10 Best Contemporary Horror Novels 2024: This Will Terrify You

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Dive into the best contemporary horror novels that promise to haunt your dreams and confront modern fears. Our curated list cuts through the vast selection of today’s horror literature, guiding you to the stories that masterfully blend psychological terror, social commentary, and spine-tingling suspense. Whether you crave supernatural chills or psychological unease, find your next read that will cling to your psyche long after the last page.

Best Contemporary Horror Novels

The Changeling by Victor LaValle

The Changeling Victor LaValle


✅Rich, multilayered storytelling

✅Excellent voice performance that enhances immersion

✅Unpredictable plot twists keep you hooked


❌Twists can be complex, potentially confusing

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05/29/2024 01:39 pm GMT
  • The Changeling” by Victor LaValle offers an immersive audiobook experience, with the author’s own narration adding authenticity to the fantastical yet relatable story of a young family’s struggles.
  • The novel masterfully blends elements of folklore and contemporary horror, presenting a narrative full of unexpected twists that challenge the reader’s perceptions.
  • The pacing of the story is slow and deliberate, creating tension but potentially testing the patience of readers who prefer quicker narratives.
  • Some plot threads may seem unresolved, but the book’s depth and engagement offer a rewarding experience for those who commit to its magical journey.

The Night Eaters by Majorie Liu

The Night Eaters by Majorie Liu


✅Engaging mix of horror and humor

✅Mesmerizing artwork

✅Stirring blend of reality and supernatural elements


❌Not all characters connect well with the reader

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05/29/2024 02:23 pm GMT
  • “The Night Eaters: She Eats the Night” offers an immersive experience with a narrative that flows like a dream, blending humor and horror against a rich cultural backdrop.
  • Sana Takeda’s illustrations are captivating, serving as a window into the character’s inner worlds, enhancing the story’s emotional depth and visual impact.
  • The story’s pacing is a slow burn that builds a meticulous foundation for the unfolding horror, though some characters may not fully resonate with all readers.
  • While it may not surpass the acclaim of “Monstress” for fans of Liu and Takeda’s previous work, the graphic novel is a compelling addition to the horror genre and is highly recommended for its unique blend of the unsettling and the sublime.

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins


✅Gripping from the first chapter and hardly lets you catch your breath.

✅Complex characters wrapped in a cocoon of dark humor and mystery.

✅Stands out due to its unique, unconventional storyline.


❌Characters' depth might be confusing for those preferring straightforward narratives.

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05/29/2024 02:08 pm GMT
  • Mount Char” is a roller coaster ride of a novel, offering an original and bizarre journey through a mysterious library where inhabitants each possess a unique “catalogue” of knowledge.
  • The narrative is characterized by dark whimsy and chaos, showcasing originality within the horror genre and breaking away from traditional storytelling.
  • The world-building is intricate and immersive, with complex characters who guide the reader through the novel’s many layers, revealing a deeply fascinating universe.
  • The book’s defiance of genre norms and its blend of fantasy and horror elements make it a striking and refreshingly unique read that invites discussion and debate among enthusiasts.

How to be Death by Amber Benson

How to be Death by Amber Benson


✅Engages with a blend of humor and suspense

✅Unique characters that left a memorable impression

✅A perfect blend of paranormal romance and mystery


❌Slang and humor might not resonate with all readers

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05/29/2024 01:53 pm GMT
  • “How to be Death” by Amber Benson offers a unique blend of dark fantasy and mystery, with a quirky and captivating narrative that pushes the boundaries of traditional horror.
  • The protagonist, Calliope Reaper-Jones, is an unconventional heroine whose sarcasm and wit inject humor into the supernatural twists of the story, keeping the reader engaged.
  • The novel combines a fast-paced plot with relatable character struggles, providing a refreshing take on the supernatural genre with a realistic touch.
  • While the book’s pace and unconventional mix may require some adjustment for fans of classic horror, its originality and lively storytelling make it an exciting read for those looking to breathe new life into their horror collection.

Children of the Night by Dan Simmons

Children of the Night by Dan Simmons


✅Astonishingly imaginative take on vampire lore

✅Rich narrative layers reflecting real-world horrors

✅Maintains suspense over a substantial listening time


❌Unusual structure may not appeal to all

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05/29/2024 02:53 pm GMT
  • Dan Simmons’ “Children of the Night” presents an original take on vampire lore by incorporating historical and cultural elements into a gothic horror narrative that also touches on societal and ethical issues.
  • The storytelling is immersive, with a vivid Romanian setting and complex characters, and the novel includes a deep exploration of political and medical themes, demonstrating thorough research and seamless integration with horror elements.
  • The audiobook’s length, over 14 hours, requires a significant commitment and attention to detail, which may be challenging for some listeners, especially those new to the genre or preferring more straightforward storytelling.
  • The non-linear plot and the unconventional resolution may not satisfy all listeners, but the ending provides a satisfactory conclusion for those who appreciate the book’s intricate storytelling and depth.

Tender by Beth Hetland

Tender by Beth Hetland


Unique take on modern societal pressures

✅Artwork deepens the immersive horror experience

✅Relatable themes that resonate on a personal level


❌May be too dark for some readers

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05/29/2024 03:08 pm GMT
  • Tender” offers a poignant exploration of social media’s influence on society, using stark illustrations and compelling storytelling to reflect on societal pressures and the quest for perfection.
  • The narrative builds tension effectively, drawing readers into the protagonist’s journey and resonating with real-world experiences of striving for an ideal life.
  • The graphic novel is not only unsettling but also provides deep insights, prompting readers to contemplate the narrative’s parallels with actual events and question their own life choices in the context of pursuing unrealistic standards.

