10 Horror Books to Read in June 2024

As June arrives, the shadows lengthen, and the craving for spine-tingling tales grows stronger. Dive into the chilling depths of horror literature with our curated selection of ten bone-chilling reads guaranteed to keep you up at night. From the surreal to the sinister, these stories traverse eerie landscapes and plunge into the darkest recesses of the human psyche. Whether you’re drawn to the uncanny whispers of haunted houses or the macabre dance of historical mysteries, there’s something in this collection to send shivers down your spine and haunt your dreams. Brace yourself for a journey through twisted narratives and unsettling revelations as we explore the top ten horror books to devour in June 2024.

Brat by Gabriel Smith

1. Brat by Gabriel Smith

We encounter our surly protagonist—aptly dubbed the “brat” of the tale—during a bleak phase, though not at his absolute lowest. Gabriel, the central character, is grappling with the death of his father, a recent breakup, and the pressure of completing his second book. Feeling lost and alone, he decides to move back into his childhood home to prepare it for sale. This is where the conventional ends. Gabriel struggles to fulfill his commitments: as the decaying, overgrown house crumbles around him, so does his health, with large sections of his skin peeling away at an alarming pace. Through a series of surreal experiences, Gabriel guides us into the enigmatic family home, uncovering unfinished manuscripts penned by his parents that morph every time he reads them, and discovering a bizarre home video hinting at long-buried secrets. Mysterious figures and strange occurrences arise—possibly manifestations of the novel’s embedded narratives—and despite his deteriorating condition and his more successful brother’s mounting frustration, Gabriel is resolute in unraveling these hauntings. Blending elements of ghost stories and grief narratives, the novel flirts with autofiction while firmly rooted in the gothic tradition. “Brat” is infused with deadpan humor and sharp, engaging prose. Gabriel Smith’s emergence marks the advent of a new wave of fiction writers—formally inventive, shaped by the rhythms of the internet, and reflecting a distinctly Gen Z sense of alienation. Bold and boundary-pushing, but purposefully so, this novel is both robust and lyrical, filled with paradox, and conveyed with a rare, compelling clarity. “Brat” is a serious debut that maintains a sense of humor about itself.

One of Our Kind by Nicola Yoon

2. One of Our Kind by Nicola Yoon

When Jasmyn Williams and her husband, King, find out they are expecting their second child, they decide to relocate to Liberty, California, in search of a community of like-minded individuals where their family can flourish in a predominantly Black environment. King quickly adapts, embracing Liberty’s culture, especially the luxurious wellness center perched on the hill, which serves as the community’s focal point. However, Jasmyn finds it difficult to fit in. She anticipated meeting liberals and social justice advocates dedicated to racial equality, but instead, the residents of Liberty seem more interested in booking spa treatments and ignoring global issues. As Jasmyn’s pregnancy progresses, she uncovers a dreadful secret that transforms her frustration into fear. This secret threatens not only her family’s safety but also everything she stands for… Gripping, suspenseful, and rich with thought-provoking social commentary, One of Our Kind delves into the costs of seeking true liberation, showcasing the talents of a celebrated author at her best.

We Used to Live Here by Marcus Kliewer

3. We Used to Live Here by Marcus Kliewer

Charlie and Eve, a young queer couple known for flipping houses, are thrilled with the fantastic bargain they’ve scored on an old house in a charming neighborhood. One day, while renovating, a man accompanied by his family knocks on their door and explains that he used to live there, asking if he could show his kids around. Eve, always eager to please, agrees and lets them in. From the moment the family steps inside, eerie and inexplicable events unfold, including the youngest child disappearing and a ghostly presence haunting the basement. Stranger still, the family doesn’t seem to recognize that their visit should end. When Charlie mysteriously vanishes, Eve’s sense of reality starts to crumble. Is something sinister happening within the house and with the family, or is Eve’s mind playing tricks on her?

Incidents Around the House by Josh Malerman

4. Incidents Around the House by Josh Malerman

A gripping horror story unfolds through the eyes of eight-year-old Bela, whose struggling family becomes the target of a sinister force she names “Other Mommy,” from the New York Times bestselling author of Bird Box. “Imagine the monster under your bed brought to life in these pages,” says Grady Hendrix, New York Times bestselling author of How to Sell a Haunted House. For Bela, her family comprises her entire universe: Mommy, Daddo, and Grandma Ruth. But there’s also the malevolent Other Mommy, who persistently asks, “Can I go inside your heart?” As terrifying events escalate in their home, it becomes clear that Other Mommy is losing patience. Bela realizes that if she doesn’t comply, her family will face dreadful consequences.

