Start Your Year Off Scared: New Horror Coming Out in January

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Emily Martin

Contributing Editor

Emily has a PhD in English from the University of Southern Mississippi, MS, and she has an MFA in Creative Writing from GCSU in Milledgeville, GA, home of Flannery O’Connor. She spends her free time reading, watching horror movies and musicals, cuddling cats, Instagramming pictures of cats, and blogging/podcasting about books with the ladies over at #BookSquadGoals (www.booksquadgoals.com). She can be reached at emily.ecm@gmail.com.

It’s 2023, horror fans! Which means we have a whole new year of horror books to look forward to reading. January is starting off with a bang with a bunch of great new horror novels to choose from. Seriously, these books are a great way to start off a whole year of horror. Will you be adding them all to your TBR for the month? I know I will.

Before we get into the books, let’s talk about some of the trends we’re seeing for horror in the first month of 2023. First of all, looks like oranges, reds, and yellows, are the vibe for cover designs. Are the hot pink and bright purples of 2022 horror over? I guess we’ll have to keep an eye out on horror to come to track that.

What else can you expect from your January 2023 horror novels? Ghosts. Claustrophobia. Unreliable narrators. Haunted houses. Bad dreams. Dark memories. Dark gothic vibes. Ghost hunters. Monsters. Creepy hotels. Vampires. Fights for survival. These books include many of the horror tropes we’ve come to know and love. But there are plenty of surprises within these pages as well. What kind of surprises, you ask? You will have to read all eight of these January 2023 releases to find out!

ghost 19 cover

Ghost 19 by Simone St James (Berkley, January 3)

First up is a novella from Simon St. James. When a doctor suggests to Ginette Cox that she might need to find an environment with less excitement, Ginette moves away from the city to a suburban home in New York: 19 Howard Avenue. Life in suburbia is certainly less exciting that life in the city, but at least Ginette has interesting neighbors. To keep herself entertained, Ginette watches the family across the street from her window and makes up little stories for them. But although life in her new home may be boring, it’s far from peaceful. She keeps hearing strange sounds in her basement that keep her from sleeping. And strange man keeps showing up outside of her home.

bad cree book cover

Bad Cree by Jessica Johns (Doubleday, January 10)

Jessica Johns’s debut novel is the story of a young Cree woman named Mackenzie. Night after night, Mackenzie has horrifyingly realistic dreams about the events that lead to her sister’s untimely death. But then her waking world isn’t that much less terrifying. A murder of crows keeps stalking her around the city, and she keeps getting threatening texts from someone who claims to be her sister. Mackenzie knows this is more than she can handle alone, and so she travels north to her rural hometown in Alberta to return to her family, still haunted by grief. However, Mackenzie’s return home only intensifies her dreams and makes her more unsure about what happened to her sister years ago.

How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix - book cover

How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix (Berkley, January 17)

The wait for the next Grady Hendrix banger is almost over! How to Sell a Haunted House is the story of siblings Louise and Mark Joyner. The two are totally different from each other and basically never speak. But when their parents die at the end of the coronavirus pandemic, Louise and Mark are forced back together to get their childhood home on the market. Guess what though? Yeah, something is weird about the house. Before their parents died, they taped newspaper over the mirrors and nailed the attic door shut. And that’s just the beginning of the disturbing events Mark and Louise will experience in that house.

cover of Tell Me I'm Worthless by Alison Rumfitt; painting of woman's eyes showing through lace with a dark mansion resting above

Tell Me I’m Worthless by Allison Rumfit (Tor Nightfire, January 17)

Tell Me I’m Worthless is a literary gothic horror novel that explores the horror of trauma. Three years ago, Alice spent one night in an abandoned house with her friends Ila and Hannah. Since then, nothing has been the same. Memories of that night continue to torment her, and she hasn’t spoken to either Ila or Hannah since they left the house. So when Ila asks Alice to return with her to the house to rescue Hannah, Alice knows she must go.

extended stay book cover

Extended Stay by Juan Martinez (University of Arizona Press, January 17)

Juan Martinez’s Extended Stay is a work of social horror that examines capitalism and the undocumented experience in the U.S. After his parents are killed in a roadside execution, Alvaro flees Columbia with his sister Carmen to work as a line cook at a seedy hotel in Las Vegas. The Alicia Hotel is the perfect place for those with something to hide. But something is feeding on those secrets.

episode thirteen book cover

Episode Thirteen by Craig DiLouie (Redhook, January 24)

Fade to Black is the latest reality TV sensation. It’s a ghost hunting show led by husband and wife team Matt and Claire Kirklin. And on episode 13, Fade to Black takes its viewers to the Paranormal Research Foundation. Back in the 1970s, strange experiments were done there, and of course, the building is incredibly haunted. The team enters the foundation, eager to prove just how haunted it really is. But they’re about go get much more than they bargained for.

vampire weekend book cover

Vampire Weekend by Mike Chen (Mira, January 31)

Think being a vampire is glamorous? You’ve been watching too much of AMC’s Interview with the Vampire. In real life, vampires can’t fly. They don’t turn into bats. And no, they’re not even allowed to murder. No, vampires just work mundane jobs like the rest of us. But at least Louise Chao has her punk rock shows to keep her entertained. She’s starting to think if she could just start her own punk rock band, she might finally find the family she thought she’d never have. That’s when Ian, a long-lost relative shows up at her door. In Ian, Louise finally finds the connection she’s been longing for. But what will happen when he learns her true identity?

the drift book cover

The Drift by CJ Tudor

C.J. Tudor’s latest horror/thriller is a story of three ordinary people who would risk their lives for an opportunity for redemption. As Hannah, Meg, and Carter all find themselves stranded in a snowstorm for various reasons, they fear that they might not all make it out alive. What they don’t know is that there is a much greater danger lurking in the snowy mountains. A danger that has the power to destroy all of humanity.

Can’t get enough horror? Make sure you subscribe to Book Riot’s The Fright Stuff newsletter for the latest and greatest in the world of horror! And check out all our horror-related posts! 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. Let’s make 2023 extra scary!