There used to be a time when horror was restricted to the month of October. You were safe from vampires when the sun was shining in the summer. The zombies weren’t able to break through the frozen ground in the winter. And the things that went bump in the night didn’t seem so scary in the spring. But that all changed in 2014. A host of new horror novels were published throughout the year well before we began brainstorming Halloween costume ideas. Here are our choices for the top horror reads of 2014:



The Troop by Nick Cutter

What starts off as a traditional weekend trip to a secluded island for a Scoutmaster and his group of Scouts turns into a horrific fight for survival when an unexpected stranger exposes the once tight knit group to a terror worse than any ghost story.


Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Imagine a world where you must be blindfolded at all times, a world where even the briefest glimpse of what’s out there can drive you to unspeakable madness. This is the world that Josh Malerman has expertly crafted in his unimaginably creepy debut novel—a tale that interweaves the past and present and takes the reader to a world of indescribable horror.


Authority by Jeff Vandermeer

Vandermeer expands on the mysterious world of Area X,and the secrets this terrifying and remote terrain sequestered from civilization holds,in the second novel of his bone-chilling Southern Reach trilogy.



Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

The master of horror returned not once, but twice in 2014 and his first novel of the year, Mr. Mercedes, is not to be missed. Intense and incredibly suspenseful, Mr. Mercedes tells the story of a high-stakes race against time to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands.


The Three by Sarah Lotz

When four airplanes crash within hours of each other on different continents, the world begins to panic. Officials are desperate to find the cause. There doesn’t appear to be any correlation between the four disasters… except that there are lone survivors on three of the four flights—all children. What is initially thought to be a miracle turns into horror when a religious fanatic declares the three survivors the harbingers of the apocalypse.


The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey

An original and terrifying take on zombies, The Girl with all the Gifts takes place in a world where most of humanity has been wiped out by a fungal infection that turns its hosts into bloodthirsty savages. Melanie, however, has survived—and this little girl is quite special. But not every gift is a blessing, as this groundbreaking and emotionally charged thriller will teach you. 


So, did any of these novels have you scrambling to find your nightlight? And if not, which ones did? Let us know in the comments below.