Horror taps into our primal fears – the fear of the unknown, of things that lurk in the shadows, and of the supernatural. Listening to horror audiobooks can be especially chilling with the right narrator transporting us into the story and our imagination filling in all of the terrifying details.
This list of the best horror audiobooks has been curated with the help of Libro.fm and their community of independent bookstores. Not familiar with Libro.fm? It’s actually one of my favorite audiobook services because, among other things, it splits its profits with independent bookstores (read my Libro.fm review).
Whether you’re a horror fanatic or jumping into the genre for the first time, there’s a horror audiobook in this collection for you. So choose a title, turn off the lights, and get ready for a spine-chilling ride!
- Mexican Gothic
- My Heart Is a Chainsaw
- Hidden Pictures
- The Hollow Places
- The Last House on Needless Street
- The Book of Accidents
- The Cabin at the End of the World
- The Whisper Man
- The Final Girl Support Group
- Pet Sematary
- Imaginary Friend
- My Best Friend’s Exorcism
- How to Sell a Haunted House
- The Book Eaters
- Fever Dream
- The Lost Village
- This Thing Between Us
- Home Before Dark
- The Only Good Indians
- Mister Magic
Best Horror Audiobooks
By Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Read by Frankie Corzo.
“Mexican Gothic is a fairytale turned nightmare, perhaps with a nod to Jordan Peele’s Get Out. In 1950’s Mexico, glamorous debutante Noemí receives a mysterious letter from her newlywed cousin Catalina. In frantic prose, she pleads for Noemí to visit her at High Place, the family residence of her husband, an English expat whom she has grown to distrust. Upon her arrival, Noemí finds a dilapidated, mold-ridden mansion on the grounds of a former silver mine with a sickly past, upheld by a eugenicist patriarch whose suffocating surveillance would drive anyone away, if only they could leave. Woven together like a mycelial network, Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s latest features feminist heroism and commentary on colonialism, with language and culture as secret weapons. It’s absolutely delectable.” – Mary, Raven Book Store
By Max Brooks. Read by multiple narrators.
“Made the mistake of listening to this book before going to sleep and subsequently spent an hour after turning off my phone staring at the shadows at the corners of my room as they morphed into bigfoot. Hauntingly written and beautifully performed.” – Sam, The Cupboard Maker Books
By Kiersten White. Read by Emma Galvin.
“I gulped and gasped my way through this book as fast as I could and I still couldn’t get it all down fast enough. The Minotaur-ish monster in the maze is terrifying, the violence is all there, the narration for the audiobook is breathtaking, but there’s still so much more to this book. Kiersten White’s ghastly adult debut is as much a character study about trauma in the many forms it takes and the debt we owe to the living and the dead alike as it is about who’s going to get ‘voted off the island’ next. Hide delivers on everything it promises and more. I couldn’t breathe until I’d finished.” – Kvothe, Rediscovered Books
My Heart Is a Chainsaw
By Stephen Graham Jones. Read by Cara Gee.
“This frequently amusing and ultimately satisfying meta-horror novel follows Jade, a Native high-schooler with no friends, no extant future outside her janitorial job, and a deep love for slasher flicks, which are her coping mechanism in the face of an alcoholic father and absentee mom. Film trivia pervade the narration at every turn, but slasher newbies (like myself) will find the references easier to follow thanks to Jade’s essays, presented in between chapters. Soon enough, a series of deaths convince Jade that a real slasher cycle is starting. Is this the overactive imagination of a struggling teen? And if not, what is it? My Heart Is A Chainsaw balances its obligations to both developing real characters of the sort not seen in pulp films, and functioning as a slasher itself, one that will keep you guessing until the end. On the way there, horror tropes are used to examine Native American identity, economic inequity, and childhood trauma. If you’re into slashers, this is one you can’t afford to miss; otherwise I would suggest listening to a sample to see if the narrational style is up your alley.” – Graham, Next Chapter Booksellers
By Jason Rekulak. Read by Suzy Jackson.
“Hidden Pictures is reminiscent of the John Saul books I loved in the late 70s and 80s. As his usually did, this story includes a child and some unexplained happenings that may or may not have a rational explanation. Mallory is a 20-year-old just recently out of rehab and a halfway house for drug abuse. Her sponsor finds her a job as a nanny to an adorable 5-year-old named Teddy. Mallory is well aware that she is under intense scrutiny by Teddy’s parents, who are knowledgeable of her past history. So, when strange things begin to happen, she is at first very wary of telling them what she suspects. For those of you who shy away from mysteries with paranormal vibes be aware that there is nothing supernatural about what happens when Mallory inadvertently discovers some real truths and nothing supernatural about the totally unseen twist that the story takes.” – Nancy, Fiction Addiction
The Hollow Places
By T. Kingfisher. Read by Hillary Huber.
