MALEVOLENT DARK HORROR FICTION TOP 25 — OCTOBER 2023
1. Holly by Stephen King
Holly Gibney returns to investigate a mother’s missing daughter in the new novel from the King of Horror.
2. The September House by Carissa Orlando
A woman decides to stay in her haunted dream house despite its ghostly inhabitants in Orlando’s debut novel.
3. Ankle Snatcher by Grady Hendrix
A man wonders if it’s the boogeyman or his own murderous delusion in this short story by the author of How to Sell a Haunted House.
4. It Waits in the Woods by Josh Malerman
A woman braves an urban legend to find her sister in this short story by the author of Bird Box.
5. The Pram by Joe Hill
A man’s wish to be a father is granted but it comes with a price in this short story by the author of NOS4A2.
6. Hemlock Island by Kelley Armstrong
A group of people are trapped on an island with someone or something that wants them dead.
7. Kink: A Tale of Extreme Horror by Crowley Barns and The Barns Brothers
A rape fantasy date takes a dark turn.
8. The Broken Heart by N.J. Gallegos
A wife and mother of two starts having murderous impulses after receiving a serial killer’s heart via transplant in the debut novel by Gallegos.
9. The Windy Willow Haunting by Marie Wilkens
Book 80 in A Riveting Haunted House Mystery Series.
10. Coven by Flint Maxwell
Book 2 in the Carver series about a man with a supernatural history.
11. Black River Orchard by Chuck Wendig
A mysterious apple orchard with strange fruit produces an even stranger effect when consumed in this novel by the author of Wanderers.
12. Twisted Tales of Halloween Horror by The Sisterhood of the Black Pen
A collection of Halloween tales by a group of women writers.
13. Never Whistle at Night: An Indigenous Dark Fiction Anthology edited by Shane Hawk and Theodore C. Van Alst
Original tales by Indigenous writers with an introduction by Stephen Graham Jones.
14. In Bloom by Paul Tremblay
There’s something in the water in this short story by the author of The Cabin at the End of the World.
15. Kill the Hunter by Bryan Smith
“If you can picture Quentin Tarantino directing an episode of Supernatural, you’re partway there,” says Brian Asman, author of Man, Fuck This House.
16. Puzzle House by Duncan Ralston
Six strangers must survive a series of deadly escape rooms to earn their share of a deceased puzzle master’s $150 million fortune in this novel by the author of Woom.
17. Best of Luck by Jason Mott
A man blames his successful friend for draining all the luck from his life in this short story by the author of Hell of a Book.
18. Black Sheep by Rachel Harrison
A woman leaves a religious community, but a wedding invitation brings her back to the toxic community that she escaped in this novel by the author of Cackle.
19. The Green Night by Jack Townsend
A swarm of mysterious insects trap a group of strangers at a 24-hour gas station on Halloween night.
20. Never Wake: An Anthology of Dream Horror edited by Kenneth W. Cain and Tim Meyer
A collection of dream horror featuring stories by Philip Fracassi, Eric LaRocca, Gwendolyn Kiste, Todd Keisling, and more.
21. October Screams: A Halloween Anthology edited by Kenneth W. Cain
A seasonally themed collection featuring a new short story by Brian Keene and Richard Chizmar.
22. Oh Fuck Oh Fuck It Hurts: A Collection of Medical Horror by Ruth Anna Evans
A medically themed collection full of body horror and featuring a story by Rik Hoskin.
23. Timereaping in Deadwood by Ann Charles
Book 13 of the Deadwood Humorous Mystery series.
24. Widow: An Extreme Horror Novel by Ash Ericmore
Graphic sex and violence from across the pond.
25. CUCKOO by M. Ennenbach
A love story unlike any you’ve read before.
THE NEXT 10
The next 10 releases just outside the chart: The Big Bad by Chandler Baker; Literally Dead: Tales of Halloween Hauntings edited by Gaby Triana; Grim Portraits: Six Stories About the Dark Side of Art by Kealan Patrick Burke; The Taste of Women by Cyan LeBlanc; Tavern of Terror: Scare Street (Volume 9); Bad Movie Night by Patrick Lacey; Roommate by Crowley Barns and The Barns Brothers; Books of Horror: Community Anthology: Vol. 4 Pt. 2 edited by RJ Roles and M. Ennenbach; Mutation: An Apocalyptic Horror Thriller by Art Saborio; and 100 Words of Horror: A Collection of Horror Drabbles by Matt Shaw.
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. October chart is for September 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 October 2023 can email the titles of their works to ensure consideration for the Top 25 to firstname.lastname@example.org.