17 Best Scary Books For Teens

Horror is an ever-trending genre that continues to entertain and terrify teenagers and adults alike.

For teens, scary books mean spooky adventures that guarantee a thrilling/chilling experience. The creepy characters and element of suspense can have a strong influence on young adults, so much so that some might have nightmares where they find themselves battling the same scary characters.

And yet, they continue to read or watch something scary. If your teen loves reading scary stories, then this MomJunction post with a list of the best scary books for teens is just what you need.

17 Best Scary Books For Teenagers

1. Carrie

Carrie a

Author: Stephen King

The story is about Carrie White, a teenage girl and a victim of bullying at school, who discovers that she has telekinetic powers. She does not have any friends and is mostly alone in school or at home, which gives her enough time to explore her powers. Carrie tries to act normal until an unexpected event forces her to use the powers to take revenge on her bullying classmates. This is a fictional story and one of the best horror books for teens.

2. Dread Nation

Dread Nation

Author: Justina Ireland

The story is about Jane McKeen, a teenager living in militant America, where she is undergoing combat training to protect African American and Native American children from zombie attacks. As the dead begin to rise on the battlefields of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, Jane is left with no choice but to fight the zombies on her own while the African American soldiers are forced to get into the war to protect the natives.

3. Rot And Ruin

Rot And Ruin

Author: Jonathan Maberry

The story is set in the post-apocalyptic American era. A boy named Benny Imura is in search of a job that he needs to support his family. His older brother, Tom, works as a zombie hunter. Benny is reluctant to take up the same job but has no other choice. His job as a zombie hunter teaches him what it means to be a human. This teen thriller book will keep your teenagers engrossed until the end.

4. Frankenstein: Or The Modern Prometheus


Author: Mary W. Shelley

The story is about Dr. Victor Frankenstein, a scientist and a genius in natural sciences. Through his research, he discovers that electricity can resurrect the dead and creates a monster assembled using parts of dead bodies. The result turns out to be disastrous as the creature begins to kill Victor’s family and his loved ones one after the other. Finding out how it turns back on Victor, his creator, is a thrilling surprise for the readers.

5. A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls

Author: Patrick Ness

Conor O’Malley is a thirteen-year-old boy who wakes up every day at exactly seven minutes past midnight to find a monster at his bedroom window. The monster visits him for three nights and tells him one real story each night. After the monster narrates his stories, it is Conor’s turn to narrate a real-life story. If the story is not real, then the monster will eat away Conor. This horror fiction is one among the good scary books for teens.

6. Dracula


Author: Bram Stoker

The story revolves around a young English lawyer named Jonathan Harker, who goes to Transylvania to meet a client named Count Dracula. Harker feels that something is amiss about Dracula and soon realizes that his client is a vampire and is going to make him his next victim. He seeks help from a vampire hunter called Dr. Van Helsing and embarks on a journey to destroy the vampire forever.

7. We Have Always Lived In The Castle

We Have Always Lived In The Castle

Author: Shirley Jackson

The story is about eighteen-year-old Mary Katherine, also known as Merricat, and her older sister Constance. The two girls live with their uncle Julian, who is bedridden due to arsenic poisoning, which has killed the rest of the family of Merricat. The story seals the suspense till the end before disclosing the actual murderer behind the entire family’s murder and the reason behind the crime.

8. Asylum


Author: Madeleine Roux

Sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford is spending his summer attending the New Hampshire College Prep program. During this time he befriends Abby and Jordan, and the trio embarks on a journey to unlock the secret of a mental asylum in Brookline. As they go digging deeper, strange truths are revealed. The suspense and the mystery keep the reader hooked on till the end of the book.

9. The Telling

The Telling

Author: Alexandra Sirowy

Life was peaceful for Lana and her brother Ben at their woodland island home, at least until the day he dies. After Ben’s death, Lana starts to remember the childhood stories that Ben had narrated to her. Soon, life has some new twists in store for her. A series of murders start taking place in her town, and when analyzing them, she finds that they are similar to the stories told by Ben. The story is filled with horror and terrorizing scenes that might be liked by horror story fans.