“I do not recommend listening to this audiobook while driving down the Pike in the dark after your shift at the bookstore because this is one of the most creepy, terrifying books I’ve ever listened to. While horror is not my usual genre, the main characters were so relatable and endearing that I had to follow them to the end. Even when I was yelling at my car speakers when they couldn’t see what was right in front of them. Kara, or “Carrot” as she is know by her uncle, is a freshly-divorced 30-something who has managed to find mostly-stable ground working and living at her uncle’s curios museum, the Glory to God Museum of Natural Wonders, Curiosities, and Taxidermy in North Carolina. And then she finds a hole in the wall. Which leads to a hallway that shouldn’t be physically possible. Which leads to a locked bunker with a body inside. Which leads to a new world, filled with water, and bunkers, and willow trees. But of course, there’s much more than meets the eye. With more curiosity than common sense, Kara and her best friend, Simon decide to explore. And discover the meaning of the ominous graffiti they find, “Pray they are hungry.” If you, too, wish you could celebrate Halloween year-round, this is the book for you.” – Cassie, Wellesley Books
The Last House on Needless Street
By Catriona Ward. Read by Christopher Ragland.
“This one lives up to the hype. Although there are numerous points where the story is revealed to be something quite different from what it appeared, you won’t remember it just because the plot twists left your head spinning, but rather because of the fascinating, exquisitely-voiced narrators (including, yes, the gay Christian housecat) and haunting atmosphere. The audiobook is excellent — Ragland invents a convincing and unique voice for each character, and when the emotions of the story run raw, his voice carries that intensity. If you are looking for a straightforward horror story, you might be disappointed, but if you’re looking for something strange, beautiful, and unexpected you’ll enjoy your time in this house.” – Graham, Next Chapter Booksellers
The Book of Accidents
By Chuck Wendig. Read by Xe Sands & George Newbern.
“Moving back to Nate’s childhood home, it offers a fresh start for his teenage son and the perfect creative space for his artist of a wife, especially now that Nate’s abusive father is dead. It isn’t too long, however, that memories of his childhood, as well as something entirely supernatural and altogether evil, threatens to harm him and his family. The Book of Accidents is a spooky dark fantasy with the twisty turns of a multiversal thriller (quite popular for the last decade). It reads as a love-letter to all of author Stephen King’s greatest hits, including Pet Sematary, It, and The Stand, but with much more heart, hope, and love. A definite triumph for author Chuck Wendig. Both Xe Sands and George Newbern did spectacular in the narration, adjusting to the various changes in characters like champs and overall making the listening experience as smooth as butter. *Chef’s kiss*” – Nicholas, Mysterious Galaxy Books
The Cabin at the End of the World
By Paul Tremblay. Read by Amy Landon.
“Wen and her dads are taking a break from everything by visiting a remote cabin for vacation. Wen is studying grasshoppers in their yard when a man comes up and warns her that she and her dads are going to have to make a decision. And that’s about all I can tell you without spoiling the story. This book was so creepy, in a very good way. I’d classify this as horror, but very realistic.” – Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser
The Whisper Man
By Alex North. Read by Christopher Eccleston.
“A creepy, sinister, can’t-put-it-down story of a town that survives and then relives the crimes of a child serial killer. For those who love psychological thrillers (with the absence of gore but plenty of plot twists and turns), The Whisper Man is a grand ride into the minds of those who kill and those who are victims. You’ll find yourself looking over your shoulder when reading this book. Don’t stand too close to an open window…” – Helen Gregory, Maria’s Bookshop
By Brom. Read by Barrie Kreinik.
“As both novelist and illustrator, Brom’s work often explores the delicate and devilish dance between monstrosity and humanity. Slewfoot, a story about a young girl, an ancient spirit, and the burgeoning magic between them, is no different. While Slewfoot is a dark tale of witchery and devilry, it is also a book that explores our connection to nature, the push and pull opposing religions, and the good and evil at the very core of humanity. With a wonderful narrator, Slewfoot is a delightfully wicked time and the perfect audiobook to kickstart your Halloween reading this year.” – Kelly, Mysterious Galaxy Books
By Zoje Stage. Read by Xe Sands.
