What are the best horror novels of all time? The scariest novels of all time? When it comes to “best” I simply mean the scary stories and scary books that I enjoyed the most, that unsettled me the most, or that are the most memorable because I can’t forget about them. And by “all time” I just mean “my time,” since I’ve only been around for three decades.
Although some of the good scary books I’ll mention below have some historical, groundbreaking significance in the literary timeline, the historical sense isn’t what I’m most interested in as a reader.
I think it is that memorable quality in the best horror novels that is most important to me. I’ve read a lot of books. I can give you memorable moments from just about anything I have read if you give me a minute. But ask me about a horror novel that has stuck with me and I can probably give you at least ten memorable moments.
Unforgettable, for better or worse.
October is only a few months away and I’ve already started putting together the list of horror books I’ll be reviewing during the unholy month, but I’m always looking for more, so if you have books you’d like to have me read and/or review, please let me know in the comments or you can email me as well.
Here’s my list, in no particular order:
- The Stand by Stephen King
- It, also by King
- The Monk by Matthew Lewis
- Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons
- At The Mountains of Madness by HP Lovecraft (I’m sneaking this in even though it’s a novella)
- We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson
- Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
- Off Season by Jack Ketchum
- The Day of the Tryffids by John Windham
- The Long Walk by Stephen King
- Lair of The White Worm by Brahm Stoker (I prefer this to Dracula)
- Koko by Peter Straub
- About half of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- The Drive-In by Joe R. Lansdale
- The Terror by Dan Simmons
- I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
- World War Z by Max Brooks (horror elements–zombies–but a fun, silly story)
- Let The Right One In by Ebba Segerberg
- The Navidson Record bits of House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
- Books of Blood by Clive Barker (this is short stories but it freaked me out so I’m going to sneak it in)
I’ll come back and add to this as I remember things. There are so many that I am leaving out, I know it. Feel free to add to the list.
Good horror books. I love ‘em.
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