13 Horror Audiobooks That Are Actually Way More Terrifying Than The Written Version
The jury of readers is still out as to whether or not listening to an audiobook is the same as reading a text, but the small differences between the two can make or break your bookish experience. Whether you are a loyal Audible subscriber or a total newbie, I've got 13 horror audiobooks that will haunt your waking hours, so why not download one for your next all-night road trip? Even if you have read a physical copy of one of these books before, believe me when I say that listening to the audiobook is on a whole other level.
I love horror novels, so of course, like any good American kid, I cut my teeth on Stephen King. If a book can send chills up my spine and make me debate whether walking down a dark hallway to the bathroom is really worth the risk, I am liable to recommend it to every reader I know, even though it scared the bejeebus out of me. When it comes to listening to horror audiobooks, however, I'm a bigger weenie altogether. This is all to say that, if a horror novel scared me, you know it's good.
Check out the 13 horror audiobooks I've picked out for you on the list below, and be sure to share your favorite, spine-tingling audiobooks with me on Twitter!
'Amatka' by Karin Tidbeck, narrated by Kirsten Potter
This dystopian novel centers on government worker Vanja, who relocates to Amatka, a cold and bleak agricultural commune. Used to her cushy life in the big city, Vanja struggles to adapt to this strange place, where voices call out from pipes in the ground, and things must be continually renamed to prevent them from breaking down.
'The Ocean at the End of the Lane' by Neil Gaiman, narrated by the author
Returning home after many years, a man sits by the pond in what was once his backyard, and reminisces about Lettie Hempstock, his old neighbor, who took him into a frightening place and helped him destroy what followed them out.
'The Haunting of Hill House' by Shirley Jackson, narrated by Bernadette Dunn
This quintessential horror novel follows investigator John Montague and his assistants, shy Eleanor and obstreperous Theodora, into the supposedly haunted Hill House, where Montague hopes to find conclusive evidence of the paranormal.
'The Ballad of Black Tom' by Victor LaValle, narrated by Kevin R. Free
This multi-award-winning Lovecraftian novel centers on the eponymous Charles Thomas Tester, who finds himself in close proximity to H.P. Lovecraft's "The Horror at Red Hook" when he agrees to bring a book of dark magic to a Queens sorceress, and is then tempted by an offer from occultists in service to an eldritch fiend.
'The Good House' by Tananarive Due, narrated by Robin Miles
Angela Toussaint's childhood home in Sacajawea, Washington is known as the Good House, but it has two particular skeletons in its proverbial closets. Decades after her mother dies by suicide in the kitchen, Angela finds herself institutionalized when her son kills himself in the basement. The second suicide makes Angela finally aware of the malevolent spirit that haunts the Good House, one that has a connection to her beloved grandmother.
'NOS4A2' by Joe Hill, narrated by Kate Mulgrew
Vic's motorcycle and her talent for finding lost things leads her to tangle with child-abductor Charles Talent Manx. Manx enjoys showing off his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith, with the vanity plate that reads "NOS4A2," but the children he takes for joyrides into Christmasland don't return home again. Years after she first encounters Manx, Vic finds herself tracking him down once more, in pursuit of her lost son.
'You' by Caroline Kepnes, narrated by Santino Fontana
When Joe meets Beck in a New York City bookstore, he takes down the name on her credit card and digs into her life story, intent on making her his girlfriend, no matter the cost.
'Mongrels' by Stephen Graham Jones, narrated by Jonathan Yen
This coming-of-age horror novel follows an unnamed narrator as he struggles to find his place in a family of werewolves who live on society's fringe. Growing up with his eccentric aunt and uncle hasn't been easy, but the time of his own reckoning is growing nearer, and one question remains to be answered: Is he a werewolf like them, or something else entirely?
'A Head Full of Ghosts' by Paul Tremblay, narrated by Joy Osmanski
When 14-year-old Marjorie Barrett is diagnosed with schizophrenia and all treatments fail, her parents turn to a priest who suggests exorcism as a cure for the girl's mental illness. With their finances in jeopardy, the Barretts also agree to have their ordeal televised in a new reality show, The Possession. But nothing is as it seems, which becomes all too evident 15 years later, when the younger Barrett daughter, Merry, agrees to be interviewed about what really happened in her New England home.
'Her Body and Other Parties' by Carmen Maria Machado, narrated by Amy Landon
In this unnerving short-story collection, "The Husband Stitch" author Carmen Maria Machado explores all the types of violence against women that we normalize everyday.
'Welcome to Night Vale' by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, narrated by Cecil Baldwin, Dylan Marron, Retta, Thérèse Plummer, and Dan Bittner
Based on the hit podcast of the same name, Welcome to Night Vale divides its narrative between two women, PTA mom Diane Crayton and perpetual 19-year-old pawnbroker Jackie Fierro, both of whom are drawn, through different means, to the mysterious KING CITY, which lies somewhere outside of Night Vale.
'The Visitors' by Catherine Burns, narrated by Kate Reading
This debut novel centers on Marion, a fiftysomething spinster who lives underneath the thumb of her overbearing brother, John. Marion does her best to ignore John's bloody secret, but when he falls ill and unable to care for himself, she must become his secret-keeper and confidante.
'It' by Stephen King, narrated by Steven Weber
In 1958, a group of seven preteens join forces to stop an eldritch evil that hunts in their Maine hometown. Nearly three decades later, they're called back to Derry, where the evil never died and has now returned to wreak more havoc.