Total Nerd 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.
list ordered by

1
+ - 948 228
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
+ - 1,010 215
It is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
It Stephen King

3
+ - 331 223
Ghost Story is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Ghost Story Peter Straub

4
+ - 601 211
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Dracula Bram Stoker

5
+ - 745 196
'Salem's Lot is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
'Salem's Lot Stephen King

6
+ - 634 174
The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Exorcist William Peter Blatty

7
+ - 735 194
Pet Sematary is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Pet Sematary Stephen King

8
+ - 637 190
Misery is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Misery Stephen King

9
+ - 692 216
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Stand Stephen King

10
+ - 419 221
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Frankenstein Mary Shelley

11
+ - 228 208
Phantoms is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Phantoms Dean Koontz

12
+ - 454 188
The Amityville Horror is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

13
+ - 513 172
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Carrie Stephen King

14
+ - 415 236
Interview with the Vampire is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

15
+ - 461 136
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
+ - 402 190
Needful Things is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Needful Things Stephen King

17
+ - 376 173
Rosemary's Baby is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Rosemary's Baby Ira Levin

18
+ - 322 178
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
+ - 392 172
Night Shift is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Night Shift Stephen King

20
+ - 614 171
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
+ - 351 173
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Jaws Peter Benchley

22
+ - 193 161
Midnight is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Midnight Dean Koontz

23
+ - 342 172
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Washington Irving

24
+ - 278 189
The Call of Cthulhu and Other ... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

25
+ - 297 156
The Tommyknockers is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Tommyknockers Stephen King

26
+ - 322 189
The Picture of Dorian Gray is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

27
+ - 101 171
They Thirst is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
They Thirst Robert R. McCammon

28
+ - 99 170
The Damnation Game is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Damnation Game Clive Barker

29
+ - 197 179
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
+ - 351 146
Something Wicked This Way Come... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

31
+ - 285 120
Helter Skelter is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Helter Skelter Vincent Bugliosi, Curt Gentry

32
+ - 305 143
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
+ - 108 181
Carrion Comfort is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Carrion Comfort Dan Simmons

34
+ - 191 160
The Fog is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Fog James Herbert

35
+ - 216 192
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
American Psycho Bret Easton Ellis

36
+ - 56 158
Stinger is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stinger Robert R. McCammon

37
+ - 287 143
Watchers is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Watchers Dean Koontz

38
+ - 189 165
The Island of Doctor Moreau is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

39
+ - 50 153
The Cellar is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Cellar Richard Laymon

40
+ - 89 158
Floating Dragon is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Floating Dragon Peter Straub

41
+ - 295 153
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
+ - 350 200
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Jurassic Park Michael Crichton

43
+ - 81 163
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
+ - 79 161
The Dark is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Dark James Herbert

45
+ - 133 128
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
+ - 69 156
Summer of Night is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Summer of Night Dan Simmons

47
+ - 221 120
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Psycho Robert Bloch

48
+ - 82 120
The Keep is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Keep F. Paul Wilson

49
+ - 240 159
I Am Legend is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
I Am Legend Richard Matheson

50
+ - 54 152
The Rats is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Rats James Herbert