The 40 Most Popular Horror Novels of the Last 5 Years

Posted by Cybil on October 5, 2020

It’s October, which means it’s the perfect time to scare yourself with a truly unsettling book. But if you’re a casual reader of dread and terror, you may have missed some of the most popular recent novels of the genre—the ones that will keep you awake, and we mean wide awake, all night. 

Fear not! We unearthed your fellow readers’ 40 most popular horror novels of the last five years to help you devise your perfect Halloween reading list. Sure, there are plenty of choices for Stephen King fans, and fans of books written by people related to Stephen King. You’ll also find plenty of other ghosts, creatures, vampires, witches, Gothic creepiness, haunted places, and eeriness to scratch, tear, or bite any sort of horror itch. 
 

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What newer horror novel would you recommend to your fellow readers? Tell us in the comments!


 

Comments Showing 1-50 of 67 (67 new)


message 1: by Obsidian (new)

Obsidian Only read 11 of these. My favorite so far was "The Changeling."


message 2: by Gemma (new)

Gemma Baxter Am reading The Year of the Witching and loving it. Just finished The Crooked Mask, which was really creepy - set in a circus in Norway and based on Norse mythology. If you don't like clowns/jesters, maybe one to avoid though! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5...


message 3: by Krissy (new)

Krissy This was great!!! Thank you!


message 4: by Fadi (new)

Fadi Kharoufeh I read Devolution A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks and for this horror month I am reading The Hunger by Alma Katsu


message 5: by Berna (new)

Berna Labourdette Obsidian wrote: "Only read 11 of these. My favorite so far was "The Changeling.""

I had read "The ballad...." and I didn't like it at all, I'll give a chance to " The changeling". Thanks ;)


message 6: by Lokesh (new)

Lokesh Khatri I started reading horror with goosebumps


message 7: by Obsidian (new)

Obsidian Berna wrote: "Obsidian wrote: "Only read 11 of these. My favorite so far was "The Changeling.""

I had read "The ballad...." and I didn't like it at all, I'll give a chance to " The changeling". Thanks ;)"


Welcome! I hope you enjoy! I didn't like The Devil in Silver, but thought this one was just about perfect.


message 8: by Sofia (new)

Sofia I love how it's just Stephen King this, Stephen King that 😂


message 9: by Natalie (new)

Natalie H. What age group is Alice for?


message 10: by Daydreamer (new)

Daydreamer Sofia wrote: "I love how it's just Stephen King this, Stephen King that 😂" and family... :)


message 11: by Christine (new)

Christine Marie The fireman by Kings son is incredible I've listened to it 4 times


message 12: by Morgan (new)

Morgan Mira Grant's "Into the Drowning Deep" is incredible and I highly recommend it if you love oceanic horror.


message 13: by Marie (last edited Oct 05, 2020 04:43PM) (new)

Marie If you want a horror read that will scare your pants off then check out this book and it is fiction:

Hell: The Possession and Exorcism of Cassie Stevens by Tom Lewis


message 14: by Silvia (new)

Silvia I read The Hunger and it was very very good.


message 15: by Katy (new)

Katy Natalie wrote: "What age group is Alice for?"

Adults! It's extremely graphic, including sexual violence and gore. That said, it's an excellent read :)


message 16: by Carmen (new)

Carmen Malcolm Keen to read quite a few of these. Which should I start with? As an aside, I don't like books written in the first person.

Thanks


message 17: by Gloria (new)

Gloria Webber Carmen wrote: "Keen to read quite a few of these. Which should I start with? As an aside, I don't like books written in the first person.

Thanks"


I think Meddling Kids would be an easy start to this list. It's a bit more light-hearted than the others, in my opinion. I can't recall if it's first person though, it's been a little while since I read it.


message 18: by Haytham (new)

Haytham Ali I love horror novels very much, thanks for these suggestions, I will try to read them all

el7lwa


message 19: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Silvia wrote: "I read The Hunger and it was very very good."

I am almost done with The Hunger and I'm thoroughly enjoying it as well!!! Very well written and a great supernatural take on the Donner party!


message 20: by Karen (new)

Karen Harvey The Shadows—creepy, scary, horrific, and, yes, funny. And one of the most hilarious dogs in fiction doesn’t die!


message 21: by Matt (new)

Matt Williams Silvia wrote: "I read The Hunger and it was very very good."

Agreed.


message 22: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Thompson I have read 12 of these, and am currently reading Alice by Christina Henry. The Silent Companions is the book that scared me most on this list. And to be honest, I DNF a bunch of these.


message 23: by Kristina (new)

Kristina Imaginary Friend was decently scary but it’s also over 700 pages and really doesn’t need to be. I’d recommend reading only if you want to be frustrated when the story meanders instead of wrapping up.


