Best horror books by Russian writers (19th century)

Everyone needs to experience Russian literature at some time… so why not now? 👻

#1 Nikolai Gogol and his awesome Viy – a horror novella, published in 1835. The title is also the name of the demonic creature, the main hero of the plot.

Every summer, a large procession of students moving around the area as they travel home. However, the group in the novel is reduced to three students:

  1. the theologian Khaliava,
  2. the philosopher Khoma Brut,
  3. the rhetorician Tibery Gorobets.

As the night draws in, the students hope to find a village near the main road where they can get some rest and food. They become lost in the wilderness, eventually coming upon a small farm. An old woman tells them that she has a little room only and cannot accommodate a lot of travelers, but she eventually agrees to let them stay.

And then it starts…

#2 Alexei Tolstoy and his gothic novel Vampire Tale, plus The Vurdulak’s Family. The Vampire-story is about a ball attended by vampires – a stranger even tells the main character that he personally attended the funeral of some of the guests. In the end, you aren’t sure whether the vampires are real, or a figment of the main character’s deranged imagination.

 The Family of the Vourdalak is about a family in a Serbian village that becomes the living dead. A young French diplomat finds himself in the house of an old peasant called Gorcha. The host is absent – left the house to hunt. He told his sons that they should wait for him for ten days, and if he arrives late – kill him. The day that French guy comes to the village is the tenth day of Gorcha’s absence…

#3 Leonid Andreev and his demonic Short Stories. His horror is not connected with evil forces, but with human madness (after war or bad relationships), which is maybe even scarier than the “crazy clown in a mask”…

Next post – “The Pearl Territory”, ch. 24 – #dialogue 


    1. Author

      🤪 full of “good ideas”…u know Ray haha

  1. You have *all* the best titles and niches for posts. Who can resist sheer the panache of the Russians when it comes to depicting gruesomeness (I mean that in a good way!)?

    1. Author

      Haha 😆 “all” best titles? No way … but yeah, the title (for the post) is catchy, true.
      Horror is in our (human) blood I guess…
      gruesomeness – 👻😂 love the word!!

  2. Did you know that ‘vampire’ is a Serbian word?
    (I think it’s never too late for Russians.)

    1. Author

      Nope… 🌚👻 but now I have to check.
      Yes it’s never too late… just wanted to mention some “forgotten” novels 🙂 + fantastic Halloween read

  3. Must brush up on my Russian. By brush up I mean get the translated version. Excellent post VR. 😁

    1. Author

      Or maybe watch a movie… 👻👻 with English subtitles 😆🧐

      Thank you 🙂 ✌️

    1. Author


    1. Author

      I think there are translations in English:) ✌️

  4. I don’t know anything about contemporary Russian author but the classic ones must be read and I’m glad we had to in school days.🤓

    1. Author

      True 😉 ancient and classic literature is the best source for polishing writing skills & finding ideas 💡✌️

  5. I love the way the Tolstoy book looks at vampires as a plague. Never understood why it got so badly hammered as a book. I really like it

    1. Author

      Agreed 👍👍👍

  6. You are amazingly well read – always giving me ideas of books to pick up 🙂

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