Reading lists

The best horror books to give you the chills

Whether you're after a classic tale of paranoia or a modern pandemic-set novel, these are the best horror books to add to your reading list.

Image: Victoria Ford for Penguin

What is it about horror that we can't resist? From children's books that introduced us to scary stories (the Goosebump series, anyone?) to films like Get Out and Midsommar, we love to be scared by fiction.

The best horror isn't about overt scares, it's about the subtle things that instil fear in us. And books are perfect for creating that atmosphere, giving us enough information to make us nervous, and leaving enough gaps that our imaginations go wild. The end result is that we're left quaking in our boots.

Here, for your reading pleasure, are some of the best horror books ever written, from classics to modern-day tales. Read with the lights on.

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