This year we bring you our selection of 31 horror books ideal for the spookiest month of the year. We’ve included a few of our own that we’re particularly proud of, as well as the books that we have read and have stuck with us. From standalone short stories to novellas, anthologies to novels, there is something for every taste in horror.
Madman Across the Water by Caroline Angel
For generations one family has been haunted by something… something that stalks. It sees and listens, it watches and follows. In the shadows and mist it waits, to take you, to hurt you, perhaps to kill you. If it doesn’t kill you, you’ll wish it did. A creepy, suspenseful saga of family, horror, and mystery, this is one story sure to leave you frightened of the woods at night, fog, and all things tall and slender. Available here.
A delicious collection of horrific tales and darkest poetry in one big, fat horror anthology from the cream of the crop; all lovingly compiled by the incomparable Gerri R Gray! Nestling between the covers of this formidable tome are twenty-five of the very best lady authors writing on the horror scene today! Buy here
The Witch’s Backbone by Pamela Morris
It’s 1980 and the dog days of summer have settled over the small farming community of Meyer’s Knob. Five friends have spent their time at the local creek swimming and gathering crayfish, riding bikes, and mostly just trying to avoid boredom. When tomboy Tara Fielding reports she’s spotted what she believes to be the witch of their local urban legend, and is now subject to that legend’s deadly curse, her friends rally ‘round and decide they’re going to prove there’s no such thing. After lying to their parents about where they’ll be, the friends head out to The Witch’s Backbone where, the legend claims, the witch waits for foolish travelers who dare pass that way at night. What the group witnesses during this late summer field trip and what they find out after they return to civilization, does little to put anyone’s mind at ease, least of all Tara’s. Not only do they now believe this long-dead 19th century witch is real, but that she has friends who are still practicing the Black Arts, friends that will see to it that the legend’s curse is carried out. Are there evil witches stalking the woods and sun-starved ravines between Meyer’s Knob and the neighboring town of Barnesville? Or have the kids just let boredom, the oppressive summer heat, and their own imaginations get the better of them? Buy here
Four: A Novella by P.J. Blakey-Novis
From the author of Embrace the Darkness, Tunnels, and The Artist comes Four. Four friends spend a night away camping in the English countryside, each taking a turn to tell a horror story that will terrify the others. But the group soon discover that there is more to be afraid of than just some campfire tales, and that no one is as innocent as they seem. Buy here
The Ivory Tower: A Novelette by Antoinette Corvo
My name is Cynthia Montgomery and I am a fighter. Since the world fell apart, when the dead began to rise, I have searched for my lost love, Vera Lynn. The undead are everywhere, desperate to feed, but I soon learned that those humans who survived can be just as monstrous. I need to make it to safety, to The Ivory Tower, but will it be the paradise that I’m hoping for? Buy here
Darkened Wings Flutter by Lou Yardley
“The end is nigh when darkened wings flutter…”
The small town of Crow’s Foot Hollow is thrown into turmoil when a local boy called Dwayne goes missing. For teacher Beth Harwood, it soon becomes clear that the nearby forest is connected to his disappearance. Clouded in mystery, scary stories and haunting nursery rhymes, that forest seems like just the kind of place to swallow a young boy whole.
But the forest isn’t the only thing you have to worry about in Crow’s Foot Hollow. Sometimes the dangers are much closer to home. Chuck Graves lives next door to a family with their share of problems – a couple that always argues, a little girl called Imogen who creeps the hell out of everyone – but they appear to be held together by little Ryan who keeps on smiling regardless of what’s going on. Everything appears normal, but Chuck can’t help but wonder what’s going on behind closed doors.
Crawling with monsters big and small, “Darkened Wings Flutter” wants to get under your skin. Buy here
Red by D.J. Doyle
*****WARNING: Content may disturb and offend. There are scenes of a sexual nature*****
A depraved past has shaped a man into the twisted serial killer he is today. His obsession with the color Red, and his lust for blood, leads to inventive ways to kill his captives. Who is his next victim, and can she be his salvation? Buy here
Church by Renee Miller
Ray is a Christian, but he loves a woman who follows a god called Zabir. Determined to save her from eternal damnation, he joins her church.
Ray doesn’t realize that indoctrination into the Zabian way is a process that not only breaks a man physically, it strips his identity and shatters his mind. He holds onto his faith at first, but as his prayers for mercy go unanswered, and the pain inflicted on him becomes too much to bear, the void of nothingness promises relief, and tempts Ray to do the unthinkable, even if leaves his soul as damned as the one he tried to save. Buy UK and US
The Vegas Rift by David F. Gray
From David F. Gray, author of Gamble’s Run, comes The Vegas Rift – An epic blend of science fiction, fantasy, and cosmic horror.
