Happy New Fear: 8 Chilling New Horror Books for January 2024

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Liberty Hardy

Senior Contributing Editor

Liberty Hardy is an unrepentant velocireader, writer, bitey mad lady, and tattoo canvas. Turn-ons include books, books and books. Her favorite exclamation is “Holy cats!” Liberty reads more than should be legal, sleeps very little, frequently writes on her belly with Sharpie markers, and when she dies, she’s leaving her body to library science. Until then, she lives with her three cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon, in Maine. She is also right behind you. Just kidding! She’s too busy reading. Twitter: @MissLiberty

It’s a brand new year — which means brand new books. How exciting! Why not kick it off with something to scare your wooly socks off this winter? As huge horror fans here at Book Riot, we like to remind everyone that horror books are great for all of the seasons! It doesn’t need to be Halloween for you to scare yourself silly. And to help you find a frightening wintery read, we’ve compiled this list of eight chilling new horror books for January 2024!

There’s something here for everyone! We have an amazing anthology of comic horror from Black artists and writers; a couple staying at a house in Italy that turns out to have a horrifying history; a gothic romantasy at a castle; a Kentucky climbing adventure that goes very, very, wrong; a middle grade story of a girl’s new house that comes complete with a ghost; and two of the best horror novels from 2023 now out in paperback, one involving scary dolls and the other involving…well, you’ll see. It’s the perfect time of year to curl up with a big blanket, a hot beverage, and something that makes you want to scream. Are you ready? Let’s check them out!

cover of The House of Last Resort by Christopher Golden; illustration of a white mansion atop a large cliff; in front of a red sky

The House of Last Resort by Christopher Golden

Christopher Golden is a prolific master of horror, and this new book is another banger! It’s about an American couple, Tommy and Kate, who accept an offer to buy a mansion in Italy for one Euro. It’s part of the mayor’s plan to help get people back to the failing town. The only catch is that they have to stay for at least five years. Just kidding! The real catch is that their new home has a horrifying history, one Tommy and Kate are about to discover for themselves. (And if you like wintery horror books in winter, Golden also excels at those. Check out Snowblind, Ararat, and Road of Bones.)

cover of The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years by Shubnum Khan; image of a woman in a red headdress kneeling

The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years by Shubnum Khan

Here’s another novel with a haunting history that bleeds into the present! Sana is a boarder at a rooming house in the once-grand estate of Akbar Manzil. Curious by nature, Sana manages to get behind a locked door in the mansion, where she finds the diary — and ghost — of Meena, a young woman who died in the mansion under mysterious circumstances. Sana’s sleuthing will bring Meena’s story to life and touch everyone with its love and tragedy.

cover of This Wretched Valley by Jenny Kiefer; illustration of a climber hanging from a cliff face shaped like a skeleton

This Wretched Valley by Jenny Kiefer

If you go out in the woods today…The chance to be the first to climb an untouched cliff in Kentucky is a dream for climber Dylan. So Dylan, her boyfriend, a geologist, and his assistant all set off for a grand adventure out in nature. Weeks later, three corpses are discovered in the woods in various stages of mutilation. But Dylan is still missing. What happened on that fateful trip? Is Dylan a killer, and where is she now? The answer will scare you!

cover of Gothikana by RuNyx; black rose in front of a black wrought iron gate in the foggy woods

Gothikana by RuNyx

If you like your gothic fiction with a side of naughty, this is the book for you. When Corvina Clemm receives an invitation to study at the University of Verenmore, she is ready for a change and accepts. She didn’t realize it was going to be in a spooky castle with a dark, secret past and Vad Deverell, a sexy professor. People have a history of disappearing at the university every few years, so Corvina and Vad try and stick together as closely as possible so nothing happens to them…

cover of Shook! A Black Horror Anthology by Second Sight Publishing, Dark Horse Comics; illustration of skulls in a graveyard with red eyes and afros

Shook! A Black Horror Anthology by Second Sight Publishing, Dark Horse Comics

Exactly as advertised, this is an enormous collection of horror comics by Black artists and illustrators. It includes works from creators who have won the prestigious Will Eisner Award and Hugo Awards and features such talent as David Walker (Bitter Root, Black Panther Party), John Jennings (Kindred, The Blacker the Ink), and Rodney Barnes (Killadelphia).

cover of Not Quite a Ghost by Anne Ursu; illustration of a young girl in a room with the outline of a ghost in the wallpaper

Not Quite a Ghost by Anne Ursu

There are a lot of books about scary things in houses this month! This one is aimed at middle grade readers but is, of course, great for all ages. A lot is changing in Violet’s life all at once. She has a new stepfather, a new sibling, and a new house. Violet gets her own room, but it’s in the attic, and it’s creaky and kinda spooky. Soon after moving, Violet becomes sick, and as she spends more time in her room, she begins to realize maybe she’s sharing her room after all.

Now in paperback

cover of Monstrilio by Gerardo Samano Cordova; painting of a gray bat creature with red eyes

Monstrilio by Gerardo Sámano Córdova

When Magos loses her young son Santiago, she does something desperate in her grief: going off an old folktale, she cuts a piece of his body off and keeps it in a jar. At first, she thinks it must have been just a story, but then the piece starts to move and grow, and soon it needs to eat… As not-Santiago continues to get bigger, Magos wonders if this is the best way to help her grieve and learns just how far she will go to keep him.

cover of How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix; image of a house at night with a light on in the front door

How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix

And to wrap things up, one of the biggest horror books of last year! When Louise’s parents die in an accident, she must return to her childhood home to get it ready to sell. Her parents were puppeteers and the house is full of puppets and dolls. If that wasn’t annoying enough, her estranged brother Mark is also there. But sad memories and sibling rivalry will take a back seat when Louise and Mark learn just how badly the house wants to keep all its stuff. Spoiler: bad enough to kill anyone who tries to take it. And then there’s Pupkin…

If you love horror, check out the 25 Best Horror Books of 2023, and be sure to sign up for The Fright Stuff, our horror newsletter.

Finally, you can also find a full list of new releases in the magical New Release Index, carefully curated by your favorite Book Riot editors, organized by genre and release date.