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.

  • 11 ReRanks
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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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    Bram Stoker

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    Mary Shelley

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    Stephen King

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    Peter Straub

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    Edgar Allan Poe, Nextext

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    Stephen King

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  9. 9
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    Richard Matheson

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    William Peter Blatty

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    Ira Levin

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  14. 14
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    Dean Koontz

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    Stephen King

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    James Herbert

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    Dan Simmons

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  20. 20
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    Robert Bloch

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    Clive Barker

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  22. 22
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Clive Barker

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  23. 23
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    Stephen King

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  24. 24
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  25. 25
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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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    Robert R. McCammon

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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Robert R. McCammon

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    Dan Simmons

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  32. 32
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  33. 33
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  34. 34
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    Stephen King

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  35. 35
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    often listed
    Michael Crichton

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  36. 36
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    Richard Matheson

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  37. 37
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    Shirley Jackson

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  38. 38
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  39. 39
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    Clive Barker

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  40. 40
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    Richard Laymon

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  41. 41
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    James Herbert

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  42. 42
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    Mark Z. Danielewski

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    Peter Benchley

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  44. 44
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    Dean Koontz

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  45. 45
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    Robert R. McCammon

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  46. 46
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    ranked low on reranks
    Clive Barker

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  47. 47
    + 29
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Peter Straub

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  48. 48
    + 33
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    Richard Laymon

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  49. 49
    + 60
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    Washington Irving

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  50. 50
    + 66
    - 17

    ranked low on reranks
    Joe Hill

    ) open
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