Graveyard Shift The Scariest Novels of All Time  

Coco Tang
Originally by
47.5k votes 3.6k voters 66.2k views 95 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
1,597 315
It is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

2
1,312 383
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

3
474 337
Ghost Story is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Peter Straub

4
1,061 285
'Salem's Lot is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

5
938 242
The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
William Peter Blatty

6
823 343
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Bram Stoker

7
1,096 267
Pet Sematary is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

8
892 277
Misery is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

9
951 317
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

10
588 332
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Mary Shelley

11
321 303
Phantoms is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Dean Koontz

12
628 269
The Amityville Horror is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

13
708 265
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
but chickens double d added Stephen King

14
683 211
The complete works of Edgar Al... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

15
525 231
Rosemary's Baby is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Ira Levin

16
560 277
Needful Things is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

17
535 376
Interview with the Vampire is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

18
483 236
The Haunting of Hill House is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Shirley Jackson

19
543 236
Night Shift is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

20
822 228
The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Thomas Harris

21
420 266
The Call of Cthulhu and Other ... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

22
457 243
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Washington Irving

23
474 254
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Peter Benchley

24
249 235
Midnight is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Arthur Williams added Dean Koontz

25
419 242
The Tommyknockers is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
slaft added Stephen King

26
401 283
The Picture of Dorian Gray is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

27
137 243
They Thirst is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Robert R. McCammon

28
140 242
The Damnation Game is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Clive Barker

29
470 186
Something Wicked This Way Come... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

30
247 254
The Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
H. G. Wells

31
395 179
Helter Skelter is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Arthur Williams added Vincent Bugliosi, Curt Gentry

32
227 167
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
264 215
The Fog is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
James Herbert

34
293 261
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Bret Easton Ellis

35
253 225
The Island of Doctor Moreau is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

36
376 197
Watchers is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Arthur Williams added Dean Koontz

37
78 215
The Cellar is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Arthur Williams added Richard Laymon

38
385 207
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and ... is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Robert Louis Stevenson

39
377 205
The War of the Worlds is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
H. G. Wells

40
78 221
Stinger is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Robert R. McCammon

41
133 247
Carrion Comfort is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Dan Simmons

42
117 214
Floating Dragon is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Peter Straub

43
106 210
The Dark is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
James Herbert

44
338 201
I Am Legend is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Richard Matheson

45
426 279
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Michael Crichton

46
106 224
The Thief of Always is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Clive Barker

47
288 163
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Robert Bloch

48
119 170
The Keep is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
JimDickinson added F. Paul Wilson

49
89 207
The Rats is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Arthur Williams added James Herbert

50
89 213
Summer of Night is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Dan Simmons