SciFi and Fantasy The Scariest Novels of All Time

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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
+ - 919 216
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
+ - 966 204
It is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
It Stephen King

3
+ - 321 211
Ghost Story is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Ghost Story Peter Straub

4
+ - 584 203
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Dracula Bram Stoker

5
+ - 717 187
'Salem's Lot is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
'Salem's Lot Stephen King

6
+ - 610 170
The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Exorcist William Peter Blatty

7
+ - 704 187
Pet Sematary is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Pet Sematary Stephen King

8
+ - 411 208
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Frankenstein Mary Shelley

9
+ - 665 206
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Stand Stephen King

10
+ - 613 184
Misery is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Misery Stephen King

11
+ - 219 200
Phantoms is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Phantoms Dean Koontz

12
+ - 437 184
The Amityville Horror is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

13
+ - 493 166
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Carrie Stephen King

14
+ - 400 225
Interview with the Vampire is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

15
+ - 444 128
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
+ - 361 165
Rosemary's Baby is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Rosemary's Baby Ira Levin

17
+ - 382 182
Needful Things is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Needful Things Stephen King

18
+ - 311 173
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
+ - 380 162
Night Shift is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Night Shift Stephen King

20
+ - 594 164
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
+ - 188 151
Midnight is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Midnight Dean Koontz

22
+ - 334 164
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
+ - 337 168
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Jaws Peter Benchley

24
+ - 271 181
The Call of Cthulhu and Other ... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

25
+ - 287 142
The Tommyknockers is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Tommyknockers Stephen King

26
+ - 314 183
The Picture of Dorian Gray is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

27
+ - 94 164
They Thirst is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
They Thirst Robert R. McCammon

28
+ - 95 161
The Damnation Game is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Damnation Game Clive Barker

29
+ - 191 171
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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+ - 341 139
Something Wicked This Way Come... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

31
+ - 273 115
Helter Skelter is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Helter Skelter Vincent Bugliosi, Curt Gentry

32
+ - 295 139
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
+ - 210 181
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
American Psycho Bret Easton Ellis

34
+ - 186 153
The Fog is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Fog James Herbert

35
+ - 100 172
Carrion Comfort is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Carrion Comfort Dan Simmons

36
+ - 54 150
Stinger is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stinger Robert R. McCammon

37
+ - 48 146
The Cellar is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Cellar Richard Laymon

38
+ - 183 160
The Island of Doctor Moreau is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

39
+ - 275 139
Watchers is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Watchers Dean Koontz

40
+ - 285 146
War of the Worlds is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
War of the Worlds H. G. Wells, Leon E. Stover Lennart Peterson

41
+ - 337 191
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Jurassic Park Michael Crichton

42
+ - 82 151
Floating Dragon is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Floating Dragon Peter Straub

43
+ - 80 155
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
+ - 78 153
The Dark is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Dark James Herbert

45
+ - 128 122
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
+ - 214 114
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Psycho Robert Bloch

47
+ - 64 150
Summer of Night is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Summer of Night Dan Simmons

48
+ - 79 113
The Keep is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Keep F. Paul Wilson

49
+ - 52 146
The Rats is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Rats James Herbert

50
+ - 40 127
Incarnate is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Incarnate Ramsey Campbell