It can be a Herculean task to settle on which horror book to read next—especially with such a wealth of great reads out there to choose from. Maybe you're on the look out for specific kinds of authors, have niche interests, or just don't find yourself agreeing with a lot of the recommendations you've committed to in the past. Have no fear! Or, rather, have lots of it.
TikTok is a great resource for hunting down your next spine-chilling read. While some of these recommendations might be from people involved in the horror publishing industry, many of them come from readers who are just as passionate about the genre as you are. Here are some of the best horror books to read next, as recommended by TikTok.
"Horror Book Recs Written by Women"
Once a prosperous architect in a thriving marriage, Amanda's life has gotten very strange. It all starts with a noise in her apartment she can't quite place. Then a memo to her boss has been traded for a note full of vulgar insults. She picks her bad smoking habit back up, and, without even knowing it. she burns her husband with her cigarette. And her dreams are plagued with the images of a sharp-toothed woman standing along a blood-red sea.
Related: 20 Female Horror Writers That Will Haunt Your Bookshelves Forevermore
The strange becomes terrifying when a voice takes up residence in Amanda's head. It urges her to take things that aren't hers and chat up strangers in bars. Her life quickly spins out of control. But is she insane, or possessed by a nefarious presence?
Check out the rest of the recommendations by @astoldbybex in the video below.
"Horror Novels That Don't Have a Happy Ending"
A man tries to reconstruct his past in an attempt to find sense in his jarring collection of memories from childhood. It's one mystery he will come to regret ever solving. The more he traces back the threads of his youth through games and adventures, the more he finds a larger story of utter horror.
Check out the rest of the recommendations by @baker.reads in the video below.
"Horror Books Under 150 Pages"
As we all slog through the daily grind of life, it can be hard to find time to read. That's what makes this short and haunting read the perfect choice for your TBR list.
Chris's world shatters when her son, Trey, dies in a terrible car accident. Grief threatens to swallow her whole—until one small cut on her finger sees everything change. Her blood drips ever so slightly onto the roadside memorial for Trey, and later that night she's convinced his ghost is lingering outside her window. But what if it's something much worse wearing his face?
Walking a fine line of danger, Chris struggles with forces beyond her control and understanding for a chance to see her son again. To see him alive. But how far should you go to bring back someone you love?
Check out the rest of the recommendations by @spookishmommy in the video below.
"Horror Novels That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud"
Horror just hits harder when it's tucked in aside levity and laughs. This vital read combines hilarity and a haunted house—sort of. If you've ever gotten the chills inside of an Ikea, than the contemporary setting of a furniture superstore called Orsk will get you shivering.
The employees of the Ohio store come in every morning to find the Kjerring bookshelves trashed. The Glans water goblets are shattered across the floor, the Liripip wardrobes are destroyed, and the greatest tragedy of all is that sales are down.
Security cameras provide no answers to this eerie disarray, and the store managers are in full-blown panic mode. To get to the bottom of it, three brave employees volunteer to work for nine hours, dusk 'til dawn. But the horrors they encounter on the showroom floor are beyond anything they could have imagined.
Check out the rest of the recommendations by @southernchime in the video below.
"Books That Made Me Scream WTF"
The Morrow family keep to themselves, tucked deep into the heart of Appalachia in a rundown farmhouse. Their extreme isolation has served them well so far. No cops come knocking when girls vanish off the side of the highway. A lucky thing, too, considering what the Morrows have buried in their backyard.
Related: 10 Disturbing and Controversial Horror Books
However, teenage Michael Morrow is the misfit of his family. The screams bouncing off the trees don't fill him with thrills like they do for everyone else. All he wants is something normal—a chance to see what life looks like outside of West Virginia. And then he meets Alice, the pretty girl in the nearby town working at the record store. She makes Michael forget all about his monstrous nature. But his brother Rebel is there to remind him.
Check out the rest of the recommendations by @confessionsofthemosses in the video below.
