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The 10 Best Lesbian Horror Books You Should Have Read Already By Now!

The 10 Best Lesbian Horror Books You Should Have Read Already By Now!

Whether it’s Halloween or that mood is just in the air, we all have our times of pining for a good horror novel. But what if we want something romantic and wonderfully queer at the same time? This is where the best lesbian horror books come in…

Lesbian ‘horror’ tropes are elements as old as the entire genre. After all, Bram Stoker’s notorious ‘Dracula’ was directly inspired by a novel about lesbian seduction executed by a female vampire. That novel, ‘Carmilla’, is one of the earliest works of vampire fiction and has served as the root of one of the most popular crazes ever to shake the books of thriller fans worldwide. 

While this contributed to the ‘villain seductress’ image that lesbians were given throughout much of yesteryear’s history, that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy the rich, multi-faceted queer influence on horror fiction that we have today.

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Things have changed (mostly for the better!) in the fiction industry, and queer characters as a whole are seeing a lot more love as protagonists rather than as villains, side characters, or that one easy victim who was the first to die for the main characters to discover that something odd is going on.

Nowadays is the time for gals who love gals to take center stage and prove to the world that they aren’t just vampires and other unsolicited baddies.

Times won’t always be easy, and the challenges that they have to face will be just as frightening and sometimes even more frightening than the horror tales of all, but you can be sure that our brave heroines will go on to save the day, or at the very least save themselves from a gruesome fate.

So, no matter what gets you shaking in your boots, and no matter what kind of quaky horror hits the rights spots for you, it’s time for us to delve into our fine, curated assortment of lesbian horror novels – there’s sure to be something that scares just right!

I have gazed the black flower blooming her animal eye. Gacela oscura. Negra llorona. Along the clayen banks I follow her-astonished, gathering grief’s petals she lets fall like horns.

Why not now go toward the things I love?

Like Jacob’s angel, I touched the garnet of her wrist, and she knew my name. And I knew hers—

it was Auxocromo, it was Cromóforo, it was Eliza. It hurtled through me like honeyed-rum. When the eyes and lips are touched with honey what is seen and said will never be the same.

Eve took the apple in that ache-opened mouth, on fire and in pieces, from the knife’s sharp edge. In the photo her fist presses against the red-gold

geometry of her thigh. Black nylon, black garter, unsolvable mysterium—I have to close my eyes to see.

Achilles chasing Hektor round the walls of Ilium three times. How long must I circle

the high gate above her knees?

From Grief Work by Natalie Diaz
Queer Literature

Don't have time to read them all? Why not try listening to them? Audible is a great platform for listening to audiobooks because it offers a wide selection of books, including bestsellers and exclusive content. With Audible, you can listen to your favorite books on-the-go, whether you're commuting, working out, or doing household chores.

The Audible app also has features like adjustable narration speed, a sleep timer, and the ability to create bookmarks, making it easy to customize your listening experience. Additionally, Audible offers a membership program that gives members access to a certain number of audiobooks per month, making it a cost-effective option for avid listeners. 

A great resource for people who want to maximize their time and make the most out of their daily activities. Try a free 30-day trial from Audible today, and you'll get access to a selection of Audible Originals and audiobooks, along with a credit to purchase any title in their premium selection, regardless of price (including many of the books on this list!) 

For ebook lovers, we also recommend Scribd, basically the Netflix for Books and the best and most convenient subscription for online reading. While they have a catalog comprising over half a million books including from many bestselling authors, for some of the books on this list, you'll still have to purchase individually - either as a paperback or eBook to load on your Kindle - due to publishing house restrictions. 

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Wilder Girls by Rory Power

When the Tox started to work its insidious way into the corridors and rooms of the Raxter School for Girls, at first, people thought it was a coincidence. But then the bodies started to pile up – what strange bodies they were – and before long, there was no denying that something strange was falling to gloom upon the school’s island and the lives of its students.

Eighteen months later, with the school long since having been locked down and isolated from the rest of the world, Hetty, Byatt, and the rest of Raxter’s students are struggling to survive, let alone make ends meet the rest of the time. The Tox is everywhere – attacking the teachers, infecting the woods surrounding the school, and turning the world upside down as they knew it.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Hetty’s last string of connection to the life she once had is soon torn away when Byatt – her best friend in all the world and her first true love – goes missing under mysterious circumstances and is quickly considered just another victim of the insidious Tox. 

But Hetty is braver than that, and she believes that the other girls in the school are too. She doesn’t know how she will find it in the chaos, but there has to be a solution to this, a way for them to escape this hell and a way for her to find Byatt and get back the most important person she has ever met. 

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Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

Even though it is the sequel to the half prologue half predecessor novel Rolling in the Deep, Into the Drowning Deep, is a powerful standalone novel nonetheless and packs a punch that leaves a mark.

Telling a story that embraces hints of the sci-fi, fantasy, and horror genres so openly that it becomes a hybrid experience all rolled into one, the story of the Atargatis and its doomed voyage has never been stronger or more terrifying.

