The Greatest Horror Books of All Time Books
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The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

List Criteria: Scary / horror novels or other 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.
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 9 ReRanks
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Score
  1. 1
    Up 218
    Down 34
    Stephen King More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 191
    Down 45
    Stephen King More
    95
  3. 3
    Up 136
    Down 30

    most listed
    Dracula

    Bram Stoker More
    94
  4. 4
    Up 95
    Down 33

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Frankenstein

    Mary Shelley More
    87
  5. 5
    Up 170
    Down 25

    ranked low on reranks
    'Salem's Lot

    Stephen King More
    82
  6. 6
    Up 111
    Down 22
    Richard Matheson More
    82
  7. 7
    Up 92
    Down 21
    Peter Straub More
    80
  8. 8
    Up 116
    Down 18
    Edgar Allan Poe, Nextext More
    79
  9. 9
    Up 131
    Down 28
    Stephen King More
    77
  10. 10
    Up 101
    Down 18
    H. P. Lovecraft More
    77
  11. 11
    Up 59
    Down 12

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

    Robert Louis Stevenson More
    76
  12. 12
    Up 105
    Down 12
    William Peter Blatty More
    74
  13. 13
    Up 123
    Down 24
    Stephen King More
    72
  14. 14
    Up 68
    Down 14
    Ira Levin More
    72
  15. 15
    Up 68
    Down 23
    Dean Koontz More
    69
  16. 16
    Up 62
    Down 20
    James Herbert More
    69
  17. 17
    Up 55
    Down 18
    Robert R. McCammon More
    68
  18. 18
    Up 51
    Down 15
    Dan Simmons More
    68
  19. 19
    Up 42
    Down 9
    Henry James More
    68
  20. 20
    Up 56
    Down 5

    ranked low on reranks
    Psycho

    Robert Bloch More
    68
  21. 21
    Up 50
    Down 18

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    The Damnation Game

    Clive Barker More
    67
  22. 22
    Up 54
    Down 9
    H. P. Lovecraft More
    66
  23. 23
    Up 64
    Down 21
    Oscar Wilde More
    64
  24. 24
    Up 41
    Down 9
    Clive Barker More
    62
  25. 25
    Up 77
    Down 20
    Stephen King More
    61
  26. 26
    Up 54
    Down 8
    H. P. Lovecraft More
    61
  27. 27
    Up 49
    Down 19

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    The Amityville Horror

    Jay Anson More
    60
  28. 28
    Up 52
    Down 8
    Ray Bradbury More
    60
  29. 29
    Up 101
    Down 23

    ranked low on reranks
    The Silence of the Lambs

    Thomas Harris More
    60
  30. 30
    Up 38
    Down 14
    Dan Simmons More
    59
  31. 31
    Up 27
    Down 7
    James Herbert More
    58
  32. 32
    Up 51
    Down 11
    Robert R. McCammon More
    58
  33. 33
    Up 44
    Down 9
    Richard Matheson More
    57
  34. 34
    Up 24
    Down 7

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    The Thief of Always

    Clive Barker More
    57
  35. 35
    Up 35
    Down 6
    Stephen King More
    57
  36. 36
    Up 30
    Down 13

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Stinger

    Robert R. McCammon More
    57
  37. 37
    Up 41
    Down 10
    Mark Z. Danielewski More
    56
  38. 38
    Up 68
    Down 16

    ranked low on reranks
    The Haunting of Hill House

    Shirley Jackson More
    56
  39. 39
    Up 24
    Down 12
    Richard Laymon More
    56
  40. 40
    Up 19
    Down 6
    Peter Straub More
    56
  41. 41
    Up 22
    Down 9
    Ramsey Campbell More
    55
  42. 42
    Up 45
    Down 15

    ranked low on reranks
    Jaws

    Peter Benchley More
    55
  43. 43
    Up 23
    Down 12

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    One Rainy Night

    Richard Laymon More
    55
  44. 44
    Up 21
    Down 10

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Midnight

    Dean Koontz More
    55
  45. 45
    Up 52
    Down 25
    Anne Rice More
    54
  46. 46
    Up 44
    Down 8

    ranked low on reranks
    The Hellbound Heart

    Clive Barker More
    53
  47. 47
    Up 40
    Down 7

    ranked low on reranks
    The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

    Washington Irving More
    53
  48. 48
    Up 10
    Down 5

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Incarnate

    Ramsey Campbell More
    53
  49. 49
    Up 36
    Down 5
    H. G. Wells More
    52
  50. 50
    Up 32
    Down 13
    Richard Laymon More
    52
  51. 156 +

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