Horror has a tough job in the light novel world. Unlike a manga or anime, the author must somehow paint a terrifying picture with the use of only just words. However, because that task is so daunting when an author somehow accomplishes this feat, their work becomes some of the best examples of how to do a horror filled tale. Maybe you’re struggling to find a good horror light novel, well don’t worry we here at Honey’s Anime are on the job. Facing our fears, we have compiled a horrifying list of light novels for you to read. Today we look at the Top 10 Horror Light Novels.
With our top 10 Horror Light Novels list, we made sure to get a slew of different titles ranging from vampires to curses abound. For a horror story to truly give impact and fear to the reader, it must contain elements of intrigue. We had to really deal with some long nights with the lights on so we hope you’ll enjoy this list. Thus are you prepared to enter some nightmarish tales? If your answer was a yes, then we say brave soul venture forth into the first of our recommendations.
10. Goth: A Novel of Horror
- Authors: Otsuichi
- Genre: Thriller, Horror
- Volumes: 1 (2 in JP)
- Published Date: 2002
Containing six stories of horror, got focuses on two high school students. Yoru Morino and a young boy share a love for all things horror, especially murders. While at first the two friends just read about murders that take place, it quickly begins stories that link the two together. Originally Goth was split into two individual volumes in Japan but was released as one volume for the American audience. Goth: A Novel of Horror will take your mind and bring you into a dark realm of horror and intrigue.
Goth: A Novel of Horror is truly the best way to start our list. What’s really unique about this short light novel series, is that it separated into several stories that have an interlinking concept. Each of the stories is interesting and truly allows Goth: A Novel of Horror to never get tedious or dull. We here at Honey’s Anime give a lot of credit to Otsuichi, to make such a great horror story that scares with a mix of real life themes and deep storytelling. Truly if you haven’t read Goth: A Novel of Horror than you’re missing out on a great work of horror literature.
9. Dark Wars: The Tale of Meiji Dracula
- Authors: Kikuchi, Hideyuki- Terada, Katsuya
- Genre: Action, Drama, Fantasy, Historical, Samurai, Vampire
- Volumes: 1
- Published Date: Jan, 2009
Everyone has heard of the legendary vampire known as Dracula. However, prepare to hear a new version of Dracula that takes place in the land of the rising sun. Taking place in the year 1880, we follow a tale of a young man named Daigo, well known for being a master swordsman. Dagio has never lost a fight and he seeks a challenge. Then one night, a strange man appears who may bring the challenge Daigo wants…
Let’s be honest, the concept of Dracula fighting a samurai just seems really cool. Dark Wars: The Tale of Meiji Dracula is not only a dark horror story, it’s also filled with some wicked action that really bursts off the pages thanks to the tag team of Kikuchi, Hideyuki and Terada Katsuya. While it may be only one volume, the whole story doesn’t feel rushed and flows quite nicely. Daigo’s wish for a true challenger may have come too true. If you want to see how a swordsman can handle Dracula, then you’ll have to give Dark Wars: The Tale of Meiji Dracula a read.
8. Shingeki no Kyojin: Before the Fall (Attack on Titan: Before the Fall)
- Authors: Shibamoto, Thores- Suzukaze, Ryou
- Genre: Action, Mystery, Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Supernatural
- Volumes: 3
- Published Date: Dec, 2011- Jun, 2012
You’ve seen the anime and read the manga so far. You know how humanity is fighting back against the Titans and what gear they use. Shingeki no Kyojin: Before the Fall tells the untold story of how humanity begins their desperate struggle to avoid complete extinction. Telling of two stories, the first focuses on a young inventor named Aaltonen Angel as he develops the weapons that would become humanity’s main tool to killing titans. The second tale talks of Kuklo who was found alive inside a Titan’s mouth. These two stories begin before the series proper and aim to give more lore of the past.
We here at Honey’s Anime are huge fans of Shingeki no Kyojin. That’s why we thoroughly enjoyed Shingeki no Kyojin: Before the Fall as it provides plenty of backstory that will be a treat to fans of the series. Author Suzukaze Ryou alongside illustrator Shibamoto Thores do an incredible job of telling two interesting stories in this 3 volume light novel series. Fans all know of the horror the Titan menace provides and the struggle humans have to live through dealing with their own weakness. The horror of Shingeki no Kyojin: Before the Fall will excite you as well as horrify you as you see the beginning of the Shingeki no Kyojin world.
