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25 YA Horror Books Worth Your Time As An Adult

YA horror books

This week is all about 25 YA horror books sure to send shivers down your spine!

YA Horror Books


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Hello, my fellow spook and screams lover! Welcome to my little cozy corner of the web, Booked and Bewitched, where we chat about all things horror, spooky, creepy, crawly, and mystery-related!

This week we are talking about all things YA horror books related. I don’t know about you, but my early teens through my new adult years were the most awful I’ve ever endured, which is why I’ve jumped into the YA horror pool today, as reading was the only thing that got me through those awful years.

For those of you who don’t normally read this genre, a little information. YA horror books are a genre term used to describe horror novels and books that focus on, murders, monsters, possessions, ghosts, suspense, and overall terrifying topics wrapped up in a monstrous appearance.

So without further ado, let’s get into these YA Horror Books! And if you need more horror-themed entertainment choices. Go check out-

21 Best Movies On Shudder To Send Chills Up Your Spine

best ya horror books Must-Read YA Horror Booksbest ya horror books  

1. YA horror books for adults

best YA horror books

So Mora gives us the chance to step into the living horror that a young adult would face while dealing with schizophrenia. Is it all happening, or is her mind pulling the wool over her eyes?

by C. F. Edwards (Author)

Odd occurrences seem to shadow Mora relentlessly. Terrifying nightmares disturb her sleep, leading to crippling panic attacks. Cryptic text messages from unknown senders order her to stay silent, adding to her unease. However, the most harrowing experience is the entity she spots in her bathroom mirror. A distorted and horrifying figure, mirroring her reflection, repeatedly utters the bone-chilling words: “STICKS AND STONES RARELY BREAK BONES, BUT YOUR WORDS WILL MAKE ME HURT YOU.”

2. Ya horror books for young adults

ya horror books for young adults

Killing Mr. Griffin is a must-read for any YA horror novel lover who also had a teacher they loathed. If Clue could happen in a high school, it’d be this book.


by Lois Duncan (Author)


Mr. Griffin is the strictest teacher at Del Norte High, with a penchant for endless projects and humiliating students. Even straight-A student Susan can’t believe how mean he is to her crush, Dave, and the charismatic Mark Kinney. So when Dave asks Susan to help a group of students teach Mr. Griffin a lesson of their own, she goes along with them. After all, it’s a harmless prank, right?

3. Horror books for middle school                         

horror books for middle school

So if you’ve never played Bendy the video game, you have it give it a go. With that being said, Bendy and the Ink Machine is a great middle school horror book. The MC is 17 and has his first real job. And it just keeps getting creepier after that.

by Adrienne Kress (Author)

Mister Drew takes Buddy under his wing as an apprentice, thrusting him into a world unlike anything Buddy has ever seen before. There’s the colorful cast of the studio, from the cranky, yet driven composer Sammy Lawrence to Dot, the writing intern and Buddy’s counterpart. Working for Mister Drew, Buddy starts to think that maybe it’s as simple as Mister Drew says: Dreams do come true. But not everything at the studio is as picture-perfect as it seems.

4. YA paranormal horror books

ya paranormal horror books

So I won’t lie. I saw the cover of this and immediately thought ooh Lisa Frank ghost hotel. Horror Hotel is a YA paranormal horror that I can’t wait to dig into as it gets colder and I go into blanket hibernation.


by Victoria Fulton (Author), Faith McClaren (Author)


When the YouTube-famous Ghost Gang—Chrissy, Chase, Emma, and Kiki—visit a haunted LA hotel notorious for tragedy to secretly film after dark, they expect it to be just like their previous paranormal hunting. Spooky enough to attract subscribers—and ultimately harmless.

But when they stumble upon something unexpected in the former room of a gruesome serial killer, they quickly realize that they’re in over their heads.