Hired by a company named Imagine Entertainment, a new crew has assembled to tread the same steps that the old voyage of the Atargatis took, and chief among them is the young scientist Victoria Stewart. She’s not on the search for glory, fame, or fortune but rather for her long-lost sister, who was among the crew that came before them. 

While the crew and their ship, the Melusine, set out into uncharted waters with hopes high, it isn’t long before misfortune begins to pray on them as well. The unforgiving sea is all around them, and whatever caused the Atargatis to disappear seems ever closer and closer to swallowing their vessel.

Will Victoria and the rest of her crew persevere and learn from the mistakes that those manning the Atargatis made, or will they suffer a similar fate and sink to join their predecessors at the bottom of the ocean? That’s up to readers to find out in what is one of the most gripping novels of its kind.

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Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon

Hailed as one of the most famous lesbian horror novels in the literary world and written by acclaimed author Rivers Solomon – also responsible for the masterpieces ‘The Deep’’ and ‘An Unkindness of Ghosts – Sorrowland is a striking work of fantasy that is rivaled by very little others in the genre. 

Bringing whimsical themes of nature and the petit supernatural unto the harsh gloom of gothic-style horror with great skill and ease, Sorrowland follows a woman named Vern – pregnant, scared, and running from forces of evil that set upon her from every possible direction.

Though she flees deep into the dark woods to bear her children and to try to form some free life, her past is an equally bloodthirsty hunter, as reluctant to give up its secrets as it is to let her go from its clutches. 

Forming a touching narrative that is a lot more earnest upon real-life issues of racism, sexism, and persecution than one might assume from the book’s appearance, Sorrowland is more than just a work of horror. Its terror comes from a sense of constant fear that haunts and hangs about the edge of the mind, present more due to experience than a true present threat. 

Will the woods that she thought would hide her from pain instead bring new, even darker pains upon her, or can she finally escape the age-old, horrifying secrets of her origins and what they mean for the land beneath her tired feet?

Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon - Best Lesbian Horror Books

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The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Bérubé

Marianne’s parents are divorced, she’s quit dancing, and everything else about her life is going down deep and fast. It would suffice to say that things aren’t going great for her, except that not all of her misfortune comes from bad luck alone. 

She has thought that she is sick and insane for the longest time and that maybe that was why her parents couldn’t stay together, but she can’t wallow in that belief any longer. Things have changed, and there’s something else going on – she knows it. 

Time slips away from her hands, she loses things at an alarming rate, and she never feels quite alone. A supernatural being of unknown origin has a hold on her, and gaining the trust of the town’s one and only psychic’s daughter Rhiannon results in a failed exorcism that creates more problems and questions than it gives solutions and answers.

Now the thing is angry, and there’s very little that she can do to curb its rage and demands except pray and hope to get her life back on track.

While Rhiannon and Marianne feel their connection to one another deepening, the demon’s hold works its way even deeper into the latter’s mind. What follows is a desperate fight between right and wrong, between light and dark, between letting go and fighting for new salvation.

Bérubé’s writing is intoxicating and draws the readers into a world ripe with emotion, darkness, and hope for a distant, almost impossible-seeming future.

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Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth

Another of the best lesbian horror books with that classic start in a prestigious private school – The Brookhants School for Girls – Plain Bad Heroines starts its story way back in 1902, where it follows the story of two young students named Flo and Clara. 

The only thing the two girls love more than each other is the author of their favorite book, Mary MacLane. They love her so much that they meet an untimely end while sneaking off to a nearby apple orchard with the book in hand. Their deaths are followed by three more in even more mysterious circumstances, and shortly after, Brookhants closes forever under a cloud of shame and mystery.

The tale that follows in the modern age – over one hundred years after the school closed and Flo and Clara’s story was thought forgotten – are one of a young writer named Merrit Emmons and a pair of actresses named Harper Harper and Audrey Wells as they go on to try to recreate the horrible story of what happened at the school so long ago in movie format.

Harper is a lesbian superstar riding at the top of the charts, while Audrey is a burnt-out once-upon-a-time child star, and sheer conflict between the two is enough to place a mark of doubt over the entire project. But when the mystery leaves the script, and real confusion starts to set in, will the trio save themselves, or is history destined to repeat itself over again?

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Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

The strongest step into the world of true high fantasy and sci-fi on this list, Gideon the Ninth is a true sword and sorcery tale of trust and betrayal, orbiting around the dark emperor of an undead kingdom and his necromancers. 

Although immensely powerful conjurers of dark magic, those necromancers cannot push back the tides of opposition alone; thus, they need armed hands to do the dirty work for them. Hands that happen to belong to Gideon – a tough-as-nails undead warrior with a bone to pick with all those who would command her.

Her life and subsequent unlife have been both full to the brim with the preaching of rather unhelpful nuns and other drab, often dead disciples of the emperor, and though she’s had just about enough of all of it, it turns out that she’s the only one who has a hope of protecting the entire Ninth House from destruction by being the cavalier that helps the mighty bone witch Harrowhawk Nonagesimus ascend to immortality.

