Thursday, May 6, 2010

Top 10 Horror Novels of ALL TIME!

In celebration of our Macabre May we are giving away a copy of Michael F. Stewarts THE SAND DRAGON. Enter today!

Were you a horror aficionado as a teen, like me? Or are you still to this day? Scary movies? Ghost stories? What freaks you out?

Personally I find a novel will leave me scared beyond reason much more than these blood and guts movies that Hollywood puts out (those just leave me nauseous...i.e. The Human Centipede trailer - thanks Jaime for spreading that one around!). has a listopia of BEST HORROR NOVELS, here are the Top 10.  What do you think? What is your #1 Scariest Book?

All descriptions taken from

The Haunting of Hill House (Penguin Classics)#10 The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The four visitors at Hill House-- some there for knowledge, others for adventure-- are unaware that the old mansion will soon choose one of them to make its own.

Pet Sematary (Special Collector's Edition)#9 Pet Sematary by Stephen King

The Creeds were an ideal family. When they found the old house in rural Maine, they thought it was too good to be true. It was. 

Frankenstein#8  Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The epic battle between man and monster reaches its greatest pitch in the famous story of Frankenstein. In trying to create life, the young student Victor Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, setting into motion a long and tragic chain of events that brings Victor himself to the very brink. How he tries to destroy his creation, as it destroys everything Victor loves, is a powerful story of love, friendship …and horror. 

The Exorcist#7 The Exorcist  by William Peter Blatty

When originally published in 1971, The Exorcist became not only a bestselling literary phenomenon, but one of the most frightening and controversial novels ever written. (When the author adapted his book to the screen two years later, it then became one of the most terrifying movies ever made.) Blatty fictionalized the true story of a child's demonic possession in the 1940s. The deceptively simple story focuses on Regan, the 11-year-old daughter of a movie actress residing in Washington, D.C.; the child apparently is possessed by an ancient demon. It's up to a small group of overwhelmed yet determined humans to somehow rescue Regan from this unspeakable fate. Purposefully raw and profane, this novel still has the extraordinary ability to literally shock us into forgetting that it is "just a story." The Exorcist remains a truly unforgettable reading experience. Blatty published a sequel, Legion, in 1983. --Stanley Wiater

I Am Legend #6 I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth...but he is not alone. Every other man, woman, and child on Earth has become a vampire, and they are all hungry for Neville's blood.

By day, he is the hunter, stalking the sleeping undead through the abandoned ruins of civilization. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for dawn.

How long can one man survive in a world of vampires?

The Stand: Expanded Edition: For the First Time Complete and Uncut (Signet)# 5 The Stand by Stephen King

This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death.

And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides -- or are chosen. A world in which good rides on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abigail -- and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the dark man. 

Salem's Lot# 4 Salem's Lot by Stephen King

Stephen King's second book, 'Salem's Lot--about the slow takeover of an insular hamlet called Jerusalem's Lot by a vampire patterned after Bram Stoker's Dracula--has two elements that he also uses to good effect in later novels: a small American town, usually in Maine, where people are disconnected from each other, quietly nursing their potential for evil; and a mixed bag of rational, goodhearted people, including a writer, who band together to fight that evil.

Simply taken as a contemporary vampire novel, 'Salem's Lotis great fun to read, and has been very influential in the horror genre. But it's also a sly piece of social commentary. As King said in 1983, "In 'Salem's Lot, the thing that really scared me was not vampires, but the town in the daytime, the town that was empty, knowing that there were things in closets, that there were people tucked under beds, under the concrete pilings of all those trailers. And all the time I was writing that, the Watergate hearings were pouring out of the TV.... Howard Baker kept asking, 'What I want to know is, what did you know and when did you know it?' That line haunts me, it stays in my mind.... During that time I was thinking about secrets, things that have been hidden and were being dragged out into the light." Sounds quite a bit like the idea behind his 1998 novel of a Maine hamlet haunted by unsightly secrets, Bag of Bones. --Fiona Webster

Dracula# 3 Dracula by Bram Stoker

The aristocratic vampire that haunts the Transylvanian countryside has captivated readers' imaginations since it was first published in 1897. Hindle asserts that Dracula depicts an embattled man's struggle to recover his "deepest sense of himself as a man", making it the "ultimate terror myth". 

ORIGINAL, 1986 HARDCOVER - 'IT' by Stephen King **PLUS FREE: 'IT' VHS MOVIE Starring Harry Anderson, Tim Curry, and Annette O'Toole# 2 It by Stephen King


In the spring of 1985, It has returned. Every twenty-seven years since the dawn of time, It--an unearthly creature who lives in the unmapped labyrinth of sewers beneath Derry--comes back to murder and mutilate small children and adults. Only seven people have faced It and lived to tell the tale: horror novelist Bill Denbrough, architect Ben Hanscom, Derry librarian Mike Hanlon, radio disc jockey Richie Tozier, limousine driver Eddie Kasbrak, fashion designer Beverly Rogan, and accountant Stan Uris. Twenty-seven years ago they formed the Losers Club, bonded by their physical and social differences and by their terrifying encounters with the many different forms It can take.

The Shining# 1 The Shining by Stephen King

Danny is only five years old, but he is a 'shiner', aglow with psychic voltage. When his father becomes caretaker of an old hotel, his visions grow out of control. Cut off by blizzards, the hotel seems to develop an evil force, and who are the mysterious guests in the supposedly empty hotel?

Do you agree with this list? If not you can vote on that list and move up your own scary books to the top of the list. Personally I Am Legend didn't scare me a bit, and King's short stories and novellas (The Mist, The Jaunt) freak me out a lot more than his large 1000 page novels like The Stand and It. Also I believe Koontz should be in the top 10 replacing some King. The Bad Place knocked my socks off.  But - the scariest book I ever read was a "supposed" true story. Alien abductions scare me! So, Communion by Whitley Strieber is my #1 Scariest Novel. What is Yours?


My 5 Monkeys(Julie) said...

what noo dean kootz, he scared me and thats a great horror list.

Anonymous said...

The Shining was pretty freaky!! I think my scariest book is The Stand or Rosemarys Baby....

Amanda Makepeace said...

It takes a lot to scare me. I started reading King when I was 13. LOL But one book, that still gives me shivers when I think about it is Rick Hautala's Night Stone. One of the few books that gave me nightmares!

ladystorm said...

I have to agree with 5 Monkeys and say what no Koontz..he has some great well as John Saul.

I do love me some Steven King though..The Shining is just freaky. I don't think the Stand was scary at all but it was awesome. It scared me more as a movie than a book.

Never read The Exorcist but if its a creepy as the movie..not sure I want to..LOL

titania86 said...

I think there's too much Stephen King on the list. I've read much scarier books by lesser known authors. I like Stephen King, but he should have maybe one book on the list. And I think Dracula is an overrated and extremely boring book.

Lisa Lane said...

I definitely agree with putting THE SHINING at the #1 spot. It is by far my favorite horror novel.

RE Koontz: Two other horror novels in my top 5 are early Koontz. MIDNIGHT and THE SERVANTS OF TWILIGHT are both exceptional reads.

Heather (DarklyReading) said...

I'm so not a horror person..I watched the shining movie years ago and I still walk around saying "redrum redrum"