Relics by Tim Lebbon

Relics by Tim Lebbon


✅Immersive world-building that captivates and enthralls

✅Complex characters with depth that I found myself invested in

✅Blends genres skillfully, offering a fresh take on horror


For those new to horror-fantasy, the genre blend could be disorienting

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05/29/2024 03:38 pm GMT
  • Relics” by Tim Lebbon immerses readers in an eerie and enigmatic world, blending myth with modernity and prompting a reevaluation of the unnoticed aspects of everyday life.
  • The novel features compelling characters, particularly Angela and Vince, whose intertwined fates and secrets drive the story with a gripping momentum.
  • Lebbon excels at merging genres, creating a novel that is not just a horror story but also an exploration of otherworldly phenomena and the human condition.
  • Finishing the book leaves readers with a sense of satisfaction coupled with a longing for more, reflecting the intense and breath-holding moments experienced throughout the story.

The Bad Ones by Melissa Albert

The Bad Ones by Melissa Albert


✅Masterful weaving of suspense and mystery

✅Remarkable character depth that enhances the storytelling

✅Emma Galvin's audiobook narration adds a gripping layer to the experience


The level of horror is tame for hardcore fans of the genre

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05/29/2024 03:23 pm GMT
  • The Bad Ones” by Melissa Albert offers a chilling narrative set in a town haunted by a mysterious disappearance, expertly weaving a sense of dread and intrigue that captivates readers.
  • The novel excels in character development, creating deep and relatable characters that enhance the horror and make the story more impactful.
  • The horror elements are subtle yet lingering, with an emphasis on atmospheric chills and psychological twists rather than gore, demonstrating Albert’s skill in balancing supernatural and psychological horror.
  • Although aimed at a young adult audience, the book provides a compelling supernatural experience that appeals to a broader range of readers, thanks to its well-crafted characters and engrossing storyline.

Slappy’s Tales of Horror by R. L. Stine

Slappy's Tales of Horror by R. L. Stine


✅The vivid, full-color illustrations ramp up the fun and frights.

✅A fast-paced read that's perfect for younger readers or those new to horror.

✅Revitalizes the classic Goosebumps charm with a fresh, graphic twist.


Some readers might find it too brief and craving more content.

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05/29/2024 04:08 pm GMT
  • Slappy’s Tales of Horror” rekindles the nostalgia of reading Goosebumps novels, now revitalized in a graphic novel format that adds a new dimension to the storytelling.
  • The artwork is dynamic and engaging, enhancing the ghastly adventures and complementing the narrative with a vivid visual experience.
  • The graphic novel strikes a balance between suspense and humor, making it a quick and enjoyable read that maintains the reader’s interest through its pacing and visual storytelling.
  • Aimed at a younger audience, the scares are mild yet entertaining, making it a suitable introduction to the horror genre for kids and a delightful throwback for those who grew up with the original series.


Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix


✅Innovative book design that enhances the reading experience

✅Engaging and fast-paced storyline

✅A unique blend of horror and humor


Some tropes can feel familiar, lessening the surprise element

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05/29/2024 03:54 pm GMT
  • Horrorstör” offers an original and cleverly crafted narrative that begins in the mundane setting of a retail store, which soon transforms into an extraordinary horror environment.
  • The book’s unique presentation mimics an IKEA catalog, enhancing the immersive reading experience and adding a layer of creativity to both the story and its physical form.
  • The suspenseful pacing is effective, keeping readers engaged and eager to see the story unfold, while the humor interspersed throughout provides a balance to the horror elements without diminishing the overall tension.
  • Although the haunted furniture store setting is unconventional and may not appeal to horror traditionalists, the novel stands out for its originality and may offer a fresh take for those accustomed to classic horror settings.
  • While it may not be the most terrifying read for seasoned horror enthusiasts, “Horrorstör” delivers a solid and memorable experience that lingers with the reader.

FAQ – Best Contemporary Horror Novels

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“The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson is often considered one of the scariest books ever written, captivating readers with its psychological horror and eerie atmosphere.

What is the best horror book to read right now?

“Pet Sematary” by Stephen King is a gripping horror novel that explores themes of grief, loss, and the darkness that lies beyond death. Its chilling narrative and relentless suspense make it an excellent choice for horror enthusiasts.

What horror books are set in London?

“Dracula” by Bram Stoker – Parts of the novel take place in London, where Count Dracula brings his terror.
“The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson – Set in Victorian London, it explores the duality of human nature.
“The Ghost of Thomas Kempe” by Penelope Lively – A children’s novel set in modern-day London with supernatural elements.
“The City & The City” by China Miéville – While not strictly horror, this novel incorporates elements of urban fantasy and crime set in a surreal version of London.
“London Falling” by Paul Cornell – A contemporary urban fantasy/horror novel set in London, featuring a team of police officers facing supernatural threats.

Who wrote the best horror books?

Highly acclaimed horror authors include Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson, Edgar Allan Poe, Clive Barker, Anne Rice, and Bram Stoker. Each has contributed significantly to the horror genre with their unique styles and memorable works.

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Carlo Hummel
Carlo Hummel

Greetings, I'm Carlo!

At the youthful age of 21, I've found my purpose in shedding light on the latest trends, innovative interior designs, influential artistic creations, and notable events within the dynamic landscape of contemporary culture. My passion for these aspects of life drives me to share my unique perspective with others, fostering a deeper connection to the ever-evolving world of culture and creativity. Modernity Rules!

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