What first strikes as the usual strain of high fantasy soon turns into a twisted adventure seated on the shoulder of an intensely reluctant warrior, leaving the reader constantly needing more and just as invested in the darkening horizons of the story as Gideon herself is disinterested. 

But can her stubborn pessimism stay strong through to the end, even when her ploy to use Harrow to gain her freedom backfires in a way that she never thought even remotely possible?

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The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould

Bringing a skilled and terrifying narrative that strikes from the places one would least expect, The Dead and the Dark is incredibly candid and grassroots, perfectly showcasing the great potential of first-time author Courtney Gould. Gould’s other works include The Gathering Dark: An Anthology of Folk Horror and an upcoming original book named Where Echoes Die.

After Logan Ortiz-Woodley comes to town with her father in pursuit of more paranormal affairs to include in his popular TV show ParaSpectors, she soon finds that there is more to regret about the move than just having to endure another bout of filming.

People are starting rumors that the disappearance of a boy named Tristan is somehow connected to Logan and her father, and things will heat up quickly if she doesn’t somehow clear their names.

But where to start? Logan’s luck seems destined to strike out until she encounters one Ashley Barton, who was the girlfriend of Tristan before he disappeared.

While their connection starts as one invested in saving ParaSpectors and her father’s reputation, it soon develops into something more when they start seeing Tristan’s ghost and begin working together on solving the mystery of his death once and for all. 

A romantic and mysterious must-read, The Dead and the Dark illustrates the building of an unlikely kinship and a journey under the hanging threat of a danger that cannot be placed or named, watching and preying from the darkest shadows and the most obscure corners. 

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Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall

A literary adventure through creeps and crawls that rings the same tone as the film’s famous The Blair Witch Project and the cult wave it inspired, Rules for Vanishing provides everything that one can expect from a good horror novel and more. Twists and turns well abound, as is a story that grips and pulls the reader through the very bowels of fear and terror. 

It’s been a whole year since Sara’s sister Becca went missing – to run away with her boyfriend, as her parents insist – but she still doesn’t accept that version of the story as the truth. She knows something that they do not – the tale of the game in the Briar Glen Woods, which had fascinated Becca before her sister’s disappearance.

Legend has it that another girl went missing there more than fifty years ago, led away by a mysterious man and never seen again, so why should Sara believe that Becca did not suffer the same fate? 

A great read that tells a compelling, terrifying story, Marshall’s Rules for Vanishing is a tale of going against all unearthly odds, bravery, and love persevering at any cost.

Sara will prove her parents wrong, discover her sister’s true fate, and uncover what the game of Briar Glen Woods is really about. She’s not alone, either – eight of her friends decide that they too want to solve the mystery, and together they brave something that adults have not managed to do for countless decades.

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Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink

Coming on fast and fearless, Alice Isn’t Dead is a story of old pain flaring new and reignited hope, following a lesbian truck driver on her search across the entire span of the country for her wife – long thought to be gone from this world.

Not so long ago, Keisha thought everything she had once cared about was buried and dead. There was nothing new for her in the world, nothing that her work or the people around her could offer, and she had no motivation in life except to move on and live out the rest of her days. 

That was until she started to see her lost Alice – the woman whose funeral and burial she has burned into the depths of her memory – in the background of news reports filmed all across the country.

At first, her mind is filled with doubt. It can’t be – Alice is dead. But she keeps seeing the woman with her face repeatedly, and before long, there is no holding her back from embarking on a journey into the impossible. Maybe Alice isn’t dead after all… though Keisha doesn’t know if she will be ready to hear or understand why she disappeared without saying a word.

Not only is Alice Isn’t Dead a must-read and a New York Bestseller, but its author is also responsible for co-writing ‘It Devours!’ and ‘Welcome to Night Vale’, which have accrued an equally impressive array of awards themselves.

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To Break a Covenant by Alison Ames

Some time ago, a massive disaster made Moon Basin utterly uninhabitable. It has been years since the mine explosion killed sixteen people, but the aftermath truly took the greatest effect. The explosion started a wide range of gas-fueled fires underground, and those fires continued to burn for years – clouding the sky and the ground of the town above it with impenetrable ash.

Things are so bad that the new settlement made to rehome the displaced inhabitants of Moon Basin – New Basin – practically lives off of the disaster’s reputation in the absence of any true industry now that the entire area is unusable for mining. 

But that’s not to say that there isn’t anything good and new amongst the people who call New Basin home, at least when it comes to two girls named Clem and Nina. They were inseparable and so close that they couldn’t imagine life apart.

But change is on the horizon, and not just in the form of the two new girls in their friend group – Lisley and Piper. All four of them have no choice by to investigate an epidemic of sudden hallucinations that have been taking the town by storm.

Although To Break a Covenant is her debut novel, Ames’ work on this novel is superb and truly brings it up to match with the more regular authors of the genre. Perfect for fans of thrillers with strong feminist themes like Sawkill Girls, which we ran over in another list, To Break a Covenant

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