“You enjoy a good horror story, but you’re tired of watching the feminine characters run away screaming just when it’s getting good. You’re so over zombies. What’s more, you love the idea that there is deep mystery in nature, maybe even magic, and you’re tired of pagan imagery being used with outdated “Satanic panic” tropes. What you really want is that feeling that comes from surfacing after the last page of a maybe-I’m-crazy-or-maybe-there-really-is-something-there, intense, suspenseful plot, to find that dawn has begun while you were reading and that the day looks strange and beautiful after what you’ve just experienced. Good thing you have Wonderland by Zoje Stage! See you at breakfast, when you too will be aching to talk to somebody about the ending!” – Nialle, The Haunted Bookshop
The Final Girl Support Group
By Grady Hendrix. Read by Adrienne King.
“A love letter to horror movie fans, full of allusions and homages to all our favorite slasher films from the 1980s, and so meta that it’s even narrated by the final girl from the original Friday the 13th. Fun, tense, creepy, and original. A great book for spooky season.”- Kevin, Narberth Bookshop
By Stephen King. Read by Michael C. Hall.
“If you’re going to read one scary book, let it be Pet Sematary by Stephen King. I don’t scare very easily as an avid horror reader, but this one really kept me up at night, and made me highly suspicious of my cat for weeks after.” – Emma, Quail Ridge Books
By Stephen Chbosky. Read by Christine Lakin.
“Imaginary Friend has, in my humble opinion, already earned its spot on the top shelf of classic horror novels. Reminiscent of Stephen King’s It and Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, it is one of the most compulsively terrifying, eerily uncanny novels of our time. Once you pick up this book, you won’t put it down until you’ve devoured it whole (or, should I say, it has devoured you), and once finished, you will feel the dangerous urge to turn to the first page and start all over again. It is an utterly original masterpiece of fear. Thank you, Stephen Chbosky, for the lost sleep and the goosebumps! Signed, a hard-to-scare horror fanatic.” – Tianna Moxley, The River’s End Bookstore
My Best Friend’s Exorcism
By Grady Hendrix. Read by Emily Woo Zeller.
“Dark, funny, and filled with 1980’s nostalgia. Definitely atmospheric and took you to Charleston, South Carolina. I enjoyed this as an audiobook listen. Fairly low key with scary bits and gore. It sort of built up to it in the last few chapters. The demonic possession was definitely front and center, but it was also a great story about friendship, social class, and complicated families. This feels like a natural choice for my Stranger Things fans.” – Cori, Bright Side Bookshop
How to Sell a Haunted House
By Grady Hendrix. Read by Jay Aaseng & Mikhaila Aaseng.
“Have you ever wished the Chucky movies were scarier? Do you love reading about family trauma and family drama? Are you a fan of Haunted Dolls? Wow, do I have a book for you. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say this: Pupkin is one of the most unsettling characters I’ve had the pleasure of reading, and Grady Hendrix got a full-body reaction out of me with ONE WORD in this book. Like Horrorstor, this is a book that is so much scarier than you think it’s going to be, but it also tackles some really nuanced issues like grief and familial relationships and guilt. I love this book and I can’t wait for you all to read it.” – Ryan, Gibson’s Bookstore
The Book Eaters
By Sunyi Dean. Read by Katie Erich.
“This is a fantasy novel that I think readers of all genres will enjoy. It is rare that a book with this compelling of a premise pulls it off so well – but The Book Eaters did just that, and more! I loved listening to this dark fairy tale. Sunyi Dean filled the book with wonderfully complex characters and impeccable world building. The neurodiverse themes and characters are highlighted by a fascinating discussion at the end of the audiobook between Sunyi Dean and the narrator, Katie Erich (who does such a great job narrating). Now I wish every audiobook ended with a discussion like that! You will not be disappointed by The Book Eaters.” – Nadine, Birchbark Books
By Samanta Schweblin. Read by Hillary Huber.
“The creepy child vibes are strong with this one, and narrator Hillary Huber absolutely nails it. One mother’s attempt to save her child is met with a curse, and another’s vacation is brought to a screeching halt when she wakes up dying with little memory of how she got there. This is one of those books where you don’t really know what’s going on at first, the story gradually unfolding through its final pages. Fever Dream has a sense of foreboding, unsettling urgency and reads like a short story. In search of ‘the exact moment’ everything went wrong, you won’t want to put it down.” – Mary, Raven Book Store
The Spite House
By Johnny Compton. Read by Adam Lazarre-White.
