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Interested in reading Horror novels but don't know where the begin? Look below for some suggestions on beginning your journey into the Horror genre.
The Horror genre is all about scares. Whether they come from creeping ghouls, murderers, or ghosts, horror novels present terrifying situations where characters and the reader are forced to contend with things way outside of their comfort zones. Characters are usually ordinary people who get put through some seriously disturbing situations.
Don't be afraid to read across age groups if something seems interesting to you.
Baby Teeth by
MEET HANNA: Seven-year-old Hanna is a sweet-but-silent angel in the eyes of her adoring father Alex. He's the only person who understands her. But her mother Suzette stands in her way, and she'll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.
MEET SUZETTE: Suzette loves her daughter, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. She's also becoming increasingly frightened by Hanna's little games, while her husband Alex remains blind to the failing family dynamics. Soon, Suzette starts to fear that maybe their supposedly innocent baby girl may have a truly sinister agenda.
Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children's bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened or the consequences will be too terrible to bear.
The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town's teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into dark, medieval practices of the distant past.
The Haunting of Hill House by
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.
Broken Monsters by
Detective Gabriella Versado has seen a lot of bodies. But this one is unique even by Detroit's standards: half boy, half deer, somehow fused together. As stranger and more disturbing bodies are discovered, how can the city hold on to a reality that is already tearing at its seams?
If you're Detective Versado's geeky teenage daughter, Layla, you commence a dangerous flirtation with a potential predator online. If you're desperate freelance journalist Jonno, you do whatever it takes to get the exclusive on a horrific story. If you're Thomas Keen, known on the street as TK, you'll do what you can to keep your homeless family safe--and find the monster who is possessed by the dream of violently remaking the world.
Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it's across Massachusetts or across the country.
Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing - and terrifying - playground of amusements he calls "Christmasland."
Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble--and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx's unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He's on the road again and he's picked up a new passenger: Vic's own son.
The Terror by
The men on board the HMS Terror have every expectation of finding the Northwest Passage. But what they don't expect is a monstrous predator lurking behind the Arctic ice. When the expedition's leader, Sir John Franklin, meets a horrifying end, Captain Francis Crozier takes command, leading his surviving crewmen on a last desperate attempt to flee south across the ice.
But another winter is rapidly approaching, and with it, scurvy and starvation. Crozier and his men may find that there is no escaping the terror stalking them southward. And with the crushing cold and the fear of almost certain death at their backs, the most horrifying monster among them may be each other.
A Head Full of Ghosts by
The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.
To her parents' despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie's descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts' plight. With John, Marjorie's father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.
Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie's younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface
Ghost Story by
What was the worst thing you've ever done?
In the sleepy town of Milburn, New York, four old men gather to tell each other stories--some true, some made-up, all of them frightening. A simple pastime to divert themselves from their quiet lives.
But one story is coming back to haunt them and their small town. A tale of something they did long ago. A wicked mistake. A horrifying accident. And they are about to learn that no one can bury the past forever...
The Twisted Ones by
When Mouse's dad asks her to clean out her dead grandmother's house, she says yes. After all, how bad could it be? Answer: pretty bad. Grandma was a hoarder, and her house is packed to the gills with useless garbage. That would be horros enough, but there's more. Mouse stumbles across her step-grandfather's journal, which at first seems to be the ravings of a broken mind. Until she encounters some of the terrifying things he described herself.
Alone in the woods with her dog, Mouse has to confront a series of impossible terrors--because sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real, and they're looking for you. And if she doesn't face them head on, she might not survive to tell the tale.
The Hunger by
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. They cannot seem to escape tragedy...or the feelings that someone--or something--is stalking them. Whether it's a curse from the beautiful Tamsen Donner (who some think might be a witch), their ill-advised choice of route through uncharted terrain, or just plain bad luck, the ninety men, women, and children of the Donner Party are heading into one of 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.
