The Greatest Horror Books of All Time Books
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The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

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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 Criteria: Scary / horror novels or other fiction

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  Name
Score
  1. 1
    Up 183
    Down 28

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    The Shining

    Stephen King More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 159
    Down 41

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    It

    Stephen King More
    95
  3. 3
    Up 118
    Down 27

    most listed
    Dracula

    Bram Stoker More
    94
  4. 4
    Up 83
    Down 29

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Frankenstein

    Mary Shelley More
    87
  5. 5
    Up 143
    Down 21

    ranked high on reranks
    'Salem's Lot

    Stephen King More
    87
  6. 6
    Up 108
    Down 16
    Edgar Allan Poe, Nextext More
    85
  7. 7
    Up 95
    Down 17

    often listed
    I Am Legend

    Richard Matheson More
    85
  8. 8
    Up 80
    Down 16

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Ghost Story

    Peter Straub More
    84
  9. 9
    Up 91
    Down 15
    H. P. Lovecraft More
    83
  10. 10
    Up 104
    Down 25
    Stephen King More
    80
  11. 11
    Up 54
    Down 10
    Robert Louis Stevenson More
    80
  12. 12
    Up 83
    Down 10
    William Peter Blatty More
    78
  13. 13
    Up 107
    Down 20
    Stephen King More
    78
  14. 14
    Up 56
    Down 11
    Ira Levin More
    75
  15. 15
    Up 47
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    the people's #1
    They Thirst

    Robert R. McCammon More
    73
  16. 16
    Up 51
    Down 17
    James Herbert More
    72
  17. 17
    Up 54
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    ranked high on reranks
    Phantoms

    Dean Koontz More
    72
  18. 18
    Up 36
    Down 7
    Henry James More
    72
  19. 19
    Up 46
    Down 4
    Robert Bloch More
    72
  20. 20
    Up 42
    Down 12
    Dan Simmons More
    72
  21. 21
    Up 44
    Down 15
    Clive Barker More
    71
  22. 22
    Up 44
    Down 8

    ranked high on reranks
    At the Mountains of Madness

    H. P. Lovecraft More
    71
  23. 23
    Up 60
    Down 19
    Oscar Wilde More
    70
  24. 24
    Up 49
    Down 8
    H. P. Lovecraft More
    68
  25. 25
    Up 87
    Down 22

    ranked high on reranks
    The Silence of the Lambs

    Thomas Harris More
    68
  26. 26
    Up 64
    Down 17
    Stephen King More
    67
  27. 27
    Up 35
    Down 8
    Clive Barker More
    66
  28. 28
    Up 40
    Down 13
    Jay Anson More
    66
  29. 29
    Up 43
    Down 8
    Ray Bradbury More
    65
  30. 30
    Up 25
    Down 6
    James Herbert More
    64
  31. 31
    Up 56
    Down 14
    Shirley Jackson More
    63
  32. 32
    Up 31
    Down 11
    Dan Simmons More
    63
  33. 33
    Up 22
    Down 10
    Richard Laymon More
    62
  34. 34
    Up 22
    Down 5
    Clive Barker More
    62
  35. 35
    Up 38
    Down 10
    Robert R. McCammon More
    62
  36. 36
    Up 26
    Down 12
    Robert R. McCammon More
    61
  37. 37
    Up 35
    Down 7
    Richard Matheson More
    61
  38. 38
    Up 37
    Down 6
    Washington Irving More
    61
  39. 39
    Up 23
    Down 5
    Stephen King More
    61
  40. 40
    Up 20
    Down 7
    Ramsey Campbell More
    61
  41. 41
    Up 22
    Down 10
    Richard Laymon More
    61
  42. 42
    Up 39
    Down 12
    Peter Benchley More
    60
  43. 43
    Up 33
    Down 9
    Mark Z. Danielewski More
    60
  44. 44
    Up 31
    Down 3
    H. G. Wells More
    60
  45. 45
    Up 15
    Down 4
    Peter Straub More
    60
  46. 46
    Up 45
    Down 20
    Anne Rice More
    59
  47. 47
    Up 9
    Down 2
    Ramsey Campbell More
    59
  48. 48
    Up 38
    Down 7
    Clive Barker More
    59
  49. 49
    Up 30
    Down 11
    Richard Laymon More
    59
  50. 50
    Up 18
    Down 10
    Dean Koontz More
    58
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