Horror is one of my favorite genres, but I started noticing that I favor certain subgenres in the horror genre. I’m not likely to read a sci-fi horror, considering I don’t enjoy sci-fi. Generally, I also don’t prefer splatterpunk or visceral either. So I wanted to pinpoint exactly which horror subgenres I read the most. Here is what I came up with. I’ll also share a favorite book from each category.
Paranormal horror is my absolute favorite. It has been my favorite for a long time. I have always been on the hunt for new paranormal stories. I could almost do a whole blog post on just this subgenre.
Paranormal is defined as “not scientifically explainable.” That makes this subgenre pretty large. I have so many favorites in this category, but Salem’s Lot by Stephen King came to mind. King is great at paranormal horror.
My love of gothic horror began in high school. I really loved studying it. Gothic horror is a bit hard to define. It is more about the atmospheric writing and sense of foreboding than any other element. There are common themes in gothic horror such as haunted houses, family curses, death, etc. Gothic horror doesn’t usually feature as many jump scares or gore as most horror does. Instead it relies on atmosphere and suspense.
I also love Southern gothic horror. Beloved by Toni Morrison is a great representation of gothic horror.
I really enjoy psychological horror. This subgenre is more subtle. Most of the book is focused on the fear that is building up in the characters mind. Sometimes terror set in the mind is worse than any physical horror.
My first experience with psychological horror was The Silence of the Lambs. It’s been a few years since I’ve read it, but I need to revisit it.
So those are a few of my favorite subgenres. A lot of the subgenres I read overlap, but I know if they include some of these elements I will probably enjoy it. What are a few of your favorite horror subgenres? Are you a sci-fi horror fiend? Or do you love slasher novels? Let me know in the comments.