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 graphic novels & comic books see: Best Horror Comics/Graphic Novels!
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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4.24 avg rating — 1,201,703 ratings
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2

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4.24 avg rating — 864,658 ratings
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3

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4.03 avg rating — 355,116 ratings
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4

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1,005,812 ratings
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5

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4.01 avg rating — 455,685 ratings
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6

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4.18 avg rating — 538,076 ratings
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7

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4.18 avg rating — 190,530 ratings
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8

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3.83 avg rating — 186,383 ratings
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9

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3.97 avg rating — 557,276 ratings
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10

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4.21 avg rating — 490,488 ratings
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11

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3.82 avg rating — 1,239,347 ratings
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12

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 510,033 ratings
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13

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4.01 avg rating — 117,550 ratings
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14

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3.95 avg rating — 69,455 ratings
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15

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3.84 avg rating — 114,443 ratings
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16

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4.05 avg rating — 145,246 ratings
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17

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4.02 avg rating — 294,733 ratings
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18

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4.01 avg rating — 465,564 ratings
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19

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3.93 avg rating — 220,691 ratings
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20

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4.28 avg rating — 57,781 ratings
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21

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3.93 avg rating — 108,093 ratings
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22

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4.09 avg rating — 1,059,634 ratings
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23

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3.85 avg rating — 111,420 ratings
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24

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4.45 avg rating — 263,626 ratings
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25

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4.34 avg rating — 656,606 ratings
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26

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3.82 avg rating — 257,897 ratings
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27

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4.02 avg rating — 98,767 ratings
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28

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3.74 avg rating — 241,089 ratings
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29

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3.83 avg rating — 422,362 ratings
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30

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4.17 avg rating — 159,626 ratings
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31

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3.78 avg rating — 39,846 ratings
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32

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3.80 avg rating — 212,430 ratings
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33

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3.98 avg rating — 133,057 ratings
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34

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3.97 avg rating — 144,231 ratings
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35

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3.83 avg rating — 124,649 ratings
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36

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4.06 avg rating — 183,961 ratings
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37

by
4.08 avg rating — 138,606 ratings
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38

by
3.94 avg rating — 194,019 ratings
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39

by
4.13 avg rating — 111,510 ratings
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40

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4.10 avg rating — 58,154 ratings
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41

by
3.93 avg rating — 105,079 ratings
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42

by
4.03 avg rating — 50,028 ratings
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43

by
3.82 avg rating — 172,724 ratings
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44

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4.10 avg rating — 105,778 ratings
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45

by
3.91 avg rating — 179,591 ratings
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46

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3.60 avg rating — 34,664 ratings
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47

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3.42 avg rating — 118,585 ratings
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48

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4.23 avg rating — 498,820 ratings
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49

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4.05 avg rating — 529,809 ratings
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50

by
3.56 avg rating — 130,863 ratings
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51

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4.02 avg rating — 200,289 ratings
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52

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3.78 avg rating — 82,392 ratings
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53

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3.66 avg rating — 202,607 ratings
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54

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3.54 avg rating — 140,719 ratings
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55

by
3.86 avg rating — 28,038 ratings
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56

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3.95 avg rating — 67,027 ratings
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57

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3.73 avg rating — 103,225 ratings
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58

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3.96 avg rating — 207,174 ratings
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59

by
3.79 avg rating — 129,079 ratings
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60

by
3.78 avg rating — 100,253 ratings
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61

by
4.08 avg rating — 108,818 ratings
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62

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3.88 avg rating — 142,819 ratings
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62

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4.06 avg rating — 104,374 ratings
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64

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4.02 avg rating — 61,265 ratings
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65

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3.60 avg rating — 101,505 ratings
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66

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4.03 avg rating — 21,128 ratings
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67

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3.79 avg rating — 30,953 ratings
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68

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3.94 avg rating — 107,418 ratings
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69

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3.74 avg rating — 183,107 ratings
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70

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3.97 avg rating — 757,499 ratings
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71

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3.90 avg rating — 19,850 ratings
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72

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3.99 avg rating — 20,331 ratings
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73

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4.02 avg rating — 94,157 ratings
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74

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4.11 avg rating — 215,716 ratings
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75

by
3.90 avg rating — 16,649 ratings
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76

by
3.73 avg rating — 51,264 ratings
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77

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 17,549 ratings
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78

by
4.21 avg rating — 229,766 ratings
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79

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3.90 avg rating — 11,475 ratings
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80

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3.61 avg rating — 140,812 ratings
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81

by
4.06 avg rating — 28,932 ratings
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82

by
4.03 avg rating — 97,465 ratings
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83

by
4.22 avg rating — 197,323 ratings
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84

by
3.69 avg rating — 2,396,485 ratings
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85

by
3.66 avg rating — 7,069 ratings
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86

by
4.02 avg rating — 55,411 ratings
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87

by
4.13 avg rating — 29,165 ratings
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88

by
3.86 avg rating — 9,674 ratings
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89

by
3.82 avg rating — 18,105 ratings
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90

by
3.96 avg rating — 262,048 ratings
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91

by
3.86 avg rating — 7,402 ratings
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92

by
3.91 avg rating — 34,423 ratings
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93

by
4.05 avg rating — 835,226 ratings
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94

by
4.02 avg rating — 156,848 ratings
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95

by
3.61 avg rating — 11,245 ratings
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96

by
3.93 avg rating — 18,499 ratings
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97

by
3.90 avg rating — 11,264 ratings
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98

by
3.94 avg rating — 17,795 ratings
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99

by
3.84 avg rating — 7,888 ratings
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100

by
4.06 avg rating — 10,388 ratings
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flag this list (?)
1,793 books · 5,495 voters · list created June 28th, 2008 by Susan (votes) .
Tags: horror
1072 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Susan 1605 books
61 friends
Heather 1514 books
36 friends
Billy 395 books
3135 friends
Kate 4046 books
1404 friends
Lindsey 1098 books
20 friends
William 3433 books
148 friends
Bresdin 462 books
9 friends
Nicholas 125 books
6 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-50 of 74 (74 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 Yassemin (new)

Yassemin 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 Yassemin (new)

Yassemin 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)

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 15: by J.W. (new)

J.W. Griebel Why is Laymon so far down on this list?


message 16: 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 17: 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 18: 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 19: 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 20: by Laura (new)

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


message 21: 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 22: by Rajshekhar (new)

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


message 23: 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 24: by Anthony (new)

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


message 25: 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 26: by Summer Seeds (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 27: by Robert (new)

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


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

Jon Lyons No John Connolly? Not even one title?


message 37: 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 38: 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 39: 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 40: by Steph (new)

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


message 41: 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 42: by Kirsten (new)

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


message 43: 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 44: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Checked for duplicates: 3 books removed.


message 45: 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.


message 46: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Checked for duplicates: 24 books removed.


message 47: by Alex (new)

Alex Willis Wouldn't the current #74 And Then There Were None be more mystery than horror?


message 48: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Checked for duplicates: 1 book removed.


message 49: by Calais (new)

Calais Which book out of this list do you think would good for a 13 year old who likes Horror and gore?


message 50: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Deleted seven more collections of short stories between #300 and #400.


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