NPR’s 100 Best Horror Novels

Earlier this year, NPR asked its readers and listeners to nominate their favorite horror novels and short stories, which were then judged by a panel of horror authors and compiled into a 100 title list.

You can view the original list here, and you can check out our version of the list, which lets you place a hold on any of the listed books that the Waukegan Library currently owns.

And just for fun, here are a few of my personal favorite titles from the NPR list. Click on a cover or a title to place a hold!

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

“Four decades after it first shook the nation, then the world, William Peter Blatty’s thrilling masterwork of faith and demonic possession returns in an even more powerful form. Raw and profane, shocking and blood-chilling, it remains a modern parable of good and evil and perhaps the most terrifying novel ever written.”





The October Country by Ray Bradbury

“Explore the outer limits of the imagination with the Grand Master of American Literature, Ray Bradbury, in a dark and disquieting descent into The October Country. Readers of The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man, as well as fans of H. P. Lovecraft, Rod Serling, Bram Stoker, Stephen King,and writers of other classic horror stories, will be captivated by The October Country’s nineteen astonishing tales. From drowned cities to frantic carnivals to forgotten Mexican villages, Bradbury offers an unforgettable journey into mystery, shining brief lights upon the darkest corners of the soul.”



NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

“Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things. Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.” Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.”



The Hunger by Alma Katsu

“The ninety men, women, and children of the Donner Party are heading into one of one of the deadliest and most disastrous Western adventures in American history. Depleted rations, bitter quarrels, and the mysterious death of a little boy– they cannot seem to escape tragedy… or the feeling that someone– something?– is stalking them. As members of the group begin to disappear, the survivors start to wonder if the evil that has unfolded around them may have in fact been growing within them all along.”




The Shining by Stephen King

“Jack Torrance sees his stint as winter caretaker of a Colorado hotel as a way back from failure, his wife sees it as a chance to preserve their family, and their five-year-old son sees the evil waiting just for them.”






Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

“Carmen Maria Machado blithely demolishes the borders between psychological realism and science fiction, comedy and horror, fantasy and fabulism. She bends genres to shape startling stories that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.”





Bird Box by Josh Malerman

“In an apocalyptic near-future world, a mother and her two small children must make their way down a river, blindfolded. One wrong choice and they will die. And something is following them–but is it man, animal, or monster?”






A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

“When teenager Marjorie acts oddly, her parents decide she needs an exorcism and make the fateful decision to show it on reality television.”









Happy reading!

—Katie, Adult Reference