sandara's avatar

The Thing in the Woods

1K 65 6K (32 Today)
By sandara   |   
© 2020 sandara
Someone investigating something odd found in the woods...

Thinking about it, fantasy horror is pretty uncommon in fiction. As in, horror that takes place in a purely fantasy world. (It's usually a modern setting right?)

Do you have a book or story to recommend to me? :D
I'd love to read something that's like a mash up of Lovecraft's eldritch horrors but in a D&D world with actual magic.

Some that I can think of :
Clive Barker's books
The Gunslinger series (Stephen King)
Necroscope series (Brian Lumley)
Stories by HP Lovecraft

Any more?
Image size
950x1238px 1014.56 KB
Adobe Photoshop 21.1 (Windows)
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
KakashiMorph's avatar

I was going to suggest Imajica but saw you have already listed Clive Barker... :D

I want to read the Necroscope series too, it has been on my mind for years but never got around to look for them.

I can't think of another horror-horror set in a fantasy setting, but you might enjoy a couple suggestions:

If you like Lovecraft, then the Fisherman by John Langan is very Lovecraftian. Good old edlritch horror, I thoroughly enjoyed it. (There are also plenty of anthologies with mythos-inspired short stories)

Welcome to Night Vale is like 3 parts horror but it is also 4 parts bizarre, 2 parts eldritch and 5 parts unique in a reality that is a bit like our own. Imagine a town where all the conspiracy theories are real and the actual owners of the radio station are some tentacled shadow abominations from another dimension. It's a book but it is also a podcast (the podcast has plot-arcs and the book is in the same town/characters but with a separate plot than the podcast arcs).

Neil Gaiman also does fantasy horror sometimes, for a sampling maybe try the "fragile things" short story collection. But Gaiman's fantasy is not like epic/high fantasy - and it's not like urban fantasy either, it is his own unique flavour of it.

You are right, there is not enough fantasy horror out there!

runewuff's avatar
runewuffHobbyist Traditional Artist

"Touch not the red moss, lest ye suffer the red loss."

Hrm, I've been thoroughly enjoying the Argora stories here on this site, which does inject a horror from another world, in a middle chapter.

Skycommand's avatar

You believe that fantasy horror is uncommon? 😯

That's the only type of horror I have seen in my life. Of course, "a purely fantasy world" indicates that you are looking for high fantasy here.

Off the top of my head, Cube counts as high fantasy horror.

vanBlood's avatar

Excellent :clap:

Hardwing's avatar


Qwchen's avatar
QwchenHobbyist General Artist

What about the Dragon crown chronicles by Michael A. Stackpole.

It has only sections/parts in the story of fantasy horror stuff, not overall, but I liked it.

Well I also like the complete story... :)

Varrulin's avatar
VarrulinHobbyist Artist

R o o t m a n

VesaiasTheValiant's avatar
VesaiasTheValiantHobbyist Traditional Artist

Ooooh... :O_o: Creepy. ;P

And yeah, fantasy horror is uncommon. I wonder why... :greetings:

This is a pretty intriguing piece of art, though. I like it! :thumbsup::D :+fav:

YaNeferMaat's avatar

Sara Douglass' "Axis" series is excellent ( I am not sure it is exactly what you are thinking of, but it is so evocative that I couldn't stop reading. If you would enjoy some very funny fantasy, Jasper Fforde's "Literary Crime Division" (featuring his character Tuesday Next) and "Nursery Crime Division" stories are a real treat. Finally, if you haven't read Philip Pullman's "Dark Matter" series, they might please you. The first three books are meant for young readers (excellent for any aged reader, though), while the most recent book is very dark and too intense for young readers.

3immortals's avatar
3immortalsHobbyist Traditional Artist

Alice by Christina Henry - a very dark retelling of Alice in Wonderland set in a dystopian sort of fantasy world. Sequel is Red Queen.

