48 Books to Scare the Bejesus Out of Readers (Another Goodreads Thread)

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Jason

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https://www.goodreads.com/blog/show/1951-48-books-that-scared-the-bejesus-out-of-readers

Much as with the other threads, this is based solely on popularity, not on any sort of intrinsic ranking system. Also, this time around I took the liberty of putting the list into an easier-to-read text format as some of those titles make it really difficult to ascertain either the Title, the Author, or BOTH! So, here's the cleaned up list:

The Troop - Nick Cutter
Ghost Story - Peter Straub
House of Leaves - Mark Z. Danielewski
The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson
The Cask of Amontillado - Edgar Allen Poe
Dracula - Bram Stoker
The Shining - Stephen King
Carrion COmfort - Dan Simmons
A Head Full of Ghosts - Paul Tremblay
The Exorcist - William Peter Blatty
The Amityville Horror - Jay Anson
The Turn of the Screw - Henry James
Salems Lot - Stephen King
The Ruins - Scott Smith
The Hellbound Heart - Clive Barker
Hell House - Richard Matheson
Fever Dream - Samanta Schewblin
Misery - Stephen King
Full Throttle - Joe Hill
Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury
The Horla & Others - Guy de Maupassants
The Woman in Black - Susan Hill
The Fisherman - John Langan
Watchers - Dean Koontz
In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
The Girl Next Door - Jack Ketchum
Zodiac - Robert Graysmith
The Terror - Dan Simmons
The Deep - Nick Cutter
The Silent Companions - Laura Purcell
What the Hell Did I Just Read - David Wong
Exquisite Corpse - Poppy Z. Brite
Experimental Film - Gemma Files
I'm Thinking of Ending Things - Iain Reid
Naomi's Room - Jonathan Aycliff
Dark Matter - Michelle Paver
Imaginary Friend - Stephen Chbosky
Into the Drowning Keep - Mira Grant
Ring (Ring #1) - Koji Suzuki
The House on the Borderland - William Hope Hodgson
Helter Skelter - Vincent Buglioski with Curt Gentry
Last Days - Adam Nevill
Tender is the Flesh - Augustina Bazterrica
Rosemary's Baby - Ira Levin
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
The Library at Mt. Char - Scott Hawkins
I Remember You - Yrsa Sigurdardottir
Bird Box - Josh Malerman
 

Chris P

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I've only read a handful of those.

Amityville Horror was the only one I recall keeping me up at night.

I thought Straub's Ghost Story was an excellent, engaging read, but not scary.

Frankenstein is my favorite of the classic monster novels, but I found it more interesting and thought provoking than scary.

I didn't care for Dracula at all.

Vincent Price did a cool version of Cask of Amontillado where he played both Montressor and Fortunado by different camera angles. ETA: Poe died on this day in 1849.
 
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Lakey

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Amityville Horror was the only one I recall keeping me up at night.
I read Amityville Horror when I was altogether too young. I really don't remember much from my childhood (I have a terrible memory) but I remember it vividly. Brrrrrrrrr.

Something Wicked This Way Comes was a childhood favorite, though I read it recently and didn't connect with it as I once had. (On the subject of Bradbury, something else that scared the absolute pants off me as a child was the story "The Long Rain" in The Illustrated Man. I had to go wake up my brother after I read it because it freaked me out.)

I read a bunch of Poe last year and "The Cask of Amontillado" was one of the best two or three stories in a collection that had rather a few clunkers -- Poe's best-remembered stories, it turns out, are the best-remembered ones for a reason.

I also read The Haunting of Hill House last year. It's a great book full of lovely psychological ambiguity. I love Shirley Jackson to tiny little bits.

:e2coffee:
 

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I've read two.

Frankenstein and Turn of the Screw. Funny, but it was both for the same 11th grade English class.
 

Jason

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Not being a huge fan of horror as a genre, I was surprised that I'd read 7 of them:
Dracula - Bram Stoker - meh, wasn't really as scary or engaging as I was led to believe
The Shining - Stephen King - only read it after seeing the movie - probably one of the few instances in my life where both a book and it's resulting movie scared/entertained me exquisitely well
The Exorcist - William Peter Blatty - a bit on the unsettling site, as I recall. It's been a while, and I remember the movie more than the book
The Amityville Horror - Jay Anson - scared. the. crap! out of me....
Salems Lot - Stephen King - Eerie, but not quite the horror/scare that others from the master have done
Misery - Stephen King - I read this after my brother did so, and his tumultuous scramble down the stairs while we were at the cabin in UP of Michigan, and resulting exuberance at people still awake made me curious. What would scare him so much from a book? I was probably 10...
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley - not scary at all​. It dragged on so much that by the end I was glad it was over, not because it was horror, but because it was a tedious read
 

DanielSTJ

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10!

I like this list. Maybe I should read more horror?

Clive Barker, by the way, is a treat. An amazing novelist and writer, methinks. I didn't watch his bad movies, but his writing- at its best, is really good.
 

Chase

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Great list. I read about half. However, it's not complete without Whitley Strieber's The Wolfen. Stood the hair up on my arms and nape. :scared: The movie didn't come anywhere near to doing the novel justice.
 

starrystorm

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Great list. I read about half. However, it's not complete without Whitley Strieber's The Wolfen. Stood the hair up on my arms and nape. :scared: The movie didn't come anywhere near to doing the novel justice.

You ever read Strieber's Communion? #1 scariest book I've ever read.

- - - Updated - - -

Great list. I read about half. However, it's not complete without Whitley Strieber's The Wolfen. Stood the hair up on my arms and nape. :scared: The movie didn't come anywhere near to doing the novel justice.

You ever read Strieber's Communion? #1 scariest book I've ever read.
 

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