Lesser Known Horror You Need To Read ASAP!

underrated horror novels, books

Horror books you need to read ASAP.

Underrated Horror Novels

As Halloween nears, I like to dive into the horror books I've been been meaning to read over the last year because it helps get me in the mood for my favorite holiday!

This year, I'm focusing on underrated horror books, ones that deserve a lot more attention because they're just that good. I thought I'd share some of my favorite lesser known horror books in the hopes it will help them get the attention they deserve!

I'm interested to know what books other people would add to the list. Which underrated horror books are your favorites?

1. Escape from Happydale: The Last Final Girl by Jack Quaid


The first book in Jack Quaids Final Girl trilogy, Escape from Happydale: The Last Final Girl turns the final girl trope on its head. Parker Ames not only survives the horror, but also manages to turn the tables around. She now travels the country hunting down the murderers that once threatened to destroy her. Then she hears Hurricane Williams, the slasher she once faced down, is back in her hometown to continue his work.

Get Escape from Happydale here.

2. Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant


The Atargatis set off seven years ago for the Mariana Trench to film a mockumentary on ancient, legendary sea creatures. No one returned. Now, scientist Victoria Stewart and a new crew are heading out. This trip won't be for entertainment, but to validate their work, to hunt, or to uncover the truth. Victoria is one of them, her sister lost at sea during the last trip. She wants to uncover what happened to her sister. But it will all come with a cost.

Get Into the Drowning Deep here.

3. My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due


My Soul to Keep is the first book in Tananarive Due's African Immortals series. After Jessica marries David, she thinks she's hit the jackpot. He's a brilliant man and attentive to her, but there's something about him Jessica can't put her finger on. Something off. Then people in Jessica's life begin to meet horrible ends and David drops a bomb: he's a 400 plus year old vampire and now his Ethiopian brethren want him to leave Jessica and their daughter and return. But first, David promises to complete a forbidden ritual to keep them together forever.

Get My Soul to Keep here.

4. The Broken Girls by Simone St. James


Idlewild Hall in 1950 housed the girls society wanted to hide away, "the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good." Four girls living at Idlewild band together before one of them goes missing. 2014: The body of journalist Fiona Sheridan's older sister is found in the ruins of Idlewild Hall decades later. Her boyfriend was convicted of the murder, but the more Fiona thinks about it, the more something just feels wrong. An anonymous person sinks money into the restoration of Idlewild Hall and Fiona is hot on the story, uncovering truths that were meant to stay hidden.

Get The Broken Girls here.

5. Maplecroft: The Borden Dispatches by Cherie Priest


Maplecroft is the story of Lizzie Borden like you've never heard it before. Though she was found innocent in the brutal murders of her father and stepmother, the town is still terrified of her. Now she and her sister live in Maplecroft, a mansion far enough away from town to avoid scrutiny. However, it still isn't far enough from the disease that took over her parents', body, mind, and soul. Now that she knows about it, Lizzie is ready. And she has an ax.

Get Maplecroft here.

6. Steam by Jay B. Laws


Once a place of music, parties, bathhouses, and, sometimes, romance, San Francisco has changed. Something has rolled in with the fog and now haunts the streets seeking revenge. Flint, owner of one of the bathhouses, is dying during the height of the AIDS crisis and has allowed the evil to overtake him. The dying men enter his bathhouse and don't come back out. Gay porn writer David's friend Eddie disappears from the hospital, only slime and mold left in his place. Bobby's lover has also disappeared, haunted by what's out there.

Get Steam here.

7. The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez


In Louisiana in the 1850s, runaway slave Gilda stabs a rapist bounty hunter in self-defense. She is rescued by a vampire and soon becomes one herself. Over the next 200 years, Gilda searches for a place to call home, traversing the country in her search. The intersection of race and sexuality, along with what it means to be human, make this timeless classic shine.

Get The Gilda Stories here.

8. The Troop by Nick Cutter


Described as part 28 Days Later, part Lord of the Flies, Scoutmaster Tim Riggs takes his troop on a camping trip into the Canadian wilderness each year. This year is different. An intruder--"shockingly thing, disturbingly pale, and voraciously hungry"--comes to their campsite and exposes them all to something nightmarish. Now, Tim and the boys will fight for their lives against the elements, the infection, and each other.

Get The Troop here.

9. The Hunger by Alma Katsu


We all know the story of the Donner Party who got snowed in and, on the verge of starvation, were forced to feed on their dead. This is the real story. Between their rations nearly depleted and the disappearance of a young boy, the isolated party begins to change. But the secrets that come out, the chaos they descend into, and the disappearance of more of their party are nothing compared to what's waiting for them in the mountains. And inside them.

Get The Hunger here.

10. Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal


Lupe Dávila travels to Puerto Rico each summer to spend time with her aunt and uncle. This summer, she ends up in the middle of a murder investigation. Her cousin Izzy goes missing and she teams up with Javier Utierre, a friend of one of the victims. There may be a link between the murders and Izzy's disappearance, one that points them to the legendary El Cuco.

Get Five Midnights here.

11. Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt


The Hudson Valley town of Black Spring is cursed, haunted by the Black Rock Witch. She is "seventeenth century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut," and because of her, anyone born in Black Spring is "doomed to stay 'til death," while any newcomers are forced to stay. To keep the curse from spreading to the outside world, the elders use high-tech surveillance. A group of teenagers get tired of living in lockdown and "go viral with the haunting," changing things forever.

Get Hex here.

12. Nana by Brandon Massey


Monica Stephens was adopted when she was young, young enough that she never knew her birth mother. She now has a family of her own, but has always been curious about where she came from. Then Grace shows up claiming to be her birth mother. She fits herself into the Stephens family seamlessly, taking care of the household. Then Monica gets sick and begins feeling and looking older while Grace gets more youthful by the day. Monica's husband begins looking into Grace's background and they discover she's done this before.

Get Nana here.

13. By the Dark of Her Eyes by Cameron MacElvee


After the death of her child and husband, Brenna Taylor travels to a property her husband owned, a decrepit old house surrounded by dead citrus trees. Brenna's presence awakens something in the trees, something evil, something that ignites the very curse inside Brenna. Her contractor Alejandra Santana helps Brenna dive into the violent history of her new home and the evil that wants nothing more than to make Brenna its own.

Get By the Dark of Her Eyes here.

14. The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager


As a child, Emma Davis attended Camp Nightingale. She was the last person to see her three cabin-mates alive. As an adult, she's a rising artist, her tragic past filling the canvases of her work. The owner of Camp Nightingale sees Emma's paintings and offers her a position as the painting instructor of the newly reopened camp. Emma sees it as an opportunity to finally uncover what happened to her friends. Sleeping in her old cabin, she discovers the only security camera on the property is pointed at her door, and she begins to uncover clues left by one of her cabin-mates about the "camp's twisted origins." As always, the truth bears a heavy price.

Get The Last Time I Lied here.

Let's Keep the Conversation Going

What's your favorite horror novel that deserves more attention?

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