When Sam Carr becomes separated from his younger brother Doug during a trip to Las Vegas, he finds himself drawn into a world of unimaginable horrors. Through The Vegas Rift, Sam is taken to The Paradise, a sinister, Vegas-style hotel harboring dark secrets. Who is really running things behind the scenes? Will Sam reach Doug before it’s too late? Will they ever return to the world they left behind? Buy here
The Alignment by Douglas L. Wilson
It’s the summer of 2012, and mankind’s time on earth is drawing rapidly to an end. The Mayan long-count calendar has been ticking down our final days for over twenty-six-thousand years. Locked in a blood feud with the last two vampires left on earth, two families reunite after more than a century apart to battle these hideously powerful creatures, and to stop them before they open the threshold to their world that will begin the wholesale slaughter of humanity. Sean Dunne, a down-on-his-luck D.C. homicide detective, and Gregor Innescu, an elderly Romanian man who’s been stalking the creatures for over fifty years, are drawn together by fate, and by a shared bloodline. Gregor has tracked the vampires for decades, watched them feed, plotted their movements, and uncovered their true purpose on earth. But he’s never acted to intervene, until now. Until he met Sean Dunne. Beginning with the discovery and removal of the Ark of the Covenant by the Knights Templar a thousand years earlier, the Innescu and Dunleavy families have shared a powerful blood bond. Separated over the centuries by countless battles with the vampires, they’ve been brought together in these final hours to prevent the opening of the threshold between worlds that would signal mankind’s bloody demise. Joined by Sean’s daughter Carly, a microbiologist, and her fiancé Ryan, a man who’s not what he appears to be, Sean and Gregor take the fight to the very heart of the creatures’ existence. The streets of Washington, D.C. offer the backdrop for this epic struggle between good and evil, between life and death, and between redemption and ruin. The threshold will open when the stars of the Pleiades achieve their final alignment, and hell will surely follow. Buy UK and US
Human Waste: A Short Splatterpunk Story by C.M. Saunders
Dan Pallister is a survivalist and prepper. Much to the annoyance of the people around him, he has been surviving and prepping since childhood. He just didn’t know what for. When he wakes up one morning to find the world overrun with bloodthirsty zombies it all becomes clear, and despite the fall of civilisation, he can’t wait to get started. He just needs to stock up on supplies from the local supermarket first.
But is everything what it seems?
Til death do us Part (short story)
No Man’s Land: Horror in the Trenches (exclusive extract) Buy UK and US
C is for Cannibals: A-Z of Horror Book Three
**WARNING – GRAPHIC CONTENT**
C is for Cannibals, the third book in an epic series of twenty-six horror anthologies. Within these pages you will find a collection of thirteen gut-wrenching stories from some of the finest independent writers on the scene today. From those with a taste for human flesh to people merely trying to survive, C is for Cannibals contains a range of twisted stories not for the weak of stomach. You have been warned! Buy here
Tales in Sombre Tones by Sean Walter & Karen Ruffles
Lock the doors, close the blinds and settle in with this collection of illustrated horror stories. Velvet dark imagery leads you into haunting tales that will stay with you long after the lights have gone out. Drawing on folklore and nightmares, exploring modern versions of classic stories and bringing original, inventive new horrors, this is a collection that takes the reader on a stunning journey into the world just behind the shadows. Buy UK and US
Flash of Darkness by Toneye Eyenot
Flash Fiction Collection“Lurk within my mind(s) and see
The terrors which await thee…
Just keep in mind, once in my mind
You cannot flee…” ~Eyenot
Nightmare realities…Demonic anomalies.
Unquenchable thirst for blood and
Rabid hunger for warm, quivering flesh…
Descend into the foulest depths of Hell.
Five flashes of terror to torment your mind…
Allow Eyenot to drag you through the darkness.
You may never find your way back to the light. Buy UK and US
Keep It Inside & Other Weird Tales by Mark Anthony Smith
From Mark Anthony Smith, author of Something Said, comes Keep It Inside. A mix of short stories and flash fiction, Keep It Inside & Other Weird Tales features a variety of works to satisfy the tastes of any horror lover – from the gruesome to the sinister, the strange to the outright bizarre. Buy here
Screechers by Kevin J. Kennedy & Christina Bergling
In the apocalyptic fallout of the burned world, the screecher is a massive beast evolved to kill and built for survival. One screecher abandons its home among the crushed remnants of a city and moves to explore the wider world. Unbeknownst to it, one of its surviving nephews decides to tag along. Buy UK and US
Berserker: Green Hell by Lee Franklin
A terrifying debut novel set during the Vietnam War. Australian Lance Corporal Terence ‘Pinny’ Pinfold and his squad find themselves in the midst of the living hell of the Vietnam War. Known as Reapers, their job is to go in after the firefights, collect dog tags and any evidence of war crimes. As each soldier tries to make some sense out of a senseless war, there are more questions than answers as mutilated, butchered bodies are discovered the further to the North they venture. Pinny soon finds himself at the very core of the real war – in a secret underground facility amongst hybrid creatures which belong only in the very worse nightmares. With Pinny’s aboriginal bloodline, the enigmatic Doctor Jacinta Harding believes she has found the perfect specimen…Pinny might survive the war, but he might not save himself. Buy here
Under Rotting Sky by Matthew V. Brockmeyer
Twenty unforgettable tales of transgression and horror by the award-winning author of KIND NEPENTHE.