5. YA gothic horror books

ya gothic horror books

So I can’t get enough gothic horror books, When Ghosts Call Us Home jumped into my TBR I was pretty excited. Hill House meets Ghost Hunters. Sounds intriguing enough to me.


by Katya de Becerra (Author)

When Sophia Galich was twelve, she starred in her older sister Layla’s amateur horror movie Vermillion, which recorded raw footage of her very real reactions to scenes her sister concocted in their old Californian house on the coast―Cashore House.

In the years after the film’s release, Sophia’s relationship with her sister became more strained, while her memories of the now-infamous house fueled her nightmares. Vermillion amassed an army of fanatical fans who speculated about the film’s hidden messages, and it was rumored that Layla made a pact with the devil―her soul in exchange for fame and arcane knowledge. Sophia dismissed this as gossip…until Layla disappeared.

6. Queer YA horror books

queer ya horror books

I love Eastern horror entertainment of all kinds. It brings entirely new levels of terror to mundane things that leave you wondering what the hell just happened. She Is A Haunting is a queer ya horror novel that I can’t wait to read.


by Trang Thanh Tran (Author)

When Jade Nguyen arrives in Vietnam for a visit with her estranged father, she has one goal: survive five weeks pretending to be a happy family in the French colonial house Ba is restoring. She’s always lied to fit in, so if she’s straight enough, Vietnamese enough, American enough, she can get out with the college money he promised. But the house has other plans…

7. YA slasher books

YA slasher books

If you’ve never had the absolute nightmare of the pleasure that working at the mall provides, let me tell you. It’s creepy as hell at night. Our mall was fully rented, I can’t imagine one on the verge of closure with a killer on the loose. Well, maybe I can. I did work there during the holiday season. This is a top choice for any Fear Street lover out there.

by Natalie D. Richards (Author)

Tonight, Riverview Theaters is closing forever, the last remaining business in a defunct shopping mall. The moviegoers have left, and Jo and her six coworkers have the final shift, a shift that quickly takes a dark turn.

First, a stranger arrives with a chilling accusation. Then the power goes out and their manager disappears, along with the keys to the lobby doors and the theater safe, where the crew’s phones are locked each shift. The crew’s tension turns to terror when Jo discovers the dead body of one of her co-workers.

8. Horror books for tweens

horror books for tweens

Coraline is hands down one of my top favorite books and movies. Between Neil Gaiman and R.L. Stein, it was pretty obvious I was a born horror fan through and through.


by Neil Gaiman (Author)


When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous.

But there’s another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

9. Best ya horror books 2023

best ya horror books 2023

The Island takes several horrifying tropes and smashes them into one epic horror ride. Every time I see a storyline around influencers I know it’s going to get ugly.


by Natasha Preston (Author)


Jagged Island: a private amusement park for the very rich—or the very influential. Liam, James, Will, Ava, Harper, and Paisley—social media influencers with millions of followers—have been invited for an exclusive weekend before the park opens.

When the teens arrive, they’re stunned: the resort is even better than they’d imagined. Their hotel rooms are unreal, the park’s themed rides are incredible, and the island is hauntingly beautiful. But soon they’ll discover that something’s missing from their schedule: getting off the island alive.

10. LGBT ya horror books

YA queer horror books

The Girls Are Never Gone, who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned demonic possession? Throw in a spooky podcast host and an even creepier house, it’s YA horror gold.


by Sarah Glenn Marsh (Author)


Dare Chase doesn’t believe in ghosts. But as the host of Attachments, her brand-new paranormal investigation podcast, she knows to keep her doubts to herself if she wants to win over listeners.

Her first season’s subject is the Arrington Estate—a sprawling manor rumored to be haunted by the spirit of Atheleen Bell, who drowned in its lake almost thirty years ago. Dare’s more interested in investigating the suspicious circumstances of Atheleen’s death, which she thinks points to a decades-old murder, not something supernatural.

