The horror genre isn't one size fits all. Some readers like to plunge headfirst into the most disturbing, boundary-pushing horror on the market. Others like more quiet reads that build tension and read in a sizzling slow burn. Luckily, subgenres make it easy to navigate any manner of tastes.
If you don't know where to begin, why not let the stars guide you? Here's what subgenre you are based on your zodiac sign.
Aries (March 21-April 19)
The extreme horror subgenre seems pretty self-explanatory—it is horror at its most violent and, sometimes, sexual. In these books, the pages will be rife with gore, torture, and mutilation. It is not for the faint of heart. This is why this is the perfect subgenre to link to the star sign of Aries.
Aries is a fire sign ruled by Mars, the planet tied to the Roman god of war. This sign of the Ram is the most aggressive of the signs. They lack patience, making extreme horror appropriate, as it's hardly a subgenre that eases you into the action. This sign loves physical challenges, and it really doesn't get more physical than this.
Check out some gruesome extreme horror book recommendations below!
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
It might seem a bit on the nose to attribute eco horror to an earth sign, but the similarities run much deeper than the surface. This subgenre is all about nature turning on the planet's inhabitants, typically as a result of our destructive impact on the natural world. It can be carnivorous plants, deadly weather events, or animals that aren't quite right. In any case, these reads prove that nature was here first, and if we don't find a way to live in harmony with it, it will find a way to remove the problem.
Those born under the sign of Taurus are often patient individuals, but they do have their limits. Like nature taking back its control, the sign of the Bull can be uncompromising and stubborn. If you're in a disagreement with them, it's better to concede than waste your energy trying to change their mind. This sign is one of the most devoted and doesn't mind taking care of people. They do, however, have a distaste for anything unnatural, synthetic, or manufactured.
Check out some chilling eco horror book recommendations below!
Gemini (May 21-June 21)
Sometimes referred to as Lovecraftian horror, this subgenre utilizes the terror of the unknown and inexplicable. Cosmic horror often goes hand in hand with weird fiction and science fiction. This subgenre loves to highlight the vastness of the universe, and lean into the insignificance of humanity in the grand scheme of things. Cosmic horror can encompass aliens, experiment mishaps, or ancient beings.
Cosmic horror isn't for everyone, but the sign of Gemini has a natural curiosity that pairs well with the subgenre. This sign of the Twin spurns routine and the expected. They love exploring and have an adaptability that allows them to be tossed into any situation—no matter how unimaginable.
Check out some out-of-this-world cosmic horror book recommendations below!
Cancer (June 22-July 22)
Psychological horror is the subgenre of mind games. Works in this subgenre love to explore the darkest corners of the human psyche. Expect to have your mental and emotional strings pulled, as the story will manipulate and disturb readers to heightened levels. These are the stories that linger long after they're finished, seeding paranoia.
No offense to any Cancers out there, but there couldn't be a more perfect subgenre for this highly emotional water sign. As the sign of the Crab isn't as intuitive as the other water signs tend to be, they fill in the gaps by questioning every motive. They are naturally insecure and suspicious and need a lot of reassurance to calm down. While this frames them as a great victim in psychological horror, their craftily persuasive nature also primes them to be great villains.
Check out some unsettling psychological horror book recommendations below!
Leo (July 23-August 22)
Creature Feature Horror
Creature feature horror is exactly what it sounds like: a book that centers a monster as the main source of terror. This subgenre can overlap with several others, such as cosmic, eco, or supernatural. The monster can be anything from a cryptid to a horrifying lab creation. Classics like werewolves may be at the forefront, or a terrifying creation devised entirely from the author's unique imagination.
Leo is the sign of the Lion—the kings and queens of the jungle. Like the abominations in horror, this fire sign likes the be the most interesting thing in any given room. They hate to be ignored, and they give everything—even scaring the pants off of you—their all. They can be arrogant, but they usually have the skills to justify it. One roar from them will have you quaking.
Check out some wild creature feature horror book recommendations below!
Virgo (August 23-September 22)
While the goal of protagonists in most horror media is to survive the ordeal, survival horror takes this concept to new levels. Books in this subgenre emphasize the vulnerability of horror. These works pit man against nature, but unlike eco horror, there's nothing extraordinary about the environment—it shows the world as deadly, but realistic. That means that while you might have a serial killer stalking you, the real threat is the below-freezing temperatures on that mountain you thought it was a good idea to get stranded on.
