• Top 10 Best Horror Books in the UK 2021 1
  • Top 10 Best Horror Books in the UK 2021 2
  • Top 10 Best Horror Books in the UK 2021 3
  • Top 10 Best Horror Books in the UK 2021 4
  • Top 10 Best Horror Books in the UK 2021 5

Top 10 Best Horror Books in the UK 2021

Many people tend to turn to TV or film in order to get their horror fix, but books are often where the creepiest stories can be found. We don't just mean monsters such as vampires and witches; psychological horror is one of the spookiest sub-genres around and authors like Stephen King are experts at creating seriously scary works with seemingly normal settings.


In this article, we’ll be reviewing the best horror books available right now to buy online at Amazon and eBay, including eBooks that you can download straight to your Kindle. Our curated list of recommendations includes genre classics as well as new releases by female authors, ranging from gothic ghost tales to must-read novels about cult worship and necromancy. Is your pumpkin latte ready? We’re about to make it Halloween every day!

  • Last updated: 30-03-2021
  • 192 views
Table of Contents

How To Choose a Horror Book in the UK - Buying Guide

Before we delve into the texts, we’ve put together a quick little buying guide to help you identify exactly what to look for. We’ll be considering the different sub-genres, classic vs contemporary fiction, and which format will be the most convenient option.

Select a Sub-Genre That Provides the Right Kind of Scare

First up, let's think about the different sub-genres. Now, this can be tricky as many horror novels can walk the line between two or more! To make your decision easier, we’ve selected four of the most popular categories that you'll find on the shelves.

Psychological Horror Focuses on Your Innermost Fears

Psychological Horror Focuses on Your Innermost Fears

Psychological horror novels are typically focused on the emotions and fears that we all share as humans. While the story may begin in an ordinary setting, things soon start to take a sinister turn and the protagonist will find themselves dealing with paranoia or disturbing thoughts. 


This is what makes this sub-genre so scary - as the main character begins to doubt their own mind, the reader starts to feel unsettled too! There are no physical monsters or ghosts to be found here, just the horrors that are already lurking inside in your head...

Dark Fantasy Combines Mystical Beings With a Petrifying Plot

Dark Fantasy Combines Mystical Beings With a Petrifying Plot

Gertrude Barrows Bennet (sometimes known under her pseudonym Francis Stevens) is considered to be the writer who pioneered the dark fantasy sub-genre. So, if you’ve already read any of her nightmarish novels and enjoyed them, this category is likely to be right up your street!


For those who are new to dark fantasy though, the simplest way to describe it is as a mash-up genre where two worlds collide, combining both fantasy and frights. So not only will you encounter dragons, elves, and other mystical beings, but there'll be a scary layer within the story too. 

Paranormal Horror Features Demonic or Ghostly Forces

Paranormal Horror Features Demonic or Ghostly Forces

What exactly is the paranormal? Well, the definition given by the Oxford Dictionary is anything that's "impossible to explain by known natural forces or science". While vampires or zombies are neither natural forces nor explainable by science, they’re unlikely to be found in paranormal books.


Instead, stories with paranormal plots tend to involve gruesome ghosts and demonic forces - think hauntings, unexplained noises in the middle of the night, and possessed objects. If supernatural spookiness appeals to you then this is undoubtedly the sub-genre to pick!

Comedy Horror Can Provide Relief From Constant Terror

Comedy Horror Can Provide Relief From Constant Terror

Lastly, we have comedy horror. If you like getting stuck into all things creepy but need to come up for some air from time to time, this sub-genre will do nicely! Rather than sitting through 300 pages of constant dread, this type of novel will feature moments of respite that punctuate the gloom with a welcome chuckle


While this sub-genre is less revered in the literary world than in cinema, we think it's well worth checking out. Fans of films like Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland will be happy to know that there are plenty of novels that provide the same fun yet frightful experience!

Should You Go for a Classic or Contemporary Story?

Should You Go for a Classic or Contemporary Story?

The next decision you'll need to make is whether to opt for a classic or contemporary novel. The former will likely have a good reputation, having gained die-hard fans in the years since its release. However, older stories can be filled with clichés and may feel a little stagnant.


Contemporary horror novels, on the other hand, will keep you right up to date with the goings-on in the literary world, meaning you’ll be the one telling all your friends what’s worth checking out. Plus, the plot and references will probably be more relatable as well as being a breath of fresh air.

 
Whichever you prefer, you'll see that we have books from a variety of decades in our ranking - from the 1920s right up to 2020!

Find the Right Format for Your Lifestyle

Find the Right Format for Your Lifestyle

Finally, the modern-day dilemma: which format is best for you? There's a brilliant range of options nowadays, from chunky hardbacks to audiobooks that can be downloaded onto your phone or tablet. 


The traditionalists out there will prefer the feel of holding a paperback or hardcover book when reading. In addition, physical books always look great on your shelves and make you feel like you’re getting something tangible for your money. 


