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
    + 570
    - 133

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Stephen King

    ;
  2. 2
    + 504
    - 117


    Stephen King

    ;
  3. 3
    + 430
    - 90


    Stephen King

    ;
  4. 4
    + 346
    - 117


    Bram Stoker

    ;
  5. 5
    + 306
    - 42


    William Peter Blatty

    ;
  6. 6
    + 282
    - 65


    Edgar Allan Poe, Nextext

    ;
  7. 7
    + 342
    - 85


    Stephen King

    ;
  8. 8
    + 238
    - 104

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Mary Shelley

    ;
  9. 9
    + 324
    - 88


    Stephen King

    ;
  10. 10
    + 240
    - 87

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Richard Matheson

    ;
  11. 11
    + 252
    - 44

    ranked low on reranks
    Thomas Harris

    ;
  12. 12
    + 166
    - 50


    Ira Levin

    ;
  13. 13
    + 213
    - 46


    Stephen King

    ;
  14. 14
    + 142
    - 29


    Robert Bloch

    ;
  15. 15
    + 203
    - 74


    Peter Straub

    ;
  16. 16
    + 204
    - 61


    H. P. Lovecraft

    ;
  17. 17
    + 133
    - 26


    Ray Bradbury

    ;
  18. 18
    + 151
    - 35


    Stephen King

    ;
  19. 19
    + 137
    - 30


    H. P. Lovecraft

    ;
  20. 20
    + 134
    - 51


    Robert Louis Stevenson

    ;
  21. 21
    + 134
    - 64

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Dean Koontz

    ;
  22. 22
    + 117
    - 29


    Stephen King

    ;
  23. 23
    + 122
    - 34


    Clive Barker

    ;
  24. 24
    + 130
    - 43


    James Herbert

    ;
  25. 25
    + 121
    - 16

    ranked low on reranks
    Stephen King

    ;
  26. 26
    + 148
    - 26

    ranked low on reranks
    H. P. Lovecraft

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  27. 27
    + 97
    - 31


    Henry James

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  28. 28
    + 113
    - 30


    Robert R. McCammon

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  29. 29
    + 167
    - 35

    ranked low on reranks
    Shirley Jackson

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  30. 30
    + 146
    - 51


    Oscar Wilde

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  31. 31
    + 96
    - 40

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Clive Barker

    ;
  32. 32
    + 96
    - 16


    Edgar Allan Poe

    ;
  33. 33
    + 116
    - 54

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Jay Anson

    ;
  34. 34
    + 104
    - 26

    ranked low on reranks
    Richard Matheson

    ;
  35. 35
    + 93
    - 36


    Dan Simmons

    ;
  36. 36
    + 106
    - 26

    ranked low on reranks
    Thomas Harris

    ;
  37. 37
    + 96
    - 49


    Michael Crichton

    ;
  38. 38
    + 135
    - 66


    Anne Rice

    ;
  39. 39
    + 39
    - 18

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Robert R. McCammon

    ;
  40. 40
    + 77
    - 18


    Peter Benchley

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  41. 41
    + 81
    - 24


    Stephen King

    ;
  42. 42
    + 76
    - 31


    Dan Simmons

    ;
  43. 43
    + 85
    - 22


    Washington Irving

    ;
  44. 44
    + 89
    - 33


    Joe Hill

    ;
  45. 45
    + 90
    - 24


    Clive Barker

    ;
  46. 46
    + 55
    - 34

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Robert R. McCammon

    ;
  47. 47
    + 69
    - 26


    Dean Koontz

    ;
  48. 48
    + 80
    - 29


    Mark Z. Danielewski

    ;
  49. 49
    + 46
    - 23

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    James Herbert

    ;
  50. 50
    + 47
    - 31

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Dean Koontz

    ;
173 +

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