But Arrington is full of surprises. As Dare is drawn deeper into the mysteries of the estate, she’ll have to rethink the boundaries of what is possible. Because if something is lurking in the lake…it might not be willing to let her go.

11. YA thriller books

ya thriller books

So not only does Escape Room give us murder, mystery, and puzzles. We also get some romance and edge-of-your-seat twists and turns at every turn.


by Maren Stoffels (Author)


Alissa, Sky, Miles, and Mint are ready for a night of fun at the Escape Room.
It’s simple.
Choose their game.
Get locked in a room.
Find the clues.
Solve the puzzles.
And escape the room in 60 minutes.
But what happens if the Game Master has no intention of letting them go?

12. Spooky ya books 

spooky ya books

Dead Girls Can’t Tell Lies is one of those YA books that I thought sounded like a good read. Let me tell you by the time I finished it I was pretty shocked by just how good it was.


by Chelsea Ichaso (Author)


When Savannah finds a note in Piper’s locker, inviting Piper to a meeting of their school’s wilderness club…at the very place and on the very day that she fell. Which means there was a chance that Piper wasn’t alone. Someone might’ve seen something. Worse, someone might’ve done something. But who would want to hurt the perfect Piper Sullivan…and why?

Savannah joins the club on their weekend-long camping trip on the same mountain where her sister fell. But she better be careful; everyone in the club is a suspect, and everyone seems to be keeping secrets about that tragic day.

13. YA Horror Books 2020

ya horror books 2020

If you love a good slasher story, Tastes Like Candy is a must-read. Not only is it a fresh take on the classic high school slasher, it’s an amazing read!


by Ivy Tholen (Author)


Everyone at Pritchett High wants an invitation to the Senior Scavenge. In 2020, Violet Warren and her friends are the lucky ones. Eight girls will break into the Poison Apple Carnival after hours for a scavenger hunt, and then at sunrise, they’ll gather for a celebration in honor of their upcoming senior year.

Minutes after the girls sneak into the carnival, a madman begins slashing his way through the group and Violet quickly realizes his motives are personal. Watching her friends die in a series of increasingly bizarre attacks, she must fight to survive while trying to answer the question: What could she have done to earn a fast pass for a roller coaster ride straight to hell?

14. YA horror books 2022

ya horror books 2022

So I have a deep love for haunted and or cursed forests. So The Luminaries hit all the tropes for me. Monsters, curses, secret societies, yes, please!


by Susan Dennard (Author)


Hemlock Falls isn’t like other towns. You won’t find it on a map, your phone won’t work here, and the forest outside town might just kill you.

Winnie Wednesday wants nothing more than to join the Luminaries, the ancient order that protects Winnie’s town―and the rest of humanity―from the monsters and nightmares that rise in the forest of Hemlock Falls every night.

15. Best Ya horror book

best ya horror books

So I haven’t had the chance to watch the show version of The Midnight Club yet, but it is on my watch list. If you enjoy a paranormal teen horror read, you must give this one a chance.


by Christopher Pike (Author)


Every night at twelve, a group of young guys and girls at the hospice came together to tell stories. They called themselves the Midnight Club, and their stories could be true or false, or somewhere in between.

One night the teenagers make a secret pact with each other, which says, “The first one who dies will do whatever he or she can do to contact us from beyond the grave, to give us proof that there is life after death.”

Then one of them does die…

16. YA vampire horror books

ya psychological horror books

If you love a good Dracula-style read, you have to give Go Hunt Me a go. Creepy in the best ways, the twists and turns keep coming and keep you guessing the whole way.


by Kelly deVos (Author)


Alex and her friends have made some creepily awesome films together throughout high school, so with only a few months left before they go their separate ways for college, they’re determined to make the best one yet: an epic short film that reimagines the story of Dracula, filmed on location at a remote castle in Romania.

But it’s not quite the majestic setting they planned for. Menacing weapons line the walls, the twisted halls are easy to get lost in, and with no connection to the outside world, the group is unexpectedly off the grid. After just a few hours spent under its roof, Alex and her friends have no trouble imagining how this dark, terrifying castle inspired one of the most enduring horror novels of all time.