- Authors: Coda, Gakuto- Midorigawa, Shin
- Genre: Horror
- Volumes: 13
- Published Date: Jun, 2001- Jun, 2005
Why did Kyoichi Utsume disappear? Kyoichi known as “His Majesty, Lord of Darkness” is to the club members an odd amalgam of intrigue and mystery. Then one day during club, Kyoichi suddenly vanishes in front of the literature club. The members decide to see if they can solve this horrific event and they turn to look at their only clue in the form of Ayame. However, are these students ready to deal with what could be a true horror story?
Missing by author Coda Gakuto and artisit Midorigawa Shin is an interesting horror story filled with mystery elements. Readers will love the constant theories and stories told by the students as they try to solve the case of why Kyoichi just vanished in the way he did. We ourselves were honestly gripping the pages of this novel with terror and anticipation to see where the story would go next. Missing gained so much popularity in Japan there is also a manga available to read as well. Though we recommend the novel as it’s an impressive feat accomplished by Coda and Midorigawa to create fear with words and a few images.
- Authors: Ikehata, Ryou- Hashii, Chizu
- Genre: Adventure, Supernatural, Horror
- Volumes: 4
- Published Date: Apr, 2006- Apr, 2007
Taking place after the anime series of the same name, Blood+ the light novel series focuses on telling an expanded story not seen in the anime. Once again we’re throw into the shoes of Otonashi Saya as she fights to defeat the vampires and evil entities that plague her. The light novels focus in particular on the fight against the chiropterans in particular. Broken into 4 volumes, see Saya’s struggle in a deeper form. The horrific battle that plays behind the scenes of the average man continues on…
Blood+ has been a very popular series of action, supernatural and horror elements. Having not only a popular anime it has also had a movie adaptation as well, so it’s no surprise we get a light novel adaptation as well. Thanks to some amazing use of wordplay, Blood+ is truly a fun and horrific read. We do advise to delve into the anime first for maximum enjoyment. However, once you have done so, you’ll truly want to pick up the Blood+ light novels.
- Authors: Itou, Noizi- Ayatsuji, Yukito
- Genre: Mystery, Horror, Thriller
- Volumes: 2
- Published Date: Oct, 2009
Every school has a rumor or two. Usually these are simple horror stories that really aren’t based on any form of reality. However, for the third year class of Yomiyama Middle School, their particular rumor is anything but bogus. When a young girl named Misaki died 26 years ago, it was said the class could continue to see her. However, every few years a new class would run into an issue where one student would exceed the class limits and if they were not ignored then the class would have multiple deaths befall it. Now for young Sakakibara Kouichi, he just so happens to be in a year with not only an extra student but also a girl named Misaki Mei…
Another has to be one of our favorite horror light novels ever. Spawning not only an anime but a new novel that tells of a side story, it should be no surprise that Another was well recognized as a great horror story. Ayatsuji Yukito does a great job of making a gruesome horror story with death and mystery around every page. Alongside Ayatsuji’s great narrative is Itou Noizi’s excellent art style to help compel the reader with some simple images to drive home the horror. While in Japan this light novel series is two volumes, you can purchase it in America as one whole volume. We here at Honey’s Anime can’t recommend Another enough honestly, you need to read this story.
4. Vampire Hunter D
- Authors: Kikuchi, Hideyuki- Amano, Yoshitaka
- Genre: Demons, Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, Vampire
- Volumes: 44
- Published Date: 2005- Present
Before the anime, Vampire Hunter D was told in a light novel form. Humanity is facing non-stop pain from a race of vampires known as the Nobility. Most large cities are now gone or ruled by the vampire race leaving humans to congregating in small settlements. Despite being so far into the country, people still worry about vampires and werewolves attacking and with no means of defense it seems as humanity will soon fall into extinction. However, there exists one means of salvation in the form of a half breed simply named D…
If you love vampire horror stories then we’re sure you’ve come across Vampire Hunter D as an anime series. However, most don’t know that this series started off as a light novel series that still continues to be released currently boasting nearly 50 volumes. The light novels do an incredible job of talking about D in more detail as well as providing plenty of stories of D fighting against the endless vampire horde. Each volume is just a true testament of what a great writer such as Kikuchi Hideyuki can accomplish. Adding to the allure is illustrator Amano Yoshitaka who creates such impressive art. Vampire Hunter D is a long running light novel series for a reason folks, and you’ll understand when you read the first light novel and then find yourself desiring more.
