MALEVOLENT DARK HORROR FICTION TOP 25 JANUARY 2024 EDITION
1. The Daughters of Block Island by Christa Carmen
The mysterious past of an island mansion lures two sisters into a spiderweb of scandal, secrets, and murder in a subversive twist on the classic Gothic novel.
2. Killer Charm by Dan Padavona
Book 9 of A Logan and Scarlett Thriller series features the titular characters investigating the murder of a senator’s daughter in the nation’s capital while a radical group threatens the government’s power structure.
3. Night Wars: The Night Warriors 4 by Graham Masterton
The Bram Stoker Awards Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for 2018, Masterton continues his series as humanity’s ancient protectors, the Night Warriors, battle monstrous apparitions and demons that are determined to enter dreams of expectant mothers in order to embed themselves into the minds of newborn babies.
4. Haunted: End of Days by Lee Mountford
The ninth and final book in the Haunted series, End of Days is a race against time as Hell threatens to consume the souls of everyone.
5. 1999 by Amy Cross
A family moves from the city to an abandoned house with designs to fix it up and turn it into a luxury hotel. However, strange things happen and something lurking in the dark has a plan of its own. 1999 is the penultimate Book 12 in The Haunting of Hadlow House series, which tells the story of one haunted house over the centuries from its construction to the present day.
6. Cursed by Leigh Kenny
A man accepts a cursed object and faces a journey through darkness and isolation as he discovers how far he’s willing to go to save himself and those closest to him. Billed as The Grudge meets Drag Me to Hell.
7. Heavy Oceans by Tyler Jones
Two brothers encounter an uncanny and terrifying phenomenon that will signal a shift in the evolution of the world in this story of deep-sea terror and cosmic horror.
8. Splatterpunk’s Basement of Horror edited by Jack Bantry
The creator of Splatterpunk Zine compiles thirteen stories of classic Splatterpunk in a charity anthology to benefit Herriot Hospice Homecare. Features tales by J.F. Gonzalez, Jeff Strand and Bridgett Nelson, Glenn Rolfe, Wile E. Young, Robert Essig, Patrick Lacey, Lucas Mangum, Brendan Vidito, Candace Nola, Scott Cole, Kristopher Rufty, Carver Pike, and Brian Keene.
9. The El Camino by Car F. Romero
A debut novel about a man who takes the role of caretaker at The El Camino hotel only to find himself in a race to unravel brujo curses as malicious forces threaten his very soul. Billed as “a Gothic horror in the tradition of The Shining and The Haunting of Hill House.”
10. 1966 by Amy Cross
A night of fun takes a series of dark turns for two teenagers as they face the awful truth of Hadlow House. 1966 is Book 11 in The Haunting of Hadlow House series, which tells the story of one haunted house over the centuries from its construction to the present day.
11. Soul Bound by Ron Ripley and Nick Efstathiou
Book 5 in the Soul Collector series features retired Marine and renown ghost hunter Shane Ryan facing a legion of bloodthirsty spirits in the wilderness.
12. World of Rot by Kate L. Mary
Book Two in the Cursed World series follows a family retreating to a farm in an apocalyptic world inhabited by mysterious monsters.
13. Cody Was Here and Other Stories by D.W. Hitz
A chilling collection of eight tales that cover a range of sub-genres, including sci-fi horror, folk horror, and a ghost story.
14. The Haunting of Snake River by Marie Wilkens
Book 84 in A Riveting Haunted House Mystery Series is about an elderly woman whose serene life is upended when a malevolent figure from her past reemerges in her home by Snake River.
15. The Folly by Gemma Amor
Years after the mysterious murder of her mother, a daughter and her father move to a granite tower on the Cornish coastline known only as The Folly where a mysterious stranger from the past arrives. Billed as “an atmospheric nod to The Lighthouse, with hints of Du Maurier’s Rebecca.” By the Bram Stoker Award nominated author of Dear Laura.
16. Transcendental Mutilation by Ryan Harding
This extreme horror collection of depravity and obsession includes the Splatterpunk Award-winning short stories “The Seacretor” and “Angelbait.”
17. Never Dead by Joe Scipione
A reporter investigates a series of unsolved Chicago-area grave robberies in the 1920s, while a wealthy businessman organizes the financing of illegal experiments that require recently dead bodies.
18. Undead Odyssey by Ryan Casey
Book 7 of The Infected Chronicles series follows characters trying to find safe haven in a post-apocalyptic zombie world where a virus transformed people into ruthless killers.
19. If I Die Before I Wake: Tales of Death and Destruction edited by R.E. Sargent and Steven Pajak
Volume 9 in The Better Off Dead Series features sixteen short stories of waste lands and dead lands with a foreword by John Durgin, author of The Cursed Among Us. Contributors include Nick Roberts, Rob Bliss, John Oakes, Mia Dalia, and many more.
20. Dethfest Confessions: The Devil’s Playlist edited by Mark Tullius and Lyndsey Smith
Based off the book Try Not to Die: At Dethfest written by Mark Tullius and Glenn Hedden, the fifteen tales in this anthology are inspired by the most intense heavy metal festival on Earth. Features stories by Duncan Ralston, John Cohn, Simone Trojahn, Jay Bower, Caitlin Marceau, John Palisano, and many more.
21. The Horror Collection: Sci-Fi Edition presented by KJK Publishing
Book 17 of The Horror Collection series includes ten tales blending science fiction and horror. Features stories by Gord Rollo, Calvin Demmer, Eric Butler, Ash Ericmore, George Daniel Lea, J. Rocky Colavito, Brennan LaFaro, Mark Young, Keyla Damaer, and Micah Castle.
22. The Ghosts of Lille by Kimberly Kocken
A woman feels her family is in danger after moving to a remote village in Alberta located under the shadow of Turtle Mountain, the site of Canada’s deadliest rockslide. Strange events compel her to search for answers, and she discovers the ghostly history of her house.
23. The Marsh by Sara Brooke
To get over her cheating boyfriend, a heartbroken woman moves into a strange house near a marsh that holds a dark secret.
24. Bury Me Not on the Loathsome Prairie by David J. West
Book 4 of the Cowboys & Cthulhu series is billed as the snake-infested love child of H.P. Lovecraft and Louis L’Amour. The story is about a marshal who investigates the mysterious Serpent Temple and its stories of giant snakes and vanishing men.
25. CLAW Emergence: Return to Darkness by Katie Berry
The third and final book in the prequel series to CLAW finds a town battling a trinity of horrors that threaten to wipe it off the map.
THE NEXT TEN
The next 10 releases just outside the chart: Rabbit Hunt by Wrath James White; Circles of Stone: Weird Tales of Pagan Sites and Ancient Rites edited by Katy Soar; Mogollon Monsters by Zack Graham; Face Down in the Grave by Thomas O.; Stranded by Selena Winters; My Girl by Audrey Rush; Slayer by Flint Maxwell; The House Across the Street by Boris Bacic; The Stockings Were Hung by Adrian Blue; and Psychic Teenage Bloodbath II by Carl John Lee.
HOW THE CHART WORKS
The MalevolentDark.com Horror Fiction Top 25 is compiled by senior contributor Lionel Ray Green and only includes releases from the previous month (i.e., January chart is for December releases). His chart is independent and subjective but partly based on a personally developed point system using a combination of factors, including media buzz, reviews, and ratings. The Top 25 is released monthly to rank original works and does not include anniversary, author’s preferred, definitive editions, or re-releases. Authors, editors, and publishers with upcoming releases in January 2024 can email the titles of their works to ensure consideration for the next Top 25 to firstname.lastname@example.org.