Every new year brings with it a different kind of vibe when we take a look at the new releases to come over the next 12 months. This year is, if the releases announced so far are to be believed, a year of Horror Titans. From recently established favorites to living legends, all the big names have new horror books out this year, and we can’t wait to crack them open.
So, in honor of the dawn of 2024, here are our most-anticipated horror books of the year (the ones announced so far, anyway). Update your reading lists accordingly.
The Angel of Indian Lake by Stephen Graham Jones
Release Date: March 26 from Saga
Why We’re Excited: Stephen Graham Jones is the hottest name in horror right now, and he got there thanks in no small part to the success of My Heart is a Chainsaw, the first in what’s now a trilogy of slasher novels about a young woman from a small Idaho town using her horror obsessions to save herself again and again. Now, the Indian Lake Trilogy comes to an end with this follow-up to Don’t Fear the Reaper, and we can’t wait to fight beside Jade Daniels one last time.
Publisher’s Description: It’s been four years in prison since Jade Daniels last saw her hometown of Proofrock, Idaho, the day she took the fall, protecting her friend Letha and her family from incrimination. Since then, her reputation, and the town, have changed dramatically. There’s a lot of unfinished business in Proofrock, from serial killer cultists to the rich trying to buy Western authenticity. But there’s one aspect of Proofrock no one wants to confront…until Jade comes back to town. The curse of the Lake Witch is waiting, and now is the time for the final stand.
You Like It Darker by Stephen King
Release Date: May 21 from Scribner
Why We’re Excited: Stephen King is one of the greatest horror short story craftsmen of all time, and it’s truly a joy any time we get a new collection from the modern master of terror. You Like It Darker marks his first collection of short stories since The Bazaar of Bad Dreams nearly a decade ago, and we can’t wait to see what’s lurking in the pages of this one.
Publisher’s Description: “You like it darker? Fine, so do I,” writes Stephen King in the afterword to this magnificent new collection of twelve stories that delve into the darker part of life—both metaphorical and literal. King has, for half a century, been a master of the form, and these stories, about fate, mortality, luck, and the folds in reality where anything can happen, are as rich and riveting as his novels, both weighty in theme and a huge pleasure to read. King writes to feel “the exhilaration of leaving ordinary day-to-day life behind,” and in You Like It Darker, readers will feel that exhilaration too, again and again.
Cuckoo by Gretchen Felker-Martin
Release Date: June 11 from Nightfire
Why We’re Excited: Gretchen Felker-Martin’s Manhunt was not just one of the best horror novels of 2022, but one of the most talked-about and deservedly hyped genre books of the last decade. Now, it’s time for her follow-up, and if Cuckoo‘s description is any indication, we’re in for another provocative, powerful, thrilling read from one of horror’s rising stars.
Publisher’s Description: Something evil is buried deep in the desert.
It wants your body.
It wears your skin.
In the summer of 1995, seven queer kids abandoned by their parents at a remote conversion camp came face to face with it. They survived―but at Camp Resolution, everybody leaves a different person.
Sixteen years later, only the scarred and broken survivors of that terrible summer can put an end to the horror before it’s too late.
The fate of the world depends on it.
Horror Movie by Paul Tremblay
Release Date: June 11 from William Morrow
Why We’re Excited: The author of Head Full of Ghosts and The Cabin at the End of the World returns with a novel that promises to dive headlong into the realm of transgressive horror movies and the pop culture ripple effects they create. Tremblay’s ability to play with form and perspective in his books is well-known, and it’ll be exciting to see how he uses the filmmaking angle within this story to push that gift into new territory.
Publisher’s Description: In June 1993, a group of young guerilla filmmakers spent four weeks making Horror Movie, a notorious, disturbing, art-house horror flick.
The weird part? Only three of the film’s scenes were ever released to the public, but Horror Movie has nevertheless grown a rabid fanbase. Three decades later, Hollywood is pushing for a big budget reboot.
The man who played “The Thin Kid” is the only surviving cast member. He remembers all too well the secrets buried within the original screenplay, the bizarre events of the filming, and the dangerous crossed lines on set that resulted in tragedy. As memories flood back in, the boundaries between reality and film, past and present start to blur. But he’s going to help remake the film, even if it means navigating a world of cynical producers, egomaniacal directors, and surreal fan conventions—demons of the past be damned.
Incidents Around the House by Josh Malerman
Release Date: June 25 from Del Rey
Why We’re Excited: Josh Malerman’s books have a propulsive, seat-of-your-pants quality that makes them feel truly unpredictable, so a new novel from him is always exciting. With Incidents Around the House, he’s delivering something that sounds like Coraline for adults, only 100 times more frightening. We can’t wait to see what he’s got in store for us this time, particularly after the triumph that was Daphne in 2022.
Publisher’s Description: To eight-year-old Bela, her family is her world. There’s Mommy, Daddo, and Grandma Ruth. But there is also Other Mommy, a malevolent entity who asks her every day: “Can I go inside your heart?”
When horrifying incidents around the house signal that Other Mommy is growing tired of asking Bela the question over and over, Bela understands that unless she says yes, her family will soon pay.
