At its best, horror explores the unturned facets of life that we don’t always want to see. It takes the what ifs, the unknowns, and sets them in the light of day. We have no choice but to look at what we’re afraid of and confront the depths of those fears. Some of those dark corners deviate into the extreme. The gory, the brutal, the utterly horrific aspects of human depravity that only the strongest stomachs can survive. And who better to dig into these themes than women? We found the goriest, most brutal, and most extreme horror books written by women.
No one knows why the perfectly normal Lake Misquamicus in Florida began filling with the vilest fluids straight from the pits of Hell. After the shock wore off, the government did the only thing they could think of: build a wall. Out of sight and out of mind, it turned to a bit of an urban legend where only the most extreme tried to their luck on the shores. Some went for the experience. Others to escape the eyes of the law. Some went to pray the evil away. But no matter why they went, only one thing is true. It’s never a good idea to visit the shores of Hell.
Wesley is fascinated by snuff films. He is so captivated by them, that when he gets an invitation to star in his own, he jumps at the chance. It doesn’t matter how much it costs; he’d pay anything for just one night. But the ladies of Killstreme have other plans for their short film. And Wesley is about to learn that when it comes to dreams, the most important thing is to be careful what you wish for.
Ritualistic Human Sacrfice
Nick Graves almost has the perfect life. He has the dream job. But every day he comes home to a miserable marriage. When he finally decides to leave his wife, she has a surprise of her own: she’s pregnant. Angry, petty, vindictive, and spiteful, Nick does the only thing he can think of. He buys his dream home in a gorgeous neighborhood, uprooting Eve without so much as a conversation. But things aren’t exactly what they seem in his new community. And once he finds out how bizarre things truly are, he’ll never look at his wife or his neighborhood the same.
Benny Rose, the Cannibal King
All towns have urban legends. In Blackwood, Virginia, their legend is Benny Rose. When a new girl moves to town right before Halloween, it’s the perfect chance to play a Benny Rose-themed prank. But when a storm hits on Halloween night, the girls find themselves trapped in a strange neighborhood. And something is hunting them. With no one to turn to for help, the girls have no choice but to face the truth. Because it’s coming for them. And it’s hungry.
Tess sculpts metal and is obsessed with the perfect joining of pieces, is addicted to the burn on her skin. When she meets Bibi, an artist dedicated to sculpting her body in the same way Tess molds metal. But the limits of human flesh are limited, and Bibi becomes increasingly frustrated when she can’t break through these restrictive confines. With Tess, they create a mobile dance structure filled with blade sculptures that makes the piece violent and dangerous. But it’s not enough. Body piercings lead to cutting and more. Even after Tess leaves, Bibi can’t stop pushing her body into darker and more violent ends.
Suzy and her brother Lim live with their abusive mother. It’s violent and horrific, and when it all becomes too much, they lash out, murdering their mother before heading across the country. And wherever they go, murder follows. Suzy is driven by the festering rage that years of trauma kindled. But now that she’s free, can she free herself from the same behaviors that created her? Or is she doomed to spiral into a monster just like her mother?
Quentin just got out of jail. And life it tough for a rapist on parole. It isn’t that he craves sex as much as he wants a companion. A person who won’t object to his depraved desires. Who will do what he says, when he says it, and will never leave him. Trapped in the narrative of his journals, we watch helplessly as he moves from fantasy to reality, attempting to create a living zombie through failed lobotomies and brutal experiments that always end in murder. But maybe next time, he’ll finally get it just right.
Hairspray and Switchblades
Magdalena never dreamed she’d be an exotic dancer. But when she loses her parents, she has to do whatever it takes to keep her younger sister, Maya, in the elite private high school that will put her on a path for collegiate success. But they’re descendants of a Jaguar shifting bloodline from Mexico and the San Antonio Stripper Ripper is looking for a certain type of blood—and skin. Targeted by the same killer who murdered their parents, Magdalena will have to do whatever it takes to keep both her and Maya safe. Even if all she has is hairspray and a switchblade.
This Symbiotic Fascination
Tawne Delaney dreams of finding her dream lover. At thirty-seven, she’s not what most men would describe as beautiful. And her loneliness is consuming her. Arcan Tyler is from anyone’s dream. A rapist and murderer, he’s possessed by an animalistic force that wants to erase what little humanity he has left. He sees something in Tawne and his attention draws Tawne in. But love isn’t always romantic. Sometimes it’s parasitic.
After her rehab counselor advises her to, Ansley Boone agrees to be a bridesmaid in her little sister’s wedding. The venue is at an isolated resort where cell service doesn’t exist. Even though Ansley is there, the tension between her and the rest of the family is high. She’s the family embarrassment but then the wedding reception takes a vicious turn. Ansley and her sister have to rely on each other to survive. Or the groom’s cannibalistic family might put them on the menu.
The Sadist’s Bible
Thirty-seven-year-old Ellie Blake can’t come out as a lesbian in her Bible Belt community. But her desire to be intimate with a woman gets more intense the longer she tries to ignore it, and her fantasies turn more extreme. She joins an online community and finds another woman with her same urges. Lori agrees to meet up with Ellie for one night of decadent sex—and then commit suicide together. But Lori has a dark secret. And another agenda. She’s desperate to escape a force. Is it God? Or the Devil? Either way, not even suicide might offer escape. Especially when it’s clear that if unleashed, it will bring humanity crumbling down.
Her Father’s Mistake
Everyone has moments of weakness. A bad choice that comes back to haunt them. James Atwood made a mistake. Unfortunately for him, it turns out to be deadly. His beautiful nineteen-year-old daughter gets the brunt of his punishment. How was James supposed to know when he hired—and then fired—Paul Breed, that the twenty-five-year-old young man harbored dark secrets. And that when pushed, he’d turn into a murderous psychopath.
The Clown Hunt
In 2016, the streets were overrun with people dressed as killer clowns. It was supposed to just be a fun prank. An angry group decides it’s time to stop once and for all and abduct a group of clowns. They trap them deep in the woods where they’re chased, trapped, and tortured to the point where death would be mercy. It’s up to one clown to fight and survive.