11 Of Our Favorite Horror Collections And Anthologies From 2022

December signals the close of another year. The woods and their strange shrieks (we think they’re foxes, but no one in my neighborhood’s seen a fox around) are replaced with disquietingly empty silence, the chill has (finally) reached the air, and the dark descends like a silent safety curtain over us all. And as the nights grow shorter, our minds turn once again to the realm of shorter things–in this case, horror collections and anthologies.

2022 had an amazing run of short stories, everything from modern masters remixing older forms, some of horror’s best hitting us with collections of nothing but the best, new voices taking some amazing risks (that paid off), and all of it’s been utterly amazing. So once again, here is our list of our eleven favorites for this year. While it’s by no means definitive, it is, all of it, incredibly good. 

Editor’s note: don’t miss our picks for five of the year’s best themed anthologies as well!

 Breakable Things, Cassandra Khaw

Khaw’s collection, a resounding and bold statement on the elasticity of “mythology,” eschews bombast for a quieter, more intimate form of horror while still keeping the lavish imagery and timeless language that allow myths to resonate. Within this vast sandbox, Khaw weaves stories of more “modern” concerns–abuse, the loss of a loved one, toxic marriages, having to adjust to a rapidly changing world–with mythological concerns, leading to stories of sirens having to live among humans in modern Greece, a story about stalking and abuse starring a cannibalistic monster, and a rather inspired riff on Lovecraft’s own attempt at a modern folktale, “The Cats of Ulthar.” It’s often beautifully visceral and uncomfortably intimate while feeling grand and massive, and a new way of using older stories and structures to tell newer, more modern tales.

Read our full review here.

Standout Stories: “The Truth That Lies Under Skin And Meat,” “A Priest of Vast and Distant Places”

Apple | Bookshop | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

 FOUND: An Anthology of Found-Footage Horror Stories, ed. Andrew Cull and Gabino Iglesias

Themed anthologies are as risky as they are exciting. When that risk pays off, you get a tight all-killer (sometimes literally) collection with people taking leaps and providing their own variations on the idea. FOUND is one of those all-killer, no-filler collections, starting off with an introduction ruminating on a (hopefully) fictitious story of an ASMR channel swan-diving into high strange horror before taking us on a twisted guided tour through Reddit threads about mysterious disappearances, recollections of a ’90s-era childhood darkened by a series of Faces of Death-style videos, and a coroner’s report of a house that keeps ending up inside of people. The found-footage conceit makes everything feel that much more real, too, leaving you in a kind of uncanny valley where you feel like you just witnessed something you shouldn’t have.

Standout Stories: “Face Down Death Vol. VIII” by Josh Rountree, “A Grave Issue” by Bev Vincent


 We Are Here to Hurt Each Other, Paula D. Ashe

Ashe’s stories are like nightmares, horrifying images strung together with sinews and connective tissue, impressionistic and surreal portraits of awful things overseen by a frightening pantheon of entities with names like “The Man With the Face of Teeth” or “The Priest of Breath.” It’s breathless, a twisted series of longer stories connected with brief snapshots to build a mythos and an unnerving secret history that might very well rest beneath our own. But as nightmarish and dense as Ashe’s stories can get, the real talent is her ability to keep you almost permanently off-balance even when you believe you know what’s going on, with a necromancy ritual humorously declaring that you and your undead bride should “do normal couple things” after instructions to self-mutilate, or a story about two concerned siblings warping in numerous ways before finally ending with several explosive reveals across its compact length. We Are Here To Hurt Each Other shows Paula D. Ashe wielding her disturbing material with precision and destructive power, and marks her as a force in horror to be reckoned with. 

Standout Stories: “Grave Miracles,” “Because You Watched”


The Puppet King and Other Atonements, Justin A. Burnett

Burnett, editor at the always unnerving and endlessly interesting Silent Motorist Media (Hymns of Abomination, The Nightside Codex) comes out swinging with this collection, a welcome entry into the nightmarish literary gothic tradition alongside such authors as Jon Padgett, Laird Barron, and Thomas Ligotti. While traditions are upheld (creepy dolls and mannequins, the idea of the universe as a hostile entity, philosophical dialogues on pessimism), Burnett brings something all his own: sensation and flow. The stories transition almost seamlessly from one to the next, each one picking up an element from the last as they weave tales of black metal field recordings gone awry, decaying toy shops, and other cosmic horror stories set in the edges and dark places of the world. It’s the sensation that really makes them pop, though, with each story an assault on the senses, whether it’s a darkened nightclub or the corner of an island shelter. It’s a terrifying whirl of images, sound, and repeated motifs guaranteed to lodge in your brain so hard you’ll be having weird dreams for weeks. 

Standout Stories: “Devourer,” “The Enucleator”

Bookshop | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Children of the New Flesh, ed. Chris Kelso & David Leo Rice

Timed to release with Cronenberg’s recent return to film with Crimes of the Future, this tribute collection features short stories inspired by Cronenberg, critical retrospectives of his work, interviews, and discussions and synopses of Cronenberg’s earlier and lesser-known work. It’s an essential volume that doesn’t just go for the soft targets of body horror but instead explores every aspect of the director, creating a comprehensive work that stands out as critical discussion, supremely weird story collection, and a fascinating look at a fascinating director as a whole. 