3. Shinrei Tantei Yakumo
- Authors: Kaminaga, Manabu- Suzuki, Yasushi- Katou, Akatsuki
- Genre: Mystery, Horror, Super Powers, Supernatural
- Volumes: 10
- Published Date: 2004- Present
Saitou Yakumo wasn’t born with normal eyes. Saitou’s red left eye lets him see various paranormal beings such as ghosts. Saitou is a strong believer that ghosts exist because they haven’t found fulfillment in life, something has caused them to linger in the human world. One day Saitou is approached by Ozawa Haruka who asks him for help in an investigation that Saitou seems geared towards. Thus begins Saitou’s journey into saving those who are trapped and are unable to move on to the afterlife.
A horror light novel list wouldn’t be complete without ghosts and ghost stories. Shinrei Tantei Yakumo by Kaminaga Manabu is the ultimate slew of ghost stories that will fill you with a little bit of horror and plenty of mystery. While this series continues still, so far each volume has brought us much entertainment thanks to some great stories of the various people Saitou saves in the series. Shinrei Tantei Yakumo also became a well-received anime series in 2010 just showing Kaminaga’s work is indeed really good. Horror and mystery combine in easily one of the best light novel series ever.
2. Boogiepop Series
- Authors: Kadono, Kouhei- Ogata, Kouji
- Genre: Mystery, Horror, Psychological
- Volumes: 15
- Published Date: Feb, 1998- Present
Did you hear of the legend of a shinigami titled Boogiepop? Apparently if a person is suffering extreme pain this shinigami will appear and release them. Kids talk about this story and people believe it’s nothing but a legend. However, we know the truth. We know that Boogiepop is indeed real…
15 volumes and Boogiepop’s story continues to thrive in the light novel world. Each volume of Boogiepop aims to tell of a different character’s experience with the shinigami known as Boogiepop and each one is a perfect blend of psychological concepts as well as genuine horror. Written by author Kadono Kouhei, the Boogiepop series has really impressed readers worldwide with some amazing storytelling, especially if you love the horror genre. The anime series by the same name delivers a nice grouping of tales seen from the light novels but you’re not going to get the full experience. The Boogiepop series is both amazing and terrifying and we love it.
1. Tokyo Ghoul
- Authors: Ishida, Sui- Towada, Shin
- Genre: Action, Mystery, Drama, Horror, Supernatural, Psychological
- Volumes: 3
- Published Date: Jul, 2013- Dec, 2014
They are real, Ghouls are real and they exist among us. Ken Kaneki learned this truth all too cruelly thanks to one event that would change his life forever. When Ken almost dies alongside a Ghoul, the Ghoul’s organs are used to save Ken’s life, changing him from human to a half breed being. Now Ken’s existence is a joke. On one hand he’s a normal college guy but on the other hand he is a Ghoul and he craves what they crave…human flesh…
Tokyo Ghoul ends our list as being the perfect conclusion to the best horror light novels we could find. Author Towada Shin uses these 3 volumes to explain several stories not seen in the manga or anime. This is a beautiful thing for die hard Tokyo Ghoul fans as it gives more substance to the already amazing anime and manga series. Coupled with some impressive art by Ishida Sui and Tokyo Ghoul is obviously deserving of being in the number one slot. If you love the Tokyo Ghoul world and want more of it, we fully recommend checking out the light novels of it.
Are you scared yet? If you are we here at Honey’s Anime want to feel bad but at the same time we accomplished our job. The authors really are amazing for breathing such life into a genre that usually needs imagery to accompany it. While the artists also use their skills for occasional art breaks in these tales, it still relies on both creators to do something that is indeed a daunting task. However, with our list complete we must bid you folks a farewell. Leave a comment down below letting us know of some of the light novels you now wish to read, or have read. Please stick around to Honey’s Anime for more scarily awesome articles and lists like this one.