11 Terrifying Horror Books For Young Adults

As a teenager, sometimes it seems like nothing could possibly be scarier than high school. So it can be refreshing and cathartic to read about characters facing real terrors, like mysterious killers or even the apocalypse. The eleven horrifying books listed here are must-reads for YA fans who love reading about things that go bump in the night. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

11 Terrifying Horror Books For Young Adults

Title Author
1. Department Nineteen Will Hill
2. City of the Snakes D.B. Shan
3. Snowed Maria Alexander
4. Never Let Me Sleep Jennifer Brozek
5. The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch Daniel Kraus
6. The Sacrifice Box Martin Stewart
7. Of The Trees E.M. Finch
8. Jinxed Thommy Hutson
9. Blackbird of the Gallows Meg Kassel
10. Here There Are Monsters Amelinda Bérubé
11. The Grace Year Kim Liggett

Fun Activities for Horror Fans

For some of us, Halloween is a year-round event. Whether you want to prepare for next October, or always enjoy bringing a little spookiness into your life, here are some fun ideas you could try:

Classic Horror Novels

The contemporary authors on our list are continuing a long tradition of writing about things that go bump in the night. Here are five classic horror novels that will send a shiver down your spine:

  1. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  3. The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe
  4. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  5. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Why Do We Like Being Scared?

In Depth

When it comes to truly chilling reads, young adult authors have got the art of the scare down. From fantasy books with a touch of dark magic to straight-up thrillers that will have you tingling with fright, here, in no particular order, are some picks that are guaranteed to keep young readers up at night.

In the #1 slot is "Department Nineteen" by Will Hill. Jamie Carpenter is alone in the world. His father is dead, his mother is missing, and his only champion is Frankenstein, a hulking mass who works for Department Nineteen, an organization created to keep supernatural creatures in line. Soon enough, Jamie finds himself climbing the ranks of the mysterious anti-Vampire brigade, a job that will put him face to face with some of the creatures from his darkest nightmares.

For #2, we have "City of the Snakes," part of a series by Darren Shan, sometimes credited as D.B. Shan. In a land known only as The City, an immortal creature runs things with an iron fist. But when the ruler disappears, his right-hand man knows there are dark forces at play. To restore order and defeat the evil villac priests, he'll have to trust an unlikely insurgent: Al Jeery, the son of an assassin on a perpetual quest for revenge against the men who killed his father.

But when the ruler disappears, his right-hand man knows there are dark forces at play.

At #3 is "Snowed" by Maria Alexander. At sixteen, Charity Jones is already a brilliant engineer and a proud skeptic. She's also the victim of relentless bullying at her high school. Between falling in love with Aidan, the sensitive teen that her mother took in to live with them, and trying to crack the mystery of who brutally murdered her biggest school bully, Charity has her hands full. But as she and the other members of the Skeptic Club join together to hunt for the truth, they'll end up uncovering things they'll wish had stayed buried.

At #4 is Jennifer Brozek's "Never Let Me Sleep." Melissa was living a normal teenage life in South Dakota, until she woke up one morning to find everyone in her town dead, save for a few packs of hunters pretending to be human with the intention of luring Melissa out of doors. With only the verbal guidance of a Homeland Security agent, she'll have to outsmart whatever's out to get her before the cult of death spreads, even if the monsters turn out to be ones of her own making.

For #5 we find "The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch" by Daniel Kraus. In the late 1890s, a teen gangster meets his bloody end on the edge of Lake Michigan. When he comes back to life, Zebulon becomes a subject of fascination for the entire country, plucked from obscurity and paraded around as a sideshow freak and taken captive by a scientist trying to find the secret to immortal life.

In the late 1890s, a teen gangster meets his bloody end on the edge of Lake Michigan.

Zebulon's restoration will take him to unexpected places, including Hollywood and the front lines of the battlefield during World War I. But despite the glamour of his new life, he'll be forced to watch as everyone around him dies.

Coming in at #6 is Martin Stewart's "The Sacrifice Box." When five friends find a mysterious stone box deep in the forest, it captures their imaginations. They each decide to give up something they love as a sacrifice to the box, and create a set of rules to keep their discovery sacred. Four years later, the town is shaken by a series of terrible events. Someone has broken the pact they created long ago, and someone will have to pay for it.

At #7 is "Of The Trees" by E.M. Fitch. Cassie and Laney haven't been in the business of ghost-busting for too long, but they're getting the hang of it. Nothing can tear the friends apart, especially since they've started their new passion project. But when the carnival rolls into town, the young women find themselves faced with more supernatural energy than they're able to take on. Soon enough, Laney goes missing, and it's up to Cassie to find her friend and stop the evil forces that threaten to extinguish the light from her world.

Cassie and Laney haven't been in the business of ghost-busting for too long, but they're getting the hang of it.

At #8 is Thommy Hutson's "Jinxed." Superstition is for fools. At least, that's what Trask Academy Senior Layna Curtis used to think before she noticed her classmates getting picked off one by one. Time is running out for her to catch the killer, and she's not doing the best job of convincing the rest of the student body of her theory. Will anyone believe Layna in time to stop the killer, or will she end up becoming the final victim?

For #9 we get "Black Bird of the Gallows" by Meg Kassel. When Angie first sees Reece, her new swoon-worthy classmate, she can tell he's different, but doesn't suspect that his arrival signals danger. When a supernatural stalker starts making Angie worried for her safety, she knows that not all is well in her sleepy little town. Reece may not be human, but what is he?

At #10 is Amelinda Berube's "Here There Are Monsters." Skye couldn't be more excited about her family's move to a new town. Her little sister, Deirdre, however, has very different feelings on the matter. After settling down in their new home, Deirdre starts spending more and more time in the woods until she disappears altogether.

Her little sister, Deirdre, however, has very different feelings on the matter.

There's something out there, and Skye knows it. But with her sister's life on the line, she doesn't have time to find out what. She'll have to face the creatures of the wood on her own if she wants her family to be united and safe once more.

Finally, at #11, is "The Grace Year" by Kim Liggett. In Tierney's world, teenage girls are considered so sinful and bewitching that their society banishes them for the whole of their sixteenth year. After that time, if they survive, they can come back and live a life of domestic bliss. That's not what Tierney wants. If she had it her way, women would be free to do whatever they wanted.

But in this world, she's got to play by her society's rules, and as her own "grace year" approaches, she starts to see that the dangers of being cast out of civilization are far more complex than she ever dreamed.