Full of twists and turns, as dark as the devil’s broom closet, Hereditary has provoked very strong audience reactions. Here’s our book suggestions if you loved the film.
Mild spoilers ahead. Don’t read this list if you’ve not see the film!
10. The Bad Seed by William March
Rhoda Penmark seems like the sweetest little eight-year old you’d ever hope to meet. Just pray that you don’t. There’s something dark behind her perfectly plaited hair and sunny smile — something violent.
9. A Good and Happy Child by Justin Evans
New father George Davies should be the happiest man in the world, but he can’t even bring himself to hold his newborn son. An appointment with a therapist prompts George to remember boyhood memories of a magical playmate he knew only as “Friend.” Was Friend actually a demon, or was George just a troubled child with an overactive imagination?
8. White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi
The Silver family house is full of secrets, just like the four generations of women who have lived there. In the aftermath of a tragedy, the youngest of the Silver women begins hearing voices, and something comes alive in the house — something that hates strangers.
7. Come Closer by Sara Gran
Amanda’s once-happy life is falling apart. She sent an innocuous memo to her boss, but was told it was full of obscenities when it arrived. Something compelled her to burn her husband with a lit cigarette. Now, her sleep is being disturbed by recurring dreams of a sharp-toothed woman on the shore of a blood-red sea. Could a demon be to blame?
6. The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing
Something was off about Ben from the very beginning: He was a difficult baby, and now he is an utter monster. Ben shares no emotional bond with his four siblings and parents. He’s a sadist who kills small animals. As the family falls apart around him, Ben comes ever closer to a destiny of crime and violence.
5. The Case Against Satan by Ray Russell
Susan Garth was a sweet-natured high school girl until she started having her “fits”: shocking bouts of blasphemy and crude behavior. After Susan tries to claw a clergyman’s throat out during a particularly bad episode, the church sends a team of priests to examine her for signs of demonic possession.
4. Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone by Stefan Kiesbye
Four young friends coming of age in a backwardly, superstitious town on the moors find themselves faced with its darkest secrets in this tale of childish games gone horribly awry.
3. Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend by Barbara Oakley
Are some people just born bad? Is evil in the genes? Barbara Oakley explores this highly controversial theory and others in a book inspired by a tragedy in her family.
2. The Encyclopedic Sourcebook of Satanism by James R. Lewis and Jesper Aagaard Petersen
The Encyclopedic Sourcebook of Satanism separates the amateurs from the pros. If you can’t find it in this devilish dictionary, then it’s probably not worth the eternal damnation.
1. The Black Arts: A Concise History of Witchcraft, Demonology, Astrology, Alchemy, and Other Mystical Practices Throughout the Ages by Richard Cavendish
Let your fingers do the walking with this one-stop guide to diabolism throughout history. Sure, maybe some of the grimoires excerpted here are a little old, but some things are timeless — like evil.