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 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.

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  1. 1
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    the people's #1 & most listed
    Stephen King

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  2. 2
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    Stephen King

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  3. 3
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    Bram Stoker

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  4. 4
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    Stephen King

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  5. 5
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Mary Shelley

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  6. 6
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  7. 7
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    often listed
    Peter Straub

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  8. 8
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    Stephen King

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  9. 9
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    H. P. Lovecraft

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  10. 10
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    Richard Matheson

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  11. 11
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    Stephen King

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  12. 12
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    William Peter Blatty

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  13. 13
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  14. 14
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  15. 15
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    Dean Koontz

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  16. 16
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  17. 17
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    James Herbert

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  18. 18
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  19. 19
    + 101
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    Robert Bloch

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  20. 20
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  21. 21
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    Dan Simmons

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  22. 22
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    Clive Barker

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  23. 23
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Clive Barker

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  24. 24
    + 92
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  25. 25
    + 65
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Dan Simmons

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  26. 26
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    Thomas Harris

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  27. 27
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    Stephen King

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  28. 28
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  29. 29
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    Stephen King

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  30. 30
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    Stephen King

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  31. 31
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    Michael Crichton

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  32. 32
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    Robert R. McCammon

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  33. 33
    + 35
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    Peter Straub

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  34. 34
    + 87
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  35. 35
    + 24
    - 8

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Robert R. McCammon

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  36. 36
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  37. 37
    + 57
    - 10
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  38. 38
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    Richard Matheson

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  39. 39
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  40. 40
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  41. 41
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  42. 42
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    Richard Laymon

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  43. 43
    + 66
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    Mark Z. Danielewski

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  44. 44
    + 37
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    James Herbert

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  45. 45
    + 45
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    ranked low on reranks
    Peter Benchley

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  46. 46
    + 43
    - 22

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Robert R. McCammon

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  47. 47
    + 78
    - 14

    ranked low on reranks
    Clive Barker

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  48. 48
    + 36
    - 16

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Dean Koontz

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  49. 49
    + 35
    - 20

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Richard Laymon

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  50. 50
    + 68
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    ranked low on reranks
    Thomas Harris

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