Text: "Michigan Horror Stories." Image of Detroit skyline with blood drips beneath it.

Michigan Horror Stories

Scary stories – both real and imagined – taking place in the Great Lakes State.

Note: Getting scared during a horror story can be fun, but getting triggered is not. Be sure to check out these titles beforehand to make sure that their content is appropriate to your preferred fear factor.

General Fiction


Broken Monsters / Lauren Beukes

Detective Gabriella Versado has seen a lot of bodies. But this one is unique even by Detroit’s standards; half-boy, half-deer, somehow fused. The cops nickname him “Bambi,” but as stranger and more disturbing bodies are discovered, how can the city hold on to a reality that is already tearing at its seams?


Bird Box / Josh Malerman

Something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from. But is it man, animal, or monster? Also available as an ebook and audiobook from hoopla digital.

Moon of the Crusted Snow / Waubgeshig Rice

A post-apocalyptic novel set in a remote northern First Nations community. As their tenuous links to the southern world wink out, Evan and his community learn to rely again on the old ways to survive. But a wendigo southerner arrives to threaten everything. Available as an audiobook from hoopla digital.


The Haunting of Brynn Wilder / Wendy Webb

Bonding with residents at a Lake Superior boarding house in the aftermath of a devastating loss, Brynn is unnerved by a frail local’s insights before becoming irresistibly drawn to a man with a dangerous reputation.

Nonfiction – True Crime

364.1523 APP

The Kill Jar / J. Reuben Appleman

Recounts the author’s decade of research into a string of brutal murders occurring outside of Detroit in the winters of 1976 and 1977, culminating in an investigation of one of Detroit’s most notorious serial killer cases. Also available in Large Print and as an audiobook on Libby.

364.1523 HUN

Dead But Not Forgotten / Amber Hunt

Barbara and Michael ran a Detroit-area comic book shop, where Renee Kotula was an employee—and Michael’s lover. Their torrid affair took a shocking turn when one night Barbara was found dead at the shop, a bullet through her skull. Did Michael kill his wife so that he could collect her life insurance policy and run off with Renee?

364.1523 TIM

The Color of Night / L.C. Timmerman

Nineteen-year-old Rachel Timmerman, who was about to testify against the man who had assaulted her, disappeared with her toddler daughter, Shannon. A month later, Rachel’s body was discovered in a lake. Soon a trail of bodies begins to emerge. Is a serial killer at large?

977.4041 SCH

Maniac / Harold Schechter

In 1927, while the majority of the township of Bath, Michigan, was celebrating a new primary school—one of the most modern in the Midwest—Andrew P. Kehoe had other plans. On May 18, he detonated a set of rigged explosives with the sole purpose of destroying the school and everyone in it.



The Evil Dead (1981)

When a group of friends travel to an isolated cabin in the woods for a quiet vacation stay, they unknowingly unleash a legion of demonic forces hungry for human flesh.


It Follows (2014)

For 19-year-old Jay, the fall should be about school, boys, and weekends at the lake. Yet, after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter she suddenly finds herself plagued by nightmarish visions; she can’t shake the sensation that someone, or something, is following her. As the threat closes in, Jay and her friends must escape the horrors that are only a few steps behind.


Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

This is the tale of two fragile and sensitive vampires. Adam, an underground musician, deeply depressed by the direction of human activities, reunites with Eve, his resilient and enigmatic lover. Can these wise but fragile outsiders survive as the modern world collapses around them?


Pyewacket (2017)

Following the death of her father, Leah’s relationship with her mother has been nothing but strained. After an intense argument between them, Leah impulsively performs a ritual to invokes a powerful spirit to punish her mother. But when regret and guilt start to sink in, Leah realizes too late that once a ritual has started, it’s impossible to stop.


The Wretched (2019)

Following his parents’ separation, a rebellious teenage boy, Ben, is sent to live with his father for the summer and work at the local marina. The idyllic tourist town offers little solace for him, however, as he is forced to deal with the local, privileged teens and his father’s new girlfriend. Ben’s problems grow increasingly disturbing when he makes a chilling discovery about the family renting the house next door.