7 Best Isolation Horror Stories

Elizabeth Gilliland Rands
4 min readSep 19, 2023


All by myself…or am I?

We only have one week left until FOXFIRE by Rowan Hill becomes available. FOXFIRE takes place in a remote resort in the Lapland region of Finland, where a group of strangers finds themselves stranded due to winter conditions and other more sinister things at play.

To get you excited, we thought we’d call back to some of our favorite isolation horror stories. Some of these, like FOXFIRE, use weather as an element to keep the characters in the path of danger; but all feature characters who cannot or will not escape, even as the truly horrific closes in around them.

  1. The Shining — Stephen King — Would any list of isolation horror be complete without King’s classic about a caretaker and his family trapped in a haunted hotel in the Colorado mountains? Don’t assume that if you’ve seen the Stanley Kubrick film (or The Simpsons spoof) that you know this story — there are still plenty of twists and turns aplenty.

2. All The Birds, Singing — Evie Wyld — Wyld’s heroine, Jake, might not be isolated for the obvious reasons in this disturbing novel, but she has chosen to isolate herself on a rural farm on a small British island in an attempt to escape her past that slowly unravels over the course of the book…even as something is picking off her sheep one by one.

3. The Return — Rachel Harrison — When Julie goes missing for two years, her friends have finally begun to move on, except Elise, who continues to hold out hope. But when Julie returns, something is…different. Stuck in a kitschy hotel, this girls’ weekend gone wrong takes the intricacies of female friendship to a new and horrifying level.

4. The Auctioneer — Joan Samson — John and Mim Moore don’t know anything but life on their idyllic farm, until Perly Dinsmore comes to town and turns their rural sanctuary into a nightmare of control and compliance.

5. The Hacienda — Isabella Canas — Beatriz marries to escape from hostile city gossips, but finds that life is even more dangerous in her new husband’s haunted hacienda in the countryside. With nowhere else to go and no one else to turn to, Beatriz must join forces with the local priest/witch to destroy the evil in the house before it can destroy her.

6. The Dead-Tossed Waves — Carrie Ryan — Zombie novels usually aren’t my cup of tea, but the sense of isolation and slow-creeping horror in this post-apocalyptic novel make a zombie takeover seem both terrifying and plausible as the heroine, Gabrielle, tries to adjust to the new normal.

7. Midnight Sun — Ramsey Campbell — When Ben Sterling inherits a house at the edge of the woods that he hasn’t revisited since a terrible tragedy in his childhood, it seems like the perfect way for his young family to reconnect. But the woods remember Ben, and in this slow-creeping tale and winter and snow, they will do anything in their power to keep him from leaving again.


We hope you feel inspired by this list to curl up somewhere with a good, creepy book about isolation…and why not start with Rowan Hill’s FOXFIRE?

FOXFIRE by Rowan Hill releases on October 10th, but the preorder is available now. Check it out below, or follow Rowan / Bayou Wolf Press on social media to stay up-to-date on the latest release news.

FOXFIRE: https://www.amazon.com/Foxfire-Rowan-Hill-ebook/dp/B0C918HHNQ/

Rowan Hill: https://www.writerrowanhill.com, @WriterRowanHill

Bayou Wolf Press: www.bayouwolfpress.com, https://twitter.com/BayouWolf3



Elizabeth Gilliland Rands

Writer, Mom, Wife, English Instructor, Dr., Chocoholic. Co-founder of Bayou Wolf Press and the Detours Ahead podcast: www.bayouwolfpress.com