17. Japanese YA horror novels

supernatural YA horror books

Okay, we need more Japanese YA horror novels. I know that East Asian horror isn’t for everyone, but I honestly find it to be the most moving and impactful horror. The Girl From The Well cover gives off straight The Ring vibes so there’s that too. 


by Rin Chupeco (Author)


Okiku is a lonely soul. She has wandered the world for centuries, freeing the spirits of the murdered dead. Once a victim herself, she now takes the lives of killers with the vengeance they’re due. But releasing innocent ghosts from their ethereal tethers does not bring Okiku peace. Still, she drifts on.

Such is her existence until she meets Tark. Evil writhes beneath the moody teen’s skin, trapped by a series of intricate tattoos. While his neighbors fear him, Okiku knows the boy is not a monster. Tark needs to be freed from the malevolence that clings to him. There’s just one problem: if the demon dies, so does its host.

18. Best ya horror books of all time

camp YA horror books

Seeing as I never had the pleasure of attending a summer camp, working as The counselor reminds me why that may have been a good thing. It’s a great YA horror thriller.


by Jessica Goodman (Author)


Goldie’s not the only person at camp who has been lying. When a teen turns up dead in the lake late one night, she knows that the death couldn’t have been an accident. She also knows that Ava was at the lake that same night.
What did Ava see and what does she know? Why hasn’t she said anything to Goldie about the death? Worse—what did Ava do?
Asking questions offers no answers, only broken bonds of lifelong friendship, with hidden danger and betrayals deeper than Goldie ever imagined.

19. Teen & young adult ghost stories

Teen & Young Adult Ghost Stories

So the cover art is amazing, and the storyline sounds just as epic in The Whispering Dark. It gives us an MC with all kinds of twists and turns in her.


by Kelly Andrew (Author)


Delaney Meyers-Petrov is tired of being seen as fragile just because she’s Deaf. So when she’s accepted into a prestigious program at Godbole University that trains students to slip between parallel worlds, she’s excited for the chance to prove herself. But her semester gets off to a rocky start as she faces professors who won’t accommodate her disability and a pretentious upperclassman fascinated by Delaney’s unusual talents.

20. Gothic YA horror books 

Children's Spine-Chilling Horror

Who doesn’t need more gothic YA horror books in their lives? Deephaven is aimed age-wise lower than most of my other reads, but it was worth it.


by Ethan M. Aldridge (Author)


Nev” Tallow receives an acceptance letter to the exclusive Deephaven Academy, they know it’s the fresh start that they’ve been looking for.

But things are strange from the moment they arrive—the house itself seems to breathe, students whisper secrets in dark corridors, and the entire east wing of the academy is locked away for reasons no one wants to explain. And Nev knows something ragged stalks the shadowy corridors, something that sobs quietly and scratches at the walls, waiting to be released.

Nev takes it upon themself to unravel the mysteries hidden in Deephaven’s halls. But will they risk their fresh start to bring the academy’s secret to light?

21. YA horror books by black authors

ya horror books by black authors

Their Vicious Games is an amazing read, especially for the secret society lovers out there. I get heavy The Menu mixed with the Triwizard Tournament. Throw in crazy private school antics and evil early adults and that’s it in a nutshell.


by Joelle Wellington (Author)


Her only chance to regain the future she’s sacrificed everything for is the Finish, a high-stakes contest sponsored by Edgewater’s founding family in which twelve young, ambitious women with exceptional promise are selected to compete in three mysterious events: the Ride, the Raid, and the Royale. The winner will be granted entry into the fold of the Remington family, whose wealth and power can open any door.

When Adina Walker arrives at the Finish, Adina quickly gets the feeling that something isn’t quite right with both the Remingtons and her fellow competitors, and soon it becomes clear that this larger-than-life prize can only come at an even greater cost. Because the Finish’s stakes aren’t just make or break…they’re life and death.