10. Chain Letter

Chain Letter

Author: Christopher Pike

A group of seven teens gets a threatening letter that demands them to reveal their one sinful night. If they don’t, then they may have to face horrifying consequences. As the first round of the game starts, one among the teens named Neil is killed. This forces the others in the group to find the person who is behind the crime. This thrilling suspense story makes a good scary read for the teens.

11. The Girl From The Well

The Girl from the Well

Author: Rin Chupeco

Okiku’s spirit has been wandering around the world for centuries, freeing the spirits of the murdered ones. She herself is a victim of a heinous crime and is all set to take vengeance on the people who are killing the innocent souls. She drifts on until she finds Tark, who she believes is not a monster and needs to be released from his malevolence.

12. House Of Furies

House Of Furies

Author: Madeleine Roux

Seventeen-year-old Louisa escapes her school and finds a job as a maid at a boarding house owned by Mr. Morningside. At Coldthistle House, she finds her master and the rest of the staff mysterious as they offer their guests with more than a lodging. She fears for the life of a young man named Lee and wants to get him out of the place. But who can she trust to help execute her plan? This creepy fantasy story is an excellent read for teens who love experimenting with horror fiction.

13. Shutter


Author: Courtney Alameda

The story revolves around a girl named Micheline Helsing, who is the last descendant of the Van Helsing lineage. Since her childhood, she was being trained to fight monsters that are both spiritual and corporeal. The only weapons that she uses to combat these monsters include bullets and an analog, SLR camera. The corporeal’s go down by gunshots, whereas the spirituals one’s energy can be captured only through the camera film.

Shutter is an excellent book for teens who love spine-chilling scary stories.

14. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Jekyll and Mr Hyde


The story is about Dr. Jekyll, a genius who develops a potion that transforms him into a person with beast-like behavior, revealing his dark side. He aims to prove to the world that a person has both a good side and an evil side. But, his experiment results in horrific consequences, and by the time he realizes it, it is too late.

15. The Hallowed Ones

The Hallowed Ones

Author: Laura Bickle

Katie is enjoying and experiencing her freedom before entering the Amish life. However, her destiny takes a turn following some mysterious events. A helicopter that crashes into the cornfield brings unrest, spreading rumors that something from the outside is killing the people. During this period, Katie decides to bring a stranger into her community against all the rules, leading to a number of horrifying consequences. The Hallowed Ones is a perfect read for teen horror fans.

16. Dreamfall


Author: Amy Plum

A group of seven teens dealing with insomnia issues is made subjects for a study of the treatment for sleep disorders. As the test begins, a small earthquake causes malfunctioning of the equipment and puts the teens into a coma. In the dream world, they confront their terrifying nightmares and need to find a way out of the dream world without being killed.

17. The Summoning


Author: Hillary Monahan

The story is about four teenaged girls named Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna who try summoning the Bloody Mary Worth. They must link their hands firmly, follow the rules and should never let go. But, the summoning circle breaks and Bloody Mary slips through the glass to take revenge.

This instance tears apart their friendship and lives forever. Shauna finds the horrifying clues that uncover Mary Worth’s legacy, but will they be able to save them from Mary? A haunting story that keeps a horror lover hooked till the end.

The new genre of horror stories is more intense than classic horror stories. These stories are for the teens who dare to devour the evil. If there is any other teen scary book that you think can be of a great read, share it with us in the comment section below.

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Wedetso Chirhah

Wedetso Chirhah holds a masters degree in English Literature. He had written content for more than 15 B2B websites and edited school books before joining MomJunction as an editor. Wedetso ensures the articles meet the highest editorial standards. He enjoys making content understandable and relatable to readers, and he is a big fan of the versatile em dash. He also... more