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Last Updated on January 4, 2023 by Jella Erhard

New Horror Books to Read This Fall

We created this exciting book list for horror fans who are always on the lookout for the newest and spookiest new horror books.

You’ll find here the scariest new horror books, thrillers, mysteries, occult tales, and spooky sci-fi reads that are perfect companions after dark and on cozy fall nights.

You’ll also find here fantasy horror novels, horror gothic novels, paranormal mystery books, horror novels about witches, zombies, monsters, ghosts, clowns, and serial killers you won’t be able to put down.

While in media horror fans mainly meet classic horror books and vintage movie monsters we thought it’s time to share some of our new favorites in the horror genre. While we do love classics we also enjoy discovering new chilling, blood-curdling, and terrifying books let it be horror fiction, dark fantasy, or a hair-raising and fun young adult horror novel.

Pick up some of the most acclaimed award-winning horror books or find a lesser-known gem and enjoy a unique supernatural thriller book.

Are you ready for some chills? Let’s get started.


Spooky & Thrilling New Horror Books to Read


Best New Horror Books For Adults


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15| The Boatman’s Daughter: A Novel by Andy Davidson | Gothic fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Southern Fiction, Horror Book | Originally published: 11 February 2020

The Boatman's Daughter A Novel by Andy Davidson - new horror books to read

You are about to pick up one of the most remarkable fantasy horror books of the year. This truly fascinating dark fiction is a one of kind piece that will bring magic in your life.

All that while keeping you on the edge of your seat and also spooking you a little.

The world-building is particularly outstanding as we are taken to the rivers and bayous of Arkansas. You are going to meet all sorts of creatures while following the unlikely adventures of Miranda.

She herself is trying to survive by keeping quiet and do whatever it takes to protect her loved ones. Miranda smuggles all sorts of goods for a mad preacher, but one day things seem to get out of hand.

It is now a struggle to save the old witch by making decisions she never had to make.

This is one of the best spooky dark fantasy books for adults and you should pick it up if you love weird and creepy tales.

The Boatman’s Daughter by Andy Davidson is one of the most imaginative new horror books to read in 2020 with a fantasy and gothic vibe and a truly spooky and fascinating story.

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14| If It Bleeds by Stephen King | Crime Fiction, Thriller, Suspense, Occult Fiction, Horror fiction Novel | Originally published: 21 April 2020

If It Bleeds by Stephen King - new horror books to read

It wouldn’t be a good year for spooky books without a new addition to the genre by Stephen King. This superb collection of four novellas are going to bring some true darkness into your book nook.

Mr. King does not disappoint this time either, you get plenty of suspense and mystery in each of the stories.

The stories are definitely going to remind you of the good old horror classics by him. Mr. Harrigan’s Phone is a short story of little Craig, who takes up a job at a billionaire.

The two form a strong bond and the old man seems to look after the boy even after his death.

Life of Chuck replays backward the event of the world ending, while If It Bleeds sends a detective on a dangerous case with a supernatural twist.

Rat is a good old story of making a pact with the devil for success.

Stephen King’s novel collection is definitely among the must-read new horror books of 2020.

Here is a short but thrilling and even fun video about Mr. King reading from mhis newest horror novel.

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13| Malorie by Josh Malerman | Science Fiction, Thriller, Suspense, Horror Book | Originally published: 21 July 2020

malorie by josh malerman - new horror novels to read

Malerman’s Bird Box was quite a hit in 2014 and Netflix’s Bird Box adaptation had certainly reached an even wider audience. While not many fans would have dared to hope for a sequel, we are lucky to see what happens next.

In this apocalyptic world, there is very little hope left, but Malorie doesn’t give up easily.

We more or less pick right up where the first book ends; the mother and her children are on the run again.

Prepare for an even more pessimistic, just as dark and shockingly hopeless. In case the first book crept you out, then this one is surely going to give you a hard time at night. If you are in search of the scariest books of all time, then you have just found a strong competitor.

