film The Greatest Horror Books of All Time  

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List Rules Scary / horror novels or other freaky works of fiction

The greatest horror books of all time are books that make the hair on the back of your neck stand up just from the rustle of turning the pages. These scary horror novels are books you don't want to read at night (or by yourself) because they're just a little too scary. Many of these scary books have been turned into the scariest movies ever made, while others are too frightening to be imagined in real life.

From Stephen King classics like "The Shining" and "It" to classic stories like Bram Stoker's "Dracula" and Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein", these scary horror novels are known for their fright factor and smart writing that makes you believe the horrific events in the books are really possible.

What are the best horror novels? What is the scariest horror book? This list of the best horror novels is here to help you find a good scare on the written page. If you don't see your favorite horror book on the list of great scary novels, make sure to add it so other people can get the same fright you did.

If you're still looking for a good scare after peeking at this greatest horror books list, check out the scarefests in the best found footage films for a good scare.
list ordered by

1
913 269
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
The Shining Stephen King

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2
979 195
It is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
It Stephen King

3
587 185
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Dracula Bram Stoker

4
501 134
Stories and Poems of Edgar All... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Stories and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe Edgar Allan Poe, Nextext

5
709 155
'Salem's Lot is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
'Salem's Lot Stephen King

6
392 182
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Frankenstein Mary Shelley

7
594 160
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
The Stand Stephen King

8
607 146
Pet Sematary is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Pet Sematary Stephen King

9
302 93
Rosemary's Baby is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Rosemary's Baby Ira Levin

10
518 89
The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
The Exorcist William Peter Blatty

11
320 124
Ghost Story is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Ghost Story Peter Straub

12
317 90
The Dunwich Horror and Others is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

13
269 49
The Call of Cthulhu and Other ... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

14
310 62
Night Shift is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Night Shift Stephen King

15
339 149
I Am Legend is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
I Am Legend Richard Matheson

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16
418 83
Misery is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Misery Stephen King

17
214 105
Phantoms is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Phantoms Dean Koontz

18
233 57
At the Mountains of Madness is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
At the Mountains of Madness H. P. Lovecraft

19
246 45
Something Wicked This Way Come... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

20
415 71
The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
The Silence of the Lambs Thomas Harris

21
235 57
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Psycho Robert Bloch

22
257 72
Needful Things is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Needful Things Stephen King

23
223 61
Books of Blood is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Books of Blood Clive Barker

24
230 88
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and ... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson

25
237 36
The complete works of Edgar Al... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

26
286 49
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Carrie Stephen King

27
242 116
Interview with the Vampire is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

28
219 82
The Amityville Horror is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

29
187 52
Skeleton Crew is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Skeleton Crew Stephen King

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30
271 64
The Haunting of Hill House is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
The Haunting of Hill House Shirley Jackson

31
237 90
The Picture of Dorian Gray is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

32
145 71
The Damnation Game is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
The Damnation Game Clive Barker

33
175 74
The Fog is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
The Fog James Herbert

34
170 73
The Turn of the Screw is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
The Turn of the Screw Henry James

35
182 63
Swan Song is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Swan Song Robert R. McCammon

36
173 48
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Washington Irving

37
184 104
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Jurassic Park Michael Crichton

38
172 50
Hell House is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Hell House Richard Matheson

39
147 51
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Jaws Peter Benchley

40
192 57
Red Dragon is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Red Dragon Thomas Harris

41
166 48
Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
ThomZ added Lord of the Flies William Golding

42
135 47
The Bachman Books is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
The Bachman Books Stephen King

43
151 60
Watchers is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Watchers Dean Koontz

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44
130 68
Carrion Comfort is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Carrion Comfort Dan Simmons

45
137 42
The Island of Doctor Moreau is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

46
187 69
Christine is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
Christine Stephen King

47
127 35
The Lottery and Other Stories is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

48
68 47
They Thirst is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
They Thirst Robert R. McCammon

49
134 58
Nightmares & Dreamscapes is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

50
141 49
The Hellbound Heart is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Horror Books of All Time
The Hellbound Heart Clive Barker