Autumn is upon us, and if you’re a kid reading this, the thought of going back to school is all the horror you need. The rest of us will have to rely on the solid horror books releasing in September. Luckily, some of the biggest names in horror are publishing brand new books in September, so you will be able to choose something great from one of the masters of the craft.
September is often the prime month for horror releases in theatres and bookstores. Films like The Nun 2, A Haunting in Venice, and Saw X are arriving on the big screen, and we’re getting some of the most anticipated horror novels of 2023. Heavyweights in the horror genre like Stephen King and Chuck Wendig both have new horror books hitting shelves in September. However, if you’re the type of reader who is always on the lookout for new voices, you will be able to find debut novels that are full of promise as well.
Horror Books to Read in August 2023
The September House, Carissa Orlando, September 3
Carissa Orlando’s debut novel The September House is a really interesting concept that fans of Grady Hendrix’s How to Sell a Haunted House should enjoy. Margaret and Hal have just bought a Victorian house on Hawthorn Street. Everything is going great until September arrives and the hauntings begin. Every year in September, the walls of the home drip blood, and the former inhabitants haunt the married couple.
The ghosts fear something in the basement, and after over three years of hauntings, Hal leaves. Margaret refuses to surrender, however. She must protect her daughter, find her husband, and unravel the mystery of the hauntings. But every time they try to find Hal, the hauntings grow more dangerous.
Holly, Stephen King, September 5
Holly Gibney was initially intended to be a minor character in Mr. Mercedes, but she has since become a beloved figure in Stephen King’s fictional world. Her quirky personality has garnered her a sizable fan base, and she has now been given her own novel as the protagonist. Holly is currently the leader of the Finders Keepers detective agency, but due to various circumstances, she is seeking to put her duties aside. However, when Penny Dahl reaches out to her in need of assistance, Holly’s other plans must be put on hold.
Holly centers on Gibney’s search for Penny Dahl’s daughter Bonnie. Gibney must face off with two octogenarian professors who are harboring a dark secret in the basement of their home. If she isn’t able to outwit the semi-retired couple, she won’t be able to save Bonnie. But don’t sell the academics short — they are cunning, patient, and evil.
Hemlock Island, Kelley Armstrong, September 12
The pandemic cost Laney Kilpatrick her marriage; all she has left is her cherished property on Hemlock Island. Times are tough, though — to make ends meet, Laney has to rent out her guest house to vacationers. Not only do the extra guests impact Laney’s mental health, but they also tend to make a mess of things regularly. However, when the damage left behind escalates to hex circles, bloody bones, and evidence that someone was held against their will in a closet, Laney knows something sinister is taking place.
Laney is joined by her teenage daughter, ex-husband, high school friends, and a cop on Hemlock Island. After they find a hand sticking out from under the ground — and the body that goes with it — someone leaves the island, taking their only mode of escape with them. Laney and the others are trapped and must face an evil that doesn’t want them to leave alive.
Red Rabbit, Alex Grecian, September 19
I absolutely adore the concept of Alex Grecian’s novel Red Rabbit, and it’s a must-have on my list. This book uniquely blends horror, supernatural thriller, and western. The story follows the journey of Old Tom, a witch hunter, and his mute ward Rabbit as they search for Sadie Grace, who is accused of witchcraft. Along the way, they are joined by two cowboys and a recently widowed schoolteacher.
Old Tom races along the drought-plagued plains of Kansas in search of Sadie in a stolen red stagecoach. Old Tom and his crew encounter beings much more dangerous than witches as they pursue her. The band is absolutely determined to get the bounty, but will it cost them everything in the process?
Black River Orchard, Chuck Wendig, September 26
Chuck Wendig has written so many novels that I absolutely adore. If you haven’t read Wanderers and Wayward, put those on your 2023 list. Right now. The Book of Accidents is outstanding, and if you’re a Star Wars fan, Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy does a wonderful job setting the stage for the Sequel Trilogy.
In Black River Orchard, the residents of Harrow discover that the apples from the local orchard are magical. Eating them makes you stronger, more alert, and more…you. But the more apples you eat, the more your appetite for them grows. With winter approaching, the residents learn that there is a lot more to the orchard than just the apples. When the harvest arrives, they must face a reckoning.
Let us know if there are any other horror books in September 2023 that you’re looking forward to.
KEEP READING: The Best Horror Books Coming in August 2023