KidlitUnderground GR Sooo needs a list of MG and YA horror novels:

DON'T TURN OUT THE LIGHTS
THE FORGOTTEN GIRL
HIDE AND SEEKER


message 25: by Briana (new)

Briana Highly recommend The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni, especially for those who liked Mexican Gothic!


message 26: by William (new)

William Obsidian wrote: "Only read 11 of these. My favorite so far was "The Changeling.""

ive read 9 but had to order a couple to read after seeing this list


message 27: by Jorgy (new)

Jorgy The Road by Cormac McCarthy REALLY creeps me out. I know it's not classified as horror but definitely unsettling.


message 28: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay I have one that might this list as well but I have not read it yet though I plan on it The Proctor Hall Horror (The Bayou Hauntings Book 7) by Bill Thompson This one might be a good one to put to the test


message 29: by Eileen (new)

Eileen Hex

Good and scary!!


message 30: by Phil On The Hill (new)

Phil On The Hill Only 4. :-(


message 31: by sctoppy (new)

sctoppy Kristina wrote: "Imaginary Friend was decently scary but it’s also over 700 pages and really doesn’t need to be. I’d recommend reading only if you want to be frustrated when the story meanders instead of wrapping up."

Agreed. Strong start, and then horribly repetitive.


message 32: by sctoppy (new)

sctoppy The Only Good Indians has one of my favourite horror moments ever.

Head Full of Ghosts, Grady Hendrix, The Hunger are all great. I love Ice Cream Man for comics horror.


message 33: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Allard The Last Days of Jack Sparks is my favorite recent horror novel.


message 34: by Jenni Elyse (new)

Jenni Elyse I've only read The Butterfly Garden and I didn't care for it. The gardener was portrayed as too normal of a person rather than the sick psychopath he was. It unsettled me.


message 35: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Montour Lokesh wrote: "I started reading horror with goosebumps"

SAY CHEESE AND DIE!!!!!!


message 36: by Chiara (new)

Chiara Could anyone recommend a book that's more on the side of spooky than outright scary?


message 37: by Sharon (new)

Sharon The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones is definitely creepy.


message 38: by John (new)

John Hynes Bay City Murder on the East Side, by John Hynes. Is the second episode in the series The chronicles of Johnny Blake: John at the scene of a young murdered girl. Over here Johnny. Yeah John Same M O as the first girl small with short blonde hair. My God! Sammy, Paula small with short blonde hair! What clue did one of the young murdered girls leave behind? This episode is available on amazon e-book and paperback.


message 39: by William (new)

William Phil On The Hill wrote: "Only 4. :-("
i didnt even know about some of these books until this list. I will read more


message 40: by John (new)

John Hynes Chiara wrote: "Could anyone recommend a book that's more on the side of spooky than outright scary?"
Murder in Bay City by John Hynes
Bay City Murder on the East Side, by John Hynes. Both episodes are
a romantic murder Mystery, not scary.
available on amazon e-book For $ 2.99, I think you may enjoy.


message 41: by William (new)

William sctoppy wrote: "Kristina wrote: "Imaginary Friend was decently scary but it’s also over 700 pages and really doesn’t need to be. I’d recommend reading only if you want to be frustrated when the story meanders inst..."
it started strong and then i agree went on too long


message 42: by T.L. (new)

T.L. Ashton The single most frightening book I have ever read is Geoffrey Household's Dance of the Dwarves. Everyone whom I have told about it agrees with me


message 43: by Leah (new)

Leah Obsidian wrote: "Only read 11 of these. My favorite so far was "The Changeling.""

Yes!!! So happy to see 2 of his books on the list.


message 44: by Kris (new)

Kris *Reads title* "Please don't let it be all Stephen King, Please don't let it be all Stephen King, Please don't let it be all Stephen King," *opens list*

DAMMIT!


message 45: by Erwin (new)

Erwin Wallpaper Need a film adaptation


message 46: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa Ryan wrote: "Lokesh wrote: "I started reading horror with goosebumps"

SAY CHEESE AND DIE!!!!!!"


Hey . That's a good one . I read it too !! R.L. Stine's GOOSEBUMPS aren't bad . He knows when to turn the fright machine off .


message 47: by Valérie (new)

Valérie Sofia wrote: "I love how it's just Stephen King this, Stephen King that 😂"

Well, he is the master of the horror genre. Though I prefer his older books...I haven't read much of his newer stuff.


message 48: by Sophia (new)

Sophia  McIntyre Ania Ahlborn needs to be added. She is known as the female Stephen King


message 49: by Karen (new)

Karen The Night Sister- Jennifer McMahon
Bag of Bones- S. King
The Wyckham House- Sharon Gerlach
The Quiet Boy- Short story by Nick Acosta- “Antlers”@


message 50: by Rochelle (new)

Rochelle @Natalie H "What age group is Alice for?" Alice is a teen in the book however there is adult content. I would not let my 12 year old read it.


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