“Rich character development and some interesting new concepts are the strengths of this striking horror novel – but our favorite part about it is that the ghosts aren’t coy. There’s no slow buildup to paranormal activity. It’s not bogged down by old-fashioned ideas of trauma. There’s good history here, and metaphor for historic conflicts in America. The dad and kids who face the crisis are dealing with a convergence of personalities, some living and some dead, and they are struggling with their own survival of the events in the story. That’s what makes the ending so chilling: there is catharsis, there is redemption… but the haunting doesn’t, can’t, end.” – Nialle, The Haunted Bookshop
The Lost Village
By Camilla Sten. Read by Angela Dawe.
“Hearing this book described as a cross between The Blair Witch Project and Midsommar meant I could not grab it fast enough. This chilling novel, set in a remote village in Sweden, tells the story of a scrappy documentary film crew trying to find out why the entire town disappeared many years ago. The camp they set up in the town square is immediately beset with mysterious happenings that become less and less harmless. Tension mounts as they explore the mystery of where the residents of Silvertjarn went and wonder if they will meet the same fate.” – Andrea Richardson, Fountain Bookstore
This Thing Between Us
By Gus Moreno. Read by Robb Moreira.
“By the time Thiago Alvarez’s wife dies (the novel opens with her funeral) evil forces are already at work, but he and Vera were only vaguely aware of it. Mostly they laughed about their clearly defective Alexa-like machine and its quirks: the gallons of lye and giant swords that would show up on their doorstep. The online retailer made returns super easy, after all, and it made for great dinner party anecdotes. So it’s only after his wife’s freak accident that Thiago feels the need to run over the machine with his car, to abandon his life, to flee halfway across the country. But Thiago learns pretty quickly that it’s not going to be that easy. Moreno writes a dark, disturbing, literary horror novel that is as much about grief as it is ghosts. This is one of the best horror novels I have ever read, filled with plain great writing and the sort of twists that will make you go, ‘Oh, SH*T!’” – Rachel, The Book Table
Home Before Dark
By Riley Sager. Read by Cady McClain & Jon Lindstrom.
“I love a book within a book, and this is exactly what Riley Sager provides in Home Before Dark. Maggie Holt returns to her abandoned childhood home after the death of her father. Her family fled this ‘House of Horrors’ when she was five. Alternating between Maggie’s point of view and chapters from her father’s nonfiction bestseller about their time in the haunted house, this audiobook is creepy perfection! If you have watched The Haunting of Hill House on repeat, this is a perfect listen for you!” – Amy, Auburn Oil Co. Booksellers
The Only Good Indians
By Stephen Graham Jones. Read by Shaun Taylor-Corbett.
“I am a person who doesn’t like to be scared. This book left me a little spooked, but in a way that made me smile because it’s so powerful and because the book’s so-called monster has good reason to be so. Stephen Graham Jones’ writing is rhythmic and cool, funny and tender, sometimes ruthless. This work of literary horror is about Blackfeet and basketball, friendship, love, and the torturous knife-twist of regret. Shaun Taylor-Corbett’s narration is perfect—laid back but intense, in the pocket. I enjoyed the hell out of this book.” – Mary, Raven Book Store
By Daryl Gregory. Read by Reagan Boggs.
“Revelator is a great piece of Southern Gothic horror, mixed with a healthy smattering of body horror. What Daryl Gregory has done was give us a slice of early 1900s Americana, revealing dark things that lie in the hearts of man and in the shadows of a mysterious cave in the hills. Heaping with devotion, belief, and the ways man will try to capitalize on them, Revelator is terrifically engrossing. As his first foray into horror, Daryl Gregory doesn’t disappoint! As for the narrator, Reagan Boggs, I don’t know if her accent is real or just well-done, but she did a bang-up job in all regards!” – Nicholas, Mysterious Galaxy Books
By Kiersten White. Read by Rebecca Lowman & Kiersten White.
“What if The Babadook had a children’s show in the 90s? What if that same show was suddenly cancelled after a tragedy occurred on set and any record of it is wiped clean? That’s where we start this tale. We follow Val, a woman in her late thirties who can’t remember anything from before the age of 8, who is corralled by her former cast members to attend a reunion for a show she has no memory of. White weaves a compelling narrative that gives you just enough information to make you feel like you’re progressing in the mystery but always leaves more questions that it answers. I was enraptured, I was unsettled, I immediately told my mom to read it. You should too.” – tee, Quail Ridge Books
What are the best horror audiobooks you’ve listened to? Let me know in the comments section below.