Graveyard Shift The Scariest Novels of All Time  

Coco Tang
Originally by
49.1k votes 3.7k voters 67.3k views 102 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
1,345 391
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

2
1,641 326
It is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

3
491 353
Ghost Story is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Peter Straub

4
1,094 296
'Salem's Lot is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

5
966 250
The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
William Peter Blatty

6
841 356
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Bram Stoker

7
1,129 275
Pet Sematary is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

8
917 285
Misery is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

9
980 322
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

10
606 345
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Mary Shelley

11
647 278
The Amityville Horror is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

12
330 314
Phantoms is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Dean Koontz

13
725 273
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
but chickens double d added Stephen King

14
702 220
The complete works of Edgar Al... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

15
543 242
Rosemary's Baby is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Ira Levin

16
576 285
Needful Things is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

17
504 241
The Haunting of Hill House is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Shirley Jackson

18
550 385
Interview with the Vampire is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

19
555 245
Night Shift is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

20
840 234
The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Thomas Harris

21
430 276
The Call of Cthulhu and Other ... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

22
470 251
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Washington Irving

23
486 262
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Peter Benchley

24
257 242
Midnight is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Arthur Williams added Dean Koontz

25
429 253
The Tommyknockers is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
slaft added Stephen King