Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Psychos: Serial Killers, Depraved Madmen, and the Criminally Insane” as Want to Read:
Psychos: Serial Killers, Depraved Madmen, and the Criminally Insane
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Psychos: Serial Killers, Depraved Madmen, and the Criminally Insane

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  257 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
This collection of thirty-five terrifying tales of serial killers at large, written by the great masters of the genre, plumbs the horrifying depths of a deranged mind and the forces of evil that compel a human being to murder, gruesomely and methodically, over and over again.

From Hannibal Lecter (The Silence of the Lambs) to Patrick Bateman (American Psycho), stories of se
Paperback, 640 pages
Published October 9th 2012 by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers (first published September 25th 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Psychos, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Psychos

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Wayne Barrett
Sep 01, 2015 Wayne Barrett rated it really liked it

After finishing this collection of short stories I am left with very similar emotions that I felt after reading Jack Ketchum's 'The Girl Next Door'. Unlike Ketchum's novel which was based on a true story, Psychos is a work of fiction. Nevertheless, these are stories of twisted humanity in which the reader understands are scenarios that could actually happen and in many cases mirror similar events that have happened.

Unlike tales of horror that we all know deep down inside are only make-believe;
Paul Bryant
Jan 14, 2015 Paul Bryant rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories

Is that John Skipp?

Yeah, who is this.

This is Harold from Black Dog


Your publishers

Oh okay, what?

Ah well, John, it’s about this new anthology


Well, we like it, great stories, great stuff, I’m sure it’s gonna be another strong seller, but the thing is the title

What about the title?

Well, er… Psychos, Serial killers, Depraved Madmen and the Criminally Insane…

Yeah? What’s wrong with that?

Well, we er we think we might have an issue with that from some quarters

Uh huh? What quarters be that?

Susan May
Nov 06, 2012 Susan May rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
I read and reviewed this book in 2012 for Suspense Magazine. It's one of my favorite collections of short stories. Well worth a read. Thought I'd put it up here for those who are partial to the art of the short!


Stephen King is arguably one of the master storytellers of our time. Yet, even he felt he’d fallen out of touch with short story fiction in 2006 when invited to edit ‘The Best American Short Stories 2007’.

In an interview promoting his own collection, ‘Just
Paul Bryant
My review of this one was quite funny, I thought, but not actually very helpful, so I thought I'd add an actual review of the actual book, in case someone wanted to actually know about it.

First point : how remarkable that the publishers list Ray Bradbury and Robert Bloch on the cover ("includes stories by") - these two are no longer modern, so I'm impressed that their names still ring out, as the slingers in The Wire say.

Second, of the 34 stories, five were crackers and have been added to the o
Patrice Hoffman
Sep 07, 2012 Patrice Hoffman rated it really liked it
*Won through a Goodreads Giveaway*

Psychos: Serial Killers, Depraved Madmen, and the Criminally Insane is a collection of short stories that center around psychos, hence the name. John Skipp uses commentary before every story to set up the story or express why it's included in the collection. In the forward, Skipp points out that the killers in this particular collection could be just as real as we are. They don't have any supernatural powers or are mythical creatures from the depths or hell. The
Sep 27, 2012 Laura rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
*Won through a Goodreads Giveaway*

This book is 601 pages of nasty. A more detailed, accurate title would be Psychos: People Who Eat Children and Tear Apart Cats. I love feeling the thrill of fear, but I don't like reading about graphic disembowlments and other yuckety yuck stuff. There were a few stories in this anthology that I really did enjoy--"The Most Dangerous Game" is an old favorite, and I was intrigued enough by the "Red Dragon" excerpt that I went out and bought the series. However, th
Oct 03, 2012 Gef rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories, horror
Psychos and serial killers are so prevelant in popular culture these days, they're like VW beetles on the highway. Once you see one, you see a multitude. Actually, you're more likely to see a psycho thumbing a ride on the highway than you are to see a lovebug putting down the road.

For this anthology, John Skipp has assembled a veritable who's who of authors from today and yesteryear. Thirty-five stories in all, and when you pick up a trade paperback copy, rather than download it to your ereader,
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
What an AWESOME chunky book, filled with lots of creepy ass stories.
Early V-Day present from my bf! He knows me so well. ;)
Oct 04, 2012 Claudia rated it it was amazing
I like a good anthology and this is a good one. Although titled "Psychos, Serial Killers, Depraved Madmen, and the Criminally Insane," it bleeds over into the accidental and the justified killers as well. I'm a sucker for a revenge story and there are a few contained in these pages. Add to that the writers who always make me squirm like E.A. Poe and Thomas Harris and it just gets better and better. Then there are the surprises. Jack Ketchum has kept me up nights--and not in a good way--and yet h ...more
Jul 02, 2012 Tommy rated it really liked it
I got an advanced e-copy of this book through NetGalley. This anthology is edited by John Skipp, and collects a very wide selection of stories involving murderous psychos from various perspectives, some humorous, some chilling. Authors include classics like Poe, Bradbury, Gaiman, Thomas Harris, Lansdale, Bentley Little, Elizabeth Massie, Robert Devereaux, Kathe Koja, and others. To me the absolute chills-down-the-spine standout piece that made the whole anthology worth it was "All Through the Ho ...more
Amber Arnett
Sep 05, 2012 Amber Arnett rated it really liked it
*** I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads ***
This book is an anthology of horror stories based on the biggest evil of all: Humans. They were collected and combined for the reader by John Skipp with a brief introduction/afterward and individual introductions to each of the stories. Skipp states, “For most folks, the monster of choice is other people.” This idea is one I’ve held forever. I can laugh at horror stories about vampires or demons. But reading true accounts of tort
Eric Guignard
Apr 15, 2013 Eric Guignard rated it it was amazing
REVIEWED: Psychos: Serial Killers, Depraved Madmen, and the Criminally Insane
EDITED BY: John Skipp
PUBLISHED: September, 2012

It’s hard to say that new John Skipp anthologies are better than the ones before it, because each of his books are a treasure of fiction stories. So with that being said, if you were a fan of his earlier anthologies, “ZOMBIES” or “WEREWOLVES” or “DEMONS,” this latest, “PSYCHOS,” meets the same level of quality horror and depth of genre you may have found before. It’s anothe
Nov 15, 2015 Justin rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories, horror
Skipp serves up 38 stories about sociopaths and murderers, most modern rather than classics.

