Zombie Horror

What is Zombie Horror?

Horror that includes some form of the Zombie concept. Right now, Zombies are so popular that deserve their own subgenre.Typically, zombies are humans or animals that have died and come back to life. Often the goal of the zombies is to eat people since they only act on instinct.

The modern retelling of the zombie is that a zombie outbreaks starts from a virus. The virus is contagious and can be airborne but is most often transferred by a zombie bite. A zombie can be killed by destroying the brain. They can move fast or slow. Government quarantine is common in these stories but in some cases only a few survivors are left to wander the earth.  

Currently, the Zombie is in vogue with major movies, films, and video games featuring them. World War Z made huge waves in the fiction and movie world. The Walking Dead is a critically acclaimed zombie survival TV series, and The Last of Us, a zombie survivalist first person adventure game for Consoles has won a number of gaming awards.


Characteristics of Zombie Horror

Level of Characterization
Low. More focused on survival in the stories.

Level of Plot Complexity
Moderate. Common origins of the outbreaks.

Level of Supernatural
High. Zombies are supernatural creatures.

Level of Scary
High. Fast paced and high tension.

Level of Violence 
High. Gore is a big factor in zombie stories.

Typical Setting
Destroyed urban areas.

Related Horror Sub-Genres

Supernatural, Splatterpunk, Post-Apocalyptic, Science-Fiction, and Body Horror.

Zombie Horror Isn’t For You If You Dislike

Post-Apocalypse or apocalypse stories. Gore and violence.


    1. World War Z, Max Brooks. A journalist interviews different people after the zombie apocalypse has been contained.

    2. Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Living Dead, Max Brooks. A detailed manual on how to survive a zombie apocalypse.

    3. The Walking Dead, Volume 1, Robert Kirkman.
    Rick Grimes is one of very few survivors and must fight hordes of zombies to find his wife and son.

    4. Feed, Mira Grant.  Georgia and Shaun Mason are bloggers dedicated to uncovering the dark conspiracy behind the infected uprising of the undead.

    5.  The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Carrie Ryan.  Mary lives in a village isolated from the rest of the world due to a zombie plague that rages outside its gates.

    6. Cell, Stephen King. Cell phones are the source of the zombie outbreak.

    7. Cryonic: A Zombie Novel, Travis Bradberry. Royce Bruyere choses to be cryogenically frozen  after his death but wakes up to zombies walking the Earth.

    8. Rot and Ruin, Jonathan Maberry. Benny Imura gets a job as a zombie assassin.

    9. Day by Day Armageddon, J.L. Bourne. A journal depicting one man's personal struggle for survival in the midst of the zombie apocalypse.  

    10. Patient Zero, Jonathan Maberry. Joe Ledger is a detective recruited by the Government to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a bio-weapon that can turn people into zombies


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