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Queens of Darkness: Bone-Chilling Horror Books to Reign Over Your Nightmares

These queens rule the night.

a collage of horror book covers with queen in the title

Scream Queens date all the way back to silent films when actresses would silently belt out their terror to the delight of audiences. These screaming women continued even after film got sound, becoming an unspoken tradition of horror movies. 

But what made these Scream Queens so iconic wasn’t their vocal cords. As the genre evolved, these Queens stopped waiting for men to save them and decided to start taking matters into their own hands. 

And now, many of the Queens of Horror aren’t the victim, but the perpetrator of villainy as complex and complicated as all the women we know in real life.

From vaginal dentata to Prom Queens and even urban legends come to life, here are some horror Queens that will keep you screaming all night long. 

Queen of the Dark Things

Queen of the Dark Things

By C. Robert Cargill

It’s been six months since wizard Colby banished fairies from Austin. Six months since he lost his best friend to the creatures. Six months since he revealed who he was to the world.

Now, powerful enemies from his past are gathering and few allies are willing to help. The darkness is gathering around the city, and to vanquish them, he has to turn to an ally darker than any he’s ever battled before. 

Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter

Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter

By A. E. Moorat

After the death of her uncle, King William IV, Victoria becomes Queen. She inherits the throne and a war—with the undead.

As zombies and demons leave a trail of blood and entrails through the streets of London, political ambitions unleash a ravenous hunger all their own.

Distracted by thoughts of Prince Albert, unsure of her royal future, Victoria has to decide which love will come first: her country or her heart. 

The Queen of Bedlam

The Queen of Bedlam

By Robert McCammon

In this classic Robert McCammon book, Matthew Corbett is a young, hardworking law clerk. The last thing he expects is to be drawn into a murder investigation.

But when a murderer named the Masker, he is drawn in by forensic clues. Matthew has a knack for investigation, leading him to a twist no one expected. 

The key to identifying the Masker is getting the Queen of Bedlam to reveal her secrets.

Can reason, empathy, and a hunger for justice bring him what he needs? Or will he get lost in horrifying truths he can’t escape? 

The Prom Queen

The Prom Queen

By R. L. Stine

It’s prom night at Shadyside High and the teens have everything they need for a picture-perfect night in this iconic novel by R.L. Stine.

Spring is in the air, the moon is bright, and five beautiful Prom Queen candidates wait to see who will be crowned. But when one potential Prom Queen is murdered, and then another, Lizzie McVay realizes she might be next.

Now she has to stop a murderer before her dance ends for good. 

Queen of Teeth

Queen of Teeth

By Hailey Piper

In this dark terror novel by Horror Queen Hailey Piper, Yolanda “Yaya” Bettencourt assumes the teeth growing in her vagina are nothing more than a side effect of chemicals from AlphaBeta Pharmaceutical.

After all, she’s been a medical experiment, along with thousands of others, since the womb. 

Only, when the company sends goons to upend her life, she realizes the vaginal dentata aren’t the average side effect.

But when the teeth sprout horns, tentacles, and a mind of its own, Yaya just might be transforming into an experimental success, or one of science’s deadliest failures. 

The Queen: A Novel

The Queen: A Novel

By Nick Cutter

In this October 2024 release, Margaret Carpenter’s best friend, Charity, has been missing for over a month.

The police believe she’s dead, and so does Margaret. Until she wakes up one morning to find a new iPhone on her porch with a message from Charity. 

Even though they’ve been friends forever, Charity has kept secrets from Margaret. And now she wants Margaret to know the truth.

As she follows the breadcrumb trail Charity left, Margaret realizes how the person she thought she knew better than herself was a stranger she never really knew at all. 

The Queen of the Damned (The Vampire Chronicles, Book 3)

The Queen of the Damned (The Vampire Chronicles, Book 3)

By Anne Rice

Anne Rice's charming vampire protagonist Lestat has enthralled millions of fans with his rock-and-roll. But many vampires see his show as nothing more than a narcissistic desire to be loved and adored by mortals.

An impulse that puts their secret at risk. Only, that’s not the only thing at risk. 

His music wakes the powerful Akasha, the Queen of the Damned, from her 6,000-year slumber. She plans to “save” mankind and elevate herself to the level of the gods.

But in her quest for power, the fate of the living dead—of all the living—hangs in the balance. 

Cult of the Spider Queen: An Arkham Horror Novel

Cult of the Spider Queen: An Arkham Horror Novel

By S A Sidor

Maude Brion was a famous actor and director who vanished a year ago during an ill-fated Amazon rainforest expedition. She was looking for the truth behind the legend of the Spider Queen.

Everyone thinks she’s dead until Arkham Advertiser reporter Andy van Nortwick receives a mysterious film reel with the note, “Maude Brion is very much alive!”. 

Now, he’s headed to the rainforest determined to make a name for himself and rescue Maude. But as he travels deep into the jungle, he finds himself tangled in a deadly web of terror. 

The Corpse Queen

The Corpse Queen

By Heather M. Herrman

Seventeen-year-old orphan, Molly Green, is sent to live with her estranged aunt after her best friend dies. But living with her wealthy relative comes with a price. Her aunt has made her fortune by robbing graves and selling corpses to medical students. And she wants Molly to help. 

Before long, Molly becomes fascinated with the anatomy classes being taught secretly on her aunt’s farm. Only, girls can’t join.

But when she realizes her best friend’s death may have been one of several murders, she finds herself caught in a dangerous web where she is one step away from becoming the next victim.  

The Queen of the Cicadas

The Queen of the Cicadas

By V. Castro

Known for her feminist empowerment stories, in this V. Castro novel, when a farmworker is murdered at a south Texas farm, the town ignores it. But Mictecaccíhuatl, the Aztec goddess of death, does not.

She hears the dying cries of the Milagros and creates a way for them to be reborn. The Queen of the Cicadas feeds on vengeance and worship and transforms the farm into an urban legend. 

Almost seven decades later, Belinda Alvarez returns to Texas for her best friend’s wedding. But the farm is more than a forgotten ghost story. And the new owner Hector, along with Belinda, are about to discover how their fate is tied to its legend. 

Featured image: Noah Buscher / Unsplash