"5 Favorite Extreme Horror Books"
Gone to See the River Man
Lori isn't your typical super fan. She doesn't gush over a rock star, or actor, or even an author. No, her all-consuming obsession is with serial killer Edmund Cox. He butchered over 20 women, making a name for himself as a vile sadist. And Lori has fostered a relationship with him, paying him visits in prison and writing him letter after letter. She will do anything to earn this madman's love—including accept an ominous errand.
She is sent to Cox's cabin in the woods of Killen to retrieve a key. A key she needs to deliver to an enigmatic figure known as The River Man. Dragging her handicapped sister along with her, Lori is in for a journey through the deep, dark valley more horrific than she knows.
As Lori's own personal demons surface, she feels all the more closer to Edmund. But a surreal nightmare unfolds as the river teems with flesh, the cabin overflows with horrors, and the mountains ring with ghostly blues music. Lori will soon find that The River Man isn't quite human—not anymore, anyways. And there may be a steep price to pay to keep Edmund's love.
Check out the rest of the recommendations by @m0therh0rr0r in the video below.
"Horror That Made Me Cry"
Elegy for the Undead
Some horror is as heartbreaking as it is heart-pounding. In Elegy for the Undead, Jude and Lyle are a pair of newlyweds whose marital bliss is shattered by a catastrophic event. Lyle is attacked by a vicious zombie, and though he survives the ordeal, there is no cure for the disease infecting his body. The virus changes him inside and out. He becomes violent and loses all sense.
There's only a few short months before Jude loses his beloved husband completely. But he'll stick out this sickness 'til the bitter end, looking back on their young love with as much fondness as he can in the face of terror and tragedy.
Check out the rest of the recommendations by @booksinthefreezer in the video below.
"If You Liked this YA Horror Try This Adult Horror"
The Last Time I Lied
Recommended as the adult horror counterpart to the YA horror book Little Monsters by Kara Thomas, The Last Time I Lied really is a can't-miss read.
During their time at Camp Nightingale, there were many a night where Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and Emma played Two Truths and a Lie. But the night that Emma, half-awake, watched her friends sneak out into the darkness was the night that all the games came to an end. As Vivian hushed Emma back to sleep on her way out the door, it was the last anyone would see of the girls ever again.
Related: Horror Books That Grapple with Trauma
A decade and a half later, Emma is making quite the name for herself as an artist in New York City. She pours her dark past into paintings of dark leaves, twisted branches, and ghostly figures—until she captures the attention of the wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. The woman asks Emma to return to the freshly reopened came as a painting instructor, and tangled up in her guilt, Emma has no choice but to agree.
Nightingale hasn't changed a bit, and to make matters more eerie, Emma is placed in the same cabin she slept in all those years ago. But there is one addition: a security camera pointed right at her door. Now as clues surface about the camp's origins and the fate of Emma's friends, closure may prove to be the last thing she gets.
Check out the rest of the recommendations by @ange.mal in the video below.
"My Top 5 Horror Books"
While varied and nuanced recommendation lists are awesome, sometimes it's just nice to go back to the basics and hear what people consider to be their all-time favorites. Megan Giddings' Lakewood is a fantastic favorite to have, exploring centuries worth of horrific experimentation on black bodies and the devastation wrought upon working-class families.
Lena Johnson's grandmother has just passed away. With her passing comes the troubles of the depths of a newly revealed family debt. In order to take care of her family, Lena drops out of college and takes on a job in the isolated and enigmatic Michigan town of Lakewood. The job is high-paying, offers a free place to live, and includes no out-of-pocket medical expenses—so it's all together too good to be true on paper. All she has to do is take part in a program so secret she can't even tell her friends and family.
There are eyedrops that change brown eyes to blue. A potential cure for dementia. Pills which promise to rid the user of all bad thoughts. These are world-changing discoveries—yet they come at a terrible price for the test subjects. As the program's secrets come to light, how much is Lena willing to give up for her family?
Check out the rest of the recommendations by @anxiousnachos in the video below.