Sonic Screams | Top Audiobooks for Horror Listeners

Horror is amplified when fed directly into the ears.

Horror is amplified when fed directly into the ears.

Enriquez, Mariana. Our Share of Night. Books on Tape. Feb. 2023. tr. from Spanish by Megan McDowell. 27:17 hrs. ISBN 9780593663165. $95. HORROR

Following her short story collection The Dangers of Smoking in Bed, Enriquez presents a multigenerational tale of supernatural evil, translated into English and now available in audio. The story introduces the Order, an Argentinian cult that communes with an entity known as the Darkness. Juan Peterson is one of their most gifted mediums, able to summon the Darkness for the Order’s nefarious ends. However, Juan realizes that the Order has its eye on his son Gaspar. Juan fears for his son, knowing what the Order is capable of and knowing too what he himself can wreak. At a whopping 27 hours, this novel isn’t something to devour in a day or even a weekend. It spans generations, jumps to different points in time, swells with moments of beauty and creativity, and is full of characters, like the aforementioned father and son, who are intriguing to watch even as they make bad choices. Frankie Corzo’s subdued narration adds a dreamlike quality to the story’s mystical and realistic elements. VERDICT Set against the backdrop of Argentina’s 1970s Dirty War and dripping with atmospheric horror, this novel will reward listeners’ patience, revealing beauty among supernatural and all-too-human terrors.—James Gardner

Juliano, Jimmy. Dead Eleven. Books on Tape. Jun. 2023. 13:13 hrs. ISBN 9780593742679. $95. HORROR

On an island off the Wisconsin peninsula of Door County, every day is June 17, 1994. The community wears outdated clothes, avoids modern technology, and rewatches the O.J. Simpson car chase. Each day is the same. When Willow Stone finds mysterious notes hinting that her missing son may be on the island, she sets off to investigate and promptly disappears. High school basketball player Lily Becker has lived her entire life on the island, enmeshed in its rules but not entirely believing its mythology. As Lily works to disprove the island’s beliefs, Willow’s brother Harper searches for her and becomes convinced that the island is more sinister than anyone can imagine. Juliano’s debut novel is a perfectly paced, creeping horror about what happens when grief overtakes a community. A phenomenal full cast (Lee Osorio as Harper, Tanis Parenteau as Willow, and Annie Q. as Lily, joined by Shawn K. Jain, Cindy Piller, and Tim Lounibos) enhances the unsettling atmosphere. Especially noteworthy are unnervingly realistic recordings of interviews. VERDICT Juliano’s tense debut offers grown-up vibes for fans of Margaret Peterson Haddix’s Running Out of Time, like a more sinister take on M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village. An outstanding pick for fans of classic horror and creepy cults.—Elyssa Everling

Pelayo, Cynthia. The Shoemaker’s Magician. OrangeSky Audio. (Chicago Saga, Bk. 2). Mar. 2023. 10:01 hrs. ISBN 9781669661900. $19.99. HORROR

Bram Stoker Award–winning Pelayo welcomes listeners back to her fantastical, frightening vision of Chicago with this second installment in the “Chicago Saga” series (following Children of Chicago). Paloma is a fan of silent films and horror movies. Her job as a horror influencer allows her to stay home and care for her son. She’s also scored an interview with reclusive horror host Grand Vespertilio, who is never seen without his makeup. Meanwhile, a killer with a penchant for silent movies is leaving mutilated bodies in Chicago’s historic theaters. A lost silent film links these three people, but which one will find the film first and unleash its power? Pelayo builds on the mythology she began in Children of Chicago, incorporating silent films, horror, and the channeling of magical forces. This tale has many points of view, including Paloma’s homicide-detective husband, and Sophia Willingham’s voice truly embodies Paloma, a woman who has lived through so much but would still do anything to protect her family. VERDICT Though Paloma’s narrative is captivating, this tale is a must-purchase for Pelayo’s gorgeously written love letter to horror movies and Chicago, a city brimming with eclectic tales, urban horrors, and palpable magic.—James Gardner

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