horror The Greatest Horror Books of All Time  

Originally by
25.9k votes 2.5k voters 154.6k views 179 items Embed

List Rules 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.
list ordered by

1
891 260
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
The Shining Stephen King

The Most Horrifying Found-Footage Movies The Best Collections of Short Stories

2
929 191
It is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
It Stephen King

3
572 183
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Dracula Bram Stoker

4
496 130
Stories and Poems of Edgar All... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Stories and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe Edgar Allan Poe, Nextext

5
698 152
'Salem's Lot is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
'Salem's Lot Stephen King

6
385 178
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Frankenstein Mary Shelley

7
583 157
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
The Stand Stephen King

8
596 144
Pet Sematary is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Pet Sematary Stephen King

9
297 89
Rosemary's Baby is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Rosemary's Baby Ira Levin

10
509 85
The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
The Exorcist William Peter Blatty

11
314 121
Ghost Story is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Ghost Story Peter Straub

12
315 87
The Dunwich Horror and Others is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

13
263 46
The Call of Cthulhu and Other ... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

14
335 148
I Am Legend is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
I Am Legend Richard Matheson

15
301 61
Night Shift is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Night Shift Stephen King

The Scariest Demon Toys in Film History Last Words Written By Famous People In Their Suicide Notes

16
233 54
At the Mountains of Madness is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
At the Mountains of Madness H. P. Lovecraft

17
406 82
Misery is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Misery Stephen King

18
211 101
Phantoms is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Phantoms Dean Koontz

19
231 54
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Psycho Robert Bloch

20
241 43
Something Wicked This Way Come... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

21
409 71
The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
The Silence of the Lambs Thomas Harris

22
252 68
Needful Things is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Needful Things Stephen King

23
218 59
Books of Blood is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Books of Blood Clive Barker

24
225 86
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and ... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson

25
233 34
The complete works of Edgar Al... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

26
280 48
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Carrie Stephen King

27
239 115
Interview with the Vampire is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

28
216 81
The Amityville Horror is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

29
180 51
Skeleton Crew is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Skeleton Crew Stephen King

The Best Scary Movies Based on True Stories The Biggest Turn Ons in a Person

30
268 61
The Haunting of Hill House is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
The Haunting of Hill House Shirley Jackson

31
234 89
The Picture of Dorian Gray is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

32
168 69
The Turn of the Screw is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
The Turn of the Screw Henry James

33
141 69
The Damnation Game is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
The Damnation Game Clive Barker

34
170 72
The Fog is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
The Fog James Herbert

35
180 61
Swan Song is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Swan Song Robert R. McCammon

36
182 100
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Jurassic Park Michael Crichton

37
168 47
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Washington Irving

38
171 48
Hell House is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Hell House Richard Matheson

39
144 48
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Jaws Peter Benchley

40
190 56
Red Dragon is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Red Dragon Thomas Harris

41
162 45
Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
ThomZ added Lord of the Flies William Golding

42
131 45
The Bachman Books is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
The Bachman Books Stephen King

43
129 66
Carrion Comfort is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Carrion Comfort Dan Simmons

The Most Overrated Books of All Time The Best Date Movies Out Now

44
147 57
Watchers is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Watchers Dean Koontz

45
135 40
The Island of Doctor Moreau is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

46
184 66
Christine is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Christine Stephen King

47
125 33
The Lottery and Other Stories is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

48
68 45
They Thirst is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
They Thirst Robert R. McCammon

49
131 55
Nightmares & Dreamscapes is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

50
141 47
The Hellbound Heart is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
The Hellbound Heart Clive Barker