20 New Horror Books For Readers Who Take Spooky Season Seriously
It's September, and you know what that means, right? It's practically Halloween, and it's definitely spooky season. I've picked out 20 new horror novels for Halloween this year, and you won't want to wait for the scares to begin.
Halloween may come only once a year, but Halloween season is forever for some folks. If you need nothing more than the hint of a crisp, autumn breeze to get you feeling creepy, the books on this list will make every September day feel like a pumpkin-carving, apple-picking good time.
Whether you like a healthy dose of gore, or just the suggestion of something in the shadows, there's a horror novel on this list that is perfect for you. I've pulled 20 books from a variety of genres — including sci-fi, gothic, and the mystery/thriller — to offer you a smorgasbord of good, scary reading options. No matter if you're in the mood for something weird, or you just want to read a traditional ghost story, I've got you covered.
Check out the 20 spooky horror novels I've picked out for you to start Halloween off early with this year:
'Fake Like Me' by Barbara Bourland
When her art is destroyed ahead of her gallery show, an up-and-coming artist goes on an intensive retreat to recreate what she's lost. The retreat was the last home of Carey Logan, one of the artist's idols, and, as the novel's protagonist will soon discover, her ghost is ever-present on the property.
'Five Midnights' by Ann Dávila Cardinal
As a murderer rolls through Puerto Rico, two frenemies — Lupe Dávila and Javier Utierre — must work together to solve the grisly crimes before their friends become the killer's next victims.
'Petra’s Ghost' by C.S. O’Cinneide
Daniel knows the truth about his wife's death, but he can't tell anyone. Instead, he carries her ashes on a 500-mile journey across northern Spain. Along the way, he meets another pilgrim, Ginny, who he hopes can help him through his grief. But when it becomes clear that they are not alone on the trail, Daniel's mental health begins to degenerate.
'Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds' by Gwenda Bond
The first novel based on Netflix's hit series, Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds takes readers inside the Hawkins National Laboratory, where Terry Ives, the woman who will become Eleven's mother, signs up to participate in a project called MKUltra.
'The Invited' by Jennifer McMahon
In this haunted house story from The Winter People author Jennifer McMahon, a couple abandon their life in the suburbs to purchase a 40-acre plot in the country, where they plan to build the home they've always wanted. But when one of the couple uncovers an old murder that took place on their new property, she discovers that their dream property might be a real-life nightmare.
'Here There Are Monsters' by Amelinda Bérubé
Although a cross-country move has left Skye feeling disconnected from her younger sister Deirdre, the 16-year-old seizes upon the chance to connect with her peers and get a fresh start. Then the isolated and withdrawn Deirdre goes missing, and Skye must figure out what dark forces her sister was involved in, and how to rescue her from them.
'In the Shadow of Spindrift House' by Mira Grant
From the author of Feed and Into the Drowning Deep comes this new novella about a young woman caught up in her final case as a teenage detective. No one knows who built Spindrift House, but Harlowe and her friends aim to find out. A much more menacing mystery awaits them inside, however.
'The Warlow Experiment' by Alix Nathan
When a member of the British gentry aims to enter the Royal Society of London, he devises a unique experiment designed to test the limits of the human psyche. In exchange for a lifetime salary of £50 per year, a poor laborer will spend the next seven years of his life confined to the gentleman's basement, deprived of all human contact, but obligated to keep a diary of his experiences. What could possibly go wrong?
'Wilder Girls' by Rory Power
In an isolated boarding school, a small group of teen girls have been left alone in the wake of a deadly plague that mutilates the sick. When Byatt goes missing, Hetty must journey beyond the "safe" boundaries of the school in order to find her and bring her home again. But what if everything they have been told about home is a lie?
'The Paper Wasp' by Lauren Acampora
The first novel from The Wonder Garden author Lauren Acampora, The Paper Wasp centers on two old friends, Abby and Elise, who reconnect at their high school reunion. Now a Hollywood star, Elise invites the film fanatic Abby to visit her in L.A., where their lives become inextricably linked.
'The Luminous Dead' by Caitlin Starling
After lying to get a cave-diving job that she thinks will be easy money, Gyre finds herself working under Em, a supervisor who knows the truth behind her deceptions. As Em begins to drug and manipulate Gyre into doing her dirty work, the mission becomes infinitely more dangerous than the spelunker ever expected.
'Little Darlings' by Melanie Golding
Just after her twins were born, Lauren reported the attempted kidnapping of her own children, but the police found no evidence of what she saw. Now, her one-month-old sons have returned after a brief disappearance, and only their mother can see the truth — that those are not her boys.
'The Migration' by Helen Marshall
In this near-future dystopia, 17-year-old Sophie must come to terms with death and what comes after when her sister, Kira, contracts a deadly immune disorder that only affects young people. As the disease claims more lives, it becomes clear that the bodies of the infected children are nothing like the dead who came before them.
'The Toll' by Cherie Priest
In this new, Southern Gothic novel, Cherie Priest takes readers on a haunting trip up State Road 177 in southeastern Georgia. A couple driving to their second honeymoon in the Okefenokee Swamp come to a narrow bridge that wasn't always there. In the aftermath of their fateful crossing, one of them will be dead, and the other, nowhere to be found.
'The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan' by Caitlín R. Kiernan
Containing 20 short stories from The Drowning Girl author Caitlín R. Kiernan, this collection of fiction is a must-read for any fan of dark fantasy and horror.
'Collision' by J.S. Breukelaar
Another short-story collection, Aletheia author J.S. Breukelaar's new book, Collision, has something for every horror reader, from the gothic, to the weird, and beyond.
'The Poison Thread' by Laura Purcell
When wealthy socialite Dorothea begins looking for phrenology practice subjects in a women's prison, she meets Ruth, a teenager charged with murder, who claims that her cursed sewing — and not she, herself — killed her victims.
'The Tenth Girl' by Sara Faring (Sep. 24)
Set at an elite, Argentinian boarding school, The Tenth Girl follows Mavi as she takes a new teaching position on a campus marred by horrifying urban legends. Only when one of Mavi's students goes missing, and everyone else begins acting strangely, does the new instructor begin to think that the warnings about the school may have been worth listening to.
'The Monster of Elendhaven' by Jennifer Giesbrecht (Sep. 24)
In a cold, abandoned town cut off from the rest of the world, a monster washes ashore. It teams up with a frail magician, and the new duo seek vengeance for the town of Elendhaven, taking out the people who wronged it, one by one.
'The Twisted Ones' by T. Kingfisher (Oct. 1)
Mouse's grandmother was a hoarder, and, in the wake of her death, it's up to Mouse to sort through her things. Among the jumbled possessions, she finds a journal that once belonged to her grandmother's husband. It appears to be full of nonsense, until Mouse begins to encounter the strange phenomena it describes.