Horror Continues to Thrive with the Scariest Books of 2019

Published on October 29, 2019

Horror has returned in a big way, and Grit Daily is here to tell you about some of the scariest books of 2019. From movies selling more than a combined $1 billion in tickets to Bird Box becoming Netflix’s most watched title of the past year, it’s clear that audiences are no longer earmarking horror just for the Halloween season.

Speaking of Bird Box, the Netflix smash hit first came to life as a bestselling book by author Josh Malerman. Several other recent horror titles have cracked numerous bestseller lists as well, and genre fiction now accounts for 48 percent of all book sales. Industry analysts are also seeing a huge upswing in indie genre publishing success.

Recent Hits Include King, Plus the Newest Wave of Horror Writers

With Halloween right around the corner, many will soon celebrate the holiday with a classic horror film or their favorite scary book. The latest crop of horror fiction also offers many highly lauded titles to keep readers glued to the dark side of life well past October 31.

Inspection by Josh Malerman

Bird Box may be Malerman’s most talked-about title. But it’s far from the only trick this author has up his sleeve. Inspection provides a more subtle, slow-burn horror story about a plot to raise children with zero knowledge of the opposite gender. Malerman showcases the strength of his writing skills when everything inevitably goes horribly wrong.

The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher

Multiple award-winning author T. Kingfisher, also known as Ursula Vernon, nails the best aspects of the genre with her debut horror novel. Kingfisher’s writing prowess becomes clear as she successfully juggles a story within a story within a story. If the revelation of the titular The Twisted Ones doesn’t creep you out, you might be missing the fear gene.

The Institute by Stephen King

The King of Horror, whose scariest books turn our dreams into nightmares, returns with another coming of age tale that pits children against unspeakable evil. Unlike the kids in It, though, these children are blessed and cursed with unusual special talents. The Institute, a horror/sci-fi hybrid, offers a return to some of King’s best work.

Growing Things by Paul Tremblay

Bram Stoker Award-winning author Paul Tremblay brings your worst fears to life in the thrilling short story collection Growing Things. Hailed by NPR as the type of book that “make[s] you want to look over your shoulder to make sure the monster isn’t right behind you.” Growing Things proves once again that Tremblay isn’t afraid to court controversy and push boundaries.

Sinkhole: A Horror Story by April A. Taylor

Indie author April A. Taylor burst onto the horror scene last year with her critically hailed debut novel, The Haunting of Cabin Green. After being the sole indie title featured on numerous Best Of lists, including PopSugar’s The 13 Most Chilling Horror Books of 2018, Taylor has returned with Sinkhole. Her latest work strays far from the slow-burn claustrophobia of Cabin Green by presenting a fast-paced apocalyptic nightmare that pits humans vs. nature.

The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters

Unless you’re a huge horror fiction fan, Damien Angelica Walters might be one of the best writers you’ve never heard of. Her latest title, The Dead Girls Club, effortlessly combines her artistic, literary flair with a supernatural story that’s equally familiar and unexpected. When two children call for the Red Lady to show them her face, they’re met with consequences that echo throughout the next three decades.

Other Top Horror Hits of the Past Decade

If 2019 doesn’t have enough terrifying books to sate your appetite, you don’t have to look far for other written frights. BookBub readers dubbed Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage and Bird Box by Josh Malerman as so terrifying that they wish they’d never read them. Other renowned hits include The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay, The Hunger by Alma Katsu, and We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix.

However, if you’re a horror fan that isn’t in the mood for curling up with one of the scariest books of 2019, you might want to check out Grit Daily’s coverage of The Grudge reboot. The trailer just dropped, and it looks like it will blow you away.





Holly Chavez is a News Columnist at Grit Daily. She enjoys sharing hot, trending news stories with her readers. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, she focuses her writing on travel, brands and tech. Holly's professional interests include business and entrepreneurship. 

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