In “Mine” a child hangs precariously between the isthmus of innocence and evil, shedding his humanity for the altar of a wolf pup.
A horrifying and ancient legend reveals itself with a shocking new twist in “A Dirty Winter Moon.”
“Have a Heart” teaches us that nature always prevails over the follies of man, sometimes in an extremely gruesome manner.
In “Rumpelstiltskin” the troll under the bridge is very real, and wants your children for unspeakable deeds.
In “The Gym Teacher” a boy’s obsession with serial killers leads him to discover the true nature of a monster.
These twenty stories traverse the outskirts of society to reveal the brutality of humanity in all its gory glory. Buy UK and US
Korean Road by Brian Scutt
Alan is sixteen and desperately trying to finish his time in the Boy Scouts, a kids’ club, in his opinion. When one of his badges leads him to the VA hospital in Syracuse, New York, he meets Dick.
Dick served in the Marines during the Korean War. It is a conflict that follows him even to this day. Now, with his wife passed on and his son estranged, Dick only has his hospital bed. When Alan approaches him about a war story, he resolves to escape his “retirement home” immediately. The boy drives him home, where there’s no power, no Doris, and no reprieve from his own demons.
Dick feels the cold of years passed drafting down his neck, threatening to seize his heart every moment. In the broken mind of an old soldier, where does memory end and reality begin? Or do they divide at all?
Hell is cold, and Death stands at the end of his road, the Korean Road. Buy UK and US
Eden by Tim Lebbon
From the bestselling author of The Silence comes a brand-new horror eco thriller. In large areas of the planet, nature is no longer humanity’s friend
In a time when Earth’s rising oceans contain enormous islands of refuse, the Amazon rainforest is all-but destroyed, and countless species edge towards extinction, the Virgin Zones were established in an attempt to combat the change. Off-limits to humanity and given back to nature, these thirteen vast areas of land were intended to become the lungs of the world.
Dylan leads a clandestine team of adventurers into Eden, the oldest of the Zones. Attracted by the challenges and dangers posed by the primal lands, extreme competitors seek to cross them with a minimum of equipment, depending only on their raw skills and courage. Not all survive.
Also in Dylan’s team is his daughter Jenn, and she carries a secret – Kat, his wife who abandoned them both years ago, has entered Eden ahead of them. Jenn is determined to find her mother, but neither she nor the rest of their tight-knit team are prepared for what confronts them. Nature has returned to Eden in an elemental, primeval way. And here, nature is no longer humanity’s friend. Buy UK and US
Wakeful Children by S.P. Oldham
When you open the pages of Wakeful Children, you peer into the mind of a depraved killer who started out small; the panic-stricken thoughts of a recovering alcoholic, just trying to get to a group meeting; the anguished, silent prayers of a man whose only wish is to get a peaceful night’s sleep. You get a glimpse into the greediness of a collector of old, even ancient artefacts – just don’t ask how he came upon them; the idle thoughts of a girl, playing innocently in the grounds of her grandparent’s house, oblivious to what she really is; the calculating machinations of an apparently frail, beautiful woman who is not all she appears to be.
The thoughts and actions of all these beings and more, including entities too old to truly age, spirits too nebulous to name, make up eleven short, intriguing, unsettling stories by S P Oldham, every story fresh and original. Beautifully descriptive prose, sometimes shockingly brutal passages coupled with vividly imagined and clearly depicted storylines make Wakeful Children: A Collection of Horror and Supernatural Tales an intriguing, inventive debut for this author. Buy UK and US
The Whool by Scott Donnelly
An ominous discovery leads to a horrifying mystery unfolding over a thousand miles away. A sinister horror has come to the small midwestern town of Burrows, and once it’s there, it’s already too late. What is happening in Burrows? How will it end? And what, exactly, is THE WHOOL? Buy UK and US
Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories
Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories features the most celebrated voices in dark fiction, as well as a number of exciting new talents:
Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Paul Tremblay, John F.D. Taff, Lisa Mannetti, Damien Angelica Walters, Josh Malerman, Christopher Coake, Mercedes M. Yardley, Brian Kirk, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Amanda Gowin, Richard Thomas, Maria Alexander and Kevin Lucia. Edited by Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward.
