July is going to be a pretty good month for horror fans. You may be planning on seeing Insidious: The Red Door in theaters. I sure am, and I stand by saying that the poor visual effects add to the scary factor in those movies after you’ve seen the end of the Insidious series. Although, many great horror books are coming out in July 2023 as well.
New horror books in July have a little something for everyone. There’s a powerful debut novel that explores the dark side of magic and a story about evil let loose at an all-boys orphanage, among other things. Deep stories and strong character development are consistent themes in July’s horror offerings, but if you’re looking for more of a quick story, we even have a short story collection to keep those bones chilled on summer nights.
Horror Books to Watch in July 2023
The Carnivale of Curiosities – Amiee Gibbs, July 11
Think of the thing you want most in the world. What would you do to get it? Would you make a deal with the devil? In The Carnivale of Curiosities, Amiee Gibbs paints a tale about class, privilege, found family, and magic in this beautiful debut novel. In it, Aurelius Ashe and Odilon Rose engage in a deadly battle of wits as Rose tries to use Ashe for his powers to save Charlotte, his ward.
The Carnivale of Curiosities shines most with its incredible cast of characters, dark 1887 London setting, and mystery that will keep you from putting the book down. It stumbles from a forced love story that doesn’t feel genuine, but the theme of found family is told well. You’ll enjoy the characters of Charlotte, Lucien, and Aurelius Ashe. Check out our full review of The Carnivale of Curiosities for more.
Boys in the Valley – Philip Fracassi, July 11
This is a book I’ve been looking forward to since I first heard about it. Billed as “The Exorcist meets Lord of the Flies,” Boys in the Valley is set in St. Vincent’s Orphanage for Boys in Pennsylvania at the turn of the century. Late one night, a group arrives at their door with one party member badly injured. The boys and priests notice that he also has occult symbols covering much of his body.
When the injured stranger dies, an evil is released into the orphanage. It spreads throughout the facility, and several of the boys begin acting strangely. Peter Barlow, who was orphaned as a young child after a gruesome murder, must face evil again. Peter will choose sides and confront an unknown evil. He will also confront his past.
Burn the Negative – Josh Winning, July 11
If you like horror and ’90s movies, you’re going to love Burn the Negative. Now a journalist, Laura Warren was a child movie star that had starred in a film called The Guesthouse 20 years prior. In the film, she and the rest of the cast had to evade the notorious Needle Man and try to stay alive.
Laura is in Los Angeles to report on a new horror streaming series when she witnesses a tragic death. Soon after, she learns that her fellow crew members from The Guesthouse are dying. Worse, they’re dying in ways similar to their on-screen deaths. Laura must confront evil from her past to survive terror from her present. Otherwise, the Needle Man will get them all.
The Beast You Are – Paul Tremblay, July 11
Short stories work really well in the horror genre, and Paul Tremblay has a collection of them coming out in July. The Beast You Are offers 15 stories, each with its own kind of monster. The title story, “The Beast You Are,” finds a monster returning to a village every 30 years to do evil. In the process, a dog and cat unite and the village risks exposing its secrets. Other stories, like “The Dead Thing,” explore the horrors of addiction, loss, and separation while trying to find ways to move on.
Paul Tremblay has written other horror hits — The Cabin at the End of the World (adapted into the film Knock at the Cabin) comes to mind. If you liked those books, you’ll want to get The Beast You Are. If you haven’t read them yet, short story collections are a great way to meet a new author.
The Militia House – John Milas, July 11
In The Militia House, a haunted old Soviet militia house spooks Corporal Loyette and his unit in Kajaki, Afghanistan. Loyette’s unit is replacing British soldiers who tell them that the house is haunted, and they can’t resist checking it out for themselves. It’s a short excursion, but the unit starts experiencing strange things after they’ve returned.
In the days that follow, the marines sense that things are more and more out of place. While Loyette remains dedicated to minimizing the evil and the threat, they eventually learn that the militia house just doesn’t want to let go of them.
Let us know which horror books in July 2023 sound like a deadly delight.