What is the scariest book you ever read?

I remember reading the novelization of “Alien” by Alan Dean Foster when I was a wee bairn, and remember it scaring me even more than the movie. But I think the last book I read that really gave me the willies was The Shining by Stephen King.

So recommend me some scary-ass books please!

Dreams in the Witch House (H. P. Lovecraft) isn’t a novel, but it scared me silly when I read it years ago. Don’t know if it would have the same effect today.

The Exorcist

The Shining scared the ever-lovin’ crap out of me back in junior high.

Stephen King’s “It” scared the bejesus out of me when I was 15.

You’d never know it by watching the miniseries, though.

Red Dragon, by Thomas Harris. I never thought that Hannibal Lecter was anywhere near as scary as the … Red Dragon guy.

I somehow got a copy of The Exorcist when I was a wee lad. Maybe 9 years of age. Wow.

Scared the crap out of me, too. I woke the baby up so I’d have someone to sit with me.

The Amityville Horror. I remember reading it in my dorm in college and being terrified of the dark for days.

I can’t believe I didn’t think of The Exorcist. The movie scared the hell out of me as a kid.

Flanders, by Patricia Anthony. It wasn’t horror, but it sure was horrifying. Very good book, too.

Seconding IT, by Stephen King. I read it when I was like 9 years old or so, and it scared the crap out of me. I was terrified to go into our bathroom for weeks after reading that damn thing.

It and a few of King’s short stories had me reading with fingers over my eyes when I was a teen.


The Holy Bible makes me pretty nervous too–cataclysimic ending with monsters & stuff

Another very good book that is not horror per se: My Antonia, by Willa Cather–the wolves! The wolves!

I read it when I was about thirteen. After lying awake in wide-eyed terror half the night, I finally took the book up the hall and shut it in the bathroom so I could get some sleep!

Me too.

Non horror books are good too! The more the merrier.


For me, I had a narrow window where I was old enough that I could read a 400 page novel, but not so old that I thought it was stupid.

I read The Shining in that period.

Color out of space by HPL was the story I most remember being freaked out over when I was a kid. Didn’t help that we lived in a rural New England town at the time.