13 Horror Books That Will Make Your Blood Run Cold

Horror fans come in all shapes and sizes. Some prefer more literary options, while others want to just get scared. Some prefer a creepy campfire vibe, and others want a bit more romance. No matter which camp you fall into, one of the books on this list is bound to strike your fancy. When you click links from this website, we may receive advertising revenue to support our research. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

13 Truly Scary Stories

  1. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
  2. Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle
  3. The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor by Robert Kirkman
  4. Dead of Eve by Pam Godwin
  5. Blue is for Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz
  6. Bone Music by Christopher Rice
  7. Ten by Gretchen McNeil
  8. Forsaken by J.D. Barker
  9. White Crow by Marcus Sedgwick
  10. Snowblind by Christopher Golden
  11. Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson
  12. The Twelve Terrors of Christmas by Claudette Nicole Melanson
  13. Vampires of the Mists by Christie Golden

The Psychology of Scary Movies

In Depth

Readers of scary stories often seek out the most terrifying plots with unexpected twists and turns. From a vast number of horror books, we have plucked thirteen of the most spine-tingling novels that are definitely not for the faint of heart. In no particular order, here is our list of great reads that will make you shudder.

#1 on the list is "Anna Dressed in Blood." This book is the first in a horror series by Kendare Blake. Cas Lowood, the 17-year-old main character, kills the dead with a magic weapon, just as his father did. He is faced with the task of killing Anna, a homicidal ghost who was murdered more than 60 years ago. This is a bone-chilling paranormal story laced with tragedies and gruesome murders. It is also willing to show the gory details of death.

At #2 is "Donners of the Dead." This standalone novel is set in the historical United States and explores the legends and folklore of Native American culture with the richness of western tales. The narrator, Eve Smith, is a young girl of mixed white and Native origin, who helps a group of strange men in a search expedition into the local mountains. Written by Karina Halle, it is a horrifying story of survival in the cold, and of foreboding places full of evil.

This standalone novel is set in the historical United States and explores the legends and folklore of Native American culture with the richness of western tales.

Next, at #3 is "The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor." The first in a trilogy, it explores the beginning of the metamorphosis of the man who turns into the Governor, the series' most notorious and loathsome villain. The story opens with the first days of the zombie outbreak and the struggles of a small ragtag group of survivors. Written by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga, it follows the journey of Philip, who lives in a world of walkers, as he reaches the breaking point that made him into the ruthless person who takes over Woodbury.

At #4 is "Dead of Eve." This is an intriguing apocalyptic novel that is the first in a trilogy. It tells a terrifying story of the only female survivor on Earth in the middle of an outbreak of a virus that has caused countless deaths. The heroine, Evie, lost her kids and husband. Driven by her gut instinct and visions of her dead children, she travels to seek safety and truth. Pam Godwin mixes dark romance with sci-fi horror in the pages of this book.

At the #5 spot is "Blue is for Nightmares." The first in a 5-part series, the story is about Stacey Brown, a young witch who keeps seeing premonitions through her dreams. She needs to save her best friend and roommate Drea from danger by finding out her stalker's identity. In order to do that, she has to perform her grandmother's spells. In this book, Laurie Faria Stolarz manages to entertain horror fans with stories of prank calls, suspicious notes, mysterious packages and death threats.

In order to do that, she has to perform her grandmother's spells.

Following at #6 is "Bone Music." This tells the story of Charlotte Rowe, a young woman coping with the fact that the first seven years of her life were spent with serial killers. Trying to overcome her tragic past by rebuilding her world, she changes her name and goes to extensive lengths to keep herself safe. Christopher Rice creates this riveting, intense, and complex blend of mystery thriller and science fiction that will leave readers wanting more.

At #7 is "Ten." This quick-paced thriller by Gretchen McNeil is about ten teenagers who are invited to a secret house party on a secluded island over the course of a three-day weekend. Everyone is expecting to have a great time, but what starts out fun turns into a nightmare when they discover a DVD with a sinister message. One by one, the guests start to die. With a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world, stuck with someone that is out for vengeance.

#8 on the list is "Forsaken." This first installment in the Shadow Cove Saga is a creepy tale of a novelist who writes horror thrillers and wants to be widely known for his craft. It centers on the life of Thad, whose newest novel is one that has been haunting him ever since his wife gifted him a journal about witch trials. J.D. Barker creates this entertaining read which offers differing perspectives of the characters.

This first installment in the Shadow Cove Saga is a creepy tale of a novelist who writes horror thrillers and wants to be widely known for his craft.

Next at #9 is "White Crow." This Gothic thriller by Marcus Sedgwick is about Ferelith and Rebecca, two teens working their way through difficult times. They share a strong desire to know if life after death really exists. They find the answers at a forgotten, disintegrated church, the site of a diabolical experiment done centuries ago. As the pages unfold, the girls embark on dangerous games. Readers will be kept guessing what horrible things will happen until the end.

At #10 is "Snowblind." This is a tale of a community under supernatural siege. Two blizzards, spaced twelve years apart, hit the small town of Coventry. The first one leaves the population dreading a recurrence of the abnormally cold and vicious ice storm. By the time the second hits, the survivors are still struggling. And the weather forecast shows signs that something evil came along with it again. Christopher Golden offers a spine-chilling, ghost-house thrill ride with this novel.

At the #11 spot is "Servants of the Storm." After being hit by Hurricane Josephine, Savannah, Georgia is overtaken by devils who drug humans into compliance and create an army of zombie-like servants. Seeing her dead best friend in a cafe, the protagonist, Dovey, stops taking her anti-psychotic medicine and fights to reclaim her friend's soul from the evil spirits. In this southern Gothic fantasy, Delilah S. Dawson explores the idea that demons lurk in places other than the dark corners of our minds.

In this southern Gothic fantasy, Delilah S. Dawson explores the idea that demons lurk in places other than the dark corners of our minds.

#12 on the list is "The 12 Terrors of Christmas." This book boasts a dozen disturbing tales that explore a less than merry side of the season, taking dark turns on holiday legends. Author Claudette Melanson offers a creepy collection of ghosts, demons, serial killers, and werewolves getting caught up in their own version of the yuletide spirit. This well-written, entertaining, and descriptive anthology is ideal for fans of short horror stories.

Finally, at #13 is "Vampire of the Mists" by Christie Golden. This is a poignant, haunting and melancholy tale of Jander Sunstar, a gold elf who also happens to be a 500 year old vampire. He became an unwilling guest of Count Strahd Von Zarovich in Ravenloft. While Strahd embraces his evil nature, Jander is tormented by it, taking on a journey of revenge, self-discovery and peace. This piece is an imaginative plunge into a world that mixes fantasy with horror.