The Exorcist The Exorcist question

What is the one horror novel you read that ACTUALLY scared you
Jonathan Lynch Jonathan Jul 24, 2014 02:32PM
Over the years I've read tons of horror books and have many favourites but I would say in all the novels I have read that perhaps there was one that genuinely kept me awake at night when I was a teenager - (an age I probably shouldn't have read this book at anyway) but what's done is done :)

The novel for me would be The Exorcist for two reasons - 1: as mentioned I was perhaps 13 when I read it AFTER having already seen the movie which I guess made the novel more visual so to speak and the fact that although the subject matter was fiction it was still a story literally about the girl next door and the hard working single mother who's little girl becomes possessed.
2:The fact that it was still grounded in reality by even the priest believing Regan to be medically sick instead of possessed from the off made it all the more scary for me, and in my opinion it is still perhaps the best horror movie ever made I still have a copy of the book on my shelf today.

So my question is what horror novel REALLY gave you the chills and made you say 'that was scary!' And why?

Dennis (last edited Jul 26, 2014 01:26PM ) Jul 26, 2014 01:14PM   1 vote
This book was a pop culture bestseller in the early '70's when I was 12.
My liberal Mom/Step Dad read it and passed on all their adult fiction/non fiction to me. I was more intrigued by the mystery structure more than anything (by way of Det. Kinderman), although there are definitely some chamber of horrors scenes that are most memorable and frightening. CUT TO: a couple of years later, the 3 of us made it to Westwood LA for the film adaptation premiere. Yes, we were in THAT 4 hr. line. The critics were resoundingly harsh in the pre-press. All book readers were skeptical that "you just can't make this into a movie". We made the 1 am show, with a lot of couples drinking in the line. By the opening credits, someone made a funny yelp like they were already scared, to much laughter and applause. 1 hr. later, everything turned around. At 14 yrs old, I was in the lobby at least 3 or 4 times, back and forth, and all the early screening legends are true. People were carried out half passed out, crying, covering their ears, smoking intensely, you name it. It was home run for Friedkin/Blatty. My StepDad became ultra-Baptist afterwards and has never recovered, poor soul. Most of my nightmares re: Exorcist to this day take place in the movie theater and hearing the screams of grown adults. That was it: a teen who witnesses complete emotional melt-downs by adults will be surely be affected, we count on them to offer perspective and calm. It's still a fun ride and very much holds up to this date and even with the power of CGI, nothing comes close merging modern expressionism to a kind of docu-naturalism. However, it's still kind of fucked up with couching the whole demon thing in a small girl with white Catholic priests to save the day. Esp. since the supposed real life case was a boy.

The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren by Gerald Brittle. Scared the crap out of me and slept with the lights on.

James The Shining: Crawl inside the mind of a madman who sold his soul for a lousy drink.
Oct 07, 2015 06:30PM · flag
Alex What's scarier is that this isn't a novel ;) ...more
Oct 12, 2015 02:14PM · flag

The exorcist? =great but The Omen freaked me out even more!

The Shining. I had never seen the movie or read the book, so I picked the book up last fall (It was actually my first ever Stephen King novel I had read!) right before Halloween. I didn't sleep through the night for 2 weeks. Absolutely terrifying to me. I feel like its the kind of "haunting" that could happen in real life. I was scared of my fiance for a while after it, too!!! Luckily I recovered and am no longer scared, and I plan on reading Pet Sematary this fall. :) I obviously didn't learn my lesson.

I also read The Exorcist when I was around thirteen. A couple months ago, I read it again and marveled at what a good book it is -- well-written, thought-provoking, and scary.

The book that probably freaked me out the most is Communion, by Whitley Strieber. It was a purportedly true story about his abduction by strange beings. At one point, I threw the book across the room rather than read it anymore. I wonder if I'd have the same reaction now.

deleted member Dec 27, 2014 12:03PM   0 votes
Dennis Wheatley - The Devil Rides Out - a disturbing story of black magic and the occult.

I think the creepiest I've read was Ghosts of Sleath by James Herbert. I was pretty young when I read it but abandoned schools with singing kids will always freak me out. The Rats trilogy (also by him) grossed me out the most and actually made me gag at points. ):

I need to read more Stephen King. I think I'm missing out.

Salem's Lot. I first read it when I was 11 years old, and it caused a many of a sleepless night afterward. It was one of several Stephen King books that my mother had lying around and one day, and I took it. That night, and subsequent nights I would read it after my parents tucked me in. That may have been a mistake, as there was a window next to my bed. I imagined Danny Glick knocking on my window, asking me to let him in. Fortunately, monsters cannot identify a kid (so I thought)hiding underneath the covers. Still creeps me out to this day. I read it every October.

Carol (last edited Aug 29, 2014 10:14AM ) Aug 29, 2014 10:13AM   0 votes
I read a lot of books, less as I've gotten older, but I average 30+ a week, so. The one book that always freaked me out was It by Stephen King. I think it was the storm drain part, it always felt like you could be sucked right down them and washed out to sea. That part has changed because a 12 year old child in a town not far from mine, was sucked into a storm drain recently when there was flooding in the street, and washed out about 1/2 mile down a local stream. She heard her dead mother telling her to pull her arms and legs in, and was okay.

Salem's Lot

Pet Sematary is the only book so far that truly gave me the willies.

I agree with Ruth, Helter Skelter is far and away the scariest book I ever read. I remember at the beginning there is a warning 'This book will scare the hell out of you and it did. It was so scary I read it three times. Horror can't measure up. Truth may or may not be stranger than fiction, but it can be a whole lot more frightening

In Cold Blood really creeps me out.

Yes, The Exorcist did it for me back in '73 after having seen the movie.

Storm (last edited Aug 07, 2014 08:02PM ) Jul 24, 2014 08:20PM   0 votes
read power of five its a good thriller novel also the book honey boo boo at mcdonalds faarrrr dats a scary as moment

Any votes for Zodiac by Robert Graysmith? I haven't read it yet. Is it scary?

Agreed on The Exorcist, but the first one for me really, and I was about that age as well, was The Shining. I read that book in one sitting, one of a very few books to draw me in that hard. It was just so creepy and I found Danny Torrance to be such a likable character that I was literally on the edge of my seat worried about what would happen to him for much of the book.

The Exorcist was very scary to me and I think that is why I generally don't read books of this genre. I read it when it was first released back when....

Ghost Story, Peter Straub - reading it again after many years and it's scarier than 99.99% of what else is out there

For me the scariest book was a nonfiction book Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders. I had nightmares for a week. I would never pick up and reread that book. You couldn't pay me to do it. As for fiction I would have to say Pet Semetary by Stephen King. I also agree about The Exorcist. I walked out of that movie. I can read horror books, can't watch the movies.


Really caught my attention! Not sure 'scared' is the right description. For me the definition of modern (not Poe, Lovecraft, etc.) horror.

I have read and watched all my life and Exorcist did scare me to read

The Exorcist, hands down the scariest book out there... No one ever did it better... although Clive Barker is pretty damn scary !

The scene in "The Shining" when Jack Torrance is outside the Overlook Hotel and slowly, slowly, the topiary animals begin to move. The reader sees the lion's paw inch toward Jack. Jack does not see what's happening and we understand that he is oblivious to the evil around him.

Referring to the book, not the movie.

Jonathan wrote: "Over the years I've read tons of horror books and have many favourites but I would say in all the novels I have read that perhaps there was one that genuinely kept me awake at night when I was a te..."

I am just making my way through some horror novels and "The Excorcist" is by far the most scary one. The other two I liked were the Omen and the sequel, which I can't remember the name. They were great.

I just read Salem's Lot and it was very scary, but Steven King's style of narration is not my favorite, plus I like suspense, but I don't like unending plot twists without rest, which is how I would describe the middle to the end of Salem's Lot.

Jennie (last edited Aug 29, 2014 03:18AM ) Aug 29, 2014 03:17AM   0 votes
This one scared the shit out of me for sure. Couldn't sleep for weeks after the book and the movie. Not even game enough to read it again now. But The Shining and IT were really good, cling to your seat reads, that didn't leave such a lasting chill.

I'm not even a huge fan of The Shining (though I am a huge Stephen King fan) novel but I'll admit it's probably the book that's come closest to scaring me. Also, Salem's Lot and Pet Sematary are genuinely creepy. These 3 books are certainly King's scariest.
Dean Koontz Winter Moon has some pretty scary moments as well.

you are aware that it isn't entirely fiction right? the original story of the person was based off a exorcism that happened to a male. i still have yet to find a book that scares me. maybe it would have been different if i had started reading horror novels that far back. have either of you watched horror movies nearly all your life? i'm asking to inquire if possibly the horror movies might have some basis of how much we can tolerate as far as what can scare us.

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