Standout Stories: “Invaginies” by Joe Koch, “Category A” by Michael Cisco

Amazon | IndieBound

Your Body is Not Your Body, ed. Alex Woodroe & Matt Blairstone

Body horror is a fixation for many, but no one can do it like trans, queer, and gender-nonconforming people. After all, being forced to reckon with the fact of one’s body for a significant portion of one’s life, and of that body being perceived and judged constantly by others, offers one a rather unique outlook on life. The stories in Your Body Is Not Your Body delve into that outlook wholeheartedly, spinning tales of the unnerving and sometimes the absurd: an android who just wants to please his toxic owner, a mental battle against a dystopian society’s mind-worm, and even a zombie doing door-to-door proselytizing. But the collection’s at its best when it goes for it, the absurd humor and stomach-churning horror pushed to their furthest possible limits while intertwining in a way that shows the best of bizarre fiction as a whole. 

Standout Stories: “Brother Maternitas” by Viktor Athelstan, “The Divine Carcass” by Bitter Karella

Apple | Bookshop | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Corpsemouth and Other Autobiographies, John Langan

Langan might be a fixture of these lists at this point, but rest assured–he earns it. Corpsemouth sees him in his element, using slow-burning dread, transfixing images, and the conversational style he’s perfected for a selection of works centered around family and memory, each one relating backward and forward to each other, like a set of linked associative memories. There’s a father-son relationship centered around an eldritch prison, a mythic town that vanishes and reappears during the course of a family vacation, a Halloween tradition that turns vaguely sinister, and the collection’s centerpiece, a dark fantasy/folk-horror hybrid about an ancient omnivorous giant that might be a little more real than everyone thinks. If you’ve ever wanted to get into Langan (or are already acquainted with his rather prolific and prestigious bibliography of short stories), Corpsemouth shows all his strengths, distilled into one methodical, emotional, and unsettling volume.

Standout Stories: “The Open Mouth of Charybdis,” “Anchor,” “Corpsemouth”

Bookshop | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Hell Hath No Sorrow like a Woman Haunted, RJ Joseph

Hell Hath No Sorrow is a collection that leaves marks. RJ Joseph is skilled at not just creating disturbing scenes and making horror tropes all her own, but in pushing them as far as they can go. Beginning with a disturbing take on the southern gothic story of the “demon lover,” there are wendigo serial murders, feet with a mind of their own, toxic masculinity spirits, and killer children aplenty. But Joseph isn’t interested merely in visceral horror–there are scenes of incredible beauty and a strong message woven inextricably throughout, covering topics like racism, abuse, greed, homophobia, and more. But breaking Hell Hath No Fury down into its component parts is doing it an immense disservice, as the work as a whole is brilliant as it is unforgettable, a blend of folktale, modern horror story, twisted fairytale, and straight-up ’80s-style gruesomeness that few could replicate, let alone surpass. 

Standout Stories: “Mama’s Babies,” “A Monster By Any Other Name”

Apple | Bookshop | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

 Mestiza Blood, V. Castro

Castro doesn’t miss. Whether it’s novels like Queen of the Cicadas and Goddess of Filth, her novellas, or her short stories, there’s always something weird and wondrous and visceral and violent to behold. Mestiza Blood is no different, a blistering snarl of Southwestern noir and gritty gothic, horror-movie gore and visuals, with a generous dash of Mexican history and mythology. There are wicked stories of revenge, post-apocalyptic bio-punk thrillers, demons haunting dance floors and burlesque clubs, and even a darkly comic Christmas story, all told in the bright flourishes, twisted sensations, and brutal violence V wields so adeptly. It’s a collection like the best filmed horror anthologies or B movies–disturbing, full of interesting creatures and social commentary, and a joy to experience even when it’s freaking you out. 

Standout Stories: “The Demon In My Eye,” “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Cam Girl Sally”

Apple | Bookshop | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

 Palimpsest, Caitlin Marceau

Marceau excels at showing somewhat “ordinary” life in utterly terrifying circumstances: A Jehovah’s Witness-style preacher who goes door-to-door asking people to sacrifice themselves to Mammon the money-god, a husband and wife dealing with the wife’s terminal zombie infection (and a possible misdiagnosis), and a small town takes its sports tradition way too far into the realms of folk horror. But it’s that interplay between snapshots of the ordinary and extraordinary terror that make Palimpsest worth reading, creating scenarios anyone can relate to, infusing them with a sinister charm and a conversational tone that could go toe-to-toe with the greats of modern gothic fiction, and then twisting them into full-on horror. The result is a fantastically twisted collection that will hopefully be talked about for years to come. 

Standout Stories: “Infected,” “The Midas

Bookshop | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

 The Hideous Book of Hidden Horrors, ed. Doug Murano

Bad Hand Books is a new player on the scene, but established themselves with some serious cred already by way of this anthology, the first release from Murano’s fledgeling indie publisher. Boasting a list of authors rivaling long-standing anthologies from bigger publishers, Murano and his contributors kick off a titanic run of stories including Hailey Piper melding a stalking narrative to the weird feeling someone’s watching you that happens in every empty room, Josh Malerman turning a torture story into a cerebral minefield of trauma and paranoia, and Cina Pelayo with an inspired take on “creature in the attic” gothic horror. Each author brings their own unique concept to the idea of “hidden,” and the result is a collection that knocks you for a loop on almost every page. 

Standout Stories: “When I Catch You” by Hailey Piper, “Dungeon Punchinello” by Josh Malerman

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Join Us by the Fire...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *