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
1,100 303
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Shining Stephen King

The Best Dystopian and Near Future Movies The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

2
1,287 260
It is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
It Stephen King

3
397 277
Ghost Story is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Ghost Story Peter Straub

4
894 235
'Salem's Lot is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
'Salem's Lot Stephen King

5
776 205
The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Exorcist William Peter Blatty

6
691 275
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Dracula Bram Stoker

7
898 230
Pet Sematary is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Pet Sematary Stephen King

8
811 263
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Stand Stephen King

9
747 234
Misery is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Misery Stephen King

10
271 256
Phantoms is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Phantoms Dean Koontz

11
483 281
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Frankenstein Mary Shelley

12
534 230
The Amityville Horror is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

13
597 214
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
but chickens double d added Carrie Stephen King

14
561 168
The complete works of Edgar Al... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

15
475 299
Interview with the Vampire is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time The Best Female Characters in Literature

16
480 232
Needful Things is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Needful Things Stephen King

17
439 206
Rosemary's Baby is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Rosemary's Baby Ira Levin

18
381 210
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
459 205
Night Shift is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Night Shift Stephen King

20
701 203
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
336 230
The Call of Cthulhu and Other ... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

22
407 215
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Jaws Peter Benchley

23
224 200
Midnight is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Arthur Williams added Midnight Dean Koontz

24
387 209
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Washington Irving

25
354 196
The Tommyknockers is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
slaft added The Tommyknockers Stephen King

26
349 233
The Picture of Dorian Gray is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

27
115 213
They Thirst is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
They Thirst Robert R. McCammon

28
116 210
The Damnation Game is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Damnation Game Clive Barker

29
396 170
Something Wicked This Way Come... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

The 13 Best Dystopian Novels 51 High-Paying, Flexible Jobs

30
210 218
The Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Invisible Man H. G. Wells

31
329 150
Helter Skelter is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Arthur Williams added Helter Skelter Vincent Bugliosi, Curt Gentry

32
224 190
The Fog is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Fog James Herbert

33
180 146
Clive Barker's Hellraiser is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Clive Barker's Hellraiser John Bolton, Clive Barker, Dave Dorman

34
64 187
The Cellar is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Arthur Williams added The Cellar Richard Laymon

35
244 229
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
American Psycho Bret Easton Ellis

36
65 193
Stinger is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stinger Robert R. McCammon

37
323 174
Watchers is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Arthur Williams added Watchers Dean Koontz

38
101 189
Floating Dragon is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Floating Dragon Peter Straub

39
329 180
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and ... is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson

40
113 220
Carrion Comfort is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Carrion Comfort Dan Simmons

41
205 194
The Island of Doctor Moreau is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

42
323 182
War of the Worlds is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
War of the Worlds H. G. Wells, Leon E. Stover, Lennart Peterson

43
383 234
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Jurassic Park Michael Crichton

The Best Geek Movies The Best Discovery Channel Shows of All Time

44
91 187
The Dark is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Dark James Herbert

45
90 194
The Thief of Always is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Thief of Always Clive Barker

46
249 144
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Psycho Robert Bloch

47
98 145
The Keep is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
JimDickinson added The Keep F. Paul Wilson

48
76 188
Summer of Night is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Summer of Night Dan Simmons

49
272 182
I Am Legend is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
I Am Legend Richard Matheson

50
67 183
The Rats is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Arthur Williams added The Rats James Herbert