The Scariest Novels of All Time Books

The Scariest Novels of All Time

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originally by  5.8k votes 590 voters 27k views 98 items tags f p @

List Criteria: 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.

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  • 6 ReRanks
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    Stephen King

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    Stephen King

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    Stephen King

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    William Peter Blatty

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    Bram Stoker

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    Stephen King

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    Stephen King

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    Stephen King

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    Thomas Harris

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    Peter Straub

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    Shirley Jackson

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    H. P. Lovecraft

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    Jay Anson

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    Mary Shelley

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    Ira Levin

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    Stephen King

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    most listed
    Dean Koontz

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    Washington Irving

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    Bret Easton Ellis

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    Mark Z. Danielewski

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    Robert Bloch

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    Clive Barker

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    Stephen King

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    Oscar Wilde

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    Dean Koontz

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    Dan Simmons

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    Stephen King

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    James Herbert

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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Robert R. McCammon

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    James Herbert

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    Ray Bradbury

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    H. G. Wells

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    Henry James

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    Richard Matheson

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    John Ajvide Lindqvist

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    Clive Barker

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    Richard Laymon

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    Robert Louis Stevenson

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    Edgar Allan Poe

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    Anne Rice

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    James Herbert

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    ranked low on reranks
    Richard Matheson

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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    H. G. Wells

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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Peter Straub

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  45. 45
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    Peter Benchley

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  46. 46
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    H. G. Wells, Leon E. Stover, Lennart Peterson

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  47. 47
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    ranked low on reranks & added by cptron
    Dean Koontz

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  48. 48
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    Ramsey Campbell

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    Robert R. McCammon

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  50. 50
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    - 21


    Dan Simmons

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