Books

11 Harrowing New Horror Books to Read in March 2023

It’s only 239 more days until Halloween — who’s ready??? Okay, maybe it’s a little early to start celebrating the biggest night of scares, but you can treat your brain to a happily horrifying time with books every day of the year! That’s why we present a monthly round-up of amazing upcoming horror books, including this list of 11 Harrowing New Horror Books to Read in March 2023!

And what a list it is today! There are debut novels and books from seasoned authors we love, like Victor LaValle. (A new LaValle is always a reason to celebrate!) There’s a collection of short stories, and horror manga from an Eisner Award winner. You’ll find monsters, vampires, ghosts, and other horrifying haunts aplenty, in homes, in graveyards, and more. Some of these are non-stop scarefests, while others let the creepy slowly creep into your brains (which might not be safe from some of the things you’ll find within these pages. Mmmm, brains.)

Like I said, Halloween may be a ways off, but you can still enjoy being scared year-round with the fabulous supply of horror books being released every month. So, we’ve got your horror reads figured out — you’re welcome. Now you have 239 days to pick your costume. (And if you simply cannot get enough horror to read, check out more recommendations at the bottom of the post!)

cover of The God of Endings by Jacqueline Holland; illustration of several repeating red rectangles getting increasingly smaller towards the middle over a painting of a woman's face

The God of Endings by Jacqueline Holland (Flatiron Books, March 7)

This is a debut with bite! (Vampire joke, sorry not sorry.) It’s about an immortal woman whose cravings for blood are growing stronger as danger appears on her doorstep. Collette LeSange is hiding away in upstate New York as the head of a school for gifted children, but a visit from an evil figure in her past is going to throw her life into upheaval.

cover of The Trees Grew Because I Bled There: Collected Stories by Eric LaRocca; watercolor painting of bloody trees

The Trees Grew Because I Bled There: Collected Stories by Eric LaRocca (Titan Books, March 7)

cover of Monstrilio by Gerardo Samano Cordova; painting of a gray bat creature with red eyes

Monstrilio by Gerardo Sámano Córdova (Zando, March 7)

In this imaginative debut, one mother is going to discover the limits to maternal love — but not before lots of terrible stuff happens. Sure, that little fella on the cover is kind of a cute bat thing. But Monstrilio in the book is a creature grown from a diseased part of a dead boy’s lung. Raising a piece of a corpse to love as your own child sounds like a good idea, right? Spoiler: No, no it does not.

cover of Pinata by Leopoldo Gout; illustration of a black skull with long black spikes growing out of it

Piñata by Leopoldo Gout (Tor Nightfire, March 14)

Carmen Sanchez brings her two young daughters to a job site in Mexico in the hopes of getting in a little bonding time between work. But instead, something is awakened in the abbey she is renovating, and it follows them home. Now she must fight to save her family, and possibly humanity, from a dark possession.

cover of The Memory Eater by Rebecca Mahoney; illustration of a young woman with brown hair in a red dress standing in front of a swirl of hundreds of ghosts

The Memory Eater by Rebecca Mahoney (Razorbill, March 14)

And this one is set in a state famous for being the setting of horror novels: Maine! A cave in Whistler Beach has been home to a memory eater for generations. The monster literally eats the bad memories of the town’s citizens. But when it escapes, it will be up to a 17-year-old girl, who discovers there were things she wanted to forget, to save her town before they forget everything.

cover The Shoemaker's Magician by Cynthia Pelayo; illustration of the inside of a grand old theater

The Shoemaker’s Magician by Cynthia Pelayo (Agora Books, March 21)

This is the second book in Pelayo’s exciting Chicago series! The first was a dark Pied Piper tale. This one involves a grand historic theater, a mutilated corpse, and a possibly-evil host of old horror movies. A mother will have to battle a great evil if she wants to save her son.

cover of Tombs: Junji Ito Story Collection by Junji Ito; illustration done in greens of a young woman standing in a corn field

Tombs: Junji Ito Story Collection by Junji Ito (VIZ Media, March 28)

Junji Ito is the master of Japanese horror manga, with classics such as Uzumaki, Shiver, and Gyo. His stuff is seriously messed up! This is his illustrated collection of demented tales set in Tomb Town, a town filled with, well, tombstones. And lots and lots of terror.

cover of A House With Good Bones by T. Kingfisher; illustration of the shadow of a buzzard on the wall in the hallway of a house

A House With Good Bones by T. Kingfisher (Tor Nightfire, March 28)

Sam’s grandmother was a racist, belligerent nightmare, so no one was sad when she died. But when Sam goes to visit her mother at her deceased grandmother’s house, she notices her mom is acting really weird. Why is her mother acting like her dead grandmother sometimes? What’s with all the redecorating? And why is the yard filled with vultures?

cover of Lone Women by Victor LaValle; illustration of a Black woman in a white blouse and blue skirt standing in a field of wheat

Lone Women by Victor LaValle (One World, March 28)

And from the author of Devil in Silver and The Changeling comes a historical horror story. It’s set in 1915 and follows a young woman named Adelaide, who is forced to lug a locked steamer trunk with her everywhere she goes. She moves to a parcel of land in California for a fresh start after terrible events, but she can’t escape the secret of her trunk…

cover of Chlorine by Jade Song; illustration of a green koi splashing into waves

Chlorine by Jade Song (William Morrow, March 28)

This debut is more of a psychological horror story. It’s about a young woman who pushes herself to her limits to be the best swimmer she can be. But the stories she was told as a child about scary creatures that swim in the deep start to seep into her psyche, and she feels herself longing to become one of them.

cover of In Nightfall by Suzanne Young; illustration of three young women wearing sunglasses at night

In Nightfall by Suzanne Young (Delacorte Press, March 28)

We started the list with vampires, and we’re going to end it with vampires! This is a Lost Boys–like YA novel about the town of Nightfall. When Theo and her brother, Marco, get in trouble with their parents, they’re sent to live with their grandmother in Nightfall for the summer. Their grandmother tells them it is very important they never leave the house after dark, but you know how rebellious kids can get. Plus, there’s a group of cool kids they want to impress. Unfortunately for them, trying to be cool just might cost them their lives.

For more exciting horror reads, check out The 10 Best Horror Books of 2022 and 13 of the Best “Good for Her” Horror Books, and be sure to sign up for The Fright Stuff, our horror newsletter. And finally, you can also find a full list of new releases in the magical New Release Index, carefully curated by your favorite Book Riot editors, organized by genre and release date.

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