DragonOfTheMists's avatar
DragonOfTheMistsHobbyist General Artist

You might like 'Dead Iron' by Devon Monk, though it is admittedly primarily steampunk. It's also unfortunately hard to find...

opera-fanart's avatar
opera-fanartHobbyist Traditional Artist

Bloodborne is gothic horror/steampunk with Lovecraftian vibes and an incredible atmosphere. It also looks gorgeous.

chrisryder123's avatar
chrisryder123Professional Digital Artist

Incredible work! Really well done :)

equilibrik's avatar
equilibrikHobbyist Digital Artist

Eldritch/Cosmic Fantasy Horror has to be an extremely niche genre, even in the niche of cosmic and general horror. 'The Dwarves' Book series that the game is based on, kind of has some of this. With this foul/evil force that seeks to corrupt and kill the world. And it's apparently doing this to grow strong enough to fend off a greater threat? I played the game last year, so can't 100% confirm this is all, also in the books.

The Dragon Age games have a lot of horror elements. There are several instances of terrifying demonic spirits, screwing up the real world and causing all kinds of harm. The reproductive process of the Darkspawn is some genuine body horror. As are their effects on the world and on non-blighted species. Oh and the creation process for golems is very grim.

Darkest Dungeon 100% has these kinds of Eldritch horror elements, in a not-so modern world.

hbaf187's avatar
hbaf187Hobbyist Writer

Well, I have written a horror / fantasy mash-up. It is set in a high fantasy Iron Age Europe of Celts and Etruscans (a pre-Roman culture . . . Romans were too, errr, modern for me.) The primary bad guy is "Lovecraftian." I'd be honored if you (or anyone at DA) would give it a look.

It is a Kindle book on Amazon, Son of Sloan.

Link below:

Send me a pm with your private e-mail (if you would like) and I will gift you a copy.

theonlytoner's avatar

The manga Berserk is a dark fantasy horror romp. It has a lot of triggering subject matter so you may want to check that stuff, but if you can deal with it then it is worth reading!

DEV0UT's avatar
DEV0UTHobbyist General Artist

I love the concept of fantasy horror but it is definitely a rare and difficult genre to pull off. Most horror is set in modern or realistic situations because it better helps the reader or watcher put themselves in that scenario and experience that fear. With too little fantasy, fantasy horror isn't fantasy horror, and when you have too many fantasy elements, you run the risk of ruining the suspension of disbelief and negating the horror aspects of the story. Its definitely a balanced walk to take

tubi4's avatar

Fantastic work :la:

NecroTechno's avatar

I don't have much in the way of "in DnD with actual magic", but if you want to see Lovecraftian monsters getting their asses kicked, I can fondly recommend Larry Correia's "Monster Hunter International" series. It's basically Lovecraft monsters versus modern-day gun-nuts, and apparently, guns work *really* good against Mythos monsters.

zvannzong's avatar
zvannzongHobbyist Writer

Drachenfels novel by Jack Yeovil

Magic-Drake's avatar
Magic-DrakeHobbyist Traditional Artist

I'd say the Riftwar series by Raymond E. Feist does a good job with the extradimensional invasions and the character's responses to the situations.

Horror is not the main focus, but a bit that stuck with me was a sergeant speaking to his men in a dark cave.

One of the soldiers heard the fear in his sergeant's voice, thinking he wouldn't have noticed if he could have seen the man's face. After they enter the light once more, he sees he was right.

So, lots of horror themes in a high fantasy setting, only slightly undercut by the power of the characters. They still need to outthink or outmaneouvre the existential threats, rather than overpower them.

sandara's avatar

I've read that series! :)

Ryuzuki98's avatar
Ryuzuki98Hobbyist Writer

Wow! The horror feel in this piece is real! Amazing!!

SwitchetO's avatar
SwitchetOHobbyist General Artist

I think you might find it a far more prevelent theme in old Japanese books actually. Fantasy horror is VERY popular both in justtheir straight books and manga comics as well

anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In