What really makes this book so special is feeling so lost while rooting for the family to finally find safety.

Malorie by Josh Malerman is surely among the best picks if you are looking for good horror books 2020 has to offer. It’s especially a great choice if you loved the Bird Box.

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12| The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James | Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Horror novel | Originally published: 18 February 2020

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James - suspence horror novel

In case you are missing paranormal mystery books set in creepy old motels, you are at the right place. We genuinely felt our cravings for a classic motel horror will never be eased.

However, thanks to Simone St. James and her petrifying story, life is good again.

We are in NY State, a small town called Fell. It has a good old motel, hosting a colorful variety of guests. Some are just passing through, others are there to stay away from the curious eyes of the town folk.

Viv, the night receptionist has big plans, but nothing comes easy. She cannot rest until the dark mysteries of the motel are solved.

You would think nothing exciting and new can come from such an old setting. But as we got used to, St. James managed to surprise us once again. The Sun Down Motel is deservedly on the list of best-selling horror books 2020.

Simone St. James’ new piece is definitely going to raise the hair on your neck. It’s among the scariest paranormal fantasy horror books in 2020.

11| Touch the Night by Max Booth | Horror fiction, Occult Fiction, Thriller Novel | Originally published: 16 June 2020

Touch the Night by Max Booth - thriller novel

Prepare for an utterly exciting and freakishly captivating journey. We are going to step into a little town in Indiana called Percy. Even for the first look things don’t seem quite normal.

If you were captivated by Stranger Things, then you are in for a treat. Touch the Night is amid the best supernatural thriller books to be found in 2020.

You are about to go on an incredible adventure with two twelve-year-old children, who encounter something terribly inhuman. The trouble makers would have preferred to be caught by the police, rather than what awaits in the police car.

But that isn’t all; a truckload of dark secrets are about to be uncovered and no one is safe in Percy.

The two kids’ parents are teaming up to find their little ones, but nothing is going to come easy.

Touch the Night by Max Booth is an utterly creepy piece that is undoubtedly one of the darkest supernatural thrillers of all books.

10| Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare | Young adult Horror Book | Originally published: 25 August 2020

Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare - young adult horrro books to read in 2020 (Small)

Awaiting Halloween there could not have been a better read than a good old slasher thriller with a creepy clown. For us, nothing works better than a clown going on a murderous rampage.

The book is more than the usual award-winning horror books. This one is pretty complex, which is definitely going to cause surprises to seasoned thriller and horror book readers too.

The city is divided into two because the younger generations want something completely different from what the older citizens plan.

Following the shut down of the Baypen Corn Syrup Factory, life is difficult. The town of Kettle Springs would need a push to gain back its old shine. However, not everyone is on the same page; young ones would rather flee the town.

That’s when the town’s mascot is having enough and decides to clear the town. Resulting in all the bad seeds being hunted down and plenty of blood spilled.

Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare is the bloodiest of all-new Young adult horror books 2020 brought to us.

9| The Loop by Jeremy Robert Johnson | Science Fiction, Thriller, Horror fiction Novel | Published on: 29 September 2020

the loop by jeremy robert johnson - sci fi horror novel

When you think of books set in western Oregon, you may think of lovely romance books. As the inviting landscape draws people together, love is always in the air. Well, life isn’t always what you expect it to be.

Lucy is living a fairly withdrawn life, but when school starts, things are about turn upside down.

In the idyllic town of Turner Falls, everything seems to be perfect. Only until a science experiment goes wrong and some teenagers become extremely violent.

Lucy and her friend have to toughen up and stick together to survive. There are a few horror books to read in 2020 that are so special. This book deals with racism as well as bullying, while also being one of the darkest, most violent gore-fest around.

You need to be at the right place before reading this book, make sure you are ready for some triggering lines.

The Loop by Jeremy Robert Johnson is a surprisingly deep sci-fi horror book that surely deserves a spot among the best spooky books.

