New Horror Books That Will Have You Shaking in Your Sandals This July

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Emily has a PhD in English from the University of Southern Mississippi, MS, and she has an MFA in Creative Writing from GCSU in Milledgeville, GA, home of Flannery O’Connor. She spends her free time reading, watching horror movies and musicals, cuddling cats, Instagramming pictures of cats, and blogging/podcasting about books with the ladies over at #BookSquadGoals ( She can be reached at

Horror is having a moment in 2024. Every month, I’ve been finding new favorites, and July is not slowing down. Not at all. It was so hard to narrow it down to ten books for this list, so it’s possible your favorite horror novel of this month didn’t even get a mention. There were so many good ones to choose from. But with that in mind, these are the ten most exciting, most thrilling, most terrifying horror novels coming out this July. These are the ones that will have you shaking in your sandals (you know, because it’s hot and we’re not wearing boots) this summer.

July’s horror books include some stunning debut fiction, some YA novels that will keep you up at night, and some new works from big names in horror like Stephen Graham Jones and Junji Ito, among others. It’s everything you could ask for in a new releases list, in other words. I’m so excited about each and every one of these super spooky stories, and I think you will be too. Be sure to every book on this list a read, but be forewarned: you might not be able to sleep with the lights off after consuming these horror books.

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Midnight Rooms by Donyae Coles (Amistad, July 2)

This gothic horror novel is set in England in 1840. Orabella Mumthrope is the orphaned daughter of a white man and a Black woman. She has zero prospects and no connections, so when a wealthy man named Elias Blakersby appears and declares his interest in marrying her, Orabella is surprised. She allows him to sweep her away to his family estate, Korringhill Manor, but the home is nothing like what she expected. Everything is falling apart, and the servants seem nervous. What’s more, Orabella starts having strange nightmares.

cover of Bury Your Gays by Chuck Tinglecover of Bury Your Gays by Chuck Tingle

Bury Your Gays by Chuck Tingle (Nightfire, July 9)

If you enjoyed Chuck Tingle’s horror debut Camp Damascus, then you’ll love Bury Your Gays. The book’s title refers to an infamous trope that suggests queer characters can never have a happy ending. The novel follows Misha, an award-winning television scriptwriter who has just been told he must kill off a gay character in an upcoming season finale. Misha wants to do what’s right, but in Hollywood, nothing is ever that simple.

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The Building That Wasn’t by Abigail Miles (CamCat, July 16)

This horror novel is one that is sure to twist your mind in a million different ways. One day in the park, Everly Tertium encounters an old man who claims to be her grandfather. When she follows him back to his apartment building, she’s shocked to discover that all of this feels very familiar to her. She’s certain she’s been here before. She feels like she’s done all of these things already. But none of it is quite clear. The longer Everly stays in the building, the more uneasy she becomes, and yet she’s unable to leave.

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I Was A Teenage Slasher by Stephen Graham Jones (Saga, July 16)

Stephen Graham Jones is one of the most exciting horror authors writing today. This most recent novel, I Was A Teenage Slasher, is a slasher story set in the 1980s in Lamesa, Texas. But this isn’t your average slasher novel. This book is told from the perspective of Tolly Driver, a teen who lived a fairly normal life until he was cursed to kill for revenge. This is Tolly’s autobiography, his story as he wants it to be told.

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Alley by Junji Ito (Viz, July 23)

Images from any Junji Ito manga will haunt your nightmares, and the latest, Alley, is super scary. This book is a collection of ten grotesque and surreal horror stories based on urban legends. Each of these stories incorporates uncanny imagery that will make you feel uneasy and will send chills down your spine. This short story collection was originally published in Japan in 1992, but it’s now being adapted for English audiences for the first time.

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So Witches We Became by Jill Baguchinsky (Little, Brown, July 23)

This YA book is one that first caught my attention because of this disturbing cover illustration and its intriguing title. But guess what? The rest of the book also delivers. It’s spring break, and high school senior Nell is heading to a private Florida island with some of her friends. It seems like the perfect vacation, but the island houses a secret curse. And each of Nell’s friends brought secrets of their own.

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The Blonde Dies First by Joelle Wellington (Delacorte, July 30)

The Blonde Dies First is a sapphic horror comedy novel from Joelle Wellington, the author of Their Vicious Games. This one kicks off when Devon and her friends decide it would be fun to mess with a Ouija board and suddenly find themselves stalked by a literal demon. Yikes. But one thing that’s working to Devon and her friends’ advantage? This demon seems to have a pattern, and its following all the horror rules. With their knowledge of horror films, surely they can come out on top, right?

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It Came from the Trees by Ally Russell (Delacorte, July 30)

I love a scouting story, don’t you? Especially when it’s horror. Jenna knows her best friend Reese as been abducted by a strange creature in the woods, but nobody will believe her. And so Jenna decides to take matters into her own hands. She joins a local scout troop and goes back into the woods to find Reese. When the troop encounters strange, large footprints in the forest, Jenna knows what she saw was real, and now it’s back to come for her and her new friends.

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Ghost Camera by Darcy Coates (Poisoned Pen Press, July 30)

Darcy Coates has established herself as a must-read horror author, and now this out-of-print horror short story collection is getting a rerelease, with new stories! The title story is about an abandoned Polaroid camera that captures new terrors with each snap. Other stories include a strange shoebox with old video tapes, a woman who survives a plane crash with a creepy stranger, and more.

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Stay on the Line by Clay McLeod Chapman (Shortwave, July 30)

Here’s another horror author I will always read. This month, we’re getting a new novelette from Clay McLeod Chapman, featuring several new illustrations by Trevor Henderson. Following a devastating hurricane, this small coastal town finds solace in a strange out-of-service phone booth. When the booth starts ringing, townspeople answer the call and get the unexpected opportunity to reconnect with their loved ones thought to be lost in the storm.

If you’re loving all the horror recs, just rest assured I will be back here at the beginning of every month to deliver all the new releases you’ll want to have on your shelves. Truly, the horrors never cease. But that’s what we love.

Looking for even more horror books to add to your TBR? Check out 72 of the Best Horror Books, According to Horror Authors and 10 New Horror Books Coming Out in June to Give You the Chills.

As always, you can find a full list of new releases in the magical New Release Index, carefully curated by your favorite Book Riot editors, organized by genre and release date.

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