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 — 534,211 ratings
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2 It
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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 269,463 ratings
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3 'Salem's Lot
by
3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 168,279 ratings
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4 Dracula
by
3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 414,883 ratings
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5 Pet Sematary
by
3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 189,705 ratings
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6 Misery
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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02 avg rating — 222,078 ratings
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7 The Exorcist
by
4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 78,999 ratings
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8 The Haunting of Hill House
by
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 33,803 ratings
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9 I Am Legend and Other Stories
by
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 76,673 ratings
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10 The Silence of the Lambs  (...
by
4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 274,274 ratings
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11 Carrie
by
3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 225,381 ratings
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12 Frankenstein
by
3.69 of 5 stars 3.69 avg rating — 612,064 ratings
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13 The Complete Stories and Poems
by
4.36 of 5 stars 4.36 avg rating — 137,503 ratings
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14 Rosemary's Baby
by
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 53,443 ratings
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15 Interview with the Vampire ...
by
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 308,420 ratings
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16 Ghost Story
by
3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 36,415 ratings
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17 The Call of Cthulhu and Oth...
by
4.26 of 5 stars 4.26 avg rating — 18,353 ratings
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18 The Mist
by
3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 52,206 ratings
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19 Heart-Shaped Box
by
3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 44,611 ratings
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20 World War Z: An Oral Histor...
by
4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 223,126 ratings
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21 Swan Song
by
4.28 of 5 stars 4.28 avg rating — 26,340 ratings
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22 House of Leaves
by
4.15 of 5 stars 4.15 avg rating — 54,756 ratings
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23 Red Dragon (Hannibal Lecter...
by
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 127,863 ratings
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24 The Amityville Horror
by
3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 avg rating — 55,309 ratings
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25 Something Wicked This Way C...
by
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 48,500 ratings
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26 Needful Things
by
3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 116,980 ratings
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27 At the Mountains of Madness...
by
4.25 of 5 stars 4.25 avg rating — 16,138 ratings
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28 Cujo
by
3.59 of 5 stars 3.59 avg rating — 122,896 ratings
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29 The Green Mile
by
4.38 of 5 stars 4.38 avg rating — 127,351 ratings
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30 Watchers
by
4.13 of 5 stars 4.13 avg rating — 85,630 ratings
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31 Hell House
by
3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 14,158 ratings
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32 Desperation
by
3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 70,472 ratings
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33 The Picture of Dorian Gray
by
4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 394,153 ratings
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34 American Psycho
by
3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 117,025 ratings
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35 Skeleton Crew
by
3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 64,273 ratings
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36 The Dead Zone
by
3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 100,064 ratings
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37 The Talisman (The Talisman,...
by
4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 62,030 ratings
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38 The Strange Case of Dr. Jek...
by
3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 139,833 ratings
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39 The Vampire Lestat (The Vam...
by
4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 114,102 ratings
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40 Christine
by
3.65 of 5 stars 3.65 avg rating — 112,693 ratings
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41 Jaws
by
3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 71,369 ratings
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42 Let the Right One In
by
4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 39,733 ratings
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43 The Hellbound Heart
by
3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 17,430 ratings
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44 The Long Walk
by
4.09 of 5 stars 4.09 avg rating — 51,766 ratings
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45 Flowers in the Attic (Dolla...
by
3.74 of 5 stars 3.74 avg rating — 85,522 ratings
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46 We Have Always Lived in the...
by
4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 19,301 ratings
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47 The Witching Hour (Lives of...
by
4.08 of 5 stars 4.08 avg rating — 66,716 ratings
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48 Bag of Bones
by
3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 93,028 ratings
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49 The Turn of the Screw
by
3.45 of 5 stars 3.45 avg rating — 38,337 ratings
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50 The Tommyknockers
by
3.38 of 5 stars 3.38 avg rating — 65,619 ratings
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51 The Terror
by
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 14,907 ratings
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52 Night Shift
by
3.9 of 5 stars 3.90 avg rating — 76,612 ratings
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53 The Ruins
by
3.42 of 5 stars 3.42 avg rating — 17,725 ratings
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54 For Whom The Bell Tolls (Vl...
by
4.76 of 5 stars 4.76 avg rating — 133 ratings
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55 Books of Blood, Vols. 1-3
by
4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 15,099 ratings
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56 Psycho
by
4.03 of 5 stars 4.03 avg rating — 22,380 ratings
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57 Horns
by
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 33,733 ratings
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58 Phantoms
by
3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 42,517 ratings
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59 Cell
by
3.59 of 5 stars 3.59 avg rating — 101,102 ratings
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60 Gerald's Game
by
3.4 of 5 stars 3.40 avg rating — 75,469 ratings
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61 The Girl Next Door
by
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 9,296 ratings
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62 The Lottery and Other Stori...
by
4.38 of 5 stars 4.38 avg rating — 736 ratings
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63 Everything's Eventual: 14 D...
by
3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 44,155 ratings
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64 The Queen of the Damned (Th...
by
3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 89,871 ratings
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65 The Dark Half
by
3.69 of 5 stars 3.69 avg rating — 72,364 ratings
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66 Haunted
by
3.55 of 5 stars 3.55 avg rating — 52,981 ratings
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67 The Strain (The Strain Tril...
by
3.74 of 5 stars 3.74 avg rating — 42,914 ratings
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68 The Omen
by
3.93 of 5 stars 3.93 avg rating — 33,869 ratings
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69 Lost Souls
by
3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 11,541 ratings
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70 The Passage (The Passage, #1)
by
4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 95,682 ratings
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71 Rebecca
by
4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 211,465 ratings
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72 The Stepford Wives
by
3.63 of 5 stars 3.63 avg rating — 12,685 ratings
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73 The Case of Charles Dexter ...
by
4.22 of 5 stars 4.22 avg rating — 7,122 ratings
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74 The Island of Dr. Moreau
by
3.69 of 5 stars 3.69 avg rating — 46,357 ratings
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75 The Other
by
3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 11,282 ratings
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76 Hannibal (Hannibal Lecter, #3)
by
3.59 of 5 stars 3.59 avg rating — 40,237 ratings
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77 Summer of Night
by
3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 8,863 ratings
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78 The Phantom Of The Opera
by
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96 avg rating — 105,306 ratings
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79 The Cellar
by
3.69 of 5 stars 3.69 avg rating — 3,787 ratings
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80 Shadowland
by
3.89 of 5 stars 3.89 avg rating — 6,320 ratings
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81 The Great and Secret Show (...
by
4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 19,055 ratings
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82 The Day of the Triffids
by
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 42,576 ratings
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83 The Lottery and Other Stories
by
4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 37,576 ratings
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84 The Keep (Adversary Cycle, #1)
by
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 10,091 ratings
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85 Carrion Comfort
by
3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 9,397 ratings
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86 Harvest Home
by
3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 2,480 ratings
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87 And Then There Were None
by
4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 227,839 ratings
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88 The Damnation Game
by
3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 11,076 ratings
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89 Coraline
by
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 205,645 ratings
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90 Thinner
by
3.57 of 5 stars 3.57 avg rating — 95,837 ratings
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91 The House Next Door
by
3.76 of 5 stars 3.76 avg rating — 4,356 ratings
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92 Black House (The Talisman, #2)
by
3.94 of 5 stars 3.94 avg rating — 32,369 ratings
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93 The Wolf's Hour
by
4.01 of 5 stars 4.01 avg rating — 5,701 ratings
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94 The Bad Place
by
3.81 of 5 stars 3.81 avg rating — 20,468 ratings
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95 Duma Key
by
3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 53,614 ratings
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96 Full Dark, No Stars
by
3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 42,617 ratings
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97 In The Devil's Own Words
by
4.86 of 5 stars 4.86 avg rating — 103 ratings
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98 Song of Kali
by
3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 4,917 ratings
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99 The Traveling Vampire Show
by
3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 4,075 ratings
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100 Blood Borne (Cathedral Chro...
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4.87 of 5 stars 4.87 avg rating — 79 ratings
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1,111 books · 3,400 voters · list created June 27th, 2008 by Susan (votes) .
Tags: horror
271 likes · like
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Susan
Susan
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Heather
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Billy
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Kate
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Lindsey
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William
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2052 books
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Bresdin
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98 books
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Nicholas
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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 C.S. (new)

C.S. Dixon Hi all talking about the current King of Horror, you might be interested in reading my debut short story Shadow already compared to King & Poe! Also my second Fly on the Wall! Here are the links! http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shadow-C-S-Di...
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fly-Wall-C-S-...
All my books are here too! https://www.goodreads.com/author/show...


message 39: by Jon (new)

Jon Lyons No John Connolly? Not even one title?


message 40: 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 41: 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 42: 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 43: 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 45: by Steph (new)

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


message 46: 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 48: 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.


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