Virgos are the sign most people think of when it comes to "most likely to survive a horror novel." They are analytical thinkers that have a plan for every situation waiting in a laminated binder. As an earth sign, they have a connection to nature, but their practical mindset means they know just how dangerous it can be. The sign of the Maiden has a tendency to focus more on work than play, so the seriousness of the survival subgenre will speak to them.
Check out some nail-biting survival horror book recommendations below!
Libra (September 23-October 22)
While social horror is subgenre that can crossover with any other subgenre, it's one you don't see as often as you might expect. This subgenre uses the conventions of horror to make a social statement, rallying behind a particular cause. While many horror books may weave in social-forward ideas, these books make the statement the driving force behind the story. Social horror books can cover issues as broad as sexism or as particular as racism in medical experimentation.
Libra is the sign of the Scales, a symbol of justice. This air sign balks at inequality and strives to live a life that promotes fairness and harmony. Preferring a more diplomatic approach, Libras aren't very confrontational. Pushing a social agenda through literature is right up their alley.
Check out some vital social horror book recommendations below!
Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
Folk horror invokes all the terror of old traditions and rural isolation. These stories often utilize pagan rituals and strict communal beliefs. This can include elements of the supernatural, or remain a good ol' fashioned cult scare. At any rate, you're likely to see a clash of cultures and a conflict between the old ways and modernism.
While Scorpios might not have the same overwhelming charisma as a Leo or Gemini, don't rule them out as a sign likely to run a woodsy cult. Not only are they prone to manipulation, but they are also incredibly resourceful individuals. This water sign will use every tool at their disposal to convince those around them they are preaching the truth. They hate surface-level relationships, and while a well-intentioned Scorpio will be an incredible friend to you, an ill-intentioned Scorpio will dive into your deepest secrets while keeping theirs locked away.
Check out some foreboding folk horror book recommendations below!
Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
Surreal horror is that which disconnects from reality. Books in this subgenre push the envelope, shrugging off all responsibility to logic and sense. These works plop you into a dreamlike—or rather, nightmarish—state, leaning into the disjointed and bizarre. Prepare to lose your sanity, all ye who enter here.
Those born under the sign of Sagittarius are generous and creative spirits. They give a lot—maybe even too much sometimes. This fire sign hates feeling restricted, and if they're given any constraints it's only a matter of time before they break them. These out-of-the-box thinkers aren't afraid to get their point across, no matter how jarring the means.
Check out some twisted surreal horror book recommendations below!
Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
Post-apocalyptic horror takes readers into a world where the dust has settled after a cataclysmic event. But just because the moment of near-extinction has passed, that doesn't mean the terror is over. These stories portray a world in shambles, with survivors trying to cobble together the tatters of their lives. Sometimes the biggest threat is the lingering monsters, effects, or other causes of the apocalypse. But sometimes the most dangerous part of the aftermath is the people who have shed the niceties of civilization.
Similar but ultimately different than survival horror, it's only right that Capricorn, another earth sign, is linked to this subgenre. While Virgos prepare for every situation, Capricorns always expect the worst. This sign of the Sea Goat has the discipline it takes to devise a new set of rules for living. As natural leaders, this sign is exactly who you'd want by your side at the end of the world.
Check out some gritty post-apocalyptic horror book recommendations below!
Aquarius (January 20-February 18)
A subset of science fiction horror, techno horror is at the opposite end of the spectrum as eco horror. These stories feed fears about the unnatural world—the world human beings have created through technology. The cautionary tales in this subgenre can include threats to privacy, loss of individuality, or an automated uprising.
The sign of Aquarius is all about progress. Humanitarians at their core, they're always pushing to find ways to make life easier for people. When it comes to technology, these shortcuts can backfire, though. After all, technology can be as temperamental as this air sign. For the sign of the Water Bearer, emotions are often an inconvenience, and they prefer to remain aloof and detached.
Check out some disturbing techno horror book recommendations below!
Pisces (February 19-March 20)
Gothic horror relies heavily on aesthetics and atmosphere. This subgenre is all about darkness, alienation, and haunting—either literally or a metaphorical looming. Typically there's an ever-present sense of claustrophobia. Other common themes include tragic romance, vengeance, religion, abuse, and death. You can also expect to see a lot of castles or old architecture.
Those born under the sign of Pisces tend to be a little bit more delicate than others, so the slow-building horror of Gothic literature may be more appropriate for their sensibilities. This sign of the Fish is obsessed with romantic and spiritual ideas. Their devotion and compassion can lead to them being easily victimized, however, and if there's one thing they despise, it's the past coming back to bite them.
Check out some eerie Gothic horror book recommendations below!