Crimson Cobblestones by Marie Lestrange

5. Crimson Cobblestones by Marie Lestrange

Amid the clandestine circles of Benjamin Franklin, Philadelphia in 1739 is seized by a series of horrific murders, spinning a tale so macabre it can only be murmured in the shadows of gaslit streets. This Gothic Thriller masterfully combines historical authenticity with spine-chilling suspense, where love is tainted by treachery, and murder stains the cobblestones. Central to this enigmatic narrative is Charlotte, a young woman devastated by her mother’s brutal murder. As blood flows through the city’s streets, she becomes entangled in a terrifying world of sinister cults and dark magic, uncovering a web of secrets that could lead to her own destruction and that of her enigmatic new lover, Ben. Echoing ancient spells and the menacing presence of a Luciferian cult, Charlotte must navigate a realm where the occult intertwines with her own haunted past. Crimson Cobblestones is a captivating journey through a world where the boundaries between good and evil are obscured, and history’s shadows are never far away. With prose as mesmerizing as its plot, Marie Lestrange crafts a story reminiscent of the twisted history found in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the intricate mystery of What the Devil Knows by C.S. Harris, and the eerie atmosphere of Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow. Crimson Cobblestones is more than a book—it’s an immersive experience, a haunting waltz with darkness that will leave you breathless until its stunning conclusion.

When the Night Falls by Glenn Rolfe

6. When the Night Falls by Glenn Rolfe

In the coastal town of Old Orchard Beach, Rocky Zukas navigates the haunting aftermath of loving a monster, his existence a fragile thread waiting for a spark of life to reignite. Nearby, November Riley remains tethered to the memory of the boy who once stole her heart, resigned yet hopeful for a chance at redemption. Meanwhile, the resurgence of a documentary thrusts Gabriel Riley, the notorious Beach Night Killer, back into the limelight, attracting three new devotees to the town. As these newcomers uncover Rocky’s connection to their past, he becomes their primary target, and November must muster all her strength to shield him from the looming threat of these unfamiliar predators. Amidst the veil of night, blood will spill, and death will claim its victims.

Mouth by Puloma Ghosh

7. Mouth by Puloma Ghosh

In her debut collection, Puloma Ghosh crafts a mosaic of unsettling narratives delving into themes of grief, sexuality, and autonomy, all through the lens of the grotesque and uncanny. “Mouth” stretches the boundaries of reality, pushing towards profound truths as it ventures from the necrophilic fantasies of a teenage figure skater in “Desiccation” to the eerie return to Kolkata in “The Fig Tree,” where a woman grapples with the presence of her deceased mother or a shakchunni. “Nip” explores the consuming nature of infatuation, while “Natalya” presents a chilling autopsy of a former lover. “Persimmons” confronts communal sacrifices, revealing the unspeakable with piercing clarity. Ghosh’s prose mesmerizes, leading readers through surreal landscapes, and reimagining the universal struggles of isolation, longing, and the primal desires of the flesh with a sharpness that leaves an indelible mark.

Cuckoo by Gretchen Felker-Martin

8. Cuckoo by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“Enter a realm where Invasion of the Bodysnatchers collides head-on with Tell Me I’m Worthless, weaving a chilling tale of survival. From the author who brought you the gripping Manhunt, comes a harrowing saga of queer youth battling the sinister depths of a desert conversion camp. In the scorching summer of ’95, seven abandoned souls confront an unspeakable evil. They emerge alive but forever changed. Now, sixteen years on, only the fractured remnants of that fateful season hold the key to stopping the impending cataclysm. The world teeters on the edge of oblivion, awaiting their intervention.”

Foul Days by Genoveva Dimova

9. Foul Days by Genoveva Dimova

In the walled city of Chernograd, Kosara, a practiced witch skilled in treating lycanthrope bites, bargaining with kikimoras, and slaying bloodsucking upirs, finds herself in a perilous predicament: hunted relentlessly by her ex, the Zmey, known as the Tsar of Monsters. Despite her prowess, she is powerless against his pursuit. Betrayed by a close confidant, Kosara is compelled to sacrifice her source of power, her shadow, for a fleeting chance at escape. Yet, her reprieve is brief as she falls victim to the deadly affliction that plagues shadowless witches. Redemption lies only in reclaiming her magic, a quest that forces her to begrudgingly collaborate with a seemingly honorable detective. But as they unravel clues pointing to daunting adversaries, Kosara realizes she must confront the gravest threats of the Foul Days without her powers, with a mere twelve days to succeed. In a city rife with self-serving motives, she must discern whom to trust in her mission to outwit the most formidable monster from her past.

Youthjuice by E.K. Sathue

10. Youthjuice by E.K. Sathue

Embark on a chilling journey where the eerie realms of American Horror Story intertwine with the cutthroat world of The Devil Wears Prada in a tale custom-crafted for the elite of the digital age. Within this narrative, 29-year-old copywriter Sophia Bannon unravels the terrifying truth lurking behind the glamorous veneer of New York City’s It-girl culture. As she enters the labyrinthine halls of HEBE, a prestigious skincare and wellness empire nestled in the heart of Manhattan, Sophia is seduced by the enigmatic allure of CEO Tree Whitestone and the promise of eternal youth encapsulated in youthjuice, a secretive moisturizer with a dark agenda. Amidst the glittering facade of HEBE’s opulence, Sophia grapples with her yearning for beauty and purpose amidst the relentless pursuit of perfection. But as the sinister underbelly of HEBE’s practices comes to light, Sophia must confront the chilling realization that the price of beauty may be more than she ever bargained for. In a narrative that blends wicked humor with spine-tingling suspense, E.K. Sathue’s debut horror novel unravels the tangled web of female friendship, capitalism, and the unyielding quest for flawlessness, leaving readers questioning the depths they’re willing to go for beauty—and whether their skincare rituals may harbor a darker truth.

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