8| Miscreations: Gods, Monstrosities & Other Horrors | Science Fiction, Horror fiction Book | Originally published: 18 February 2020

Miscreations Gods, Monstrosities & Other Horrors - sci fi horror books

A true fan favorite is about to enter the scene. This amazing collection of horror short stories is certainly going to help you get in the Halloween mood. If you need any boost at all.

What makes this collection such a remarkable piece is the fact that we have all been wondering what if…

What if there were monsters? What if we made them? And of course, what if all went wrong?

You are going to get rather disturbing, surprising, and scary answers by a number of various authors. What we make it stand out of supernatural thriller books are the various scenarios and the breathtaking illustrations.

You are certainly in for a good time if you are not worried about being scared every once in a while. The stories are otherwise utterly entertaining and very interesting too.

We are happy to see this superb addition to the new horror books scene because it is simply spooky and amusing.

Miscreations: Gods, Monstrosities & Other Horrors is among the most thrilling fantasy horror books. It offers a peek into some scientific and folklore scenarios we are all wondering about.

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7| Deathless Divide (Dread Nation #2) by Justina Ireland | Alternate history, Fantasy and Adventure Fiction, Horror Book Series | Originally published: 4 February 2020

deathless divide by justina ireland - horror book series with zombies

We loved Justina Ireland’s first book of the Dread Nation series, however, the second managed to be even more captivating. Upon being introduced to the remarkable idea of going back in time for a little zombie-slaying, it sounded irresistible.

Luckily, these zombie books are great, and among many fans, we couldn’t wait for the next installment.

In this horror historical fiction, we continue, where we left off; Jane and Katherine continue their adventures. There are vivid fight scenes, plenty of blood spilled while we get to know more and more about the world.

This is a smartly written story with superb characters, whom you cannot help but love and root for.

If you are looking for the scariest books of all time, this may not be your first pick. However, if you love superbly written, LGBT zombie historical fiction horrors, then you are the right spot.

Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland will deservedly be mentioned among the best selling horror books with zombies 2020 entertains us with.

6| Home Before Dark: A Novel by Riley Sager | Thriller, Suspense, Psychological thriller, Horror Fiction Book | Originally published: 30 June 2020

Home Before Dark A Novel by Riley Sager thriller books to read in 2020

It is time for a load of suspense that will turn your most chill day the most exciting one. Sager’s style of writing and the sense of setting up a good thriller resulted in a fantastic addition to good horror books in 2020.

You will be hooked after the first sentence and probably won’t be able to put it down.

Whenever on the road, spotting an old, worn house kick starts horror lovers’ imagination. All the things that may have happened in there and all the haunting that goes on in there. No matter how imaginative one can be, without proof, we are all a little skeptical.

So is Maggie, who inherits the creepy Baneberry Hall and moves in to restore it for sale.

She has read his father’s non-fiction book on the house but naturally doesn’t take it seriously.

It is all about to change soon because the house is a keeper of many dark secrets.

Home Before Dark: A Novel by Riley Sager is surely among the scariest paranormal mystery books you’ll find in 2020.

5| The Ghost Tree by Christina Henry | Horror fiction, Dark fantasy, Historical fantasy Book | Originally published: 8 September 2020

The Ghost Tree by Christina Henry - historical horror book

Some of the cosmic horror books 2020 entertained us with were pleasant surprises. The Ghost Tree is definitely among them. We all know all sorts of deadly creatures are lurking in the night and none of us is safe.

Well, in Smith’s Hollow life seems to be quiet and cheerful, but something terrible is out there.

Two young girls’ mutilated bodies were found but the police has no idea who or what may be responsible.

Miranda is not very optimistic about finding the culprit because her father has suffered a similar fate and no one was even suspected.

She soon has to realize that her dreams and visions are the keys to finding out what is happening.

Her seeing a dark monster killing the girls turn out to be much more than just fantasy.

