best horror graphic novels 10 of the Best Horror Graphic Novels to Keep You Up at Night

Here’s a list of the best horror graphic novels to get started on your horror comics fix. It spans through all-time favorite horror authors and illustrators, with no shortage of gore and body horror.

As a horror tales devourer, I find there’s no other media comparable to comic books when it comes to give me the chills.

Only in horror graphic novels are suspenseful writing and striking drawing perfectly paired to plunge even unaware readers into an abysmally immersive experience.

To get hooked on a terrifying story while the worst nightmares literally materialize before your eyes makes for an uncannily thrilling read. And an addictive one.

If you like also creepy crossovers with sci-fi, fantasy or psycho bents, check out our list “Best Dark Graphic Novels”.

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10 of the Best Horror Graphic Novels to Keep You Up at Night

best horror graphic novels

1. Edgar Allan Poe’s Spirits of the Dead

by Richard Corben

Horror art guru Richard Corben is the legendary illustrator behind two of the most beloved arcs in the history of horror comic series: Hellblazer: Hard Time by Brian Azzarello and Hellboy: The Crooked Man by Mike Mignola.

His grotesque, macabre and shadily tinted figures make this adaptation of Poe’s tales unsurpassed, comparable only to the collectible illustrations painted by another horror genius, Bernie Wrightson.

2. From Hell

by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell

Comics seminal author Alan Moore creates his masterpiece in this ambitious crime epic about the most infamous serial killer of all time, Jack the Ripper.

Outstandingly illustrated by Campbell’s rugged and edgy black and white scratches, the dense 500+ pages tome is a lyrical yet morbid, multi-layered and harrowing immersion into the darkest fringes of Victorian age.

3. Black Hole

by Charles Burns  

This deeply unnerving, surreal slow-burn horror take us in the middle of 70’s Seattle. A sexually transmitted plague that is devastating local youth becomes the metaphor for teenagerhood, that black hole of alienation, depravity and loss that everyone has to penetrate in order to be adult.

Burns’ starkly sculptured black and white images relentlessly juxtapose light and darkness, sex and violence, Freudian suggestions and suburban landscapes, creating a grim forest of symbols that never ends to unfold its meanings.

4. Uzumaki

by Junji Ito

Shockingly creepy Uzumaki is considered the finest achievement of the undiscussed master of horror manga Junji Ito.

Telling in multiple bloodcurdling variations how the inhabitants of a sleepy coastal town become obsessed with spirals, the gripping, bizarre narrative overflows with ferociously gruesome Cronenberg-worth body horror.

If horror manga is your thing, you can’t miss another classic: The Drifting Classroom by Kazuo Umezz.

5. 30 Days of Night

by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith

What if a violent vamps’ horde was to attack during the perpetual darkness of a month-long artic night?

The ultimate tale on vampires set up in the unforgiving Alaskan winter, masterfully depicted by Templesmith’s pluri-awarded impressionistic pencil.

His unique style of obscure, blurred, washed out strokes gleaming with gory splashes of color conveys the most dreadful picture ever painted of the immortal creatures of the night.

6. Severed

by Scott Snyder & Scott Tuft and Attila Futaki

A spine-chilling thriller narrating the twisted encounter between a 12-years-old orphan in search of his father and a paranormal cannibal boogeyman.

The captivating writing fluidly builds up on frightening twists of intense tension, cinematically backdropped by the vividly portrayed nostalgic scenery of Depression-era America.

If you like best-selling author Scott Snyder, his equally scary graphic novel Wytches is worth checking, stand alone for the stunning artwork by Jock and Matt Hollingsworth’s distressing coloring effects.

7. Rover Red Charlie

by Garth Ennis and Michael Dipascale

Acclaimed horror author Garth Ennis takes a much needed breath with this experimental spinoff of his over-the-top series Crossed, that had terrorized us with an excruciating tour the force of rape, torture and gratuitous violence.

Rover Red Charlie is an original take on post-apocalyptic mass-extinction scenario, this time experienced from the eyes of three dogs that, having befriended, try to make sense of the human mess.

Dipascale’s clean and linear traits bring to life the very canine characters of the three protagonists, neatly wrapping up a storyline both violent and emotive, tragic and hilarious, entertaining and mind-provoking.

8. Death Follows

by Cullen Bunn and A.C. Zamudio  

In this horrifying standalone graphic novel, Southern Gothic superstar writer Cullen Bunn proves again how the real dread comes, rather than from sinister supernatural forces, from hideous human instincts.

Unnerving twists are echoed by Zamudio brothers’ dynamic figures and subdued hues, converging in a shocking hell of an ending.

If you want to ride the surge in popularity of rural horror comics, look no further than Bunn’s series Harrow County, enriched by Tyler Crook’s gorgeous watercolor pictures.  

9. House of Penance

by Peter J. Tomasi, Ian Bertram and Dave Stewart

A macabre fictional account about the construction of the Winchester mystery house, actually built by the Winchester Firearms widowed heiress as an attempt to escape the curse she believed the grief caused by her family business had cast over her life.

Beside the intriguing dark facts, Ian Bertram’s eye-catching artwork terrifically stands out, with Escher-like architectonic hallucinations and gory splash panels that are downright nightmarish.

10. The Low, Low Woods

by Carmen Maria Machado and DaNi

Haunting coming-to-age story revolving around the friendship of two queer young girls of color.

As they investigate the mysterious loss of memory that affects their town’s women, a psychologically nuanced subplot is unraveled embracing significant themes of acceptance, gender relationships, consent and abuse.

DaNi’s undefined rendering and dark palette greatly contribute to the sinister atmosphere that eerily lingers under your skin long after turning the last page.

More Graphic Novels?

What are the Best Horror Graphic Novels?

1. Edgar Allan Poe’s Spirits of the Dead
2. From Hell
3. Black Hole
4. Uzumaki
5. 30 Days of Night
6. Severed
7. Rover Red Charlie
8. Death Follows
9. House of Penance
10. The Low, Low Woods

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