Holiday Gift Guide 2023: Horror for the Holidays
The correct time to read horror is all year long—especially during the holidays. Browse these books and find the perfect read for your favorite horror fan.
by Clay McLeod Chapman
A New York Times Book Review Best Horror of 2023 selection.
“Packed with profoundly unsettling scenes that’ll slither under your skin and stay there long after you turn the last page.”—Gabino Iglesias, author of The Devil Takes You Home
After striking out on her own as a teen mom, Madi Price is forced to return to her hometown of Brandywine, Virginia, with her seventeen-year-old daughter. With nothing to her name, she scrapes together a living as a palm reader at the local farmers market.
It’s there that she connects with old high school flame Henry McCabe, now a reclusive local fisherman whose infant son, Skyler, went missing five years ago. Everyone in town is sure Skyler is dead, but when Madi reads Henry’s palm, she’s haunted by strange and disturbing visions that suggest otherwise. As she follows the thread of these visions, Madi discovers a terrifying nightmare waiting at the center of the labyrinth—and it’s coming for everyone she holds dear.
Combining supernatural horror with domestic suspense into a visceral exploration of parental grief, What Kind of Mother cements Clay McLeod Chapman’s reputation as a “star” (Vulture) and “the twenty-first century’s Richard Matheson” (Richard Chizmar, Chasing the Boogeyman.)
by Clay McLeod Chapman
“A Gothic-punk graveyard tale about what haunts history and what haunts the human soul. An addicting read that draws you into its descent from the first page.”—Chuck Wendig, New York Times best-selling author of The Book of Accidents
One of Vulture‘s Best Horror Novels of 2022, this terrifying supernatural page-turner will make you think twice about opening doors to the unknown.
Erin hasn’t been able to set a single boundary with her charismatic but reckless college ex-boyfriend, Silas. When he asks her to bail him out of rehab—again—she knows she needs to cut him off. But days after he gets out, Silas turns up dead of an overdose in their hometown of Richmond, Virginia, and Erin’s world falls apart.
Then a friend tells her about Ghost, a new drug that allows users to see the dead. Wanna get haunted? he asks. Grieving and desperate for closure with Silas, Erin agrees to a pill-popping “séance.” But the drug has unfathomable side effects—and once you take it, you can never go back.
by Ben H. Winters
From New York Times best-selling and Edgar Award-winning author Ben H. Winters, this supernatural page-turner about a real-estate nightmare will make you think twice about your dream home
Susan and Alex Wendt have found their dream apartment in a gorgeous Brooklyn brownstone.
Sure, the landlady is a little eccentric. And the elderly handyman drops some cryptic remarks about the basement. But the rent is so low, it’s too good to pass up.
Big mistake. Susan awakens every morning with fresh bug bites, but neither Alex nor their daughter, Emma, has a single welt. An exterminator searches the property and turns up nothing. The landlady insists her building is clean. Susan fears she’s going mad—until she makes a chilling discovery in the bonus room.
Filled with Hitchcockian suspense, The Bonus Room is a horrifying tale of a dream home that becomes a nightmare.
Previously published in 2011 as Bedbugs.
by James Kennedy
“A powerfully weird, original tale that combines American folk horror with a surreal coming-of-age nightmare.”—The Guardian
Stephen King’s The Mist meets David Lynch’s Twin Peaks in this surreal, mind-bending horror-thriller.
In a small town tucked away in the midwestern corn fields, the adults whisper about Tornado Day. Our narrator, a high school sophomore, has never heard this phrase but she soon discovers its terrible meaning: a plague of sentient tornadoes is coming to destroy them.
The only thing that stands between the town and total annihilation is a teen boy known as the tornado killer. Drawn to this enigmatic boy, our narrator senses an unnatural connection between them. But the adults are hiding a secret about the origins of the tornadoes and the true nature of the tornado killer—and our narrator must escape before the primeval power that binds them all comes to claim her.
Audaciously conceived and steeped in existential dread, this genre-defying fever dream of a novel reveals the mythbound madness at the heart of American life.
by Jenny Kiefer
“If you love wilderness horror, This Wretched Valley is a must-read. But be forewarned: after reading this chilling debut, you may never want to set foot in the great outdoors again.”—Alma Katsu, author of The Hunger and The Fervor
“With nimble pacing, scream-worthy scares, and an ever-present sense of dread, a trip to This Wretched Valley is one you’ll never forget.”—Rachel Harrison, national best-selling author of Cackle and Such Sharp Teeth
Take only pictures. Leave only bones.
This trip is going to be Dylan’s big break. Her geologist friend Clay has discovered an untouched cliff face in the Kentucky wilderness, and she is going to be the first person to climb it. Together with Clay, his research assistant Sylvia, and Dylan’s boyfriend Luke, Dylan is going to document her achievement on Instagram and finally cement her place as the next rising star in rock climbing.
Seven months later, three bodies are discovered in the trees just off the highway. All are in various states of decay: one a stark, white skeleton; the second emptied of its organs; and the third a mutilated corpse with the tongue, eyes, ears, and fingers removed.
But Dylan is still missing—and no trace of her, dead or alive, has been discovered.
Were the climbers murdered? Did they succumb to cannibalism? Or are their impossible bodies the work of an even more sinister force?
This dread-inducing debut builds to a bloodcurdling climax, and will leave you shocked by the final twist.
This Wretched Valley goes on sale January 16, 2024. If you preorder the book, make sure to enter our preorder campaign for extra goodies!
Many Paperbacks from Hell readers have felt the urge to get their hands on the lost, pulpy titles featured in the book. A small Richmond, VA press by the name of Valancourt Books has been answering the demand and bringing them back from the dead. Now they’re teaming up with Quirk Books and Barnes & Noble to deliver exclusive editions to readers.
Featuring funny and engaging introductions by Grady Hendrix, Barnes & Noble readers will finally be able to get their hands on trade paperback editions of these wild and horrifying novels.