Best Horror Novels
What novels made you want to sleep with the lights on?
1 The Shining (The Shining #1)
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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 542,416 ratings
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2 It
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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 272,018 ratings
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3 'Salem's Lot
by
3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 170,934 ratings
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4 Dracula
by
3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 421,946 ratings
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5 Pet Sematary
by
3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 192,773 ratings
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6 Misery
by
4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 225,645 ratings
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7 The Exorcist
by
4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 80,442 ratings
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8 The Haunting of Hill House
by
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 34,358 ratings
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9 I Am Legend and Other Stories
by
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 77,518 ratings
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10 The Silence of the Lambs  (...
by
4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 276,450 ratings
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11 Carrie
by
3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 230,061 ratings
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12 Frankenstein
by
3.7 of 5 stars 3.70 avg rating — 619,628 ratings
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13 The Complete Stories and Poems
by
4.36 of 5 stars 4.36 avg rating — 139,530 ratings
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14 Interview with the Vampire ...
by
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 311,302 ratings
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15 Rosemary's Baby
by
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 54,212 ratings
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16 Ghost Story
by
3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 37,005 ratings
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17 The Call of Cthulhu and Oth...
by
4.25 of 5 stars 4.25 avg rating — 18,532 ratings
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18 The Mist
by
3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 52,959 ratings
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19 Heart-Shaped Box
by
3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 45,456 ratings
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20 World War Z: An Oral Histor...
by
4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 225,685 ratings
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21 Swan Song
by
4.28 of 5 stars 4.28 avg rating — 26,804 ratings
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22 House of Leaves
by
4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 55,619 ratings
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23 Red Dragon (Hannibal Lecter...
by
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 130,292 ratings
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24 The Amityville Horror
by
3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 avg rating — 56,127 ratings
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25 Something Wicked This Way C...
by
3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 49,025 ratings
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26 Needful Things
by
3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 118,396 ratings
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27 At the Mountains of Madness...
by
4.25 of 5 stars 4.25 avg rating — 16,364 ratings
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28 Cujo
by
3.59 of 5 stars 3.59 avg rating — 124,625 ratings
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29 The Green Mile
by
4.38 of 5 stars 4.38 avg rating — 128,850 ratings
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30 Watchers
by
4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 86,631 ratings
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31 Hell House
by
3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 14,463 ratings
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32 Desperation
by
3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 71,355 ratings
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33 The Picture of Dorian Gray
by
4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 402,298 ratings
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34 American Psycho
by
3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 118,699 ratings
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35 The Talisman (The Talisman,...
by
4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 62,570 ratings
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36 Skeleton Crew
by
3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 64,960 ratings
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37 Christine
by
3.65 of 5 stars 3.65 avg rating — 114,139 ratings
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38 The Dead Zone
by
3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 101,331 ratings
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39 The Strange Case of Dr. Jek...
by
3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 143,563 ratings
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40 The Vampire Lestat (The Vam...
by
4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 115,161 ratings
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41 Jaws
by
3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 72,563 ratings
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42 Let the Right One In
by
4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 40,460 ratings
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43 The Hellbound Heart
by
3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 17,755 ratings
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44 The Long Walk
by
4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 52,433 ratings
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45 Flowers in the Attic (Dolla...
by
3.74 of 5 stars 3.74 avg rating — 86,781 ratings
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46 We Have Always Lived in the...
by
4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 19,781 ratings
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47 The Witching Hour (Lives of...
by
4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 67,470 ratings
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48 Bag of Bones
by
3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 94,324 ratings
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49 Night Shift
by
3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 77,574 ratings
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50 The Ruins
by
3.42 of 5 stars 3.42 avg rating — 17,941 ratings
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51 The Terror
by
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 15,165 ratings
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52 The Tommyknockers
by
3.38 of 5 stars 3.38 avg rating — 66,388 ratings
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53 The Turn of the Screw
by
3.45 of 5 stars 3.45 avg rating — 38,936 ratings
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54 Psycho
by
4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 22,997 ratings
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55 Books of Blood, Volumes One...
by
4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 15,426 ratings
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56 For Whom The Bell Tolls (Vl...
by
4.74 of 5 stars 4.74 avg rating — 138 ratings
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57 Phantoms
by
3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 42,846 ratings
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58 Horns
by
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 35,568 ratings
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59 Cell
by
3.59 of 5 stars 3.59 avg rating — 102,508 ratings
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60 Gerald's Game
by
3.4 of 5 stars 3.40 avg rating — 76,326 ratings
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61 The Girl Next Door
by
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 9,502 ratings
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62 Everything's Eventual: 14 D...
by
3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 44,912 ratings
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63 The Lottery and Other Stori...
by
4.38 of 5 stars 4.38 avg rating — 751 ratings
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64 The Dark Half
by
3.69 of 5 stars 3.69 avg rating — 73,208 ratings
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65 The Queen of the Damned (Th...
by
3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 90,672 ratings
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66 Haunted
by
3.55 of 5 stars 3.55 avg rating — 53,630 ratings
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67 The Strain (The Strain Tril...
by
3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 44,201 ratings
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68 The Omen
by
3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 34,564 ratings
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69 Rebecca
by
4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 214,292 ratings
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70 Lost Souls
by
3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 11,662 ratings
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71 The Passage (The Passage, #1)
by
4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 96,899 ratings
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72 The Stepford Wives
by
3.63 of 5 stars 3.63 avg rating — 12,879 ratings
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73 The Case of Charles Dexter ...
by
4.22 of 5 stars 4.22 avg rating — 7,259 ratings
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74 The Island of Dr. Moreau
by
3.69 of 5 stars 3.69 avg rating — 47,218 ratings
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75 The Other
by
3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 11,465 ratings
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76 Hannibal (Hannibal Lecter, #3)
by
3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 41,019 ratings
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77 Summer of Night
by
3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 9,067 ratings
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78 The Phantom Of The Opera
by
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 107,226 ratings
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79 The Cellar
by
3.69 of 5 stars 3.69 avg rating — 3,827 ratings
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80 Shadowland
by
3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 6,395 ratings
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81 The Great and Secret Show (...
by
4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 19,217 ratings
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82 The Day of the Triffids
by
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 43,132 ratings
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83 The Lottery and Other Stories
by
4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 38,109 ratings
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84 The Keep (Adversary Cycle, #1)
by
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 10,273 ratings
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85 Harvest Home
by
3.92 of 5 stars 3.92 avg rating — 2,551 ratings
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86 And Then There Were None
by
4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 234,139 ratings
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87 Carrion Comfort
by
3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 9,571 ratings
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88 Coraline
by
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 210,092 ratings
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89 Full Dark, No Stars
by
3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 43,281 ratings
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90 The Damnation Game
by
3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 11,203 ratings
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91 Thinner
by
3.57 of 5 stars 3.57 avg rating — 97,056 ratings
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92 The Bad Place
by
3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 20,763 ratings
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93 The House Next Door
by
3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 avg rating — 4,452 ratings
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94 Black House (The Talisman, #2)
by
3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 32,680 ratings
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95 The Wolf's Hour
by
4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 5,793 ratings
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95 Duma Key
by
3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 54,337 ratings
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97 Song of Kali
by
3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 5,008 ratings
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98 The Traveling Vampire Show
by
3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 4,132 ratings
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99 In the Devil's Own Words
by
4.86 of 5 stars 4.86 avg rating — 97 ratings
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100 Blood Borne (Cathedral Chro...
by
4.87 of 5 stars 4.87 avg rating — 76 ratings
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1,110 books · 3,422 voters · list created June 27th, 2008 by Susan (votes) .
Tags: horror
290 likes · like
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Susan
Susan
1249 books
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Heather
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1686 books
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Billy
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Kate
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2503 books
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Lindsey
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869 books
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William
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2052 books
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Bresdin
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100 books
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Nicholas
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125 books
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Comments (showing 1-48 of 48) (48 new)

dateDown_arrow    newest »

message 1: by Laya (new)

Laya Mccoy this book was so amazing and the movie was just as cool!! steven king is BEAST!!!


message 2: by Nick (new)

Nick where is Brian Lumley and his Necroscope series or other novels? Can't believe not a one.


Mike (the Paladin) Dracula is list because people have voted on multiple editions.... I agree they need to be consolidated.

Another thing (pet peeve here, and my pointing things like this out may be a pet peeve of some people) I'd love to vote for H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe...but those are short story collections and this is a list of novels. If the list had been best "horror stories" then they'd fit...but they aren't novels.


message 4: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl I got rid of the duplicates.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Laya wrote: "this book was so amazing and the movie was just as cool!! steven king is BEAST!!!"

He is a beast alright! LOL!


message 6: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Currently reading Silence of the Lambs. Salem's Lot is next!


message 7: by Shannon (new)

Shannon An old book that creeped me out was "The Dark" by James Herbert. Don't read alone in the dark!!!


message 8: by Alec (new)

Alec It's sad seeing Poe and Lovecraft shunted so low in the list and lost amongst all of the Stephen King novels despite these two being two of the most influential horror writers of all time. I get Robert Chambers or Ashton Clark Smith or August Dereleth not being on here. Lovecraft makes an entrance below World War Z -- that's a fantastic book, but seriously? I think the only thing that would be more insulting is if Meyers was on this list.


message 9: by Yas (new)

Yas Mike (the Paladin) wrote: "Dracula is list because people have voted on multiple editions.... I agree they need to be consolidated.

Another thing (pet peeve here, and my pointing things like this out may be a pet peeve of ..."


Thats just an absurdly pedantic point. Its a book! Enough said!


message 10: by Yas (new)

Yas Mike (the Paladin) wrote: "Dracula is list because people have voted on multiple editions.... I agree they need to be consolidated.

Another thing (pet peeve here, and my pointing things like this out may be a pet peeve of ..."


Thats just an absurdly pedantic point. Its a book! Enough said!


message 11: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Laya wrote: "this book was so amazing and the movie was just as cool!! steven king is BEAST!!!"

truer words have NEVER been spoken


message 12: by Cari (new)

Cari Looking for a suggestion for a bookclub 'horror' book . . . . not blood and gore but a scare your pants off, keep you up at night, psychological thriller that would satisfy a wide group of readers, but isn't corny and overdone. Any suggestions?


message 13: by Scott (new)

Scott Do people not know what novels are? There are so many collections listed here (I'll give novellas a pass.)


 ~☆ Alice♥♥ Salem's Lot is listed twice.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Cari wrote: "Looking for a suggestion for a bookclub 'horror' book . . . . not blood and gore but a scare your pants off, keep you up at night, psychological thriller that would satisfy a wide group of readers,..."

Well, "The Shining", heading this list, has no explicit scenes or violence exactly. It's more the threat and what it's implied. And it's really, really scary. Nothing corny about it.


message 16: by Jesse (new)

Jesse Why is Laymon so far down on this list?


message 17: by Asilee (new)

Asilee Laya wrote: "this book was so amazing and the movie was just as cool!! steven king is BEAST!!!"

Which book?


message 18: by Pankaj (new)

Pankaj Best Scary House
http://bestforhalloween.com
Horror and Halloween Link Directory. Add your site for free. Horror authors, artists, halloween props, music, goth, costumes, paranormal, virtual haunted houses, all horror related sites are welcome to join. Best Scary House


message 19: by Carl (new)

Carl Nick wrote: "where is Brian Lumley and his Necroscope series or other novels? Can't believe not a one."

That was one of the best series I ever read, amazing!


message 20: by Guy (new)

Guy Gardner Shannon wrote: "An old book that creeped me out was "The Dark" by James Herbert. Don't read alone in the dark!!!"

Don't worry, I wont.


message 21: by Laura (new)

Laura I'm deleting books that aren't horror... like The Giver and The Host. 0.o


message 22: by El (new)

El Helter Skelter isn't even a novel. Once I saw the Ann Rule book on the second page (also non-fiction), I gave up looking at this list.


message 23: by Rajshekhar (new)

Rajshekhar Banerjee this is a horror novel . i have to red it.


message 24: by Laura (new)

Laura Deleted for not being horror:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
Marked by P.C. Cast
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
Frostbitten by Kelley Armstrong
Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong
Holes by Louis Sachar
Night by Elie Wiesel
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows by J.K. Rowling
The Angel Experiment by James Patterson
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
The Field Guide by Holly Black
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Artemis Fowl by Eion Colfer
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling
Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

More will be delete later...


message 25: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Hughes Cari wrote: "Looking for a suggestion for a bookclub 'horror' book . . . . not blood and gore but a scare your pants off, keep you up at night, psychological thriller that would satisfy a wide group of readers,..."

I'm a little late with this, but I've just finished Mari Biella's 'The Quickening' and apart from recommending my own book, 'Northman' :) I loved it. If you enjoy a restrained but insidiously scary story written well in a similar style to that of Henry James, then check out my review of 'The Quickening'. Don't judge the quality by the oft used title.

My review: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

Incidentally, great story that it is, I don't believe that 'Rebecca' should be on a horror list.

If anyone would care to read 'Northman' you can find it here: US: http://tiny.cc/dfcfow UK: http://tiny.cc/77bfow or my three, free short dark stories on my blog: http://wp.me/p24Exb-4k

Apologies for the blatant self- promo - I'm new to this!


message 26: by Anthony (new)

Anthony Devil's Knot # 206 is not horror, it is non-fiction


message 27: by Scott (new)

Scott C A lot of the Lovecraft books are technically not "novels" but anthologies or novellas. Mostly just semantics, though. Many are great reads.


message 28: by Summer (new)

Summer Seeds Is Lord of the Flies really a "horror" novel? Don't get me wrong, sure it has some horrifying moments, but I've never considered it in the genre of horror before.


message 29: by Bob (new)

Bob What are some of Lovecraft's greatest, "non-Mythos" reads that will point me (a non- Lovecraft reader) in the right direction?


message 30: by Josephine (new)

Josephine Nolan Is Gunslinger or Dark Tower really horror? I don't think of it that way at all, though I'd give it a top rating in fantasy.


message 31: by Josephine (new)

Josephine Nolan Lord of the flies an The Road aren't really horror are they? Good list, aside from a very few books that don't seem to fit horror.


message 32: by Amy (last edited Oct 09, 2013 08:46PM) (new)

Amy Petty 1984 is NOT a horror story. Really, do people even bother to think before they add books? Neither is Lord of the Flies, and the Dark Tower series isn't horror, it's fantasy, by Stephen King's own words. Just because King wrote something doesn't automatically qualify it as horror. I'm not really sure that Flowers in the Attic really qualifies as horror either.


message 33: by Adam (new)

Adam El wrote: "Helter Skelter isn't even a novel. Once I saw the Ann Rule book on the second page (also non-fiction), I gave up looking at this list."

I removed it.


message 34: by Adam (last edited Oct 23, 2013 10:44AM) (new)

Adam Summer wrote: "Is Lord of the Flies really a "horror" novel? Don't get me wrong, sure it has some horrifying moments, but I've never considered it in the genre of horror before."

Josephine wrote: "Lord of the flies an The Road aren't really horror are they? Good list, aside from a very few books that don't seem to fit horror."

Amy wrote: "1984 is NOT a horror story. Really, do people even bother to think before they add books? Neither is Lord of the Flies, and the Dark Tower series isn't horror, it's fantasy, by Stephen King's own ..."

Lord of the Flies & 1984 are gone. I also removed the following, because they are not horror books:

The Stand - Stephen King
Intensity - Dean Koontz
Insomnia - Stephen King
Gunslinger - Stephen King


message 35: by Amy (last edited Nov 03, 2013 06:05PM) (new)

Amy Petty Removed:


Under the Dome
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Fahrenheit 451
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
SeinLanguage
Jane Eyre

Quite a few duplicates.

Almost all those titles are either pure sci-fi or comedy non-fiction or Victorian literary classics. None of them belong on a horror list; and I suspect that people putting them here think they're being cute.


message 36: by Sami (new)

Sami It amuses me that 26 - over a quarter, obviously - of the top 100 horror books are by Stephen King. He truly seems to be the current King of Horror.


message 37: by Adam (new)

Adam Sami wrote: "It amuses me that 26 - over a quarter, obviously - of the top 100 horror books are by Stephen King. He truly seems to be the current King of Horror."

He gets such a bad rap because of the sheer volume of works he's written, but I have yet to get the feeling that they are repetitive or merely fit some form or style of writing that is repeated. (For example, almost all of Grisham's book involve a young to middle age, white, attorney male, running in to some trouble, resolving said trouble, and living happily ever after).


message 38: by Jon (new)

Jon Lyons No John Connolly? Not even one title?


message 39: by Justice (new)

Justice Shadowland by Peter Straub & Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons should have both been higher and many of Kings books should have been lower but hes a mainstream author so cant be surprised about that I guess..


message 40: by Mark (last edited Feb 02, 2014 06:29AM) (new)

Mark Rickert Why is Clive Barker so far down on this list? Not fair! He's the prince or horror. A truly dark writer. Great and Secret Show, Weave World, Damnation Game, Imagica--while not all of these are horror novels, per se, they each offer true scares. And when Clive gets going, he's absolutely brutal.


message 41: by Mark (new)

Mark Rickert Koko and Floating Dragon by Peter Straub should be considered on this list. I think Straub is one of the best, especially his early novels. These are real gems! You should seriously consider reading him!


message 42: by Matthew (new)

Matthew I see a previous comment saying that Intensity by Koontz was removed for not being horror. Based on my opinion of what horror is, I disagree with that move. It seems to me that Inensity is more of a horror novel than Coma (which is still on this list, and I am not suggesting be removed, I just don't think of it as much of a horror novel as Intensity.)


 ~☆ Alice♥♥ Matthew wrote: "I see a previous comment saying that Intensity by Koontz was removed for not being horror. Based on my opinion of what horror is, I disagree with that move. It seems to me that Inensity is more o..."

I agree with you that it is horror! Some people just have nerves of steel. I guess nothing could scare them.


message 44: by Steph (new)

Steph Come on... Stephen King is good, but not that good.... he doesn't deserve half of the damn list.


message 45: by Mark (new)

Mark Rickert Has anyone read Glen Duncan's "The Last Werewolf?" It's a pretty damn "Good Read." A little more sophisticated than most werewolf novels. Horrific and yet without a lot of scares. Told from the werewolf's perspective. Reminiscent of Ann Rice's early Lestat novels, only far less romanticized and much more...animal in nature.


 ~☆ Alice♥♥ Mark wrote: "Has anyone read Glen Duncan's "The Last Werewolf?" It's a pretty damn "Good Read." A little more sophisticated than most werewolf novels. Horrific and yet without a lot of scares. Told from the wer..."

I started it and thought it was the most horrible trashy thing I had ever started. Then I abandoned it.


message 47: by Mark (new)

Mark Rickert ~☆ Alice♥♥ wrote: "Mark wrote: "Has anyone read Glen Duncan's "The Last Werewolf?" It's a pretty damn "Good Read." A little more sophisticated than most werewolf novels. Horrific and yet without a lot of scares. Told..."

Alice, it is all those things, I won't deny it. But it's also very insightful into the werewolf perspective. I think Duncan knows what he's doing. The violence and sexuality are no accident; his text is animalistic and raw. The musk of the werewolf permeates his writing. It's in the sex and the brutality. This is certainly not for everyone.


message 48: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten How the hell did Agatha Christie get on a Horror Novels list??


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