Literary Horror Fiction


What happens when literary writing meets horror writing? You get a special category of a book called literary horror fiction.

The thing about literary horror is you get elements of beautiful or skillful writing (usually) added to the subtle storytelling where often you have to think about what is really being said, as in Beloved by Toni Morrison or The Man on the Ceiling by Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem.

Sometimes you'll see elements of experimental fiction, like in House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. Or maybe just a little fantasy realism to make the story whole, think Boy's Life by Robert McCammon.

Or the tale that leaves you to decided what really happened and how much do you trust the narrator, anyway? The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and The Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte are two examples that have elements of that.

The books listed below are literary horror novels that point in just a few of the unique and wonderful directions horror can go.

This book list is a work in progress. Check back frequently for more updates. Published: 3/17/2015.

Updated 8/30/2017 Added a few good books.

-- Gregory Fisher, Riffle Horror Editor and Undead Rat

  • The Reapers Are the Angels: A Novel

  • Fever Dream: A Novel

  • A Head Full of Ghosts: A Novel

  • Disappearance at Devil's Rock: A Novel

  • Broken Monsters

  • Little Heaven: A Novel

  • The Deep

  • The Devil in Silver: A Novel

  • The Collector (Back Bay Books)

  • Annihilation: A Novel (The Southern Reach Trilogy Book 1)

  • Authority: A Novel (The Southern Reach Trilogy Book 2)

  • Acceptance: A Novel (The Southern Reach Trilogy Book 3)

  • Perdido Street Station (Bas-Lag)

  • Black Dahlia & White Rose: Stories

  • The Corn Maiden

  • Zombie: A Novel

  • Fight Club

  • Haunted: A Novel

  • Zone One: A Novel

  • Beloved