Graveyard Shift The Scariest Novels of All Time  

Coco Tang
Originally by
50.2k votes 3.8k voters 68.6k views 103 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.
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list ordered by
1
1,671 336
It is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King
2
1,366 403
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King
3
500 362
Ghost Story is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Peter Straub
4
1,120 301
'Salem's Lot is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King
5
992 254
The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
William Peter Blatty
6
852 370
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Bram Stoker
7
1,160 281
Pet Sematary is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King
8
939 290
Misery is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King
9
1,001 329
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King
10
619 354
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Mary Shelley
11
661 285
The Amityville Horror is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
12
339 322
Phantoms is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Dean Koontz
13
745 277
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
but chickens double d added Stephen King
14
719 226
The complete works of Edgar Al... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
15
556 248
Rosemary's Baby is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Ira Levin
16
589 290
Needful Things is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King
17
521 247
The Haunting of Hill House is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Shirley Jackson
18
562 391
Interview with the Vampire is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
19
570 248
Night Shift is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King
20
856 236
The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Thomas Harris
21
443 280
The Call of Cthulhu and Other ... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
22
494 268
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Peter Benchley
23
475 258
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Washington Irving
24
263 246
Midnight is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Arthur Williams added Dean Koontz
25
439 257
The Tommyknockers is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
slaft added Stephen King