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4 Supernatural Comedy Reads to Both Lift Your Spirits and Summon Others

by  | June 10
Spooky candle beside book stack

Horror and comedy seem like exact opposites: one is meant to frighten while the other is meant to make you laugh. But when you think about it, how often does something that’s supposed to be scary end up being absolutely hilarious? Or something meant to be funny end up being horrific? That’s why the two genres, while contradictions, often work so well together! Here are four great supernatural reads to get you started on this genre, which will lift your spirits and perhaps summon others.

Mr. Flood's Last Resort

Mr. Flood's Last Resort

by Jess Kidd

What do you do when the person you’re caring for has some really unsettling artifacts hidden among his stuff? That’s the issue facing Maud Drennan, a sweet young caretaker with a dark and painful past, who looks after the eerie Mr. Cathal Flood. And like any good old creepy character, Mr. Flood lives in a Gothic mansion with a bunch of strange junk and feral cats. But Maud’s got more on her plate than dealing with Flood’s mess: she finds initials written in the dust, photographs with faces burned out, and objects that seem to move on their own when no one’s looking. All while trying to help Flood keep house. Oh, and Maud gets followed around by a group of saints, which only adds to the madness. As unsettling as the premise seems, Mr. Flood’s Last Resort throws out plenty of uproarious dialogue, especially where Flood is concerned, as well as his quirky murder-mystery-loving landlady, Renata, who is fascinated by Maud’s employer. Creepy, funny, and a touch whimsical, you’ll be hard-pressed to put this one down.

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Warm Bodies (Media Tie-In)

Warm Bodies (Media Tie-In)

by Isaac Marion

O Romeo, Romeo, art thou undead, Romeo? Warm Bodies is one of the few horror-romance-comedies out there, juxtaposing the tried-and-true conflict between zombies and humans with the discord in Romeo and Juliet. R is a zombie just going through the motions after the collapse of civilization when he ends up falling for Julie, a human, after he eats Julie’s boyfriend’s brain. Classic boy-meets-girl situation. But will their fate be as tragic as the star-crossed lovers they’re based on? R’s inner monologue is hilarious, with little winks and nods to the bard’s version throughout. The plot, filled with zombie action and gore, also brims with charm and enough humor to have you screaming with laughter.

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A Dirty Job

A Dirty Job

by Christopher Moore

If you’re looking for a master of the horror-comedy genre, look no further than Christopher Moore. He’s written stories about demons, vampires, sea beasts, and even death itself in A Dirty Job—one of his most beloved books. Charlie Asher is a normal guy. He and his wife are expecting their first child when strange things start happening. He hears voices and notices figures others can’t see, and he finally comes to learn that he has been appointed a Death Merchant, a collector of souls. What follows is a quirky, somewhat dark story in which Asher tries to balance his new “job” and parenthood, along with a strange series of new friends and foes. A Dirty Job is the kind of wacky story that catches you off guard with its wit, and touching moments in between.

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John Dies at the End (Volume 1)

John Dies at the End (Volume 1)

by David Wong

So while technically this is a recommendation for John Dies at the End, the first book in a trio, all three in the series are gems and must-reads for horror-comedy aficionados. David Wong lives in the very strange town of (name redacted) with his best friend, John. After taking a drug called “Soy Sauce,” the duo become able to see strange, otherworldly creatures that continuously threaten all of human existence. What’s a pair of screwball best friends to do but suit up and try to take on the threats themselves? Full of pulpy, fast-paced action and hilarious plot twists, John Dies at the End is never what you expect it to be, and it’s always better for it. If you love series about strange towns like Wayward Pines or Twin Peaks, but also enjoy a cosmically nihilist laugh, consider this trilogy (just be careful with what you find inside!).

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Photo Credit // istock / Emilija Randjelovic

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A reporter by trade, Sara Roncero-Menendez is a lover of horror, sci-fi, and all things pop culture. From indies to classics to even the strangest genre pieces, all movies, TV shows, and books are fair game for a binge-fest. Follow her on Twitter @sararomenen or at her website, www.sara-roncero-menendez.com