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There’s nothing like reading the best horror books, and 2024 titles are no different. The gory and glorious details, the willingness to suspend belief in the face of evil, supernatural or not. I myself am particular to horror that falls under the dark fantasy and speculative umbrella. My favorite trope is the classic haunted house story—I was blooded by The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson—and I am always eager for tales that turn the haunted house tale on its head.
There were many brilliant horror books in 2023, including The Salt Grows Heavy, A Haunting on the Hill, Everything the Darkness Eats, The Reformatory, to name a few, and 2024 looks like it’s going to be an equally stellar lineup. We’re in for some horrific treats in the horror books 2024 has to offer, and I mean that in the best way.
Horror Books to Look forward To in Early 2024
For this list of horror books in 2024, I included small presses as well as the big hitters, new and popular authors, and a variety of genres (science fiction horror, dark fantasy/horror fantasy, dystopian horror, etc.). As I mentioned earlier, my interests and expertise lends itself to the speculative, so that will be reflected here. Additionally, I focused on the first half (or, from the looks of it, more of the first third) of 2024 for releases, so if there’s a book you’re looking forward to later in the year, scream about it on social media channels, and preorder through your local independent bookstores.
Finally, I always like to note that this is not exhaustive. It’s so hard not to list every single book that comes my way or is recommended, but alas, there are only so many words I can type. May this be an inspiration for you to find new work, new authors, and new genres to dig into. Support authors, haunt your local bookstores, and shriek about what you love to friends, family, and followers on social media.
Let’s get the scares rolling.
This Wretched Valley by Jenny Kiefer (January 2024)
I’ve received so many recommendations to check out this book, and from what I’ve read, it sounds terrifyingly perfect. Author Jenny Kiefer is also the owner of the independent horror bookstore Butcher Cabin Books in Louisville, Kentucky, and has written a blood-curdling tale of a rock-climbing expedition. It follows Dylan, an ambitious rock climber who hopes to make a name for herself by documenting a climb of a newly discovered cliff face on social media. She goes on the trip with her boyfriend and a geologist and his assistant. Needless to say, what was supposed to be a big break ends up going horribly wrong for all involved.
Womb City by Tlotlo Tsamaase (January 2024)
I just purchased this book from my local indie, Wild Geese Bookshop. I’ve been hyped about reading it since it was announced last year; Erewhon is one of my favorite publishers. In a dark and deadly future Botswana, Nelah seems to have it all, but it’s not what it seems. Married with a child on the way, her husband controls her body via a microchip, and Nelah lives in a society that largely favors men. After a night of celebration gone wrong, Nelah commits a terrible act that comes back to haunt her. Literally. This book is dystopian science fiction with strong doses of horror.
The Butcher of the Forest by Premee Mohamed (February 2024)
Mohamed’s collection No One Will Come Back For Us—stories that ranged in genre but were all equally haunting and unsettling—was one of my favorite books of 2023. Mohamed has three books forthcoming in 2024, and they are all up my alley. The Butcher of the Forest follows Veris Thorn, the only person to have saved a child from the dangerous and labyrinthian forest, Elmever. When the Tyrant’s two children go missing in the depths of the forest, Veris is sent to retrieve them. Her life stands on the edge of a knife: spend too long in the forest, and she’ll be trapped forever. Leave without the children, and the Tyrant will kill her. This is dark fantasy at its most dread-filled and mysterious.
What Feasts at Night by T. Kingfisher (February 2024)
There’s a scene from the first book in this series, What Moves the Dead, that will haunt me forever, and I will never look at hares the same way again. So, of course I am thrilled to read this sequel. Also, behold that amazingly grotesque cover! After the events in What Moves the Dead, ex-soldier Alex Easton wants to do nothing but rest. But as a favor to friends, they travel instead to their family hunting lodge deep in the forest of their home country, Gallacia. When they get there, they find the caretaker dead and the family home in disarray. The townsfolk speak of a monster. Alex needs to uncover whether it’s merely local superstition or something more sinister.
