Animal Horror

What is Animal Horror?

Animal Horror is the subgenre encapsulating stories about animals that run rampant. The animals in these stories are vicious. This is any animal in the animal kingdom, not just mammals. The animals' killer motives may come from a zombie bite, a witch's hex, genetic mutation, virus, etc. It can be any kind of animal as long as it is trying to kill everything around it. Examples would be dinosaurs, dogs with rabies, rats, birds, bees, bats, spiders, sharks, whales, etc. Animal Horror is a broad term. Some Supernatural creatures can fall under this subgenre, creatures like Bigfoot or dragons.


Characteristics of Animal Horror

Level of Characterization


Level of Plot Complexity
Low. Survival against an animal villain.


Level of Supernatural



Level of Scary

High. A lot of tension and discomfort.


Level of Violance



Typical Setting

Warped Reality

Related Fantasy Sub-Genres

Supernatural. Can include elements of animal horror -- especially when this type of fiction includes supernatural animals such as werewolves, vampires, and the like.




Werewolf Horror. A type of horror that features a supernatural animal.


Vampire Horror. Vampires can be considered a sort of animal


Animal Horror Isn’t For You If You Dislike

Stories where the antagonists are animals.


    1. Cujo, Stephen King. Cujo, a rabid dog, is stalking Donna Trenton and her child Tad in a broken-down Ford Pinto.

    2. Wormfood, Jeff Jacobson. Customers in a local bar and grill are infected by vicious, wormlike parasites and begin dying.

    3. Pet Sematary, Stephen King. Anything buried in the Indian burial grounds near the pet cemetery don't seem to stay in the ground.

    4. Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton. A theme-park full of dinosaurs is about to open but things go terribly wrong.

    5. The Lost World, Michael Crichton. The sequel to Jurassic Park.

    6. Jaws, Peter Benchley. Aboard the Orca, Chief Brody, Matt Hooper, and Quint search for a legendary shark.

    7. It Came From Del Rio, Stephen Graham Jones. A shadow of a fugitive has rabbit ears and there are chupacabras running alongside him.

    8. Flesh, Richard Layman. A worm that crawls into people turn them into homicidal maniacs.

    9. Dead Bait, Severed Press. An anthology containing Zombie fish, weresharks, killer millipedes, intelligent crabs, and a lot other creepy creatures.

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