous or creepy characters, alluding to the terrifying fact that supernatural beings can live among us.
8 Books like Frankenstein & Dracula
Cujo, by Stephen King
If you’re looking for great books like Frankenstein, Stephen King’s Cujo is an excellent first addition to this list.
King is a mastermind in this genre – the vast majority of his novels deal with supernatural entities or beings that are evil. Although the novel does deal with telepathy a little, what happens to Cujo, a two-hundred-pound St Bernard, is entirely natural, although terribly unfortunate.
When Cujo is bitten and scratched by a swarm of rabid bats, the sweet-natured dog turns deadly, blaming everyone who comes into his path for the pain he feels in his body.
The novel is like Frankenstein in the sense that Cujo is not born evil, but by a series of unfortunate events, becomes a monster that is feared by people, and this is what makes the novel so terrifying.
It’s also extremely sad, watching the lovable dog fall victim to rabies, and try as he might to fend off the violent thoughts that come with the scratches, Cujo eventually has no choice but to succumb to them. Which is bad news for his owners, plus the Trenton family, who find themselves unwittingly in harm’s way.
Are you a fan of Stephen King? Check out our list of scary books like It!
You, by Caroline Kepnes
Although it doesn’t deal with a supernatural being, Joe Goldberg, the protagonist in You, is a monster, nonetheless. When Guinevere Beck comes into his life, shopping in the bookstore he manages in New York, Joe is instantly taken with her.
The reader quickly realises that his obsession with her isn’t healthy, and the novel gives us full access to his inner thoughts, making it clear that Joe will stop at nothing to possess Beck in every way possible.
The novel, although it doesn’t deal with vampires, has a resemblance to books like Dracula. Count Dracula is a stalker by nature, preying on young women, and though Joe doesn’t ever try to drink Beck’s blood, he does steep to low levels in order to obtain her, often dispatching of those who get in his way, something Dracula is not afraid to do either.
It is not often a writer draws us into the mind of a sociopath so deeply, and though it is a scary place, much more so than the television adaptation of You would show, if you can believe it, it is incredibly fascinating and a strange part of you hopes that Joe won’t be caught, purely because you want to see how far he would be willing to go for Beck.
Already read this novel? Check out our list of more books like You!
Carrie, by Stephen King
The story of Carrie resembles books like Frankenstein – she is born an innocent child but through constant berating and pain from her God-fearing mother, as well as the ridicule of her classmates, she is turned into something else entirely.
Carrie White is a teenage girl who has no friends and spends her free time praying or locked in a closet as punishment for being sinful. Her life is a misery, but that all changes when Tommy invites her to the prom, at the bequest of his girlfriend Sue, who feels bad for Carrie and the harm she has personally done to her.
However, this sets off a chain of events that the whole town will face the consequences of, because there’s more to Carrie than meets the eyes, and there’s a power within her that has only begun to brew. King’s first published novel, it encompasses all the things a novel in the horror genre should, fear, suspense, tension, twists and turns.
As in novels like Frankenstein, you often feel sorry for the perpetrator of these crimes, and you do feel sorry for Carrie and the life she has been forced to lead. What happens to her seems like something that could have so easily been prevented, if only she’d had a normal parent.
The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde
The Picture of Dorian Gray has some of the same qualities as books like Dracula. It shows a man who is narcissistic and controlling of everything and everyone around him, just as Count Dracula is.
When presented with a painting of himself, Dorian wishes that the painting version would grow old, while he stays young forever, hoping never to lose his good looks and charm.
It is exactly this wish that is granted, but it begins to haunt Gray, and as his life begins to fall apart, the painting seems to mock him. It grows ugly as Gray’s real-life actions do too, and soon all that he has is his beauty, which at the beginning of the novel, is all Gray thought was worth pursuing.
A cautionary tale about narcissism and wishing for immortality, the character of Dorian Gray resembles Count Dracula in the way he speaks and acts, and in the way, the novel focuses so much on him and his misdoings. There is a supernatural element to the story, just like in Dracula.
Already read this book? Browse our list of more books like The Picture of Dorian Gray!
The Passage, by Justin Cronin
The first in a vampire trilogy unlike any that have come before it, The Passage is a novel that centres on the apocalypse, when a manmade virus, created in hopes to cure a disease that’s spreading across the world, instead creates real vampires in the people chosen to test the antidote.