White Smoke by
When Marigold's mom accepts a new job that means moving cross-country, Mari thinks it will be a chance to get away from her personal ghosts. The job comes with a free, renovated, picture-perfect home, sitting between dilapidated houses, surrounded by wary neighbors and secrets. That's only half the problem: household items vanish, shadows walk past rooms, voices can be heard in the walls, and there's a foul smell seeping through the vents only Mari seems to notice. Worse: Mari's stepsister keeps talking about a friend who wants Mari gone. But "running from ghosts" is just a metaphor, right?
Rules for Vanishing by
Sara's sister disappeared one year ago--and only Sara knows where she is. Becca went to find the ghost of Lucy Gallows and is trapped on the road that leads to her. But everyone else in town thinks Lucy's road is nothing more than local lore.When Sara and her skeptical friends meet in the forest to search for Becca, the mysterious road unfurls before them. All they have to do is walk down it. But the path to Lucy is not of this world. It has its own rules, and every mistake summons new horrors. The only certainty is this: the road has a toll and it will be paid.
What Big Teeth by
Eleanor Zarrin has been estranged from her wild family for years. When she flees boarding school after a horrifying incident, she goes to the only place she thinks is safe: the home she left behind. But when she gets there, she struggles to fit in with her monstrous relatives, who prowl the woods around the family estate and read fortunes in the guts of birds. Eleanor finds herself desperately trying to hold the family together--in order to save them all, Eleanor must learn to embrace her family of monsters and tame the darkness inside her.
Dread Nation by
Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania-- derailing the War Between the States and changing the nation forever. Now laws like the Native and Negro Education Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. But it's not a life Jane wants. When families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy... and the restless dead are the least of her problems.
The Girl from the Well by
Okiku has wandered the world for centuries, freeing the spirits of the murdered-dead. Once a victim herself, she now takes the lives of killers with the vengeance they're due. But releasing innocent ghosts from their ethereal tethers does not bring Okiku peace. Such is her existence, until she meets Tark. Evil writhes beneath the moody teen's skin, trapped by a series of intricate tattoos. While his neighbors fear him, Okiku knows the boy is not a monster. Tark needs to be freed from the malevolence that clings to him. There's just one problem: if the demon dies, so does its host.
Carrie White may be picked on by her classmates, but she has a gift. She can move things with her mind. Doors lock. Candles fall. This is her power and her problem. Then, an act of kindness, as spontaneous as the vicious taunts of her classmates, offers Carrie a chance to be a normal...until an unexpected cruelty turns her gift into a weapon of horror and destruction that no one will ever forget.
The Girls Are Never Gone by
Dare Chase doesn't believe in ghosts. But as the host of a paranormal investigation podcast, she knows to keep her doubts to herself if she wants to win over listeners. Her first season's subject is the Arrington Estate--a sprawling manor rumored to be haunted by the spirit of Atheleen Bell, who drowned in its lake almost thirty years ago. As Dare is drawn deeper into the mysteries of the estate, she'll have to rethink the boundaries of what is possible. Because if something is lurking in the lake, it might not be willing to let her go.
Burn down, Rise Up by
For over a year, the Bronx has been plagued by disappearances. When Raquel's mother comes down with a mysterious illness that seems linked to those disappearances, and her crush Charlize's cousin goes missing, the two team up to investigate. They soon discover that everything is tied to a terrifying urban legend called the Echo Game. The game is rumored to trap people in a sinister world underneath the city that mirrors a dark chapter in New York's past. If they want to save everyone they love, they will have to play the game and destroy the evil at its heart-or die trying.
The Bone Houses by
Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don't always stay dead. The risen corpses, known as "bone houses," are the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by
Living in the Blackwood family home with only her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian for company, Merricat just wants to preserve their delicate way of life. But ever since Constance was acquitted of murdering the rest of the family, the world isn't leaving the Blackwoods alone. And when Cousin Charles arrives, armed with overtures of friendship and a desperate need to get into the safe, Merricat must do everything in her power to protect the remaining family.