Other readers may be trying to cut down on clutter and so will find eBooks or audiobooks much handier as they can be stored on one, small device. Furthermore, when it comes to horror, a great voice actor can make the story even more gripping. As with all digital titles, though, you’ll need to make sure you have enough storage space!

Top 10 Best Horror Books in the UK

You've waited long enough - now it’s time to see the scares we’ve got in store for you! From haunted houses to psychological peril, our handpicked selection of horror novels will provide both frights and delights in equal measure. 

10
Sub-GenreDark fantasy
First Published1985
Formats AvailablePaperback, eBook, audiobook
Number of Pages288
9
Sub-GenreComedy horror
First Published2014
Formats AvailablePaperback, eBook, audiobook
Number of Pages256
8
Sub-GenreParanormal horror
First Published2016
Formats AvailableHardback, eBook, audiobook
Number of Pages366
7
Sub-GenrePsychological horror
First Published1925
Formats AvailablePaperback, eBook
Number of Pages208
6

Joey ComeauOne Bloody Thing After Another

£6.38

Sub-GenreComedy horror
First Published2010
Formats AvailablePaperback, eBook, audiobook
Number of Pages165
5

Mike ShelAching God

£3.22

Sub-GenreDark fantasy
First Published2018
Formats AvailablePaperback, eBook, audiobook
Number of Pages604
4

Stephen Graham JonesThe Only Good Indians

£7.99

Sub-GenreParanormal horror/psychological horror
First Published2020
Formats AvailablePaperback, eBook, audiobook
Number of Pages368
3

Shirley JacksonThe Haunting of Hill House

£7.87

Sub-GenreParanormal horror
First Published1959
Formats AvailablePaperback, eBook
Number of Pages256
2

Lish McBrideHold Me Closer, Necromancer

£7.99

Sub-GenreComedy horror
First Published2010
Formats AvailableHardback, paperback, eBook
Number of Pages368
1

Silvia Moreno-GarciaMexican Gothic

£11.92

Sub-GenreDark fantasy
First Published2020
Formats AvailableHardback, eBook, audiobook
Number of Pages320

Compare the Best Horror Books

Image
1
Silvia Moreno-Garcia Mexican Gothic 1

Silvia Moreno-Garcia

2
Lish McBride Hold Me Closer, Necromancer 1

Lish McBride

3
Shirley Jackson The Haunting of Hill House 1

Shirley Jackson

4
Stephen Graham Jones The Only Good Indians 1

Stephen Graham Jones

5
Mike Shel Aching God 1

Mike Shel

6
Joey Comeau One Bloody Thing After Another 1

Joey Comeau

7
Franz Kafka The Trial 1

Franz Kafka

8
Cherie Priest The Family Plot 1

Cherie Priest

9
Grady Hendrix Horrorstör 1

Grady Hendrix

10
Dan Simmons Song of Kali 1

Dan Simmons

Name

Mexican Gothic

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer

The Haunting of Hill House

The Only Good Indians

Aching God

One Bloody Thing After Another

The Trial

The Family Plot

Horrorstör

Song of Kali

Features

Injecting Fresh Blood Into the Gothic Genre

Comedy, Fantasy, and Horror Collide in This YA Novel

One of the Greatest Horror Stories of All Time

Violent and Eerie, With a Moral Twist

A Nightmarish Journey Begins

Heartwarming, Hysterical, and Horrifying in Equal Measures

A Dystopian, Psychologically Harrowing Classic

Atmospheric and Packed With Southern Spookiness

A Contemporary Take on a Haunted House Story

Human Sacrifice, Cult Worship, and Other Assorted Nastiness

Price£11.92£7.99£7.87£7.99£3.22£6.38£5.77£12.52£9.26£5.50
Sub-GenreDark fantasyComedy horrorParanormal horrorParanormal horror/psychological horrorDark fantasyComedy horrorPsychological horrorParanormal horrorComedy horrorDark fantasy
First Published2020201019592020201820101925201620141985
Formats AvailableHardback, eBook, audiobookHardback, paperback, eBookPaperback, eBookPaperback, eBook, audiobookPaperback, eBook, audiobookPaperback, eBook, audiobookPaperback, eBookHardback, eBook, audiobookPaperback, eBook, audiobookPaperback, eBook, audiobook
Number of Pages320 368256368604165 208366256288
Link

More Gripping Reads to Keep You Entertained

More Gripping Reads to Keep You Entertained

You just can't beat a good book - so why not stock up on more literary bargains? Whether you're a thriller fan or a sci-fi buff, we're sure you'll find something suitable to settle down on the sofa with at the links below.

Summary

No matter where you like to get your frights from, we believe that the ideal horror book to keep you engaged and entertained can be found in our ranking. Just make sure you keep the light on if you're reading at home alone! 

Author: Lewis Clark

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