Get ready to be immersed in spine-tingling tales and heart-stopping narratives as we delve into the realm of horror fiction. With May 2023 already behind us, it’s time to unearth the most gripping and bone-chilling works that have captivated readers with their dark allure and unsettling atmospheres. From haunted houses to supernatural entities lurking in the shadows, this month’s selection of horror novels promises to deliver sleepless nights and unforgettable thrills. So, prepare yourself for a journey through the twisted corridors of the human psyche as we present the best horror novels of May 2023 that have sent shivers down our spines.
Best Horror Novels of May 2023
Our Hideous Progeny by C.E. McGill
In the dark underbelly of 1853 London, an intriguing tale unfolds, intertwining ambition, scientific curiosity, and the echoes of a notorious name. Victor Frankenstein’s enigmatic absence hangs heavy, casting a shadow over the city. Mary Saville, his great-niece, and her wayward husband, Henry, harbor a shared dream of scientific acclaim as paleontologists. Their minds are sharp, their hunger for recognition palpable, but society’s disdainful gaze shuns them. Mary, a woman of fierce intellect and sharper wit, and Henry, a gambling addict teetering on the edge, yearning to break free from their predicament.
The discovery of cryptic clues surrounding Victor’s disappearance becomes their beacon of hope. Determined to force the scientific elite to acknowledge their worth, Mary concocts a daring plan—a creation that will leave an indelible mark on history. As their Creature comes to life, Henry’s thirst for fame becomes insatiable. Yet, amidst the rising ambition, Mary is confronted by profound questions, grappling with the extent of her love and loyalty towards the being she herself has birthed.
The Salt Grows Heavy by Cassandra Khaw
Prepare to be enchanted and ensnared by the mesmerizing prose of Cassandra Khaw’s latest masterpiece, The Salt Grows Heavy. In this haunting fairytale like no other, the familiar narrative takes a sinister turn, revealing the untamed darkness lurking beneath the surface. As the mermaid, with her alluring beauty, emerges from the depths to claim her prince, the forgotten truth emerges—mermaids possess an insatiable hunger, and razor-sharp teeth ready to devour all in their path.
With the kingdom reduced to smoldering ruins, the mermaid flees, finding an unexpected ally in a mysterious plague doctor, harboring their own shadows. Together, they navigate the chilling expanse of a snow-kissed forest, stumbling upon a village of immortal children consumed by an unquenchable thirst for blood, manipulated by the puppet strings of three enigmatic ‘saints.’ To survive this nightmarish ordeal, the mermaid and her companion must confront the darkest recesses of their beings, embracing the cruelest aspects of their true nature.
Graveyard of Lost Children by Katrina Monroe
Olivia Dahl’s journey unfolds in a gripping fashion. From the moment she narrowly escaped a harrowing fate at just four months old, darkness has clung to her like a relentless specter. Haunted by nightmarish visions, Olivia’s mother succumbed to a delusion, convinced that her own daughter was a changeling, and sought to trade her for the “dead women” dwelling within the depths of a well. Now, as Olivia prepares to give birth to her own daughter, a disconcerting shift occurs—the whispering of the enigmatic women becomes audible for the first time. Despite society’s expectations of her happiness, Olivia is consumed by foreboding.
Her body weakens as her insatiable baby devours her, triggering an agonizing doubt: is this child truly her own? The haunting presence of a black-haired woman infiltrates Olivia’s nightmares, drawing her inexorably towards the well, where their intertwined destinies entangle in a cycle of fear and violence. To save her child and herself, Olivia must sever the ties that bind her and confront the complex struggle between her identity and society’s ideals of motherhood. With echoes of Baby Teeth and The Invited, this haunting narrative explores the fragile thread connecting a woman’s self-perception with the treacherous notion of being a “good” mother.
All the Dead Lie Down by Kyrie McCauley
World where darkness intertwines with love in Kyrie McCauley’s bewitching contemporary YA gothic romance. Echoing the chilling allure of The Haunting of Bly Manor and the atmospheric enchantment of House of Salt and Sorrows, McCauley weaves a tale of a haunted family legacy, the lingering spirits of sorrow, and the lengths we will go for love. After a heart-wrenching tragedy leaves Marin Blythe bereft, a surprising invitation from Alice Lovelace, a renowned horror writer and a childhood friend of Marin’s mother, brings a glimmer of hope. Embracing the opportunity, Marin becomes the nanny at Lovelace House, a coastal Maine estate. However, the idyllic setting soon reveals its secrets as Marin navigates the eccentricities of Alice’s peculiar daughters, Thea and Wren.