There are no monsters anymore, or so Jam and her best friend, Redemption, have been told all their life. But when Jam meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colors and claws, who emerges from one of her mother's paintings and a drop of Jam's blood, she must reconsider what she's been told. Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption's house. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth, and the answer to the question --How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist?
The Taking of Jake Livingston by
Jake Livingston can't decide what's worse: being a medium forced to watch the dead play out their last moments on a loop or being at the mercy of racist teachers at St. Clair Prep. Just when things at St. Clair start looking up with the arrival of another Black student-the handsome Allister- life as a medium gets worse. Most ghosts are harmless and Jake is always happy to help them move on. Sawyer Doon is not. In life, he was a troubled teen who shot and killed six kids at a local high school before taking his own life. Now he's a powerful, vengeful ghost with plans for Jake.
And the Trees Crept In by
When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt's home, it's immediately clear that the "blood manor" is cursed. The creaking of the house and the stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too--the questions that Silla can't ignore: Who is the beautiful boy that's appeared from the woods? Who is the man that her little sister sees, but no one else? And why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer?
The Haunted by
Clean slate. That's what Hendricks' parents said when they moved their family to the tiny town of Drearfield, to avoid her manipulative ex-boyfriend. But Hendricks learns from new friends at school that her new house is notoriously haunted. Hendricks isn't sure if the strange things she notice sin the house are the demons of her past haunting her, or of the present. And, then, one night, things take a violent turn. With help from the mysterious boy next door, Hendricks makes it her mission to take down the ghosts... if they don't take her first
Clown in a Cornfield by
Quinn Maybrook and her father have moved to tiny, boring Kettle Springs, but they don't know that ever since the Baypen Corn Syrup Factory shut down, Kettle Springs has cracked in half. On one side are the adults, who are desperate to make Kettle Springs great again, and on the other are the kids, who want to have fun and get out of Kettle Springs as quick as they can. The fight looks like it will destroy the town until Frendo, the Baypen clown mascot, decides that the only way for Kettle Springs to grow back is to cull the rotten crop of kids who live there now.
World War Z by
An account of the decade-long conflict between humankind and hordes of the predatory undead is told from the perspective of dozens of survivors who describe in their own words the epic human battle for survival.
When Coraline steps through a door in her family's new house, she finds another house, strangely similar to her own (only better). At first, things seem marvelous. The food is better than at home, and the toy box is filled with fluttering wind-up angels and dinosaur skulls that crawl and rattle their teeth.
But there's another mother there and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go. Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and all the tools she can find if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.
The House with a Clock in Its Walls by
When Lewis Barnavelt, an orphan. comes to stay with his uncle Jonathan, he expects to meet an ordinary person. But he is wrong. Uncle Jonathan and his next-door neighbor, Mrs. Zimmermann, are both magicians! Lewis is thrilled.
At first, watchng magic is enough. Then Lewis experiments with magic himself and unknowingly resurrects the former owner of the house: a woman named Selenna Izard. It seems that Selenna and her husband built a timepiece into the walls--a clock that could obliterate humankind. And only the Barnavelts can stop it!
Slappy Birthday to You by
It's bad enough Ian Barker has to spend his twelfth birthday with his sister and their two annoying cousins. The four of them can't ever hang out without getting into trouble. Vinnie and Jonny always want to play with Ian's stuff. They take extra turns and break everything they touch. Even Ian's new birthday presents are up for grabs. But when Ian gets a Slappy dummy from his dad, things go from bad to worse.
Long Lankin by
When Cora and her younger sister, Mimi, are sent to stay with their elderly aunt in the isolated village of Byers Guerdon, they receive a less-than-warm welcome. Auntie Ida is eccentric and rigid, and the girls are desperate to go back to London. But what they don't know is that their aunt's life was devastated the last time two young sisters were at Guerdon Hall, and she is determined to protect her nieces from an evil that has lain hidden for years.