Other Mommy is getting restless, stronger, bolder. Only the bonds of family can keep Bela safe, but other incidents show cracks in her parents’ marriage. The safety Bela relies on is about to unravel.
But Other Mommy needs an answer.
Witchcraft for Wayward Girls by Grady Hendrix
Release Date: July 4 from McMillan
Why We’re Excited: We don’t know much about Grady Hendrix’s next novel yet, but any new book from the author of The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires and The Final Girl Support Group is an event. Throw in the promise of “folk horror,” and Witchcraft for Wayward Girls is an instant read.
Publisher’s Description: Look out for the brand-new folk horror from New York Times bestselling author of How to Sell a Haunted House and The Final Girl Support Group. Coming summer 2024.
House of Bone and Rain by Gabino Iglesias
Release Date: August 6 from Mulholland
Why We’re Excited: With The Devil Takes You Home, Gabino Iglesias crafted one of the most celebrated horror books of the last decade and established himself as one of the genre’s must-read stars. Now, he’s back with a tale of revenge, reckless violence, and a cursed storm bearing down on a group of friends. Don’t miss this one.
Publisher’s Description: For childhood friends Gabe, Xavier, Tavo, Paul, and Bimbo, death has always been close. Hurricanes. Car accidents. Gang violence. Suicide. Estamos rodeados de fantasmas was Gabe’s grandmother’s refrain. We are surrounded by ghosts. But this time is different. Bimbo’s mom has been shot dead. We’re gonna kill the guys who killed her Bimbo swears. And they all agree.
Feral with grief, Bimbo has become unrecognizable, taking no prisoners in his search for names. Soon, they learn Maria was gunned down by guys working for the drug kingpin of Puerto Rico. No one has ever gone up against him and survived. As the boys strategize, a storm gathers far from the coast. Hurricanes are known to carry evil spirits in their currents and bring them ashore, spirits which impose their own order.
The Devil by Name by Keith Rosson
Release Date: September 10 from Random House
Why We’re Excited: Keith Rosson’s Fever House is a magnificently visceral, fun, funny, and terrifying reading experience, so much so that it made our list of the best horror books of 2023. In 2024, we’ll get the sequel, and it sounds like things are only getting stranger and more frightening from here.
Publisher’s Description: Five years after the event that drove most of the global population to madness, the world is overrun with the “fevered”—once-human, zombielike creatures drawn indiscriminately to violence and murder. In a campaign to return the country to normalcy, the massive corporation known as Terradyne Industries has merged with the U.S. government in a partnership of dubious motives, quarantining major American cities behind towering walls and corralling the afflicted there with the hope, they say, of developing a vaccine.
In Portland, where it all began, guilt-ridden detective John Bonner scours the city’s darkest corners for clues to humanity’s redemption. In New England, Katherine Moriarty mourns the devastating losses of her husband and son while in hiding from Terradyne. And across the ocean in France, a sixteen-year-old girl named Naomi Laurent discovers she has a disturbing and powerful gift—which may just be the key to the world’s salvation.
As the lives of these characters inevitably intertwine across a ravaged American landscape, this is a heart-stopping, breakneck saga of survival. Equal parts gruesome and beautiful, The Devil by Name is united by characters who want more than just to live another day.
Everything starts and ends in the fever house.
Clown in a Cornfield 3: The Church of Frendo by Adam Cesare
Release Date: August 20 from HarperCollins
Why We’re Excited: Adam Cesare’s Bram Stoker-winning Clown in a Cornfield books are a wild, deliriously fun ride, and now we get to see what happens next after a hell of a cliffhanger in Clown in a Cornfield 2. The game has changed, but we know this book will be just as entertaining as the last two, if not moreso.
Publisher’s Description: Quinn has just survived yet another bloody run-in with the murderous clown Frendo, but somehow still she knows this won’t be the last. Tired of being hunted and seeing innocent people hurt, Quinn believes the only way to beat the horror is to take justice into her own hands–and stop the Frendo followers herself. Little does she know that this path will take her across cornfields and state lines, to where she will have to face the most dangerous and bloody menace yet: True believers.
Sacrificial Animals by Kailee Pedersen
Release Date: August 20 from St. Martin’s Press
Why We’re Excited: Yes, it’s a year of big names releasing new books, but I always like to highlight at least one debut in the crop of most-anticipated books, and this time around Kailee Pedersen’s Sacrificial Animals really jumped out at me. There’s just so much at work in the description of this story of family strife and hidden truths that I can’t wait to find out more.
Publisher’s Description: The last thing Nick Morrow expected to receive was an invitation from his father to return home. When he left rural Nebraska behind, he believed he was leaving everything there, including his abusive father, Carlyle, and the farm that loomed so large in memory, forever.
But neither Nick nor his brother Joshua, disowned for marrying Emilia, a woman of Asian descent, can ignore such summons from their father, who hopes for a deathbed reconciliation. Predictably, Joshua and Carlyle quickly warm to each other while Nick and Emilia are left to their own devices. Nick puts the time to good use and his flirtation with Emilia quickly blooms into romance. Though not long after the affair turns intimate, Nick begins to suspect that Emilia’s interest in him may have sinister, and possibly even ancient, motivations.
