When it comes to being scared on purpose, I am 100% all for scary books, but I don’t enjoy scary movies, or haunted amusement rides, or anything else that might frighten me. I think it’s because it’s easy to be in control when the frights are confined to the page, and you only have your imagination to guide you, not images on a screen. I like to be in charge of frightening myself silly.
So scary books are the way to go. I love a good frightening novel, and not just in the Fall. I think they’re fun all year round. This year we had another terrific crop of frightening releases, and I managed to read a great many of them. From the apocalypse to haunted houses to serial killers, here are some of the best horror books of 2019, so you can also scare yourself silly. It’s fun, I promise.
by Jason Arnopp
Kate Collins was excited to be moving in with her new boyfriend, Scott, but all she finds when she shows up at their new apartment is his cell phone. With no answers about where he could be, she looks at his messages. And that's when her nightmare begins.
Ann Dávila Cardinal
Over the course of five nights, five friends must solve a string of grisly murders sweeping through their town in Puerto Rico. But what happens if the killer you seek is not human?
When Mouse's dad asks her to go to North Carolina and clean out her dead grandmother's house, she agrees. But upon arrival, she's very sorry she did. Because not does she find the house crammed with junk, but there's something unnatural waiting for her outside in the woods.
It's a wild, bone-filled gothic space opera about the heirs to the Nine Houses who must solve the riddle of a spooky space mansion to achieve immortality.
A widower and his young son hope to make a new start in the town of Featherbank. But unbeknownst to them, Featherbank was the scene of the notorious serial killer, the Whisper Man. And even though he's now locked up, his crimes are about to start back up.
Maurice Carlos Ruffin
In this chilling near-future satire set in a post-post racial America, a father works hard to afford an operation for his son that will lighten his skin and help him go farther in the world.
T. Marie Vandelly
When Daisy was a baby, her whole family was murdered. Daisy grew up knowing nothing about them or the tragedy. So when the murder house goes on the market, she decides to buy it and move in. And now she's really going to get to know her family after all. But she might not survive it.
Hendricks Becker-O'Malley's parents move them to a small town in New York to forget their traumatic past. Unfortunately, the new house they bought is rumored to be haunted. Not everyone believes in the rumors, but the house is certainly starting to get to Hendricks.
Related: Seven Horror Books For Young Readers
What to Read Next
Liberty Hardy is a Book Riot senior contributing editor, co-host of All the Books, a Book of the Month judge, and above all else, a ravenous reader. She resides in Maine with her cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon. You can see pictures of her cats and book hauls on Twitter @MissLiberty and Instagram @franzencomesalive.