Adina knows the deck is stacked against her—it always has been—so maybe the only way to survive their vicious games is for her to change the rules.

22. Teen & young adult horror

Teen & Young Adult Horror

Not going to lie, the cat ear headband snagged my first. How To Survive Your Murder is a hell of a ride. Full of twists and turns ups and downs, it’s worth the read.


by Danielle Valentine (Author)


Alice Lawrence is the sole witness in her sister’s murder trial.

And in the year since Claire’s death, Alice’s life has completely fallen apart. Her parents have gotten divorced, she’s moved into an apartment that smells like bologna, and she is being forced to face her sister’s killer and a courtroom full of people who doubt what she saw in the corn maze a year prior.

On the first day of the murder trial, as Alice prepares to give her testimony, she is knocked out by a Sidney Prescott look-alike in the courthouse bathroom. When she wakes up, it is Halloween night a year earlier, the same day Claire was murdered. Alice has until midnight to save her sister and find the real killer before he claims another victim.

23. Teen & young adult fantasy & supernatural mysteries & thrillers

Teen & Young Adult Fantasy & Supernatural Mysteries & Thrillers

I love a good cult horror novel, and Together We Rot is a must-read if you are interested in it as well. I enjoyed reading about it from the POV of a young adult trying to get free.


by Skyla Arndt (Author)


Elwood has been counting down the days until his 18th birthday—in dread. It marks leaving school and joining his pastor father in dedicating his life to their congregation, the Garden of Adam. But when he comes home one night after a final goodbye with his friends, already self-flagellating for the sins of drinking and disobeying his father, he discovers his path is not as virtuous as he thought. He’s not his father’s successor, but his sacrifice. For the woods he’s grown up with are thirsty, and must be paid in blood.

24. Teen & young adult monster fiction

Teen & young adult monster fiction

A primordial blood river running under Paris. Take my money please and give me the words. I Feed Her To The Beast And The Beast Is Me is one of the most interesting plots I’ve come across in a while.


by Jamison Shea (Author)


Laure Mesny is a perfectionist with an axe to grind. Despite being constantly overlooked in the elite and cutthroat world of the Parisian ballet, she will do anything to prove that a Black girl can take center stage. To level the playing field, Laure ventures deep into the depths of the Catacombs and strikes a deal with a pulsating river of blood.

The primordial power Laure gains promises influence and adoration, everything she’s dreamed of and worked toward. With retribution on her mind, she surpasses her bitter and privileged peers, leaving broken bodies behind her on her climb to stardom.

But even as undeniable as she is, Laure is not the only monster around. And her vicious desires make her a perfect target for slaughter. As she descends into madness and the mystifying underworld beneath her, she is faced with the ultimate choice: continue to break herself for scraps of validation or succumb to the darkness that wants her exactly as she is―monstrous heart and all. That is if the god-killer doesn’t catch her first.

25. YA romance horror books

ya romance horror books

Clue meets Knives Out with young and new adults. Need I say more? Go pick up The Inheritance Games, you’ll thank me later.


by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Author)


Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why—or even who Tobias Hawthorne is.

To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man’s touch—and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes. Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a woman, and he’s determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather’s last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.

This week was all about 25 YA horror books sure to send shivers down your spine!

YA Horror Book

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90s Kid Turned Goblin, Wife, Writer, Blogger & Mom

If you’re new here, Hi! My name is NG Terrors and you’ve wandered into my strange little goblin mode space. Here I chat about horror, gothic, generally strange, and mystery stuff I love, like, or loathe. So if that sounds like you, look around and stay for a bit. Pop an anxiety pill, yell at the kids and or animals to settle down, and relax with the rest of us neurodivergent people for a while. Oh and if you’re here just to be a negative Nancy please go away, we don’t have time for that round here.

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