In the Mood for April Fears: New Horror Books!

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Emily has a PhD in English from the University of Southern Mississippi, MS, and she has an MFA in Creative Writing from GCSU in Milledgeville, GA, home of Flannery O’Connor. She spends her free time reading, watching horror movies and musicals, cuddling cats, Instagramming pictures of cats, and blogging/podcasting about books with the ladies over at #BookSquadGoals ( She can be reached at

The best thing about a brand new month? Brand new horror. April promises to be another excellent month for horror reads, including short story collections, debut novels, and new books from a lot of your horror author favorites. With spring upon us, are you still dying to be scared? Well, get ready to be terrified.

This month’s books include dark haunted forests, authoritarian trees, ancient vampires with violent vendettas, and abandoned planets where sinister secrets hide behind every corner. What’s more, we’re also getting heroines who face monsters and ghosts head-on, cruel games that get out of hand, vampire colonies reawakened, and searches into the self that dig up secrets best kept hidden. April also promises mysterious murders, supernatural happenings that shed light on real-life horrors, new events that bring up old traumas, and plenty of generational trauma. (It is horror, after all…that’s kind of how we roll in this genre.)

The horror hits, they just keep coming, and here are nine horror reads you’re not going to want to miss out on this month. If fear is what you came for, these books will keep you shaking underneath your sheets all month long. Happy reading, horror fiends!

The Black Girl Survives in This One coverThe Black Girl Survives in This One cover

The Black Girl Survives in This One, edited by Desiree S. Evans and Saraciea J. Fennell (Flatiron Books, April 2)

It’s no secret that Black characters are often vulnerable in traditional horror stories. But not this time. In this collection of YA horror stories, Black girls battle horrors both real and supernatural, and, yes, they survive to tell the tale. This collection includes stories from Erin E. Adams, Monica Brashears, Charlotte Nicole Davis, Desiree S. Evans, Saraciea J. Fennell, Zakiya Dalila Harris, Daka Hermon, Justina Ireland, L.L. McKinney, Brittney Morris, Maika & Maritza Moulite, Eden Royce, and Vincent Tirado. We also get a foreword by Tananarive Due.

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This Skin Was Once Mine: And Other Disturbances by Eric LaRocca (Titan Books, April 2)

Eric LaRocca has quickly become a must-read for any horror fan who loves quick and dirty horror that isn’t afraid to get weird and wild and, yeah, also a little disgusting. This new collection includes four new horror stories from the Splatterpunk Award-winning author. That includes the title story “This Skin Was Once Mine,” in which a woman comes to terms with the dark secrets that will change everything she thought she knew about her late father.

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The Gathering by C. J. Tudor (Ballantine Books, April 9)

The weather might start warming up in April, but this latest novel from C. J. Tudor, author of The Chalk Man, is sure to make you shiver. You know, because it’s set in Alaska. But also, it’s scary. When a young boy is found dead and all the blood drained from his body, the citizens of the small Alaskan town Deadhart know what happened to him. And who was responsible. A death like this hasn’t occurred in the past 25 years, but everyone knows about the Colony, a community of vampyrs living deep in the woods.

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Ghost Station by S.A. Barnes (Tor Nightfire, April 9)

April is also bringing horror fans a new one from S.A. Barnes, the author of Dead Silence. This new horror sci-fi mash-up is set on an abandoned planet. Here, psychologist Dr. Ophelia Bray will establish residency with a small exploration crew. Ophelia hopes to help the crew recover from the recent loss of their colleague, who died under tragic circumstances. But not long after the group arrives on the planet, it becomes clear to Ophelia that the crew is hiding something. They seem uninterested in opening up to Ophelia about what happened, instead spending their days exploring this strange and mysterious planet. Then, their pilot is violently murdered, and despite the lack of trust amongst the group, they must now all work together to figure out what happened.

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Myrrh by Polly Hall (Titan Books, April 9)

If you enjoy Eric LaRocca’s disturbing brand of horror and the mind-bending works of Catriona Ward, pick up Myrrh on April 9. This is a story of two women; Myrrh is desperately searching for her birth parents in the seaside towns of South England. But Myrrh’s search is frustratingly difficult, and with every new roadblock, the goblin growing inside her threatens to explode. Meanwhile, Cayenne is stuck in a loveless marriage and longs for a child. As she sees her husband grow closer with his own daughter — her stepdaughter — desperations cause her to make a decision that will change their lives forever.

cover of immortal pleasures by v castro vampire fantasy bookcover of immortal pleasures by v castro vampire fantasy book

Immortal Pleasures by V. Castro (Del Rey, April 16)

From V. Castro, the author of The Haunting of Alejandra, comes a horrifying new tale of an ancient Aztec vampire who travels the modern world avenging conquered peoples, reclaiming their stolen artifacts and returning them to their homelands. Malinalli’s travels take her to Dublin, where she searches for stolen Aztec skulls that are connected to her own past. But in this city, she finds something unexpected — two mortal men who speak to Malinalli’s other desires in different ways.

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Indian Burial Ground by Nick Medina (Berkley, April 16)

If I could describe Indian Burial Ground in one would, it would be “eerie.” Want more words? Here’s what’s happening. Noemi Broussard longs to leave the reservation she grew up on behind, but her plans are dashed when her boyfriend, Roddy, dies under mysterious circumstances. Everyone assumes it was a suicide, but to Noemi, the story just isn’t adding up. Something strange is happening on the reservation, and Noemi is determined to get to the bottom of it, no matter how terrifying the truth may be.

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Weird Black Girls by Elwin Cotman (Scribner, April 16)

From Philip K. Dick Award finalist Elwin Cotman comes a thought-provoking short story collection that explores the horrors of living in the world as a Black person. These seven literary horror stories call upon the fantastical and the supernatural to explore the very real fears and anxieties of being Black in our contemporary world. From a town controlled by a violent tree that punishes children to a day of LARPing that takes a surprising turn, these inventive stories will definitely surprise you.

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All Thing Seen and Unseen by RJ McDaniel (ECW Press, April 23)

Last but certainly not least, rounding out April is a debut queer horror novel from RJ McDaniel. The story follows Alex Nguyen, a chronically ill college student whose life is quickly unraveling. Following a recent suicide attempt and a long hospitalization, Alex finds herself without a job, without a romantic relationship, without money to pay for school, and without a place to live. Then she’s offered a lifeline in the form of a job housesitting for the summer at a mansion on a gulf island. But the mansion — surrounded by a mysterious (and possibly magic) forest and an unsettling, insular community — brings back traumatic memories Alex has long repressed.

As always, you can find a full list of new releases in the magical New Release Index, carefully curated by your favorite Book Riot editors, organized by genre and release date.

Want even more horror to keep you scared all year round? Be sure to subscribe to The Fright Stuff for weekly scares. Let’s stay creepy!

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