If you want to extend your horror reading all month long, I've got 15
scary book series by women to give you the creeps for multiple nights. It's the perfect time of year for a horror movie marathon, so why not spend your season of spookiness enjoying a horror book series or two?
Personally, I think that horror is an overlooked corner of genre fiction. It just doesn't feel like there are that many horror novels released every year, relative to other genres, and even fewer by women. And although sci-fi and fantasy are known for their trilogies and lengthier series, readers don't tend to think of horror novels as anything other than standalone works of fiction.
This list aims to change all of that. I've picked out 15 horror series, all written by women, to introduce you to some
spooky stories for Halloween. Many of these novels could be classified as YA, but don't worry — they're serving up scares that will curdle the blood of the hardiest adult. On a similar note, I've also included a few graphic series, so you can add a visual layer of fear to your fall reading list.
The Merciless by Danielle Vega
The Haunted author Danielle Vega comes this exciting book series about a group of teen girls who decide to exorcise one of their friends, only to have things go disastrously wrong. Click here to buy The Merciless.
The Borden Dispatches by Cherie Priest
Lizzie Borden knows what she saw the night her family was murdered, and she knows it's still out there, waiting for its next victim. She's not going to let that happen, though. She's going to destroy it, or die trying.
Click here to buy Maplecroft.
Brooklyn Brujas by Zoraida Córdova
When Alex, a powerful bruja who hates magic, attempts a spell to wish her powers away, she accidentally makes her entire family disappear instead. Accompanied by an untrustworthy brujo, Alex must travel to the underworld to rescue her lost loved ones.
Click here to buy Labyrinth Lost.
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Mary has lived her entire life within the walls of a fenced-in village, protected from the unholy creatures that travel through the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But when the monsters breach the village's walls, Mary and those she holds dear must travel further from home than they've ever been before, if they want to survive.
Click here to buy The Forest of Hands and Teeth.
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
In Justina Ireland's alt-history horror series, a zombie outbreak in Gettysburg and Chancellorsville halts the Civil War as the U.S. is pitched into a battle for survival. In training to become a personal bodyguard to the elite, Jane, a student at Miss Preston’s School of Combat, finds herself in the middle of a mystery when Baltimore families begin to disappear.
Click here to buy Dread Nation.
Clean Room by Gail Simone and John Davis-Hunt
After a self-help book caused her fiance to take his own life, Chloe risks her own life to go undercover as a member of the author's organization. She hopes to find out what happened to her beloved, and why, but she's also intrigued by the "Clean Room" — a place where all your fears come to life. Click here to buy Clean Room, Vol. 1: Immaculate Conception.
The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco
Based on the Japanese
onryo, the ghost at the heart of Rin Chupeco's The Girl in the Well is a vengeful spirit who hunts down child murderers, whom she can identify by the invisible, dead children clinging to them. When she meets Tark, however, the ghostly protagonist notices something different. He doesn't have a spirit attached to him, but there's definitely something inside him... and it wants out. Click here to buy The Girl from the Well.
The Ghost Files by Apryl Baker
Years after her own mother tried to kill her, 16-year-old Mattie has grown used to seeing ghosts. The specter of her missing foster sister, though? That's a new one.
Click here to buy The Ghost Files.
Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda
Set in an alternate, decopunk version of East Asia,
Monstress centers on Maika Halfwolf, a one-armed teenager whose mission to uncover the secrets of her heritage is cut short when she is taken as a prisoner of war and enslaved to a mysterious group of scientists who experiment on people with bestial aspects — people like her. Click here to buy Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening.
The Janie Johnson Series by Caroline B. Cooney
Janie confronts her family's dark secret when she sees her own face peering back at her from a missing-child poster. Twelve years earlier, the toddler on the milk carton was kidnapped from a mall. Janie is 15 years old, and her family has no pictures of her as a baby. Did her parents kidnap her all those years ago? Or is something else at work?
Click here to buy The Face on the Milk Carton.
The Vicki Nelson Series by Tanya Huff
When P.I. Vicki Nelson, formerly of Toronto's homicide division, sees the first in a long line of attacks on the city's citizens, she knows she has to get to the bottom of the mystery. What awaits her, however, is a centuries-old vampire with ties to the British monarchy, and he's spent his entire life blending in with the crowd.
Click here to buy Blood Price.
A distress signal from a work site calls a rescue crew to a remote planet, where they discover a camp full of corpses. Something killed the workers here, and it may be waiting for more victims.
Click here to buy Contagion.
Southern Cross by Becky Cloonan and Andy Belanger
On a mission to unravel the mystery surrounding her sister's death, Alex boards a ship, the
Southern Cross, bound for Titan. It's a long journey, and as the strange phenomena on the cramped vessel keep getting weirder, Alex realizes she might not make it to Titan alive. Click here to buy Southern Cross, Vol. 1.
The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
In this retelling of
The Island of Dr. Moreau, an English maid discovers that her exiled father may be alive on a tropical island. She goes to him, only to find that his experiments have gone shockingly awry, and that he may now be indirectly responsible for murder. Click here to buy The Madman's Daughter.
Filled with haunting photographs to accompany the text, Madeleine Roux's
Asylum follows three rising college students as they investigate their creepy dormitory, which was once an asylum for the criminally insane. Click here to buy Asylum.