The Greatest Horror Books of All Time Books

The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

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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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  • 15 ReRanks
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  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 561
    - 128

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Stephen King

    ;
  2. 2
    + 495
    - 114


    Stephen King

    ;
  3. 3
    + 420
    - 84


    Stephen King

    ;
  4. 4
    + 336
    - 115

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Bram Stoker

    ;
  5. 5
    + 300
    - 40


    William Peter Blatty

    ;
  6. 6
    + 338
    - 81


    Stephen King

    ;
  7. 7
    + 275
    - 65


    Edgar Allan Poe, Nextext

    ;
  8. 8
    + 318
    - 86


    Stephen King

    ;
  9. 9
    + 229
    - 103

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Mary Shelley

    ;
  10. 10
    + 236
    - 84


    Richard Matheson

    ;
  11. 11
    + 249
    - 41

    ranked low on reranks
    Thomas Harris

    ;
  12. 12
    + 164
    - 47


    Ira Levin

    ;
  13. 13
    + 205
    - 44


    Stephen King

    ;
  14. 14
    + 199
    - 60


    H. P. Lovecraft

    ;
  15. 15
    + 196
    - 74


    Peter Straub

    ;
  16. 16
    + 135
    - 29


    Robert Bloch

    ;
  17. 17
    + 146
    - 33


    Stephen King

    ;
  18. 18
    + 132
    - 63

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Dean Koontz

    ;
  19. 19
    + 128
    - 25


    Ray Bradbury

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  20. 20
    + 131
    - 29


    H. P. Lovecraft

    ;
  21. 21
    + 129
    - 50


    Robert Louis Stevenson

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  22. 22
    + 119
    - 32


    Clive Barker

    ;
  23. 23
    + 113
    - 27


    Stephen King

    ;
  24. 24
    + 117
    - 14

    ranked low on reranks
    Stephen King

    ;
  25. 25
    + 127
    - 42


    James Herbert

    ;
  26. 26
    + 112
    - 28


    Robert R. McCammon

    ;
  27. 27
    + 143
    - 26

    ranked low on reranks
    H. P. Lovecraft

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  28. 28
    + 96
    - 31


    Henry James

    ;
  29. 29
    + 142
    - 49


    Oscar Wilde

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  30. 30
    + 163
    - 35

    ranked low on reranks
    Shirley Jackson

    ;
  31. 31
    + 95
    - 40

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Clive Barker

    ;
  32. 32
    + 114
    - 52


    Jay Anson

    ;
  33. 33
    + 92
    - 16


    Edgar Allan Poe

    ;
  34. 34
    + 102
    - 26


    Richard Matheson

    ;
  35. 35
    + 92
    - 36


    Dan Simmons

    ;
  36. 36
    + 39
    - 16

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Robert R. McCammon

    ;
  37. 37
    + 94
    - 48


    Michael Crichton

    ;
  38. 38
    + 102
    - 25

    ranked low on reranks
    Thomas Harris

    ;
  39. 39
    + 132
    - 65


    Anne Rice

    ;
  40. 40
    + 76
    - 31


    Dan Simmons

    ;
  41. 41
    + 76
    - 23


    Stephen King

    ;
  42. 42
    + 73
    - 18


    Peter Benchley

    ;
  43. 43
    + 89
    - 32


    Joe Hill

    ;
  44. 44
    + 84
    - 22


    Washington Irving

    ;
  45. 45
    + 89
    - 24


    Clive Barker

    ;
  46. 46
    + 68
    - 25


    Dean Koontz

    ;
  47. 47
    + 55
    - 34

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Robert R. McCammon

    ;
  48. 48
    + 47
    - 30

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Dean Koontz

    ;
  49. 49
    + 79
    - 29

    ranked low on reranks
    Mark Z. Danielewski

    ;
  50. 50
    + 46
    - 23

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    James Herbert

    ;
173 +

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