From Netflix’s Mindhunter and The Haunting of Hill House to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and Stephen King’s Misery, many of us love to settle in for a good horror or thriller story. However, our reasons for liking these genres tend to depend on how we want the stories to make us feel.

Horror intends to disturb or frighten us, casting a creepy and unsettling atmosphere over the setting and its characters. Thrillers do exactly what they say on the tin – they “thrill” us, usually with the clever use of red herrings, plot twists, and unreliable narrators.

In an article for Medium, Brian Rowe establishes the main difference between these genres:

“While horror fiction often upends the world as we know it, rejecting normal conventions… the thriller presents the world as we all know it and understand it.”

You might be surprised to learn then that horror and thriller can and do overlap! Both genres aim to keep audiences in suspense and on the edge of their seats. While thrillers might not employ the use of gore or scares like horror, horror thrillers can utilize storytelling elements like psychological narratives, serial killers, or stalking.

More than that, at the core of these stories is our craving to explore the unknown: to see what our protagonist will do once confronted with danger, if and how they will succeed in the end, all while observing from a safe distance. We’re just as curious about the unknown as we are afraid of it.

If you’re looking for something new to pick up after your last TV binge session, look no further. Now you can experience spine-tingling audiobooks that blend horror and thriller to give you the perfect heart-pounding journey that will stay with you long after the narration has ended.

 

Delicate Condition

Written by Danielle Valentine, narrated by Hillary Huber

American Horror Story fans rejoice! Delicate Condition is the inspiration behind AHS’s season 12. By turns infuriating and propulsive, this thriller “that’s guaranteed to have everyone talking” (Leah Konen, author of You Should Have Told Me) will keep you glued to your earbuds devouring this story until the last second.

The Push meets The Silent Patient in this thriller which follows a woman convinced a sinister figure is going to great lengths to make sure her pregnancy never happens.

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Disturbance

Written by Jenna Clake, narrated by Catrin Walker-Booth

If you’re a fan favorite of “unreliable narrators” then run to this audiobook! This genre bending novel twists witchcraft and horror into a powerful narrative of one woman’s struggle to return to herself in the fallout of abuse, leaving the narrator unable to even trust her own memories.

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Everything the Darkness Eats

Written by Eric LaRocca, narrated by André Santana

After his viral breakout hit and Booktok sensation, Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke, Eric LaRocca became an overnight sensation in horror fiction. And for a good reason! With strong writing that pulls on all types of emotions, this horror novel will sure to have you hooked from the prologue. (No, really – we can attest to this!)

An insidious darkness threatens to devastate a rural New England village when occult forces are conjured and when bigotry is left unrestrained.

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Games for Dead Girls

Written by Jen Williams, narrated by Mhairi Morrison

This haunting novel told in alternating timelines features a ritualistic game that turns deadly for two young girls.

This audiobook is a must-listen for any readers who love when it isn’t always clear where the supernatural ends and the real human monstrosities begin.

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The Sight

Written by Melanie Golding, narrated by Ella Lynch

If “A fairy tale–tinged thriller” (Kirkus Reviews) doesn’t already have you running to add this to your TBR, then we don’t know what will. As readers have come to expect from Melanie Golding, her newest novel features her signature blend of psychological suspense and folkloric horror.

Perfect for fans of Stranger Things, this carnival-set thriller features a protagonist with a “gift”: the ability to see when and how people will die.

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The Woods are Waiting

Written by Katherine Greene, narrated by Angie Hickman

Readers looking for creepy, small town mysteries (+ Appalachian folklore) will find much to love in this twisted tale, perfect for fans of T. Kingfisher and Lisa Jewell.

This thriller is a dark descent into the sinister traditions and customs of a small town in the Appalachian foothills. And no superstition will prepare friends Cheyenne and Natalie for the macabre truth that awaits them.

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