Queer Fear: LGBTQIA+ Horror Fiction

Explore haunted houses, meet the bloodsucking undead, and revisit twisted folktales in these terrifying books featuring LGBTQIA+ protagonists. If horror fiction preys on a reader’s fears and anxieties, then queer horror subverts the genre’s conventions and challenges notions of who is considered monstrous.

Compiled by:
Jack K.

Sarah Waters
Adult Fiction - Waters

Waters is queen of the haunting, lesbian Gothic novel. In Victorian London, Margaret Prior meets medium Selina Dawes who is imprisoned after a botched séance, and together, they plan to break her free.


Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Adult Fiction - Lefanu

Preceding the publication of Dracula by 25 years, this epistolary Gothic novel features the lesbian relationship between vampire Carmilla and her lonely friend Laura. See the brilliant introduction by Carmen Maria Machado for context on this seminal work.

Drawing Blood

Poppy Z. Brite
Adult Fiction - Brite

Trevor McGee returns to the house where his mother and brother were killed 20 years earlier, confronting the demons of his past alongside his new lover. A disturbing twist on the haunted house tale that will satisfy any lover of the paranormal.

The Gilda Stories

Jewelle Gomez
Adult Fiction - Gomez

Described as a foremother of Afro-futurism, Gomez expands the canon of vampire mythology in this classic of lesbian and feminist fiction. The Gilda Stories follows a girl who finds community and kinship in a vampiric family after she escapes enslavement in the 1850s. For fans of Octavia Butler.

Her Body and Other Parties: Stories

Carmen Maria Machado
Adult Fiction - Machado

Machado blends fairy tale, magical realism, and speculative fiction in this story collection exploring the horrors of embodiment and gendered violence. A finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction.

Let the Right One In

John Ajvide Lindqvist
Adult Fiction - Ajvidel

In the lonely suburbs of 1980s Stockholm, Oskar is a 12-year-old boy who meets another child, Eli—a vampire feeding on the blood of their neighbors. Lindqvist presents their tender friendship in vivid contrast to the desperate environment in this truly scary horror story.


Gretchen Felker-Martin
Adult Fiction - Felkerm

A grotesque post-apocalyptic novel about the survival of trans and non-binary people. Beth and Fran spend their days hunting feral men and harvesting their organs in a gruesome effort to ensure they'll never face the same fate. Carmen Maria Machado calls it "a modern horror masterpiece."

The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror

Daniel Mallory Ortberg
Adult Fiction - Ortberg

Ortberg revisits classic fairy tales with a queer feminist twist, blurring the lines between disturbing and absurd. For fans of Shirley Jackson.

The Monster of Elendhaven

Jennifer Giesbrecht
SF - Giesbre

A thing shaped like a man, though without a name, stalks the city of Elendhaven. His frail master sends him out on errands, twisting him with magic and crafting a plan too cruel to name. Joe Hill calls it "a black tide of perversity, violence, and lush writing." A finalist for the 2019 Shirley Jackson Award.


Rivers Solomon
Adult Fiction - Solomon

After escaping a religious separatist community, Vern gives birth to twins and plans to raise them in the wilderness, but someone, or something is hunting her. This genre-bending work of Gothic fiction follows Vern as her body is wracked by inexplicable and uncanny changes. The Stonewall Book Award Winner of 2022.

Summer Sons

Lee Mandelo
SF - Mandelo

Whirling between a backstabbing academic world and a dangerous nightlife of fast cars and hot boys, Andrew searches for the truth about his best friend Eddie’s death. This is a haunting, southern gothic novel for fans of romance and a good mystery.

White is for Witching

Helen Oyeyemi
Adult Fiction - Oyeyemi

This neo-gothic horror novel follows a girl with a disorder that compels her to eat foreign objects. For fans of Toni Morisson and Haruki Murakami. The winner of the Somerset Maugham Award.


Jordan L. Hawk
Adult Fiction - Hawk

A creepy paranormal romance between shy scholar Percival Whyborne and a dashing private investigator of the occult, Griffin Flaherty, who team up to stop a Lovecraftian cult terrorizing a Victorian-era New England town.