13 Horror Books That You REALLY Need to Read


October is a good month for a spooky story or two and we have some recommendations that will keep you up at night.  


1. LONE WOMEN by Victor LaValle

Lone Women by Victor Lavalle book coverFor fans of a good dystopian western such as "Outlawed", "Lone Women" fills the bill. Full of a historically accurate and virtually unheard-of law that allowed women to homestead in their own right in Montana, "Lone Women" has a supernatural element seamlessly woven in. What is in that steamer trunk and why is Adelaide so worried about it? Wonderful character development and depiction, an intricately woven story that reflects "otherness" on many levels, and a plot twist that takes one by surprise.— Rebecca G




2. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​TENDER IS THE FLESH by Agustina Bazterrica

Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica, translated by Sarah Moses book cover​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Working at the local processing plant, Marcos is in the business of slaughtering humans--though no one calls them that anymore.His wife has left him, his father is sinking into dementia, and Marcos tries not to think too hard about how he makes a living. After all, it happened so quickly. First, it was reported that an infectious virus has made all animal meat poisonous to humans. Then governments initiated the "Transition." Now, eating human meat--"special meat"--is legal. Marcos tries to stick to numbers, consignments, processing.Then one day he's given a gift: a live specimen of the finest quality. Though he's aware that any form of personal contact is forbidden on pain of death, little by little he starts to treat her like a human being. And soon, he becomes tortured by what has been lost--and what might still be saved. This book has been described as "riveting" and "gruesome, but poetic and beautiful". ​​​​​​​


3. HIDE by Kiersten White

Hide by Kiersten White book cover​​​​​​​Wow! I couldn't put this book down for the life of me! Mack, with nothing to her name except a dark, violent past, has elected to participate in a Hide-and-Seek Tournament in hopes she will receive the grand prize of $50,000. All you have to do is hide all day in this run-down amusement park for seven days without being found. Something has been bothering her since the beginning, though, and there's something strange about the woman running it and the park itself. Is this a legit tournament? Or is there something bigger at play here? Kiersten White does an amazing job switching between narrators at lightning speed, showing readers many complex characters and a frightening plot that made me sleep with the lights on.— Kalli K.



4. THE WOMAN IN BLACK by Susan Hill

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill book cover​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The classic ghost story from the author of The Mist in the Mirror a chilling tale about a menacing spectre haunting a small English town. Arthur Kipps is an up-and-coming London solicitor who is sent to Crythin Gifford--a faraway town in the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway--to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of a client, Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. Mrs. Drablow's house stands at the end of the causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but Kipps is unaw are of the tragic secrets that lie hidden behind its sheltered windows. The routine business trip he anticipated quickly takes a horrifying turn when he finds himself haunted by a series of mysterious sounds and images--a rocking chair in a deserted nursery, the eerie sound of a pony and trap, a child's scream in the fog, and, most terrifying of all, a ghostly woman dressed all in black. Psychologically terrifying and deliciously eerie, The Woman in Black is a remarkable thriller of the first rate and is the basis for the major motion picture starring Daniel Radcliffe.


5. MEDDLING KIDS by Edgar Cantero

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero​​​​​​​I grew up as a fan of meddling kids and their monster hunting antics, and have gotten used to their many adaptations, but NONE come close to as good as this! These teenage summer detectives aren't teens anymore. Thirteen years have passed since their traumatizing last case and their lives are a bit different then they'd thought. It's time to combine forces once again--the brainiac turned college dropout, the ex-military, the mental hospital patient, the ghost, and of course the dog--to figure out what actually happened that night. Balancing humor, unique writing choices, and edge of your seat suspense, this book is pure fun from start to finish.— Jacey A.



6. BLACK MOUTH by Ronald Malfi

Black Mouth by Ronald Malfi book cover​​​​​​​A group of friends return to their hometown to confront a nightmare they first stumbled on as teenagers in this mesmerizing odyssey of terror. An atmospheric, haunting page-turner from the bestselling author of Come with Me. For nearly two decades, Jamie Warren has been running from darkness. He's haunted by a traumatic childhood and the guilt at having disappeared from his disabled brother's life. But then a series of unusual events reunites him with his estranged brother and their childhood friends, and none of them can deny the sense of fate that has seemingly drawn them back together. Nor can they deny the memories of that summer, so long ago - the strange magic taught to them by an even stranger man, and the terrible act that has followed them all into adulthood. In the light of new danger, they must confront their past by facing their futures, and hunting down a man who may very well be a monster. 


