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20 Nonfiction Horror Books for Every Niche

In putting together the list of upcoming horror release each month, I've noticed that nonfiction books make up the smallest percentage of new genre books. They also seem to be the most low-key releases, with less promotion than novels, novellas, poetry, anthologies, short fiction collections, and graphic novels. So, we've decided to do a nonfiction roundup!

We recognize that this is a very broad area of interest. A nonfiction horror book can be rooted in anything from history to technical craft. It can focus on the genre as a whole, follow the evolution of a particular trope, or delve into the specific myths and legends that have inspired so many classic horror tales. To make sure we've got something for everyone, this list is broke down into four subcategories: craft, literary history, cinematic history, and lore/urban legends.


On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King (Scribner Books)

Where Nightmares Come From: The Art of Storytelling in the Horror Genre edited by Joe Mynhardt & Eugene Johnson (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Writers Workshop of Horror edited by Michael Knost (Woodland Press)

Writing in the Dark by Tim Waggoner (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Writing Poetry in the Dark edited by Stephanie M. Wytovich (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Literary History

Horror: A Literary History edited by Xavier Aldana Reyes (British Library Publishing)

Horror Fiction in the 20th Century: Exploring Literature's Most Chilling Genre by Jess Nevins (Praeger)

Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction by Lisa Kröger & Melanie R. Anderson (Quirk Books)

Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction by Grady Hendrix (Quirk Books)

The Art of Horror: An Illustrated History edited by Stephen Jones (Applause Books)

Cinematic History

Horror 201: The Silver Scream Vol.1 edited by Joe Mynhard & Emma Audsley (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to Present by Robin R. Means Coleman (Routledge)

It Came from the Closet: Queer Reflections on Horror edited by Joe Vallese (The Feminist Press)

Universal Studios Monsters: A Legacy of Horror by Michael Mallory (Universe Publishing)

Women Make Horror: Filmmaking, Feminism, Genre edited by Alison Peirse (Rutgers University Press)

Lore and Urban Legends

Cursed Objects: Strange but True Stories of the World's Most Infamous Items by J.W. Ocker (Quirk Books)

Eaters of the Dead: Myths and Realities of Cannibal Monsters by Kevin J. Wetmore Jr. (Reaktion Books)

Encyclopedia of Urban Legends by Jan Harold Brunvand (W.W. Norton Company)

Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey (Viking)

The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures by Aaron Mahnke (Del Rey Books)

Have a favorite nonfiction horror book? Share it in the comments.

[Image Credit: stock photo by Ahmed Adly via Pexels]

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