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novels The Best Horror Books  

Coco Tang
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What are the best horror books of all time? Fans of horror novels will likely argue amongst themselves about the most terrifying, scariest books they've ever read, but this list is an attempt to catalog the greatest. From modern horror to classic, creepy tales of terror, most of the best horror books in history are included. This list, however, is by no means complete: If your favorite horror book isn't listed, by all means, add it! And be sure to vote for the novels you think are the scariest.

What makes for a truly brilliant horror book? It's a scary novel that keeps you up late at night, turning page after page even though you're almost afraid to read what comes next. The best horror novels stay with you long after that final page is turned, too. Some of the best, scariest books are straight-up horror, and others combine elements of the fantastical. All are worthy of inclusion, however, if they made you afraid to turn out the bedside light!

No list of excellent, scary horror books would be complete with out at least one, or more, Stephen King novels. Several novels listed here are among the greatest all-time works of Stephen King, including 'The Shining,' 'It,' 'Salem's Lot' and 'Pet Sematary.' And yes, this list also includes many of the all-time greatest horror writers, like H.P. Lovecraft (if you haven't read Lovecraft, you must), Bram Stoker, Richard Matheson, Clive Barker and Edgar Allen Poe.

Again, your votes will determine the order of this list, so choose your favorites and add any that are missing.

1
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Horror Books
The Shining Stephen King

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2
It is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Horror Books
It Stephen King

3
'Salem's Lot is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Horror Books
'Salem's Lot Stephen King

4
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Horror Books
Dracula Bram Stoker

5
The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Horror Books
The Exorcist William Peter Blatty

6
Pet Sematary is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Horror Books
Pet Sematary Stephen King

7
Ghost Story is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Horror Books
Ghost Story Peter Straub

8
Stories and Poems of Edgar All... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Horror Books
Stories and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe Edgar Allan Poe, Nextext

9
The Amityville Horror is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Horror Books

10
The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Horror Books
The Silence of the Lambs Thomas Harris

11
The Haunting of Hill House is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Horror Books
The Haunting of Hill House Shirley Jackson

12
The Dunwich Horror and Others is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Horror Books

13
The Turn of the Screw is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Horror Books
The Turn of the Screw Henry James

14
House of Leaves is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Horror Books
House of Leaves Mark Z. Danielewski

15
I Am Legend is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Horror Books
I Am Legend Richard Matheson

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16
They Thirst is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Horror Books
They Thirst Robert R. McCammon

17
Night Shift is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Horror Books
zmat added Night Shift Stephen King

18
Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Horror Books

19
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Horror Books
Psycho Robert Bloch

20
Hell House is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Horror Books
Hell House Richard Matheson

21
The Fog is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Horror Books
The Fog James Herbert

22
Rosemary's Baby is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Horror Books
Rosemary's Baby Ira Levin

23
Carrion Comfort is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Horror Books
Carrion Comfort Dan Simmons

24
Phantoms is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Horror Books
Phantoms Dean Koontz

25
Books of Blood is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Horror Books
Books of Blood Clive Barker

26
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Horror Books
Frankenstein Mary Shelley

27
The Damnation Game is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Horror Books
The Damnation Game Clive Barker

28
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and ... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Horror Books
Arthur Williams added Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson

29
Off Season is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Horror Books
Off Season Jack Ketchum

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30
Koko is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Horror Books
Koko Peter Straub

31
Swan Song is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Horror Books
Swan Song Robert R. McCammon

32
The Rising is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Horror Books
Arthur Williams added The Rising Brian Keene

33
Ravenous is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Horror Books
Arthur Williams added Ravenous Ray Garton

34
The Stake is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Horror Books
The Stake Richard Laymon

35
Stinger is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Horror Books
Arthur Williams added Stinger Robert R. McCammon

36
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Horror Books
Jaws Peter Benchley

37
Song of Kali is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Horror Books
Song of Kali Dan Simmons

38
The Dark is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Horror Books
Arthur Williams added The Dark James Herbert

39
Floating Dragon is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Horror Books
Arthur Williams added Floating Dragon Peter Straub

40
One Rainy Night is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Horror Books
Arthur Williams added One Rainy Night Richard Laymon

41
Summer of Night is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Horror Books
Arthur Williams added Summer of Night Dan Simmons

42
Midnight is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Horror Books
Arthur Williams added Midnight Dean Koontz

43
The Hungry Moon is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Horror Books
Arthur Williams added The Hungry Moon Ramsey Campbell

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44
Lost Souls is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Horror Books
Arthur Williams added Lost Souls Poppy Z. Brite

45
Suffer the Children is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Horror Books

46
American Gods is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Horror Books
Arthur Williams added American Gods Neil Gaiman

47
The Thief of Always is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Horror Books
Arthur Williams added The Thief of Always Clive Barker

48
Ancient Images is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Horror Books
Arthur Williams added Ancient Images Ramsey Campbell

49
Ranker Video
TySchwamberger added Dinin' Ty Schwamberger

50
Something Wicked This Way Come... is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Horror Books