5 Horror Graphic Novels to Keep You Up at Night

Graphic novels have been a passion of mine for quite some time, and I especially find enjoyment in horror graphic novels. The graphics in these works of horror add a special element to the reading experience, and I’ve found that they stick with you long after you finish them. However, much like traditional horror novels, horror graphic novels are harder to find and discover.

Horror as a genre in the literary world is sometimes seen as underground, and apart from Stephen King and Dean Koontz, these novels are rarely given much publicity. This is incredibly unfortunate, because there are so many great horror authors and books to discover. However, I hope that my recommendations will help you to discover some of these works of art for yourself.

Just be aware that horror graphic novels can oftentimes be nightmare inducing due to the art that accompanies the stories, so their spooky level often tends to be quite high. However, go into each read with caution and decide for yourself that which you can handle. I hope you enjoy my top 5 picks!

Uzumaki by Junji Ito

Spooky Rating

5/5

A masterpiece of horror manga, now available in a deluxe hardcover edition!

Kurouzu-cho, a small fogbound town on the coast of Japan, is cursed. According to Shuichi Saito, the withdrawn boyfriend of teenager Kirie Goshima, their town is haunted not by a person or being but a pattern: UZUMAKI, the spiral—the hypnotic secret shape of the world. The bizarre masterpiece horror manga is now available all in a single volume. Fall into a whirlpool of terror!

Amazon Synopsis

Junji Ito is a horror master, and his masterpiece Uzumaki still haunts me. The beauty of this graphic novel is that Ito did the story and the art himself. While the illustrations are simple and in black and white, they get under your skin, and are hard to forget once finishing this masterpiece. Some examples of the illustrations are below. I gave this graphic novel a spooky rating of 5/5 because it is just that scary, so go into it with caution!

Wytches by Scott Snyder and Jock

Spooky Rating

5/5

“It’s fabulous. A triumph.” –Stephen King

“Dark and brutal… Wytches are like nothing horror fans have ever seen” –USA Today

Everything you thought you knew about witches is wrong. They are much darker, and they are much more horrifying. Wytches takes the mythology of witches to a far creepier, bone-chilling place than readers have dared venture before.

When the Rooks family moves to the remote town of Litchfield, NH to escape a haunting trauma, they’re hopeful about starting over. But something evil is waiting for them in the woods just beyond town. Watching from the trees. Ancient…and hungry. Collects Wytches #1-6.

“The most terrifying comic you’ve ever read.” –MTV News

“Dark and brutal… Wytches are like nothing horror fans have ever seen” –USA Today

“Very, very scary… Much like the works of Mary Shelley and the other writers of the Villa Diodati…” –Paste Magazine

“Snyder has tackled horror before, but Wytches sets out to be an entirely new level of scary.” -Complex Magazine

“An awesome and at times terrifying tale.” -IGN

Amazon Synopsis

Wytches is a dark and grotesquely beautiful graphic novel. It introduces readers to a new take on the witch, and its illustrations are almost surreal. The colors used are dreamlike, and I found that they completely absorbed me as I continued to read. The beauty of Wytches is how effortlessly the horror elements weave themselves within your psyche and swallow you whole. This graphic novel creates a new reading experience all its own.

The Sandman by Neil Gaiman

Spooky Rating

3/5

One of the most popular and critically acclaimed graphic novels of all time, Neil Gaiman’s award-winning masterpiece The Sandman set the standard for mature, lyrical fantasy in the modern comics era. Illustrated by an exemplary selection of the medium’s most gifted artists, the series is a rich blend of modern and ancient mythology in which contemporary fiction, historical drama, and legend are seamlessly interwoven.

The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes 30th Anniversary Edition collects issues #1-8 of the original run of The Sandman, beginning an epic saga unique in graphic literature and introducing readers to a dark and enchanting world of dreams and nightmares–the home of Morpheus, the King of Dreams, and his kin, the Endless.

Amazon Synopsis

While The Sandman by Neil Gaiman is seen more as a dark fantasy, it does have horror elements that create a rather eerie reading experience. I especially enjoy the mythological elements that serve the story, and how classic the artwork is. The Sandman is essential reading for any graphic novel enthusiast, and I am sure that you will fall in love with it as soon as you pick it up.

The Dollhouse Family by M.R. Carey and Peter Gross

Spooky Rating

5/5

What secrets does the dollhouse hold?

On Alice’s sixth birthday, she got the gift she didn’t know she always wanted: a big, beautiful 19th- century dollhouse, complete with a family of antique dolls. In no time at all, the dollhouse isn’t just Alice’s favorite toy…it’s her whole world. And soon young Alice learns she can magically enter the house to visit a new group of friends, straight out of a heartwarming children’s novel: the Dollhouse family.

But in the real world, her family life is much darker…and deep within the Dollhouse’s twisting halls, the Black Room waits, with an offer to Alice. The house can fix all this, the room says. All she has to do is say the words…

From writer M.R. Carey (The Girl with All the GiftsLucifer) comes The Dollhouse Family, from the smash-hit lineup of the Hill House Comics library. Featuring riveting artwork by Peter Gross (The Books of Magic) and Vince Locke (A History of Violence), this chilling collection features The Dollhouse Family #1-6.

Amazon Synopsis

Okay, so this graphic novel is probably my favorite out of all of the horror graphic novels I have featured thus far. l am extremely into dollhouses and dolls in horror stories, so I found that The Dollhouse Family was right down my alley. While it has classic horror elements, such as a creepy dollhouse, the story is unique in that it involves family drama as well. The story is one of a kind, and it is sure to put you on edge. The art itself is classic, but it also involves actual photos of disturbed dolls that add to the eeriness of the story. Pick this one up, you won’t be disappointed!

Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

Spooky Rating

3/5

Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers.

Amazon Synopsis

Monstress is a tremendous work of art that genre-bends between fantasy, science fiction, and horror. The art is unique in that it is art deco style and comes off as peaceful, even though many of the images are dark and eerie. The story itself is haunting, and the horror elements tend to grab you out of nowhere and take hold of your nerves. This is a great graphic novel to start out with if you are interested in horror but aren’t sure you want to dive deep into the more extreme novels. Monstress is haunting, but not nearly as dark as some of the other novels I’ve featured in this post.

There are so many great horror graphic novels out there, and these five that I have featured are only the beginning. I hope that you try some of them out and have as great of a reading experience as I have had when I first read them. If you are a fan of any horror graphic novels that I have not mentioned in this post, leave a comment with your suggestions! I love exploring more horror graphic novels myself, and I am always up for recommendations.

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