Graveyard Shift The Scariest Novels of All Time  

Coco Tang
Originally by
46.7k votes 3.5k voters 64.8k 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
1,571 308
It is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

2
1,294 376
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

3
465 333
Ghost Story is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Peter Straub

4
1,046 280
'Salem's Lot is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

5
922 238
The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
William Peter Blatty

6
812 336
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Bram Stoker

7
1,071 265
Pet Sematary is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

8
876 275
Misery is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

9
578 325
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Mary Shelley

10
932 314
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

11
616 263
The Amityville Horror is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

12
313 297
Phantoms is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Dean Koontz

13
694 261
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
but chickens double d added Stephen King

14
674 205
The complete works of Edgar Al... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

15
516 227
Rosemary's Baby is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Ira Levin

16
530 367
Interview with the Vampire is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

17
550 275
Needful Things is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

18
473 234
The Haunting of Hill House is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Shirley Jackson

19
533 234
Night Shift is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Stephen King

20
812 225
The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Thomas Harris

21
416 260
The Call of Cthulhu and Other ... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

22
453 238
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Washington Irving

23
467 250
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Peter Benchley

24
244 233
Midnight is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Arthur Williams added Dean Koontz

25
408 240
The Tommyknockers is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
slaft added Stephen King

26
397 278
The Picture of Dorian Gray is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

27
135 238
They Thirst is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Robert R. McCammon

28
138 237
The Damnation Game is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Clive Barker

29
463 186
Something Wicked This Way Come... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

30
246 248
The Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
H. G. Wells

31
385 174
Helter Skelter is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Arthur Williams added Vincent Bugliosi, Curt Gentry

32
219 166
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
258 212
The Fog is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
James Herbert

34
287 257
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Bret Easton Ellis

35
249 220
The Island of Doctor Moreau is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time

36
380 204
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and ... is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Robert Louis Stevenson

37
367 195
Watchers is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Arthur Williams added Dean Koontz

38
75 211
The Cellar is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Arthur Williams added Richard Laymon

39
372 201
The War of the Worlds is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
H. G. Wells

40
77 215
Stinger is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Robert R. McCammon

41
132 241
Carrion Comfort is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Dan Simmons

42
116 209
Floating Dragon is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Peter Straub

43
104 206
The Dark is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
James Herbert

44
422 274
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Michael Crichton

45
106 217
The Thief of Always is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Clive Barker

46
332 199
I Am Legend is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Richard Matheson

47
282 162
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Robert Bloch

48
116 166
The Keep is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
JimDickinson added F. Paul Wilson

49
87 201
The Rats is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Arthur Williams added James Herbert

50
88 207
Summer of Night is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Scariest Novels of All Time
Dan Simmons