7. THE EXORCIST'S HOUSE by Nick Roberts

​​​​​​​The Exorcist's House by Nick Roberts book coverThis 1990s horror novel is perfect for fans of family thriller books, stories of demonic possession, exorcism fiction, the occult, or thrillers like "The Exorcist", "A Head Full of Ghosts", and "The Amityville Horror". This psychological thriller follows a family to their Appalachian farmhouse, where they encounter an unimaginable horror. In the summer of 1994, psychologist Daniel Hill buys a rustic farmhouse nestled in the rolling hills of West Virginia. Along with his wife and teenage daughter, the family uproots their lives in Ohio and moves south. They are initially seduced by the natural beauty of the country setting. That soon changes when they discover a hidden room in the basement with a well, boarded shut and adorned with crucifixes. Local legends about the previous owner being an exorcist come to light, but by then, all Hell has broken loose.


8. MY HEART IS A CHAINSAW by Stephen Graham Jones

My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones​​​​​​​“Chainsaw” is a bullet train homage to slasher films. Jones takes you on a gory, twisted, and fully engaged ride. We spend the entirety of the book inside the head of Jade, a traumatized young woman preparing to graduate from high school. But her trauma has led her to view the world through the lens of apparently every slasher film ever made. This is like an unabridged master class on Michael Myers, Jason, Freddy, etc. So much so, in fact, by the time he puts the pedal to the metal you have come to suspect EVERYONE. Including our (maybe?) unreliable narrator. This is a really good story, and an even better character study of Jade- a young Native American who is shaped and created by her experience as the outsider Native American.— Kevin



9. THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by Shirley Jackson

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson book cover​​​​​​​​​​​​​​First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a "haunting"; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers--and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.



10. THE GHOST THAT ATE US: The Tragic Story of the Burger City Poltergeist by Daniel Kraus

The Ghost that Ate Us by Daniel Kraus book cover​​​​​​​​​​On June 1, 2017, six people were killed at a Burger City franchise off I-80 near Jonny, Iowa. It was the bizarre and gruesome conclusion to nine months of alleged paranormal activity at the fast-food joint-events popularly known as "the Burger City Poltergeist." The story inspired Facebook memes, Twitter hashtags, Buzzfeed listicles, Saturday Night Live sketches, and more. But the case was never much more than a punchline...until bestselling writer Daniel Kraus (The Shape of Water, The Living Dead) decided to head to Iowa to dig up what really happened. Presented here is the definitive story of "the most exhaustively documented haunting in history," including-for the first time ever-interviews with every living survivor of the tragedy. The employees of Burger City were a family. They loved one another. At least, at the beginning.


11. VOICES IN THE SNOW by Darcy Coates

​​​​​​​​​​​Voices in the Snow by Darcy CoatesPerfect for fans of VC Andrews and Peng Shepard. Clare remembers the cold. She remembers abandoned cars and children's toys littered across the road. She remembers dark shapes in the snow and a terror she can't explain. And then... nothing. When she wakes, aching and afraid in a stranger's gothic home, he tells her she was in an accident, a crash in the snow. He claims he saved her. Clare wants to leave, but a vicious snowstorm has blanketed the world in white, trapping them together, and there's nothing she can do but wait. At least the stranger seems kind... but Clare doesn't know if she can trust him. He promised they were alone here, but she sees and hears things that convince her something else is creeping about the surrounding woods, watching. Waiting. Between the claustrophobic storm and the inescapable sense of being hunted, Clare is on edge... and increasingly certain of one thing: Her car crash wasn't an accident. Something is waiting for her to step outside the fragile safety of the house... something monstrous, something unfeeling. Something desperately hungry.


12. THE HUNGER Alma Katsu

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Hunger by Alma Katsu book coverA tense and gripping reimagining of one of America's most haunting human disasters: the Donner Party with a supernatural twist. Evil is invisible, and it is everywhere. That is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the wagon train known as the Donner Party. Depleted rations, bitter quarrels, and the mysterious death of a little boy have driven the isolated travelers to the brink of madness. Though they dream of what awaits them in the West, long-buried secrets begin to emerge, and dissent among them escalates to the point of murder and chaos, unknowingly propelling them into one of the deadliest and most disastrous Western adventures in American history. As members of the group begin to disappear, the survivors start to wonder if there really is something disturbing, and hungry, waiting for them in the mountains...and whether the evil that has unfolded around them may have in fact been growing within them all along. Effortlessly combining the supernatural and the historical, The Hunger is an eerie, thrilling look at the volatility of human nature, pushed to its breaking point.


13. THE OUTSIDER by Stephen King

The Outsider by Stephen King​​​​​​​An eleven-year-old boy's violated corpse is discovered in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City's most popular citizens--Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon have DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad. As the investigation expands and horrifying details begin to emerge, King's story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.