Frightening and Fresh Retellings of Horror Stories

Tiffany D. Jackson’s horror novel White Smoke was a 2021 favorite, so I’m very excited that her newest novel, The Weight Of Blood, is also horror – a retelling of the story Carrie that explores racist bullying and internalized racism. Steel your nerves for The Weight of Blood with more horror retellings.

For another movie-adjacent novel, try The Girl From the Well which is based on Okiku and the Nine Plates, the Japanese folktale that inspired the films Ringu and The Ring. Okiku is a ghost who frees the spirits of murdered children by exacting revenge. When she meets Tark, a human teen who seems literally haunted, she derails from her purpose to help him.

Lost in the Never Woods leans into the horror of Peter Pan. Five years ago, Wendy Darling and her younger brothers went missing. Wendy was later found alone in the woods with selective amnesia. Now eighteen, Wendy cannot stop sketching a gnarled tree that feels tied to her lost memories. Then more children disappear – and Peter comes back.

I always describe As I Descended as queer boarding school Macbeth! Maria Lyon has one shot at a future with her girlfriend, Lily Boiten: a scholarship to Stanford. However, golden girl Delilah Dufrey stands in their way. Lily fills the Lady Macbeth role, pushing Maria to her limits, even when Maria’s connection to the paranormal lands them in danger.

In this violent retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Prince Rhen must relive the same autumn over and over until he finds true love. Each failure transforms him into a mindless, murderous beast. His last living friend, Commander Grey, steals girls from other worlds to try and break the cycle. A Curse So Dark and Lonely follows Harper, who tries to stop Grey and ends up trapped in Emberfall.

Do you have a favorite horror retelling? Let us know in the comments!