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64 Of Your Favorite Horror Novels

S. Zainab Williams

Executive Director, Content

S. Zainab would like to think she bleeds ink but the very idea makes her feel faint. She writes fantasy and horror, and is currently clutching a manuscript while groping in the dark. Find her on Twitter: @szainabwilliams.

This Riot Recommendation for favorite horror novels is sponsored by John Darnielle’s Universal Harvester, a New York Times bestseller. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

It’s the late 1990s and Jeremy works at the Video Hut in Nevada, Iowa. A local schoolteacher comes in to return Targets and says: “There’s something on it.” Two days later, a different customer returns a different tape and says: “There’s another movie on this tape.”

Jeremy discovers that in the middle of each movie, the screen blinks dark and the movie is replaced by a few minutes of jagged, poorly lit home video.

“This chilling literary thriller follows a video store clerk as he deciphers a macabre mystery through clues scattered among the tapes his customers rent. A page-turning homage to In Cold Blood and The Ring.” — O: The Oprah Magazine

There’s nothing like a good fright to get the blood flowing, and you can always count on books for a dose of thrill and chill. From the quietly creepy to the boldly terrifying, we asked you to share your favorite horror novels, and you responded. Here are 64 of your favorites!

The Ritual by Adam Nevill

The House of Small Shadows by Adam Nevill

Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The Willows by Algernon Blackwood

Blindsight by Peter Watts

Annihiliation by Jeff VanderMeer

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

The Fisherman by John Langan

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff

The Troop by Nick Cutter

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

Demon Theory by Stephen Graham Jones

Dark Matter by Michelle Paver

Losing Christina by Caroline B Cooney

Ghost Story by Peter Straub

The Elementals by Michael McDowell

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

The Croning By Laird Barron

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

The Cipher by Kathe Koja

The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer

The Pine Deep Trilogy by Jonathan Maberry

The Stuff of Nightmares by Marlorie Blackman

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

It by Stephen King

Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon

Gerald’s Game by Stephen King

Song of Kali by Dan Simmons

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Monstrumology by Rick Yancy

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Coldheart Canyon by Clive Barker

The Taking by Dean Koontz

The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn

Apparition by Michaelent Collings

At the Mountains of Madness by H. P. Lovecraft

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

The Watchers by Dean Koontz

Let The Right One In by John A. Lindqvist

The Terror by Dan Simmons

Breed by Chase Novak

The Face by Dean Koontz

Long Lankin by Lindsay Barraclough

Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix

Misery by Stephen King

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

The Adversary Cycle by F. Paul Wilson

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

Mr. B Gone by Clive Barker

Grimm Memorials by R. Patrick Gates

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The Secret of Crickley Hall by James Herbert

Late Great Creature by Brock Brower

The Passage by Justin Cronin

The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allen Poe

The Great and Secret Show by Clive Barker

Dead Souls by J. Lincoln Fenn

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson