Best Horror Novels

What novels made you want to sleep with the lights on?

Please note: This list is for NOVELS only!

For anthologies (multiple authors) see: Best Horror Anthologies
For single-author collections see: Horror Collections Single Author
For all horror books together see: The Definitive Horror Book List
For all horror books with more than 50,000 ratings see: The Most Popular Horror on Goodreads
1

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4.15 avg rating — 742,825 ratings
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2

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4.15 avg rating — 405,025 ratings
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3

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3.98 avg rating — 230,287 ratings
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4

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3.96 avg rating — 608,163 ratings
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5

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3.89 avg rating — 266,206 ratings
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6

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4.08 avg rating — 312,567 ratings
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7

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4.12 avg rating — 113,776 ratings
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8

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3.90 avg rating — 52,851 ratings
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9

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3.91 avg rating — 333,525 ratings
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10

by
4.12 avg rating — 340,433 ratings
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11

by
3.74 avg rating — 807,113 ratings
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12

by
3.97 avg rating — 374,766 ratings
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13

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3.95 avg rating — 74,866 ratings
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14

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3.95 avg rating — 49,017 ratings
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15

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3.81 avg rating — 66,172 ratings
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16

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 309,315 ratings
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17

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 184,876 ratings
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18

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4.14 avg rating — 78,631 ratings
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19

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4.28 avg rating — 37,193 ratings
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20

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3.87 avg rating — 153,565 ratings
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21

by
3.95 avg rating — 65,463 ratings
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22

by
3.81 avg rating — 75,158 ratings
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23

by
3.62 avg rating — 151,303 ratings
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24

by
4.41 avg rating — 173,690 ratings
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25

by
3.81 avg rating — 22,649 ratings
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26

by
4.04 avg rating — 589,676 ratings
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27

by
3.78 avg rating — 223,243 ratings
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28

by
4.15 avg rating — 105,104 ratings
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29

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4.07 avg rating — 58,347 ratings
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30

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3.72 avg rating — 150,384 ratings
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31

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3.79 avg rating — 94,419 ratings
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32

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3.80 avg rating — 160,247 ratings
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33

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3.89 avg rating — 130,977 ratings
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34

by
4.04 avg rating — 141,736 ratings
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35

by
3.95 avg rating — 94,873 ratings
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36

by
3.91 avg rating — 67,193 ratings
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37

by
4.11 avg rating — 79,767 ratings
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38

by
4.11 avg rating — 72,544 ratings
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39

by
4.05 avg rating — 37,564 ratings
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40

by
4.07 avg rating — 34,754 ratings
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41

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3.47 avg rating — 22,145 ratings
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42

by
3.85 avg rating — 125,078 ratings
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43

by
4.10 avg rating — 82,637 ratings
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44

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3.78 avg rating — 113,027 ratings
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45

by
3.99 avg rating — 21,336 ratings
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46

by
3.46 avg rating — 58,016 ratings
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47

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3.45 avg rating — 86,679 ratings
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48

by
3.63 avg rating — 137,733 ratings
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49

by
3.92 avg rating — 54,967 ratings
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50

by
3.77 avg rating — 63,721 ratings
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51

by
3.96 avg rating — 13,924 ratings
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52

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3.45 avg rating — 98,088 ratings
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53

by
4.03 avg rating — 130,318 ratings
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54

by
3.74 avg rating — 95,432 ratings
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55

by
4.39 avg rating — 231 ratings
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56

by
4.19 avg rating — 297,338 ratings
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57

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4.33 avg rating — 424,962 ratings
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58

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3.58 avg rating — 67,612 ratings
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59

by
3.85 avg rating — 110,353 ratings
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60

by
3.97 avg rating — 46,227 ratings
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61

by
3.71 avg rating — 64,643 ratings
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62

by
3.69 avg rating — 57,162 ratings
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63

by
4.01 avg rating — 303,426 ratings
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64

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3.69 avg rating — 18,307 ratings
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65

by
3.97 avg rating — 141,256 ratings
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66

by
3.99 avg rating — 15,171 ratings
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67

by
4.22 avg rating — 381,134 ratings
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68

by
3.99 avg rating — 12,800 ratings
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69

by
3.89 avg rating — 13,951 ratings
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70

by
3.63 avg rating — 123,480 ratings
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71

by
3.89 avg rating — 13,424 ratings
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72

by
3.91 avg rating — 72,274 ratings
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73

by
3.99 avg rating — 59,825 ratings
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74

by
3.90 avg rating — 8,567 ratings
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75

by
3.98 avg rating — 13,400 ratings
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76

by
4.05 avg rating — 23,391 ratings
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77

by
3.69 avg rating — 4,965 ratings
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78

by
3.67 avg rating — 29,184 ratings
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79

by
3.90 avg rating — 4,321 ratings
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80

by
3.82 avg rating — 14,229 ratings
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81

by
3.85 avg rating — 25,945 ratings
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82

by
4.06 avg rating — 49,738 ratings
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83

by
3.98 avg rating — 41,390 ratings
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84

by
3.81 avg rating — 5,947 ratings
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85

by
4.05 avg rating — 51,082 ratings
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86

by
3.60 avg rating — 7,038 ratings
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87

by
4.03 avg rating — 7,663 ratings
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88

by
4.22 avg rating — 134,101 ratings
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89

by
4.13 avg rating — 19,854 ratings
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90

by
3.55 avg rating — 95,807 ratings
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91

by
3.89 avg rating — 8,127 ratings
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92

by
3.84 avg rating — 5,539 ratings
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93

by
3.89 avg rating — 9,785 ratings
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94

by
3.82 avg rating — 6,599 ratings
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95

by
4.10 avg rating — 101,206 ratings
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96

by
3.93 avg rating — 14,268 ratings
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97

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 66,194 ratings
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98

by
4.05 avg rating — 44,492 ratings
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99

by
4.32 avg rating — 107 ratings
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100

by
3.92 avg rating — 201,176 ratings
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1,415 books · 4,341 voters · list created June 28th, 2008 by Susan (votes) .
Tags: horror
692 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Susan 1352 books
60 friends
Heather 1532 books
37 friends
Billy 216 books
3190 friends
Kate 2853 books
1257 friends
Lindsey 827 books
35 friends
William 2106 books
213 friends
Bresdin 100 books
5 friends
Nicholas 125 books
4 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-50 of 62) (62 new)


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.)


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

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 Anthony (new)

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


message 26: 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 27: 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 28: 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 29: 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 30: 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 31: 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 32: 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 33: 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 34: 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 35: 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 36: 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 37: by Jon (new)

Jon Lyons No John Connolly? Not even one title?


message 38: 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 39: 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 40: 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 41: 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.)


message 42: by [deleted user] (new)

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 43: by Steph (new)

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


message 44: 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.


message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

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 46: 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.


Kirsten *Dogs Welcome - People Tolerated" How the hell did Agatha Christie get on a Horror Novels list??


message 48: by Leo (new)

Leo 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 enjoyed both Horns and NOS4A2 and think both would be good for a book club suggestion.


message 49: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Checked for duplicates: 3 books removed.


message 50: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes The list title explicitly asks for horror novels. I have removed all short story and novella collections from the top 300 titles, including multiple titles by Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Clive Barker, etc. It would be a help if these were not re-added.


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