Graveyard Shift The Scariest Novels of All Time  

Coco Tang
Originally by
45.4k votes 3.4k voters 62.5k views 93 items

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
1,520 297
It is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

2
1,251 366
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

3
454 320
Ghost Story is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Peter Straub

4
1,017 271
'Salem's Lot is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

5
894 233
The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
William Peter Blatty

6
787 326
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Bram Stoker

7
1,039 260
Pet Sematary is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

8
848 266
Misery is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

9
909 303
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

10
554 316
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Mary Shelley

11
303 289
Phantoms is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Dean Koontz

12
598 258
The Amityville Horror is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

13
676 255
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
but chickens double d added Stephen King

14
657 195
The complete works of Edgar Al... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

15
497 223
Rosemary's Baby is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Ira Levin

16
521 353
Interview with the Vampire is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

17
537 265
Needful Things is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

18
451 229
The Haunting of Hill House is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Shirley Jackson

19
515 228
Night Shift is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

20
791 220
The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Thomas Harris

21
406 252
The Call of Cthulhu and Other ... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

22
440 235
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Washington Irving

23
453 246
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Peter Benchley

24
239 227
Midnight is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Arthur Williams added Dean Koontz

25
397 232
The Tommyknockers is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
slaft added Stephen King

26
391 270
The Picture of Dorian Gray is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

27
131 230
They Thirst is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Robert R. McCammon

28
133 231
The Damnation Game is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Clive Barker

29
452 182
Something Wicked This Way Come... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

30
240 243
The Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
H. G. Wells

31
374 169
Helter Skelter is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Arthur Williams added Vincent Bugliosi, Curt Gentry

32
213 160
Clive Barker's Hellraiser is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
John Bolton, Clive Barker, Dave Dorman

33
248 208
The Fog is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
James Herbert

34
279 254
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Bret Easton Ellis

35
242 216
The Island of Doctor Moreau is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

36
361 189
Watchers is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Arthur Williams added Dean Koontz

37
72 207
The Cellar is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Arthur Williams added Richard Laymon

38
370 201
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and ... is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Robert Louis Stevenson

39
74 210
Stinger is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Robert R. McCammon

40
363 198
The War of the Worlds is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
H. G. Wells

41
127 237
Carrion Comfort is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Dan Simmons

42
112 206
Floating Dragon is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Peter Straub

43
416 268
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Michael Crichton

44
99 205
The Dark is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
James Herbert

45
100 215
The Thief of Always is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Clive Barker

46
323 197
I Am Legend is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Richard Matheson

47
272 161
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Robert Bloch

48
110 163
The Keep is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
JimDickinson added F. Paul Wilson

49
85 204
Summer of Night is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Dan Simmons

50
79 200
The Rats is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Arthur Williams added James Herbert