What’s greater than a thrilling mystery? Why, a thrilling supernatural mystery, of course! Ordinary thrillers are heart-pounding enough—but throw in some ghosts, curses, and demons, and you create a story that drags you deep into its refreshingly strange and terrifying world.
The mysterious becomes surreal—with both protagonist and reader unable to explain what’s going on. It then becomes a personal challenge to set aside your beliefs and confront something unexplainable and unsettling.
As you turn each page, these books seep into your imagination and latch on to your fears. And yet, despite the possibility of something horrific, you still find yourself reading on.
Best Supernatural Thriller Novels
From possessed criminals to the occult, or anything outside the realm of science, below is a list of supernatural thrillers that are sure to entertain even the most veteran fan.
1. Fellside by M.R. Carey
Jess Moulson is going to prison. In a heroin-induced rage, she sets fire to photos from her current toxic relationship, which burns down the whole building. Ten-year-old Alex Beech, an upstairs neighbor, dies in the blaze.
Fellside prison isn’t a place anyone wants to be in. Faced with the possibility of staying there for the rest of her life, Jess must face her guilt while avoiding the prison’s internal intrigues.
But she didn’t expect the whispers—and one of them has a message for Jess.
2. The Woman in the Woods By John Connolly
In the beautiful Maine woods, a secret is uncovered. Rain washes away the soil from a shallow grave, exposing the body of a young woman, who is discovered to have given birth shortly before her death. But where is the baby?
Veteran detective Charlie Parker is hired to join the search. But others are also interested, and they’re not afraid to leave bodies in their search.
Meanwhile, a young boy is about to receive the call of his life—from a toy phone and a dead woman, no less.
3. Pines by Blake Crouch
Ethan Burke travels to the town of Wayward Pines, Idaho with a clear goal: uncover the mystery behind the disappearance of two federal agents who went missing in town just a month ago.
But Wayward Pines is a weird place. Within minutes of arriving, Burke gets into an accident and wakes up with no ID and no way to contact the outside world.
As he digs deeper into his vanished colleagues, he finds himself increasingly shackled to the mysterious town. Soon he faces the possibility that the only way to get out is to die.
4. Wendigo by Vaughn C. Hardacker
The Wendigo is a creature of malice with the need to consume flesh. To John Bear, it’s nothing more than a scary legend told by his grandfather to scare children.
At least that’s what he thought, until a man is found butchered deep in the frozen woods, his heart missing. The only tracks around the corpse can’t possibly be human.
Convinced it’s the work of a Wendigo, John must figure out a way to stop a creature he once believed only existed in stories. And still, the snow continues piling up, further isolating their already remote outpost from the rest of the world.
5. Poe Must Die by Marc Olden
The most powerful psychic in the world is in search of King Solomon’s fabled throne. Buried beneath it is the secret to life and death—power he intends to use to unleash hell on earth for his lord, Lucifer.
In New York City, writer Edgar Allan Poe drowns himself in rotgut, trying to forget the pain of his beloved’s death. But soon a bare-knuckled fighter arrives with a letter that’ll change his life. Together, they must confront a horror far more than even those in Poe’s imagination.
6. A Mind to Kill by Brian Freemantle
Gerald Lomax’s office is one without privacy, a literal box of glass. So when his second wife, Jennifer, comes and stabs him to death, everyone gets an unobstructed view. It’s an open-and-shut case, with 16 eyewitnesses to the crime.
But Jennifer still claims she’s innocent. Her unusual defense? That Gerald’s deceased first wife is the real killer, possessing her body to take revenge on her cheating husband from beyond the grave.
7. Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes
Detective Gabriella Versado is no stranger to corpses, but her latest case is something else entirely. Half boy and half deer, this victim is just one of the many grotesque bodies being found across Detroit.
Unknown to her, Versado’s daughter has taken up the dangerous hobby of pedophile baiting. Meanwhile, a washed-up journalist craves a story that’ll revive his career, and a homeless man seeks to protect the family he has created.
As the body count piles up, all four are drawn to the killer’s dream to remake the world in his image.
8. The Boy Who Could See Demons by Carolyn Jess-Cooke
Ten-year-old Alex Connolly is in need of serious counseling. Along with trying to cope with his mother’s suicide attempt, he often blacks out and harms himself and others. At the center of it is his imaginary friend Ruen, who urges him to indulge in this self-destructive behavior.
Dr. Anya Molokova is familiar with these symptoms. After all, she’s seen it in her daughter before. Suspecting Alex is schizophrenic, she begins to treat the child.
But as soon as she does, strange incidents begin to occur, which leads her to the question: What if Ruen wasn’t so imaginary after all?
9. The Outsider by Stephen King
An 11-year-old boy’s brutalized body is found. All evidence and eyewitnesses point to one person: Terry Maitland, one of the city’s most beloved citizens. The case is airtight, with DNA evidence further cementing his guilt.
But Terry claims to have been out of town for a teacher’s conference during the murder. Several others confirm his attendance, throwing an impossible wrench into the case.
But what if someone’s been wearing Terry’s face? With the death toll rising, everyone and anyone can be the killer.
10. The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Every day, Aidan Bishop must suffer the sight of Evelyn Hardcastle’s murdered body. And every day, he wakes up and finds himself in the body of a different guest.
To stop the loop, he must discover the identity of the killer. The catch is, he must do it in eight days. Failing to do so will restart the entire process and wipe out his memories, sending him back to the very beginning.
But two others are competing to unmask the killer—and only one of them will be permitted to leave.
11. Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn
Cult leader Jeffrey Halcomb drove his followers into committing ritual murder/suicide. Since that day, he’s been silent about his crimes, refusing to share the details or motivation for the event. But now, years later, he’s finally ready to divulge his secrets.
Washed-up true-crime writer Lucas Graham sees this as a way back to the glory days. With nothing left to lose, he moves into the farmhouse where Halcomb spilled the blood of his worshippers.
But Halcomb did promise his followers eternal life… and they are still very much alive within these walls.
12. Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky
Kate Reese and her son, Christopher, flee an abusive home in the middle of the night. They end up in Mill Grove, Pennsylvania, far off the beaten path—the perfect place to start anew.
Then Christopher disappears for a week, only to return unharmed. But now there’s a voice that only he can hear. It urges him to complete a mission only he can perform: build a treehouse before Christmas, or something terrible will happen to everyone in town.
Thrillers with Supernatural Elements
Genre mixing almost always results in a product that’s greater than the sum of its parts. It adds an extra dimension to a story, giving it a different kind of depth.
Thrillers, in particular, take on aspects of the weird and unnerving when you mix supernatural elements into their narratives. These are things usually reserved for genres such as weird fiction, horror, and fantasy.
The books in this list can be initially shocking to long-time readers of thriller fiction. But while they border other genres, they still primarily deliver the high stakes, dynamic characters, and sense of dread that the thriller genre is known for.
Cole is a blog writer and aspiring novelist. He has a degree in Communications and is an advocate of media and information literacy and responsible media practices. Aside from his interest in technology, crafts, and food, he’s also your typical science fiction and fantasy junkie, spending most of his free time reading through an ever-growing to-be-read list. It’s either that or procrastinating over actually writing his book. Wish him luck!