SciFi and Fantasy The Scariest Novels of All Time  

Coco Tang
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List Rules Vote up your favorite scary novels, horror and otherwise.

What are the scariest novels of all time? Not surprisingly, a lot of the books listed here are from the horror genre, but there are other, just as terrifying books to read as well. Can anyone argue that Cormac McCarthy's The Road wasn't terrifying in its own way? Exactly. We're all scared by different things and subjects, and our reading choices reflect this quite often. So vote for the scariest books you've ever read (or really want to read) and vote down any you didn't like. And please, definitely add any scary novels that might be missing from the list!

Some of the scariest novels of all time involve monsters. After all, readers have been obsessed with the supernatural for hundreds of years. There is a reason that Bram Stoker's Dracula consistently winds up at or near the top of lists like this one. Ghosts also make for frightening novels: Hell House, anyone? If you haven't read it, make sure you do so - but not at night. And not if you are alone. Ever. It is without a doubt deserving of a place among the greatest horror books of all time.

Not surprisingly, a lot of the books on this list of scary novels were made into excellent horror movies. Some also have heavy elements of science fiction - I Am Legend is a great example, though nearly all of Richard Matheson's novels and stories would certainly qualify for a place on this list. Some of the best science fiction authors wrote some seriously creepy stuff.

And yes, no list of anything involving the scariest books of all time would be complete without a hefty dose of Stephen King. King is a master. In doubt? Check out this list of the greatest all-time Stephen King works. It's impressive.

1
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The Shining is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Shining Stephen King

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2
+ - 997 212
It is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
It Stephen King

3
+ - 326 219
Ghost Story is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Ghost Story Peter Straub

4
+ - 594 208
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Dracula Bram Stoker

5
+ - 735 194
'Salem's Lot is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
'Salem's Lot Stephen King

6
+ - 625 171
The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Exorcist William Peter Blatty

7
+ - 728 191
Pet Sematary is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Pet Sematary Stephen King

8
+ - 685 213
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Stand Stephen King

9
+ - 628 189
Misery is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Misery Stephen King

10
+ - 417 218
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Frankenstein Mary Shelley

11
+ - 223 207
Phantoms is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Phantoms Dean Koontz

12
+ - 447 187
The Amityville Horror is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

13
+ - 507 168
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Carrie Stephen King

14
+ - 407 234
Interview with the Vampire is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

15
+ - 454 134
The complete works of Edgar Al... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

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16
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Needful Things is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Needful Things Stephen King

17
+ - 367 171
Rosemary's Baby is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Rosemary's Baby Ira Levin

18
+ - 319 178
The Haunting of Hill House is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Haunting of Hill House Shirley Jackson

19
+ - 388 168
Night Shift is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Night Shift Stephen King

20
+ - 604 169
The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Silence of the Lambs Thomas Harris

21
+ - 349 172
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Jaws Peter Benchley

22
+ - 341 171
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Washington Irving

23
+ - 190 160
Midnight is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Midnight Dean Koontz

24
+ - 276 187
The Call of Cthulhu and Other ... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

25
+ - 293 152
The Tommyknockers is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Tommyknockers Stephen King

26
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The Picture of Dorian Gray is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

27
+ - 97 170
They Thirst is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
They Thirst Robert R. McCammon

28
+ - 97 168
The Damnation Game is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Damnation Game Clive Barker

29
+ - 196 178
The Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Invisible Man H. G. Wells

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30
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Something Wicked This Way Come... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

31
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Helter Skelter is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Helter Skelter Vincent Bugliosi, Curt Gentry

32
+ - 303 142
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and ... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson

33
+ - 191 157
The Fog is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Fog James Herbert

34
+ - 213 188
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
American Psycho Bret Easton Ellis

35
+ - 103 179
Carrion Comfort is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Carrion Comfort Dan Simmons

36
+ - 188 163
The Island of Doctor Moreau is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

37
+ - 50 150
The Cellar is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Cellar Richard Laymon

38
+ - 54 156
Stinger is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stinger Robert R. McCammon

39
+ - 281 143
Watchers is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Watchers Dean Koontz

40
+ - 346 198
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Jurassic Park Michael Crichton

41
+ - 292 153
War of the Worlds is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
War of the Worlds H. G. Wells, Leon E. Stover, Lennart Peterson

42
+ - 86 156
Floating Dragon is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Floating Dragon Peter Straub

43
+ - 81 161
The Thief of Always is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Thief of Always Clive Barker

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44
+ - 79 159
The Dark is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Dark James Herbert

45
+ - 133 126
Clive Barker's Hellraiser is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Clive Barker's Hellraiser John Bolton, Clive Barker, Dave Dorman

46
+ - 217 118
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Psycho Robert Bloch

47
+ - 67 154
Summer of Night is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Summer of Night Dan Simmons

48
+ - 81 118
The Keep is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Keep F. Paul Wilson

49
+ - 54 150
The Rats is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Rats James Herbert

50
+ - 235 159
I Am Legend is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
I Am Legend Richard Matheson