With a foreword from Cemetery Dance magazine founder Richard Chizmar. Buy UK and US
Beware the Demons Betrayed by Alan L. Perkins
To survive and stay a step ahead of the competition during the Wild West years, entrepreneurs had to cheat. So it was without compunction that one group of prospectors raised spirits of the dead to pinpoint the most profitable ore-bearing veins up for grabs in Colorado’s gold rush. But during one incantation they overstepped an unwritten rule, conjuring a demon that refused to go away. Over a century later, in 1995, the demon incarnate has resurfaced, only to wander the mountains while trying to regain its memory — and a purpose. But time is running out. The awakening has created a rift in the spiritual world, and to prevent a cataclysm, powerful magi converge on Colorado. But the one thing greater than the sorcerers’ fear of one of Hell’s mightiest roaming free is their hatred for one another, though little do they realize that the fiercest obstacle in their way is a sociopath high school teacher and Lorissa, a tough-minded woman who will do whatever necessary to protect her home and her family. Buy UK and US
The Haunting of Hacket House by Astrid Addams
Some places don’t let go….Offered a lucrative job at the mysterious Hacket House, Jane agrees to travel across country to live at the mansion. After all, a fresh start is just what she needs. Besides, the remote house is a long way from the past she is still running from.Arriving at her new home, she finds a strange red house set in a wood of red, gnarled trees. The same trees used to build the house and the grandfather clocks that haunt every room and dark corridor.Jane quickly realises that there is something very wrong at Hacket House and the village of Bramley.Why is there a graveyard in the garden of Hacket House? Who are the people in hoods who haunt the house at night? What are they doing with the old man in the bed? Why is somebody moving the grandfather clocks? Who is the strange woman no one will admit exists? What are the shadows that scoot across the walls like cockroaches? Who is Erazmus Nark whose grave nothing will touch?As the sinister behaviour of the village escalates and her own past closes in around her, Jane learns that just because something is dead, doesn’t mean that it’s gone. Buy UK and US
Bag of Buttons by Mark Lumby
They belonged to Ella. Nobody else could see them. Her bag of secrets; her buttons. All she wanted was a friend. Someone she could trust. talk to and play with. She found Peter. And eventually he would ask about her buttons too. They all wanted to see them, her little secrets. Her bag of buttons. They will all disappear in the end. Buy UK and US
Love Wanes, Fear is Forever by Justin Boote
Finally brought together in a single collection, twelve stories and four drabble trilogies all focused on a single theme: Fear. A man who caused terror in his local village may still have work to do…even though he’s dead. Tales of revenge; a disgruntled waiter wants payback; A spider looks to lay her eggs in an unconventional, deadly place; A young lady looking for help is not all she seems to a good Samaritan. A strange man has a message for poor Kevin on a train…while he seems to be melting.
These, and many other strange, terrible tales can be found in these pages.
They say love is the greatest emotion, the strongest of all. But after reading these stories, perhaps that concept can be challenged. For as we all know:
Love Wanes, but Fear is Forever. Buy here
Books of Horror Community Anthology Vol.1
What flavor is your nightmare?
Forty-nine authors have come together to tell us theirs. Each story is unique in its horror but all should be read with the lights on and the shadows kept at bay, because some stories tend to stay with you even after the book is closed.
From established authors, to people putting pen to paper for the first time.
Books of Horror presents its inaugural Community Anthology. Buy UK and US
Elements of Horror Book One: Earth
Elements of Horror Book One: Earth, is the first in a series of four horror anthologies based on the Elements. Within these pages you will find a variety of stories from some of the best independent horror writers on the scene today, including Theresa Jacobs, R.C. Rumple, David F. Gray, and many more. Fall into sinkholes, brave the tales of witchcraft, grotesque creatures, and demons, and feel the terror of explorations gone wrong. Buy here
It Came From The Darkness: A Charity Anthology
It Came From the Darkness is a unique collection of drabbles (stories of 100 words exactly) and artwork, compiled by Red Cape Publishing and Philip Rogers 101 PR in aid of the Max the Brave Fund. A huge number of horror writers, poets, artists, and film makers have come together to support the cause and offer the reader something special. Each piece of writing begins with the same five words, but the stories themselves are all wonderfully varied. So dig in, take each tale one bloody bite at a time, and beware of what comes from the darkness.
Includes stories from David Owain Hughes, Matthew V. Brockmeyer, Tim Lebbon, Lou Yardley, Cortney Palm, Lee Franklin, MJ Dixon, Singh Lall, and many, many more.
Cover artwork by David Paul Harris (www.davidpaulharris.com)
Coming October 30th, details to follow