Punctuated by scenes from Nick’s adolescent years, when memories of a queer awakening and a shadowy presence stalking the farm altered the trajectory of his life forever, Sacrificial Animals explores the violent legacy of inherited trauma and the total collapse of a family in its wake.
Not a Speck of Light by Laird Barron
Release Date: September 10 from Bad Hand Books
Why We’re Excited: We almost lost Laird Barron last year, which prompted horror fans everywhere to pour out support for the author. Now, we can offer even more by digging into his new collection of stories. If you’ve read any of Barron’s previous short fiction, you know that he’s capable of delivering some of the strangest, most unsettling stories in the horror world, and we’re so lucky we have yet another book of tales of terror from one of the best in the game.
Publisher’s Description: It’s about to get very dark.
Bram Stoker Award-winning author Laird Barron returns to the dark and dreadful with his fifth horror collection, which weaves sixteen weird tales into a mosaic of the bloody and the macabre.
Bring a flashlight and a book of matches.
Where we’re going, there’s not a speck of light.
So Thirsty by Rachel Harrison
Release Date: September 10 from Berkley
Why We’re Excited: Rachel Harrison’s books are memorable for a lot of reasons, but transformative horror experiences for well-realized female characters might be the biggest. Now, she takes on yet another transformation in this vampiric tale of two best friends whose lives change in unexpected, perhaps not unwelcome ways. Harrison just keeps delivering must-reads, and So Thirsty sounds like yet another.
Publisher’s Description: Sloane Parker is dreading her birthday. She doesn’t need a reminder she’s getting older, or that she’s feeling indifferent about her own life. Her husband surprises her with a birthday-weekend getaway—not with him, but with Sloane’s longtime best friend, troublemaker extraordinaire Naomi. Sloane anticipates a weekend of wine tastings and cozy robes and strategic avoidance of issues she’d rather not confront, like her husband’s repeated infidelity.
But when they arrive at their rental cottage, it becomes clear Naomi has something else in mind. She wants Sloane to stop letting things happen to her, for Sloane to really live. So Naomi orchestrates a wild night out with a group of mysterious strangers, only for it to take a horrifying turn that changes Sloane’s and Naomi’s lives literally forever. The friends are forced to come to terms with some pretty eternal consequences in this bloody, seductive novel about how it’s never too late to find satisfaction, even though it might taste different than expected.
Devils Kill Devils by Johnny Compton
Release Date: September 24 from Nightfire
Why We’re Excited: Johnny Compton’s The Spite House delivered an unforgettable haunted house story and one of the best horror debuts of last year, so naturally we’re looking forward to reading his follow-up. We don’t know anything about Devils Kill Devils yet, but when it comes to rising stars in the genre, you’ll definitely want to keep an eye on Johnny Compton.
Publisher’s Description: TBD
American Rapture by C.J. Leede
Release Date: October 15 from Nightfire
Why We’re Excited: With Maeve Fly, C.J. Leede delivered my favorite horror debut of 2023, a vicious and wickedly fun descent into darkness that announced her as one of the best new writers in the genre. Now she’s back with a great title and a new book just in time for Halloween. We don’t know anything else about American Rapture yet, but I know that I absolutely must read whatever C.J. Leede does next.
Publisher’s Description: TBD
All the Hearts You Eat by Hailey Piper
Release Date: October 15 from Titan
Why We’re Excited: Hailey Piper will deliver several new books in 2024, but All the Hearts You Eat is the one that intrigues me most. Apart from the title, which might be the best Piper’s delivered so far (and that’s really saying something), there’s the promise of another tale of a small town full of mysteries and darkness, and the young woman at the center of it all who must dig for the truth. Throw in the Gothic touch of a ghost girl trying to point the way, and you’ve got a book I need in my hands right this second.
Publisher’s Description: A visceral and heartbreaking work of gothic horror about small town mysteries, local folklore and the things we leave behind when we’re gone, from the Bram Stoker Award winning author of Queen of Teeth.
What really happened to Cabrina Brite?
Ivory’s life changes irrevocably when she discovers the body of Cabrina Brite on the sands of Cape Morning, along with a mysterious poem. How did she die, and why does it seem she was trying to swim to Ghost Cat Island, the centre of so many local mysteries?
Desperate to uncover the answers surrounding Cabrina’s death, and haunted by her discovery, Ivory begins to see the pale ghost of Cabrina, only to shake it off as a mere hallucination. But Ivory is not alone. Cabrina’s closest friends have also seen a similar apparition, and as they toy with occult possibilities, they begin to unravel the truth behind Cabrina’s death.
Because Cape Morning isn’t a ghost town, but a town filled with ghosts, and Ivory is about to discover just what happens when you let one in.
Matthew Jackson is a pop culture writer and nerd-for-hire who’s been writing about entertainment for more than a decade. His writing about movies, TV, comics, and more regularly appears at SYFY WIRE, Looper, Mental Floss, Decider, BookPage, and other outlets. He lives in Austin, Texas, and when he’s not writing he’s usually counting the days until Christmas.