Inexplicable events begin to unfold—a returning prodigal daughter, Evie Hallowell, adds to the mystery with her enigmatic demeanor and otherworldly grace. Yet, amidst the unfolding wonders, Marin can’t escape the ever-present anxiety that shadows her every step. As dead birds appear in her room and the children’s pranks turn sinister, a sinister presence lurks in the depths of the surrounding woods, leaving a trail of mutilated animals. Lovelace House holds dark secrets that threaten to consume Marin, and she must unravel the mysteries entwined within its walls before it’s too late.
Pet Peeves by Nicole Goux
A chilling tale where the line between love and possession blurs. Meet Bobbie, a struggling musician whose life is caught in a relentless cycle of stagnation. Burdened with a job at a bar and crushed under the weight of financial woes, Bobbie’s dreams of pursuing music slip further away with each passing day. Amidst this bleak existence, there is one solace—the adorable and loyal dog she has recently adopted. This furry companion becomes the focal point of Bobbie’s existence, offering unwavering support and unwavering presence.
However, as Bobbie’s life spirals deeper into monotony, her dog begins to exert a sinister influence, ensuring that the boundaries between their lives merge into an inescapable entanglement. With debt and societal pressures haunting her, Bobbie grapples not only with external struggles but also with the unsettling forces that emanate from her beloved pet. Nicole Goux delves into the harrowing journey of a young artist, where the pursuit of creativity becomes entangled with adorable yet malevolent canine forces, creating a spine-tingling exploration of possession and artistry.
The Alchemy of Moonlight by David Ferraro
Embark on a treacherous journey through love and mystery as Emile, grappling with the consequences of his sexuality, seeks refuge in the shadows of Count Montoni’s mansion. Fleeing from his aunt’s ultimatum that he must marry or face disownment, Emile disguises himself as a servant, unaware of the dark secrets that haunt the Montoni family. Drawn into their enigmatic world, Emile becomes entangled in their eerie affliction that emerges under the full moon.
As he unravels the family’s tangled web through overheard arguments and the discovery of a lifeless body, he captures the attention of a captivating doctor and the charismatic nephew, Henri. Yet, before Emile can untangle his own heart and solve the enigma enveloping the Montoni family, his true identity is exposed, and his aunt arrives to claim him. Count Montoni, wielding his authority, compels everyone to a desolate refuge—the remote Udolpho Castle—where escape becomes an impossible dream. Within its foreboding walls, Emile realizes that he must risk everything, even his own life, in order to find the love he so desperately deserves while surviving the clutches of the Montoni family.
Killing It by Mike Bockoven
For decades, The Square has held a twisted legacy within the heart of New York’s alt-comedy scene, its significance stretching back to the late 1980s. Beneath the veneer of laughter, however, lies a sinister history that lingers within its walls—a malevolence patiently biding its time, thirsting for blood. Following a fateful night where the stage became a canvas of carnage, four comedians find themselves entangled in a perilous predicament. As the spirits of the past emerge from the shadows, a battle for humor morphs into a desperate fight for survival within the most unlikely of arenas. In this unlikely place where comedy once reigned, the stakes are now higher than ever as laughter morphs into a lifeline against the encroaching darkness.
Cicadas Sing of Summer Graves by Quinn Connor
Unfolding in a haunting symphony, this tale delves deep into the heart of a forgotten Southern town, lost beneath layers of time and tragedy. Prosper, Arkansas, was once consumed by the relentless grasp of yellow fever, its residents succumbing to the unforgiving illness as the valley became a watery grave during a catastrophic flood.
As the secrets of old Prosper lay entombed within the depths, a mysterious locked box emerges, thrusting three descendants into a fevered summer of revelation. Cassie, a recluse who alone witnessed an unimaginable horror; Lark, a wide-eyed dreamer plagued by surreal visions; and June, torn between yearning for a fresh start and bearing witness to the spectral remnants of the past. United by their lineage, these three souls must confront the complex tapestry of their hometown’s history and navigate the remnants of a submerged town, submerged both physically and metaphorically in the troubled waters of the present.