A Voice Calling by Christopher Barzak (March 2024)
Barzak is no stranger to unsettling stories, and this upcoming novella is sure to hit all my favorite notes in haunted house stories. It spotlights Button House, a ruthless abode that has consumed all who approach. And in this house, no one is safe, for it has claimed many victims, from twin brothers to a child bride. Rose Billings, however, seeks to unravel its mysteries once and for all. This is upcoming from Psychopomp (also the publisher of my forthcoming novella), which also publishes the The Deadlands, a speculative literary magazine that focuses on Death in all its forms, journeys, and realms.
The Angel of Indian Lake by Stephen Graham Jones (March 2024)
One can’t talk about horror without talking about the master of the genre, Stephen Graham Jones. There are images from Stephen Graham Jones’s stories that are burned into my psyche forever, and I love him for it. This is the concluding tale to the masterful trilogy that began with My Heart is a Chainsaw. In this last installment, Jade Daniels hasn’t seen her hometown of Proofrock, Idaho, in four years, not since the events that ended in Don’t Fear the Reaper. A lot has changed, while some things seemed to have waited for Jade’s return: the curse of the Lake Witch. It’s time for the final stand.
Diavola by Jennifer Thorne (March 2024)
Who doesn’t love a good horror story about a family vacation gone wrong? And surprise, surprise, another haunted house story (it’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me).
Anna Pace yet again finds herself on another family vacation, full of the usual melodramas. Between critical parents, a perfect sister, and an easygoing brother, Anna often finds herself at odds with the rest of her family. A gorgeous villa in Monteperso seems like a premier location for a family getaway, until they hear unsettling noises and receive warnings from the locals.
Through the Night Like a Snake: Latin American Horror Stories (March 2024)
I am so excited about this anthology of Latin American horror, including a story from one of my absolute favorite authors, Mariana Enriquez (Things We Lost in the Fire is one of my favorite collections of all time). There are ten stories by talented Latin American authors, translated by ten translators. This is a fantastic compilation of unsettling stories, from a sex worker discovering a dark secret about the nuns of pampas, to a boy exploring the abandoned house of a dead fascist.
Immortal Pleasures by V. Castro (April 2024)
From The Haunting of Alejandra comes a new, sensual, dark fantasy. Malinalli was reborn from the ashes of empire and is now an immortal vampire. Hundreds of years before, she was known as La Malinche: a Nahua woman who translated for the conquistador Cortés. Seeking to avenge conquered peoples, Malinalli now scours the world for stolen artifacts to return them to their homelands. What Malinalli finds on her quest surprises her: two men who appeal to different desires. One is a horror novelist; the other is an immortal vampire like herself. This is a tale of vengeance, discovery, and the desires we have yet to explore.
Someone You Can Build a Nest In by John Wiswell (April 2024)
Even the monsters of our darkest horror stories and nightmares can fall in love. Shesheshen is a shapeshifter who would prefer to be left alone at the depths of a ruined manor. When monster hunters arrive to slay her, she builds a body for herself using the body from a leftover meal, borrowed bones, a bear trap, and a chain. Despite her new form, Shesheshen is driven from her home and meets Homily, who believes Shesheshen to be a human, like herself. At first, Shesheshen sees Homily as a perfect host to lay her eggs in, but then feelings happen. Wiswell is well-known for his mastery of crafting horror with heart, and his debut novel is sure to be the best of those worlds.
Read More Horror in 2024
There are so many great horror books on the shelves, and even more forthcoming. In a world where humanity’s horrors are constantly on display, we need books like these as a mirror, a lens, an escape, or all the above. I fervently believe there’s a horror book for every reader, especially if you can hone in what your interests and content warnings are. I hope the above list starts you on your way to finding the horror story that’s right for you.
For those seeking more horror titles to add to your TBR, allow me to point you in the right direction below. It’s just down that dark hallway, where the candles are sputtering, an unknown fluid drips down the wall, and a cool breeze whispers along the hairs on the back of your neck. Ignore the whispers, and if you hear someone call your name, run.