October might not be officially known as Horror Month, but it’s certainly one of the best times of the year to read atmospheric thrillers, mystery suspense books, and horror of all stripes. There’s nothing better than curling up with a scary book on a chilly fall afternoon while rain pounds on the window. We’ve rounded up a few of the best horror books around for your reading pleasure, from suspense-packed thrillers to haunting family dramas. Whether you’re looking for an eerie read like Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky or a supernatural thriller like The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro, you’re sure to find the perfect October read on the list below.
by Zoje Stage
A secluded nature vacation turns into a desperate fight for survival in Zoje Stage's new thriller, Getaway. Sisters Imogen and Beck have been best friends with Tilda since they were all in high school. But the three women have grown apart in adulthood, their teenage closeness evaporating with age. After Imogen survives a horrific attack, Beck suggests the three of them take a vacation together to catch up and reunite. They hike deep into the backcountry of the Grand Canyon, but soon long-buried tensions and old secrets begin to come to light. And it's not just the past that's haunting them, either—their supplies are also disappearing. As the women struggle to outsmart the evil that's stalking them, their friendship is put to the ultimate test.
Stephen Graham Jones
With My Heart is a Chainsaw, a complex character study and an ode to slasher movies and horror films in general, Stephen Graham Jones cements himself as one of the best contemporary horror writers working today. Seventeen-year-old Jade is a Native teenager living in the small town of Proofrock, Idaho, with her abusive dad. She has few friends and feels like she doesn't belong everywhere. Her one comfort is horror movies; she's particularly obsessed with slashers. So when a real-life slasher plot starts unfolding in Proofrock, Jade is the one who can see what's really happening—and the only one who might be able to stop it.
by Andy Marino
In The Seven Visitations of Sydney Burgess, a woman's life begins to spiral out of control after she survives a home invasion. Sydney is proud of the life she's built for herself and her son, far from the mistakes and ghosts of her troubled past. But that all changes when she opens her front door one day to find a masked intruder on the doorstep. Hours later, she wakes up in the hospital, believing she escaped after being knocked unconscious, but the police tell her otherwise: the man was brutally murdered. Suddenly Sydney can't trust her own memories—and that means that the life she's so carefully built might have been nothing but lies all along.
Fans of cult horror books will definitely want to pick up this eerie and disturbing story. The Children of Red Peak follows three adult survivors of a religious cult. As children, they witnessed the cult's violent and horrific final days. As adults, they've all struggled to put the traumas of the past behind them and move on with their lives. But when a fellow survivor dies by suicide, the three friends reunite and begin to reminisce. Their memories reveal shocking truths about what really happened all those years ago at Red Peak, and escaping a second time might be close to impossible.
In The Book of Accidents, supernatural horror and family drama collide. Nathan and Maddie Graves both survived traumatic childhoods. Now married, they've returned to their small Pennsylvania hometown with their son, Oliver. But the creeping horror that once stalked the streets of the town is back, and this time, it has Oliver in its clutches. He befriends a strange boy with an affinity for dark magic, a magic eerily similar to the sinister evil that haunts his parents pasts. Soon, Oliver and his parents are caught up in a deadly battle between good and evil.
A Heian-era mansion stands abandoned, its foundations resting on the bones of a bride and its walls packed with the remains of the girls sacrificed to keep her company.
It’s the perfect venue for a group of thrill-seeking friends, brought back together to celebrate a wedding.
A night of food, drinks, and games quickly spirals into a nightmare as secrets get dragged out and relationships are tested.
But the house has secrets too. Lurking in the shadows is the ghost bride with a black smile and a hungry heart.
And she gets lonely down there in the dirt.