Along with Roger and Peter, two village boys, Cora must uncover the horrifying truth that has held Bryers Guerdon in its dark grip for centuries -- before it's too late for little Mimi. Riveting and intensely atmospheric, this stunning debut will hold readers in its spell long after the last page is turned.
The House in Poplar Wood by
For as long as the Vickery twins can remember, Lee and his mother have served Memory, while Felix and his father assist Death. This is the Agreement. But one Halloween, Gretchen Whipple smashes her way into their lives. Her bargain is simple: If the twins help her solve the murder of local girl Essie Hasting, she'll help them break the Agreement.
The more the three investigate, however, the more they realize that something's gone terribly wrong in their town. Death is on the loose, and if history repeats itself, Essie's might not be the last murder in Poplar Wood.
Skeleton Man by
Molly's father grew up on the Mohawk Reserve of Akwesasne, where he learned the best scary stories. One of her favorites was the legend of Skeleton Man, a gruesome tale about a man with a deadly, insatiable hunger. But ever since her parents mysteriously vanished, those spooky tales have started to feel all too real.
And things go from bad to worse for Molly when a stranger shows up one day and claims to be her great-uncle. A ghostly thin man she's never seen before. A man who reminds her an awful lot of the Skeleton Man. But he couldn't possibly be the same person from her father's tale . . . could he? It's up to Molly to uncover the truth about this fearsome figure and rescue her parents before it's too late.
The Nest by
Steve just wants to save his baby brother--but what will he lose in the bargain?
For some kids summer is a sun-soaked season of fun. But for Steve, it's just another season of worries. Worries about his sick newborn baby brother who is fighting to survive, worries about his parents who are struggling to cope, even worries about the wasp's nest looming ominously from the eaves. So when a mysterious wasp queen invades his dreams, offering to "fix" the baby, Steve thinks his prayers have been answered.
All he has to do is say "Yes." But "yes" is a powerful word. It is also a dangerous one. And once it is uttered, can it be taken back?
Alex's original hair-raising tales are the only thing keeping the witch Natacha happy, but soon he'll run out of pages to read from and be trapped forever. He's loved scary stories his whole life, and he knows most don't have a happily ever after. Now that Alex is trapped in a true terrifying tale, he's desperate for a different ending--and a way out of this twisted place.
The Jumbies by
Corinne La Mer claims she isn't afraid of anything. Not scorpions, not the boys who tease her, and certainly not jumbies. They're just tricksters made up by parents to frighten their children. Then one night Corinne chases an agouti all the way into the forbidden forest, and shining yellow eyes follow her to the edge of the trees. They couldn't belong to a jumbie. Or could they?
When Corinne spots a beautiful stranger at the market the very next day, she knows something extraordinary is about to happen. When this same beauty, called Severine, turns up at Corinne's house, danger is in the air. Severine plans to claim the entire island for the jumbies. Corinne must call on her courage and her friends and learn to use ancient magic she didn't know she possessed to stop Severine and to save her island home.
Spirit Hunters by
Harper doesn't trust her new home from the moment she steps inside, and the rumors are that the Raine family's new house is haunted. Harper isn't sure she believes those rumors, until her younger brother, Michael, starts acting strangely. She knows that the memories she's blocking will help make sense of her brother's behavior and the strange and threatening sensations she feels in this house, but will she be able to put the pieces together in time?
Serafina and the Black Cloak by
"Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there, and they will ensnare your soul."
Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of the Biltmore estate. There's plenty to explore in her grand home, although she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate's maintenance man, have secretly lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember.
But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows who the culprit is: a terrifying man in a black cloak who stalks Biltmore's corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of the Biltmore's owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak's true identity before all of the children vanish one by one.
Serafina's hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear. There she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic, one that is bound to her own identity. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must seek the answers that will unlock the puzzle of her past.