13 Spine-Tingling Horror Novels Coming Out in 2020

It may be time to invest in a night light—you’ll need it if you plan on adding these horror novels to your TBR list. Based on their descriptions and the buzz around them, these books have the potential to keep you up all night long. In honor of the first Friday the 13th of 2020, here’s a list of 13 new and upcoming releases that promise thrills and chills.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

Does your book club ever struggle to stay focused? The club at the center of Grady Hendrix’s novel have good reason: member Patricia Campbell believes their new neighbor might be behind the recent string of missing children.

Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power

Rory Power’s 2019 debut Wilder Girls delivered body horror on a quarantined island. This year Power is back with another eerie YA tale. Margot’s always wondered about her family, and the reasons why her mother refuses to answer any questions about them. When Margot discovers a picture that hints at the secrets her mother’s been keeping, she decides to travel to the town of Phalene to find answers.

Wonderland by Zoje Stage

Pitched as “if Shirley Jackson wrote The Shining,” Zoje Stage’s sophomore novel follows the Bennett family. After relocating to a farmhouse in a remote part of upstate New York, the family is plagued with strange experiences that defy explanation. It falls to Orla to protect her children and husband from whatever is lurking in the woods beyond their home.

Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland

The final installment in Justina Ireland’s YA zombie duology is now on shelves. Set in an alternate 1880s America where the Civil War was interrupted by the undead rising from their graves, the series follows shambler-slayer Jane McKeene and her former combat school classmate Katherine Deveraux as they fight for survival.

The Boatman’s Daughter by Andy Davidson

The book cover alone is giving us chills. Andy Davidson’s novel follows Miranda Crabtree, a 21-year-old smuggler who delivers contraband across Arkansas’ Prosper River bayou to preacher Billy Cotton. Miranda tries to limit her interactions with Billy, until she learns of his plans to sacrifice his own child to the swamp.

Malorie by Josh Malerman

Josh Malerman’s novel Bird Box became a household name when Netflix released an adaptation in 2018. This summer Malerman is back with a sequel. After watching the movie, Malerman found himself wondering what happened next—the idea of a sequel was born, to explore what happens to Malorie after the events of Bird Box.

Girls Save the World in This One by Ash Parsons

Zombie fans come face-to-undead-face in this horror-comedy YA novel. June, Imani, and Siggy have been counting down the days until ZombieCon!, when they’ll finally be able to meet the cast of their favorite show, Human Wasteland. But chaos erupts at the all-cast panel when it becomes clear that real zombies have invaded the con!

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Silvia Moreno-Garcia transports readers to 1950s Mexico, where Noemí’s newly-wed cousin might be in danger. She sent a letter begging for help, leading Noemí to travel to High Place, a remote mansion where her cousin lives with her English husband. Once she arrives, Noemí begins to uncover the dark secrets his family is trying to hide.

The Haunting of Ashburn House by Darcy Coates

What’s a horror list without a haunted house, right? Darcy Coates’ novel follows Adrienne, who inherits Ashburn House after her aunt Edith passes. Down on her luck, Adrienne eagerly moves in but soon finds herself unsettled by eerie messages written into the walls, the strange portraits that watch her every move, and the mysterious grave out back.

The Return by Rachel Harrison

A missing friend returns after being gone for two years in this thriller from Rachel Harrison. Julie vanished while on a hike, but her best friend Elise never gave up hope that Julie would one day reappear. Miraculously, Julie is discovered two years later wearing the same clothes she disappeared in. When questioned, Julie claims to have no memory of what happened. But when Elise takes Julie and two other friends on a weekend getaway to a hotel, the truth begins to spill out.

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

Stephen Graham Jones explores cultural identity in this buzzy upcoming novel. Lewis and his friends once ignored the hunting boundaries of the Blackfeet Reservation, shooting at elk on land reserved for elders. Though he’s left the reservation behind, Lewis can’t seem to shake the elk that follows him everywhere, leaving a trail of bodies in its wake.

Bent Heavens by Daniel Kraus

Daniel Kraus explores the monstrous side of humans in this YA horror novel. Liv Fleming is grieving for the loss of her father, who disappeared shortly after claiming to be abducted by aliens. Two years after he vanished, Liz and her friend Doug discover a creature in the woods that makes her believe her father may have been telling the truth.

Vampires Never Get Old: Tales with Fresh Bite edited by Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker

Looking for a book with some bite? This fall is bringing a vampire collection from some fang-tastic YA authors, including Samira Ahmed, Dhonielle Clayton, Zoraida Córdova, Natalie C. Parker, Tessa Gratton, Heidi Heilig, Julie Murphy, Mark Oshiro, Rebecca Roanhorse, Laura Ruby, Victoria “V. E.” Schwab, and Kayla Whaley. This anthology promises tales of vampires experiencing everything from their first hunt to coming out to exploring social media.

What horror novels are you looking forward to reading this year?

Kelly Gallucci

Kelly Gallucci is the Executive Editor of We Are Bookish, where she oversees the editorial content, offers book recommendations, and interviews authors and NetGalley members. When she's not working, Kelly can be found color coordinating her bookshelves, eating Chipotle, and watching way too many baking shows.

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