This Month in New Horror Books: October 2020

Breathe deep – smell that? It’s the smell of dried leaves, the smell of woodsmoke, the smell of fear. October is here, horror hive, and it’s time to rise up. In celebration, this month’s new releases include a new take on Blackwood’s The Willows from T. Kingfisher, a new installation of the best horror of the year from Ellen Datlow, body horror in the Pine Barrens, and so much more. Read on for all the new horror on sale this month!

Also, a note: we’re continuously updating release dates and newly announced books both here and on our 2020 horror releases master post.


October’s new horror titles:

  • Halloween Season, Lucy A. Snyder (Oct 5): A new horror story collection with a Halloween theme from the transgressive, fun, scary brain of Lucy Snyder.
  • The Hollow Places, T. Kingfisher (Oct 6): In her follow up to The Twisted Ones (which we LOVED), Kingfisher explores the story of Kara, a woman who discovers a portal to alternate realities populated by terrifying creatures with the ability to read minds. While The Twisted Ones built on the mythos of Arthur Machen’s The White People, The Hollow Places takes its inspiration from Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows.
  • Be Scared of Everything, Peter Counter (Oct 13): A collection of essays on the horror genre that blend criticism and memoir and examine the pathos, importance, and humor of the horror genre.
  • Blue Light of the Screen, Claire Cronin (Oct 13): An innovative memoir about the author’s lifelong obsession with horror and her own changing faith, this book reads like a ghost story in and of itself.
  • Elegy for the Undead, Matthew Vesely (Oct 13): A beautiful, horrifying zombie novella about two newlywed husbands navigating the world when they only have a short time left together in it.
  • The Land, Thomas Maltman (Oct 13): A man healing from a traumatic car crash becomes the caretaker of a house in rural Minnesota. Before long, he finds himself drawn into the mystery surrounding a white supremacist church convinced of the imminent end times.
  • Tiny Nightmares: Very Short Stories of Horror, edited by Lincoln Michel & Nadxieli Nieto (Oct 13): A collection of new horror stories running no more than a few pages in length, from authors including Samantha Hunt, Brian Evenson, Jac Jemc, Stephen Graham Jones, Kevin Brockmeier, and Rion Amilcar Scott.
  • Video Palace: In Search of the Eyeless Man, edited by Nick Braccia and Michael Monello (Oct 13): A collection of stories based on a character from the Shudder scripted horror podcast Video Palace.
  • On Sundays, She Picked Flowers, Yah Yah Scholfield (Oct 18): When Judith starts a new life in rural Georgia, she’s expecting to focus on herself and create new, healthy routines in her life. She’s not expecting to encounter beings in the forest. And she’s certainly not expecting Nemoira. This Southern Gothic tale is full of love, mystery, and trauma.
  • The Best Horror of the Year Volume Twelve, ed. Ellen Datlow (Oct 20): This year’s edition of the indispensable short horror collection.
  • Don’t Move, James S. Murray & Darren Wearmouth (Oct 20): A church group on a camping excursion in a remote national park awakens a terrifying prehistoric spider that hunts based on movement.
  • Edendale, Jacquelyn Stolos (Oct 20): A feminist apocalyptic ecohorror novel set in LA, focused on four twentysomething friends, wildfires, and the unforgiving, unpredictable Santa Ana winds.
  • The Night Will Find Us, Matthew Lyons (Oct 20): Six friends on a camping trip to New Jersey’s Pine Barrens find themselves lost and fighting for their lives against threats both human and cosmic in this dark thriller.
  • Plain Bad Heroines, Emily M. Danforth (Oct 20): The adult debut from the author of the acclaimed YA novel The Miseducation of Cameron Post, this horror-comedy about a series of mysterious deaths at a girls’ school is being billed as The Favourite meets The Haunting of Hill House.

As always, if we missed anything, let us know in the comments!

View our 2020 new horror release masterlist here, and view previous monthly new releases posts here.



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