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
+ - 990 263
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Shining Stephen King

The Best Space Movies The Most Must-Have Cookbooks

2
+ - 1,114 229
It is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
It Stephen King

3
+ - 348 242
Ghost Story is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Ghost Story Peter Straub

4
+ - 796 206
'Salem's Lot is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
'Salem's Lot Stephen King

5
+ - 630 227
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Dracula Bram Stoker

6
+ - 671 185
The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Exorcist William Peter Blatty

7
+ - 794 204
Pet Sematary is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Pet Sematary Stephen King

8
+ - 743 225
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Stand Stephen King

9
+ - 677 205
Misery is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Misery Stephen King

10
+ - 438 241
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Frankenstein Mary Shelley

11
+ - 237 220
Phantoms is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Phantoms Dean Koontz

12
+ - 468 197
The Amityville Horror is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

13
+ - 534 179
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Carrie Stephen King

14
+ - 494 140
The complete works of Edgar Al... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

15
+ - 424 253
Interview with the Vampire is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

The Best Dystopian and Near Future Movies The Best Autobiographies Ever Written

16
+ - 421 198
Needful Things is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Needful Things Stephen King

17
+ - 392 177
Rosemary's Baby is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Rosemary's Baby Ira Levin

18
+ - 335 185
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
+ - 410 178
Night Shift is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Night Shift Stephen King

20
+ - 634 179
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
+ - 307 194
The Call of Cthulhu and Other ... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

22
+ - 365 182
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Jaws Peter Benchley

23
+ - 354 177
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
+ - 197 171
Midnight is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Midnight Dean Koontz

25
+ - 311 162
The Tommyknockers is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Tommyknockers Stephen King

26
+ - 330 196
The Picture of Dorian Gray is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

27
+ - 105 177
They Thirst is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
They Thirst Robert R. McCammon

28
+ - 107 175
The Damnation Game is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Damnation Game Clive Barker

29
+ - 200 186
The Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Invisible Man H. G. Wells

The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time The Superstitions You Secretly Believe

30
+ - 362 149
Something Wicked This Way Come... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

31
+ - 292 126
Helter Skelter is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Helter Skelter Vincent Bugliosi, Curt Gentry

32
+ - 311 149
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
+ - 221 197
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
American Psycho Bret Easton Ellis

34
+ - 109 188
Carrion Comfort is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Carrion Comfort Dan Simmons

35
+ - 54 159
The Cellar is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Cellar Richard Laymon

36
+ - 58 165
Stinger is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stinger Robert R. McCammon

37
+ - 192 167
The Fog is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Fog James Herbert

38
+ - 292 149
Watchers is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Watchers Dean Koontz

39
+ - 92 164
Floating Dragon is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Floating Dragon Peter Straub

40
+ - 192 172
The Island of Doctor Moreau is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

41
+ - 301 159
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
+ - 358 210
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Jurassic Park Michael Crichton

43
+ - 83 169
The Thief of Always is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Thief of Always Clive Barker

The Best Alien Invasion Movies The Best Steakhouses in Los Angeles

44
+ - 81 165
The Dark is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Dark James Herbert

45
+ - 140 132
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
+ - 71 162
Summer of Night is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Summer of Night Dan Simmons

47
+ - 226 125
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Psycho Robert Bloch

48
+ - 86 126
The Keep is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
The Keep F. Paul Wilson

49
+ - 248 162
I Am Legend is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
I Am Legend Richard Matheson

50
+ - 44 137
Incarnate is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Incarnate Ramsey Campbell