“Classical Scenes of Farewell” by Jim Shepard
An accomplice to a 15th century noble and murderer recounts their killings. This historical sort of fiction wasn’t my kind of thing, and it dragged. 2/5

“Hop Frog” by Edgar Allan Poe
Poe’s grotesque story of a court jester getting revenge was entertaining. 3/5

“Marmalade Wine” by Joan Aiken
A journalist yearning to be a poet stumbles upon a mysterious stranger in
James Jr.
May 29, 2013 James Jr. rated it it was amazing
I must preface this review with an embarrassing fact: this anthology took me much longer to read than any other John Skipp production on which I've embarked, and with a very good reason that I will reveal in a moment. For the same very good reason, I will not be able to use any of the following book review cliches while describing my experience with PSYCHOS:

1. "I could not put it down"
2. "I could not stop turning the pages"
3. "I didn't want it to end"

What's my very good reason? It is the simple
Mar 11, 2015 Rachel rated it it was amazing
A rousing, A+ list of works! I’d buy it.

These stories have (or will!) stand the test of time. Consider Poe’s “Hop Frog” alongside breathtaking modern tales like “The Shallow End of the Pool” and “Willow Tests”, not to mention “Serenity Now”.

These are the stories that stay with you… mark my words! And if you want more, just check out Appendix A, a thoughtfully put-together write-up entitled “Psychos in My View” detailing a sweet compendium of must-reads and must-watches.
Feb 17, 2015 Heather rated it it was ok

Not for those with a weak stomach!!! There's at least one story in here that had me wanting to puke, and I grew up with different things that would make normal stomachs churn. If you like the horror and grindhouse gore stuff this is all for you. It's just a little too much for me. I did skip some stories and there was one I SHOULD have skipped that I didn't because now I'm probably going to have nightmares about it. Terrible, terrible, nightmares.
Sep 18, 2012 Carole rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Plenty of scary fodder if you are looking for some creepy reading material. I agree a few are a bit much for some of us, and I had to turn pages on the parts that were just too graphic for me. Overall a good read if you like true crime type scary horror reads.
Nov 23, 2014 Gretta rated it really liked it
There were some real gems in this collection, which combined both classic short stories and ones by new authors. The most noteworthy was the novella which formed the centerpiece, Adam-Troy Castro's "The Shallow End of the Pool," which described the most bizarre family reunion imaginable--I'm still thinking about this story weeks later. Highly recommended!
Aug 05, 2013 Alex rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Very good, interesting parts, but for some stories I just had to put the book down a couple of times because there are some preeeeeetty messsed up things in there.
If you like gore and the bizzarre, if that's even the right word, this book just might be for you.
Sep 07, 2012 Patti rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads-wins
I won this through Goodreads, and was excited to read it. I tried to get through it, but had a difficult time. It seems a little long, even for a collection of short stories. The book just didn't hold my interest.
Brian Sammons
Oct 06, 2012 Brian Sammons rated it really liked it
A huge (over 600 over sized pages) and great collection of psycho stories both old and new. From classics to modern masters of the murderous maniac tale, Psychos has a little something for any fan of crazed killers. Full review can be found here:
Sep 20, 2015 Kallyz rated it really liked it
A very eerie collection of horror stories. Some are off-putting and upsetting. Others are ironic. Still others are twisted reflections of our modern society. All of them will surprise you in some way.

Thank you Neil Gaiman! it was you as an included author who lead me to this book.
Feb 10, 2014 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book!! Started off with a few tamer stories, but had some real jaw droppers and stomach turners too...on my 'want to own' list!
Adrienne Vintila
Mar 23, 2014 Adrienne Vintila rated it really liked it
Some of the stories were a little long winded and drawn out. Most, though, really took you into the mind of the insane... Great compilation.
Greta Turnbull
Sep 19, 2012 Greta Turnbull rated it liked it
This contains a bunch of short stories. Some were good and others were ok.
Jan 04, 2015 AJ rated it did not like it
excerpts? no thanks.
Sep 08, 2012 Kat added it
Shelves: firstreads
I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway. Review will follow.
Jodi rated it did not like it
Jul 03, 2015
Dana rated it it was amazing
Dec 13, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • House of Horrors: The Shocking True Story of Anthony Sowell, The Cleveland Strangler
  • Will You Die for Me?
  • Animal: The Bloody Rise and Fall of the Mob's Most Feared Assassin
  • Serial Killers
  • The Most Evil Women in History
  • Voices of the Dead
  • The Bank Holiday Murders: The True Story of the First Whitechapel Murders
  • Blood and Other Cravings: Original Stories of Vampires and Vampirism by Today's Greatest Writers of Dark Fiction
  • The A to Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers
  • Best New Horror 19 (The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, #19)
  • Mister October, Volume I - An Anthology in Memory of Rick Hautala
  • The Butcher: Anatomy of a Mafia Psychopath
  • Wizard Fantastic
  • The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, 2014 Edition
  • Home (Jack Murphy, #2)
  • The World of the Short Story: A Twentieth Century Collection
  • Sing Me Your Scars

Share This Book

“There is no escape from the horror of horror.” 0 likes
More quotes…