This story was updated in January 2019.
Some people read sappy romances for fun, some read funny books, some comics, and some mangas. Well, I belong to the category that enjoys scaring the hell out of myself when I read. There is something so amazing about the string of frightful images that pop up into your mind when you’re reading a really good horror novel. It may be even better than a cinematic experience because your imagination tends to run wild with scenes and scenarios. If you have just started exploring this genre, I have just a list of horror novels that you need to have in your 2019 reading list.
Of course, the list includes classics like Stephen King and Mary Shelley (and a few other vampire-obsessed authors), but I’ve divided the collection based on different points of interest and age groups, so you find exactly what you are looking for!
Irish psychologist John Francis Leader explained that people like fear, which is why they read horror books and watch horror movies. “If you go back thousands of years, humans had to deal with physical fear more regularly… Now, generally speaking, we don’t get chased too often day to day,” he goes on to explain that fear can be a good thing and help us protect ourselves from danger. He also states that horror movies and books give you a rush of adrenaline, which can become addictive.
So, the next time you step towards a horror novel, don’t rethink your decision. It can enhance your surviving skills. Watch those horror movies, read those zombie books and binge-watch The Walking Dead because strangely, it all helps you.
Skipped out on some of the best horror novels of 2018? Let’s get you all caught up before the fresh tales of fear hit the shelves. Here are my top picks for the best horror novels of 2018.
A criminal novel that starts off with a police investigation, but soon turns into a horror novel. The Outsider has different titles, with chapters under each, as you follow Terry, who is being charged with raping an 11-year-old boy, only to find out that there is actually a monster on the loose!
Price: Rs 510. Buy here
Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Dread Nation chronicles the journey of Jane, who needs to defend her country, as all other children do, against the dead. Then, things take a turn for the worse and new enemies begin to creep out of the shadows.
Price: Rs 1,095. Buy here
A slow but fruitful read. Bad Man by Reddit sensation Dathan Auerbach is about a brother’s journey to finding his younger sibling who disappeared years ago in a dingy grocery store. You get the gist, don’t you?
Price: Rs 1,592. Buy here
The screenwriter of Doctor Strange brings you a collection of fantasy short stories with zombies, monsters and even Death (the character). The book is funny, yet eerily scary, so tread with caution.
Price: Rs 1,541. Buy here
The book is a home invasion tale that leads to the apocalypse. Makes sense? Not really. But author Paul Tremblay brings together paranoia and horror in this story of a small family. It is tense and gripping, the perfect Friday night read.
Price: Rs 667. Buy here
Classics are timeless for a reason. You can never call yourself a horror book fanatic without skimming through these iconic novels. The OG club of horror novelists who made the genre what it is today.
You couldn’t have made it to the 21st century without a reference of the Dracula or coming across one of the several movies made on this novel. Before vampires were romanticised (ahem ahem, Edward Cullen). this book was the go-to for all things fang related.
Price: Rs 284. Buy here
Mary Shelley wrote the first draft when she was 18, after dreaming up the story post a horror storytelling competition with Lord Byron and her future husband, Percy Shelley. This novel of Frankenstein and the monster he creates was the beginning of science fiction as we know it.
Price: Rs 171. Buy here
One of the first in the gothic fiction genre, this is a short story narrated from the point of a view of a murderer explaining his crimes. Chilling and psychologically scarring, Tell-Tale Heart is a short, yet brilliant, read.
Price: Rs 47. Buy here
Famous for being the book behind the movie that got Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt together on the big screen, Interview With The Vampire narrates the conversation between a reporter and a vampire, who is finally ready to share his tale of immortality.
Price: Rs 539. Buy here
This book established Stephen King’s career and gave birth to one of the most acclaimed horror movies of all time. A hotel haunting that causes a family to lose their sanity, the harrowing storyline is what sets this book apart.
Price: Rs 379. Buy here
Most kids are afraid of monsters under their beds and in the cupboards or even behind the curtain. But there are those handful who enjoy horror books and retell these stories in class the next day. If you know any of these kids, here are the books you should be gifting them!
A girl living in a house that’s haunted, Coraline has been compared to Alice (from Alice In Wonderland) by the critics. The book is funny, yet dark, and it leaves you wondering how a kid could go through this all and still remain sane. Sigh.
Price: Rs 182. Buy here
Slappy the dummy! One of my favourite villains from the Goosebumps novels, he is creepy and downright evil. The Goosebumps always scared the… goosebumps out of me. I guess that’s what made them a crowd favourite.
Price: Rs 167. Buy here
Originally intended to be a picture book, it turned into a narrative about peculiar children living in a home away from the normal world. The book wasn’t a blockbuster, but it did find a cult following. There are two more installments, Hollow City and Library Of Souls in the Peculiar Children series.
Price: Rs 300. Buy here
A collection of ‘13’ short stories that are the perfect midnight reads. The first book of the Dare To Be Scared series, with three more in line, makes for a great read by the bonfire.
Price: Rs 2,134. Buy here
One of the most interesting plots I’ve ever come across, The Graveyard Book tells the story of a toddler whose parents get murdered in the graveyard. So the little boy, Nobody, is raised by a family of ghosts. Endearing yet chilling at certain times.
Price: Rs 250. Buy here
While John Green may be dominating the Young Adult genre since The Fault In Our Stars, there is something out there for those who don’t fit into the generic band of YA readers. Horror novels have always resonated with offbeat topics and stereotypes, here are five books that have set themselves apart from the YA novel overdose.
A lot like Twilight… but better and way more complicated. The ‘cold girl’ is in a Coldtown, a city controlled by the government where the vampires go to live after they have been turned. A one book wonder, this book really had the potential to become an exciting series.
Price: Rs 778. Buy here
Part of a three book series, Asylum follows three friends as they uncover the story behind their dorm building, which was a psychiatric hospital once upon a time. From serial killers to hauntings, accompanied by photographs that make an appearance in the book, this haunted version of Harry Potter will leave you scared out of your wits.
Price: Rs 359. Buy here
A four-part horror extravaganza, the series is basically about a girl gang who loves the exorcist, makes sense? Anyway, you will also find hints of Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl. The TV rights for this series have already been purchased, so read them before the show is out!
Price: Rs 625. Buy here
A collection of short stories that will leave you positively horrified. April’s genre of horror is called gothic horror and is the worst of the lot. She has curated a series of stories by different writers, and the stories include everything from vampires to zombies.
Price: Rs 714. Buy here
On the longest night, your fears manifest into your greatest nightmare and devour you, horrifying, right? Horror buffs who don’t believe in hauntings and ghost stories soon become the subject of one in the devouring. There are two more books in the series, but the first is undoubtedly the best.
Price: Rs 230. Buy here
Time to get reading, ladies!
Featured Image: Shutterstock
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