The Ghost Tree by Christina Henry is one of the creepiest supernatural thriller books that will keep you up at night.

4| The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson | Horror fiction, Dark Fantasy, Occult Fiction, Paranormal Fantasy Book | Originally published: 21 July 2020

the year of the witching by alexis henderson - horror books with witches (Small)

We are suckers for dark fantasy books about witches and Alexis Henderson’s piece is mind-blowing. There aren’t many horror ghost novels 2020 made us shiver about, so it is an absolute delight to pick up The Year of The Witching.

Immanuelle is damned to live the life of an outsider, mainly thanks to her mother. She has chosen to live with an outsider and in the lands of Bethel such is unacceptable.

To find her place in society, Immanuelle leads a life of absolute capitulation, just as most of the females in society.

One day, however, she ends up in the forbidden Darkwood, where four murdered witches’ ghosts haunt. They hand over a diary that belonged to her mother unveiling secrets that change her life forever.

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson is among the most remarkable feminist horror fantasy books.

3| The Hollow Places: A Novel by T. Kingfisher | Suspense, Horror fiction, Occult Fiction | Published on: 6 October 2020

The Hollow Places A Novel by T. Kingfisher occult horror books to read in 2020

It is no wonder why T. Kingfisher is highly praised by adult fiction lovers as well. She has multiple talents and actually became known because of her children’s books. Still, her quaint comics and fantasy books earned her a number of awards.

Proving her versatility, The Hollow Places is a fascinating novel that is undoubtedly amid the scariest books of all time. The idea of finding a portal to other realities is moving alone.

Because who wouldn’t be excited to find such an incredible thing? But to take it further and add some beings that turn this awesome discovery into something rather nightmarish, is remarkable.

The main character, Kara is a fierce woman, who just got out of a divorce. She is curious and doesn’t give up right after the first big scare makes her our new favorite protagonist.

The Hollow Places: A Novel by T. Kingfisher is most likely to be soon mentioned among the best paranormal mystery books.

2| Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth | Published: October 13, 2020 | Coming-of-age story, Gothic fiction, Lesbian literature, LGBT literature, YA Horror Book

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth - lgbt horror novel 2020

We are blessed with so many great horror books in 2020. But no one would have expected such a superb piece to be published as the Plain Bad Heroines. If you are a fan of Gothic horror stories, then this one is surely going to be your new favorite.

We are traveling, but not only in space, time too. Right back to 1902, when The Brookhants School for Girls is enjoying the best days of its history. Or does it?

Two girls, Flo and Clara, who are inseparable from the Plain Bad Heroine Society in admiration of their favorite author.

One of their secret meetings near the apple orchard ends with their terrible death. Naturally, things cannot go on and the school closes after another three students die mysteriously.

A hundred years later the school is reopened thanks to a fresh talent. Her book about the school is picked up and even adapted to screen. The shooting begins in the grounds of the school and unspeakable things are about to happen.

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth is a one of a kind piece. It is a young adult LGBT horror that will spook you out while also won’t neglect to make you laugh as well.

1| Murder Ballads and Other Horrific Tales by John Hornor Jacobs | Horror fiction, Southern Fiction Novel | Originally published: 26 June 2020

Murder Ballads and Other Horrific Tales by John Hornor Jacobs - suthern horror book 2020 (Small)

Award-winning fiction author John Hornor Jacobs was known to always bring something new into his beloved genres.

If you are ready for a good scare and some grim stories, then light some candles and pick this book up.

In this collection of horror short stories, you are about to find some crime thrillers, supernatural horrors and other spooky tales.

You are in good hands if you need something to help with coping with loss or grief.

Two of the ten stories have never been published before, so get ready for some surprises. Jacobs has gathered some of the best shorts that will creep you out.

Find here the best ghost novels 2020 has seen so far and some Supernatural thrillers too.

Murder Ballads and Other Horrific Tales by John Hornor Jacobs is among the best spooky books for coming of age readers.

Thank you for reading!