The government loses control of the patients, and chaos soon emerges, wiping out life as they know it, with little hope of recovery. Many years into the future, a colony has formed of the remaining life, as they try to navigate their existence amongst the Virals, who have taken over.
If you’re interested in books like Dracula because of its approach to vampires, then The Passage, and the novels that follow it, The Twelve and The City of Mirrors are for you. They create a more mature look on the vampire folklore and a terrifying outlook on what could occur if the world did succumb to a virus that not only kills but turns people into monsters.
The Outsider, by Stephen King
The third King novel on this list and one of the most recent, The Outsider deals with a monster that does one of the worst things a monster can do, take the appearance of a good person to create mayhem.
When much-loved coach Terry Maitland is accused of the heinous murder and rape of a young boy, the case seems to be open and shut. Several witnesses place Terry at the scene of the crime, claiming he was covered in blood and the police have the DNA evidence to back it up.
However, the more Detective Ralph Anderson investigates, the more clues pop up that suggest it couldn’t have been Terry, first and foremost that there’s video evidence showing him to have been in a different state at the time, with a half a dozen alibis to prove it.
But in a sceptical world, can the Detective really believe this was the work of something supernatural, and if this is the case, how can you fight something you don’t understand.
The monster in The Outsider is unlike the one in Frankenstein in the sense that it is purely evil – Frankenstein’s monster fights against his nature, while the one in King’s novel feeds off the plight it wreaks. Instead, the evil in The Outsider much more resembles the character of Count Dracula, and books like Dracula and Frankenstein likely heavily influenced King’s work.
The Grown Up, by Gillian Flynn
Flynn’s least known work, probably because it is somewhere between a novella and a short story, The Grown-Up is nonetheless brilliant, invoking all the qualities that make her full-length novels the huge successes that they are.
There’s a creepy and stalkerish element to it, similar to books like Dracula, where the main character believes they are being used in some elaborate plot, they’re just not sure what, and just as in Dracula, they would be right.
The protagonist works in a fortune-telling business, where she also exchanges sexual favours for money and finds herself enthralled by the life of a mother, Susan, who has been having difficulties with her stepson, Miles. Thinking she can use it as a way of scamming the family out of money, our protagonist agrees to sage the house they live in, which Susan believes is the source of the son’s bad behaviour.
But soon the protagonist is feeling the bad energy in the house too and begins to not only fear for Susan’s life but her own. The story incorporates the same suspense and tension tactics of novels like Frankenstein and Dracula, and it touches on frightening paranormal activity in a similar way.
Commissioned by George R.R. Martin to write, Flynn produces a ghost story that can be finished in an hour but will last with you much longer.
Are you a fan of Gillian Flynn? Check out our lists of more books like Gone Girl & books like Sharp Objects!
Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood
Alias Grace is based on the true story of Grace Marks, a girl who was convicted of murdering her employer and his housekeeper back in 1843.
The case was always shrouded in mystery, and Atwood decided to write a different take of the scandalous story, with an element of paranormal activity that is reminiscent of books similar to Frankenstein and Dracula.
Set in the same century as both Shelley and Stoker’s novels, Atwood tells the whole life story of Grace Marks, how she came to America, how she made her living, and the friends she made along the way. Grace doesn’t seem like a bad girl, which is why you begin to doubt her guilt in the murder of Thomas Kinnear and Nancy Montgomery.
As the story progresses, there’s an air of a ghost story, and possession, which creates a brilliant twist in Atwood’s narrative of Grace’s life. the way she reimagines Grace’s experience makes her a sympathetic character, a victim of a man who threatens violence over her and entirely alleviates her of guilt in the crime.
A brilliant read, incredibly clever, and a mystery that the reader cannot help but get sucked in by, Alias Grace is a must.
Are you a fan of Margaret Atwood? Check out our lists of more books like The Handmaid’s Tale!
Shelley and Stoker can be called the pioneers of the horror genre, and it seems no novel in this genre can quite escape the scare tactics of books like Dracula and Frankenstein – the originals are so good at what they do, that they have been endlessly rewritten and reproduced in all forms of media.
The novels on this list all incorporate a sense of foreboding, build up merciless tension, and have you reading in equal bouts of horror and amazement.
Are you searching for more novels similar to Frankenstein or Dracula? Have any recommendations that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments!