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The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

List Criteria: Scary / horror novels or other freaky works of fiction

The greatest horror books of all time are books that make the hair on the back of your neck stand up just from the rustle of turning the pages. These scary horror novels are books you don't want to read at night (or by yourself) because they're just a little too scary. Many of these scary books have been turned into the scariest movies ever made, while others are too frightening to be imagined in real life.

From Stephen King classics like "The Shining" and "It" to classic stories like Bram Stoker's "Dracula" and Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein", these scary horror novels are known for their fright factor and smart writing that makes you believe the horrific events in the books are really possible.

What are the best horror novels? What is the scariest horror book? This list of the best horror novels is here to help you find a good scare on the written page. If you don't see your favorite horror book on the list of great scary novels, make sure to add it so other people can get the same fright you did.

If you're still looking for a good scare after peeking at this greatest horror books list, check out the scarefests in the best found footage films for a good scare.

The Greatest Horror Books of All Time Books
  • 14 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 523
    - 118

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Stephen King

    ; buy at  
  2. 2
    + 458
    - 105


    Stephen King

    ; buy at  
  3. 3
    + 398
    - 77


    Stephen King

    ; buy at  
  4. 4
    + 315
    - 109

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Bram Stoker

    ; buy at  
  5. 5
    + 276
    - 35


    William Peter Blatty

    ; buy at  
  6. 6
    + 325
    - 74


    Stephen King

    ; buy at  
  7. 7
    + 261
    - 61


    Edgar Allan Poe, Nextext

    ; buy at  
  8. 8
    + 297
    - 74


    Stephen King

    ; buy at  
  9. 9
    + 228
    - 76


    Richard Matheson

    ; buy at  
  10. 10
    + 213
    - 99

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Mary Shelley

    ; buy at  
  11. 11
    + 233
    - 38

    ranked low on reranks
    Thomas Harris

    ; buy at  
  12. 12
    + 189
    - 53


    H. P. Lovecraft

    ; buy at  
  13. 13
    + 149
    - 44


    Ira Levin

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  14. 14
    + 189
    - 38


    Stephen King

    ; buy at  
  15. 15
    + 128
    - 25


    Robert Bloch

    ; buy at  
  16. 16
    + 186
    - 70


    Peter Straub

    ; buy at  
  17. 17
    + 138
    - 26


    Stephen King

    ; buy at  
  18. 18
    + 129
    - 56

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Dean Koontz

    ; buy at  
  19. 19
    + 115
    - 26


    Clive Barker

    ; buy at  
  20. 20
    + 125
    - 24


    H. P. Lovecraft

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  21. 21
    + 119
    - 23


    Ray Bradbury

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  22. 22
    + 99
    - 22


    Stephen King

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  23. 23
    + 118
    - 49


    Robert Louis Stevenson

    ; buy at  
  24. 24
    + 103
    - 12

    ranked low on reranks
    Stephen King

    ; buy at  
  25. 25
    + 119
    - 40


    James Herbert

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  26. 26
    + 108
    - 24


    Robert R. McCammon

    ; buy at  
  27. 27
    + 91
    - 28


    Henry James

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  28. 28
    + 132
    - 23

    ranked low on reranks
    H. P. Lovecraft

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  29. 29
    + 134
    - 45


    Oscar Wilde

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  30. 30
    + 150
    - 34

    ranked low on reranks
    Shirley Jackson

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  31. 31
    + 91
    - 36


    Clive Barker

    ; buy at  
  32. 32
    + 108
    - 50


    Jay Anson

    ; buy at  
  33. 33
    + 96
    - 24


    Richard Matheson

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  34. 34
    + 83
    - 14

    ranked low on reranks
    Edgar Allan Poe

    ; buy at  
  35. 35
    + 87
    - 33


    Dan Simmons

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  36. 36
    + 37
    - 15

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Robert R. McCammon

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  37. 37
    + 96
    - 22

    ranked low on reranks
    Thomas Harris

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  38. 38
    + 88
    - 46

    often listed
    Michael Crichton

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  39. 39
    + 75
    - 29


    Dan Simmons

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  40. 40
    + 72
    - 20


    Stephen King

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  41. 41
    + 86
    - 29


    Joe Hill

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  42. 42
    + 87
    - 21


    Clive Barker

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  43. 43
    + 65
    - 16


    Peter Benchley

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  44. 44
    + 54
    - 30

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Robert R. McCammon

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  45. 45
    + 120
    - 60


    Anne Rice

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  46. 46
    + 64
    - 24


    Dean Koontz

    ; buy at  
  47. 47
    + 45
    - 27

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Dean Koontz

    ; buy at  
  48. 48
    + 77
    - 20

    ranked low on reranks
    Washington Irving

    ; buy at  
  49. 49
    + 44
    - 21

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    James Herbert

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  50. 50
    + 74
    - 26


    Mark Z. Danielewski

    ; buy at  
172 +

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