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
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Score
  1. 1
    Up 213
    Down 33
    Stephen King More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 185
    Down 42
    Stephen King More
    96
  3. 3
    Up 132
    Down 29

    most listed
    Dracula

    Bram Stoker More
    94
  4. 4
    Up 92
    Down 31

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Frankenstein

    Mary Shelley More
    87
  5. 5
    Up 164
    Down 24

    ranked low on reranks
    'Salem's Lot

    Stephen King More
    82
  6. 6
    Up 104
    Down 21
    Richard Matheson More
    81
  7. 7
    Up 88
    Down 19
    Peter Straub More
    80
  8. 8
    Up 112
    Down 17
    Edgar Allan Poe, Nextext More
    79
  9. 9
    Up 125
    Down 26
    Stephen King More
    77
  10. 10
    Up 98
    Down 17
    H. P. Lovecraft More
    77
  11. 11
    Up 57
    Down 12

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

    Robert Louis Stevenson More
    76
  12. 12
    Up 101
    Down 11
    William Peter Blatty More
    74
  13. 13
    Up 118
    Down 22
    Stephen King More
    72
  14. 14
    Up 65
    Down 12
    Ira Levin More
    72
  15. 15
    Up 65
    Down 22
    Dean Koontz More
    69
  16. 16
    Up 58
    Down 18
    James Herbert More
    68
  17. 17
    Up 51
    Down 17
    Robert R. McCammon More
    68
  18. 18
    Up 54
    Down 5

    ranked low on reranks
    Psycho

    Robert Bloch More
    67
  19. 19
    Up 48
    Down 15
    Dan Simmons More
    67
  20. 20
    Up 39
    Down 9
    Henry James More
    67
  21. 21
    Up 49
    Down 17
    Clive Barker More
    67
  22. 22
    Up 51
    Down 9
    H. P. Lovecraft More
    65
  23. 23
    Up 63
    Down 21
    Oscar Wilde More
    64
  24. 24
    Up 40
    Down 9
    Clive Barker More
    62
  25. 25
    Up 54
    Down 8
    H. P. Lovecraft More
    61
  26. 26
    Up 73
    Down 19
    Stephen King More
    61
  27. 27
    Up 47
    Down 18

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    The Amityville Horror

    Jay Anson More
    60
  28. 28
    Up 50
    Down 8
    Ray Bradbury More
    60
  29. 29
    Up 98
    Down 23

    ranked low on reranks
    The Silence of the Lambs

    Thomas Harris More
    59
  30. 30
    Up 37
    Down 14
    Dan Simmons More
    59
  31. 31
    Up 27
    Down 7
    James Herbert More
    58
  32. 32
    Up 49
    Down 11
    Robert R. McCammon More
    58
  33. 33
    Up 43
    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 29
    Down 13

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Stinger

    Robert R. McCammon More
    56
  36. 36
    Up 33
    Down 6
    Stephen King More
    56
  37. 37
    Up 41
    Down 10
    Mark Z. Danielewski More
    56
  38. 38
    Up 67
    Down 16

    ranked low on reranks
    The Haunting of Hill House

    Shirley Jackson More
    56
  39. 39
    Up 22
    Down 9
    Ramsey Campbell More
    55
  40. 40
    Up 23
    Down 12
    Richard Laymon More
    55
  41. 41
    Up 18
    Down 6
    Peter Straub More
    55
  42. 42
    Up 44
    Down 15

    ranked low on reranks
    Jaws

    Peter Benchley More
    55
  43. 43
    Up 23
    Down 12
    Richard Laymon More
    55
  44. 44
    Up 21
    Down 10
    Dean Koontz More
    55
  45. 45
    Up 10
    Down 4

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Incarnate

    Ramsey Campbell More
    53
  46. 46
    Up 50
    Down 25

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Interview with the Vampire

    Anne Rice More
    53
  47. 47
    Up 36
    Down 4

    ranked low on reranks
    The Island of Doctor Moreau

    H. G. Wells More
    53
  48. 48
    Up 40
    Down 7

    ranked low on reranks
    The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

    Washington Irving More
    53
  49. 49
    Up 32
    Down 12
    Richard Laymon More
    53
  50. 50
    Up 42
    Down 8

    ranked low on reranks
    The Hellbound Heart

    Clive Barker More
    53
  51. 166 +

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