The Greatest Horror Books of All Time Books
Ultimate List
156  items 6,227 votes 838 voters 65,572 views more info

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.
  • 10 ReRanks
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
</> Rerank List
Score
  1. 1
    Up 268
    Down 38

    Stephen King

    open buy @ amazon
  2. 2
    Up 165
    Down 32

    most listed Bram Stoker

    open buy @ amazon
  3. 3
    Up 229
    Down 49

    Stephen King

    open buy @ amazon
  4. 4
    Up 109
    Down 37

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Mary Shelley

    open buy @ amazon
  5. 5
    Up 207
    Down 25

    ranked low on reranks Stephen King

    open buy @ amazon
  6. 6
    Up 101
    Down 24

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Peter Straub

    open buy @ amazon
  7. 7
    Up 132
    Down 22

    Edgar Allan Poe, Nextext

    open buy @ amazon
  8. 8
    Up 114
    Down 20

    H. P. Lovecraft

    open buy @ amazon
  9. 9
    Up 128
    Down 27

    Richard Matheson

    open buy @ amazon
  10. 10
    Up 162
    Down 30

    Stephen King

    open buy @ amazon
  11. 11
    Up 148
    Down 26

    Stephen King

    open buy @ amazon
  12. 12
    Up 125
    Down 14

    ranked low on reranks William Peter Blatty

    open buy @ amazon
  13. 13
    Up 66
    Down 14

    Robert Louis Stevenson

    open buy @ amazon
  14. 14
    Up 73
    Down 24

    Dean Koontz

    open buy @ amazon
  15. 15
    Up 77
    Down 19

    Ira Levin

    open buy @ amazon
  16. 16
    Up 65
    Down 8

    ranked low on reranks Robert Bloch

    open buy @ amazon
  17. 17
    Up 69
    Down 21

    James Herbert

    open buy @ amazon
  18. 18
    Up 63
    Down 9

    ranked low on reranks H. P. Lovecraft

    open buy @ amazon
  19. 19
    Up 49
    Down 10

    Henry James

    open buy @ amazon
  20. 20
    Up 53
    Down 17

    Dan Simmons

    open buy @ amazon
  21. 21
    Up 54
    Down 19

    Clive Barker

    open buy @ amazon
  22. 22
    Up 65
    Down 8

    ranked low on reranks H. P. Lovecraft

    open buy @ amazon
  23. 23
    Up 73
    Down 22

    Oscar Wilde

    open buy @ amazon
  24. 24
    Up 46
    Down 9

    Clive Barker

    open buy @ amazon
  25. 25
    Up 90
    Down 22

    Stephen King

    open buy @ amazon
  26. 26
    Up 57
    Down 9

    Ray Bradbury

    open buy @ amazon
  27. 27
    Up 48
    Down 7

    Stephen King

    open buy @ amazon
  28. 28
    Up 119
    Down 26

    ranked low on reranks Thomas Harris

    open buy @ amazon
  29. 29
    Up 56
    Down 25

    Jay Anson

    open buy @ amazon
  30. 30
    Up 40
    Down 14

    Dan Simmons

    open buy @ amazon
  31. 31
    Up 55
    Down 11

    ranked low on reranks Robert R. McCammon

    open buy @ amazon
  32. 32
    Up 57
    Down 30

    Anne Rice

    open buy @ amazon
  33. 33
    Up 49
    Down 9

    Richard Matheson

    open buy @ amazon
  34. 34
    Up 27
    Down 8

    James Herbert

    open buy @ amazon
  35. 35
    Up 28
    Down 12

    Richard Laymon

    open buy @ amazon
  36. 36
    Up 31
    Down 13

    Robert R. McCammon

    open buy @ amazon
  37. 37
    Up 78
    Down 17

    ranked low on reranks Shirley Jackson

    open buy @ amazon
  38. 38
    Up 26
    Down 9

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Clive Barker

    open buy @ amazon
  39. 39
    Up 46
    Down 11

    ranked low on reranks Mark Z. Danielewski

    open buy @ amazon
  40. 40
    Up 1
    Down 0

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Robert R. McCammon

    open buy @ amazon
  41. 41
    Up 20
    Down 1

    ranked low on reranks

    open buy @ amazon
  42. 42
    Up 26
    Down 12

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Richard Laymon

    open buy @ amazon
  43. 43
    Up 21
    Down 7

    Peter Straub

    open buy @ amazon
  44. 44
    Up 22
    Down 9

    Ramsey Campbell

    open buy @ amazon
  45. 45
    Up 46
    Down 7

    ranked low on reranks Washington Irving

    open buy @ amazon
  46. 46
    Up 50
    Down 8

    ranked low on reranks Clive Barker

    open buy @ amazon
  47. 47
    Up 21
    Down 10

    Dean Koontz

    open buy @ amazon
  48. 48
    Up 22
    Down 4

    Edgar Allan Poe

    open buy @ amazon
  49. 49
    Up 8
    Down 0

    Peter Benchley

    open buy @ amazon
  50. 50
    Up 10
    Down 5

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Ramsey Campbell

    open buy @ amazon
  51. 157 +

    Something missing? Add it!

items 1 - 50 of 156

think you can do better?

Rerank This List

got a blog or website?

embed this list

viewers of this list also saw...

more popular lists