12 Books To Read That Are Really, Really Scary
Some people get into the spooky season by watching scary movies and binging marathons but us readers prefer the slow unspooling terror that comes from reading a really scary book. The thrilling part about reading a book is that it’s mostly driven by our own imagination. And I don’t know about you but my imagination can conjure up the darkest, most twisted images ever. Plus unlike the movies, you really have to sit with it.
Anytime is a good time to get spooked by a great story. So if you’re ready to dive into some really, really scary books – pick a book from this list and get cozy!
Rings by Kōji Suzuki
A mysterious videotape warns that the viewer will die in one week unless a certain, unspecified act is performed. Exactly one week after watching the tape, four teenagers die one after another of heart failure.
Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
Rosemary Woodhouse and her struggling actor husband Guy move into the Bramford, an old New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and mostly elderly residents. Neighbors Roman and Minnie Castavet soon come nosing around to welcome the Woodhouses to the building, and despite Rosemary’s reservations about their eccentricity and the weird noises that she keeps hearing, her husband takes a special shine to them. Shortly after Guy lands a plum Broadway role, Rosemary becomes pregnant, and the Castavets start taking a special interest in her welfare. As the sickened Rosemary becomes increasingly isolated, she begins to suspect that the Castavets’ circle is not what it seems . . .
Pet Sematary by Stephen King
When Dr. Louis Creed takes a new job and moves his family to the idyllic rural town of Ludlow, Maine, this new beginning seems too good to be true. Despite Ludlow’s tranquility, an undercurrent of danger exists here. Those trucks on the road outside the Creed’s beautiful old home travel by just a little too quickly, for one thing…as is evidenced by the makeshift graveyard in the nearby woods where generations of children have buried their beloved pets. Then there are the warnings to Louis both real and from the depths of his nightmares that he should not venture beyond the borders of this little graveyard where another burial ground lures with seductive promises and ungodly temptations. A blood-chilling truth is hidden there—one more terrifying than death itself, and hideously more powerful. As Louis is about to discover for himself sometimes, dead is better…
Blindness by Jose Saramago, translated by Giovanni Pontiero
A city is hit by an epidemic of “white blindness” which spares no one. Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental hospital, but there the criminal element holds everyone captive, stealing food rations and raping women. There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides seven strangers–among them a boy with no mother, a girl with dark glasses, a dog of tears–through the barren streets, and the procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing. A magnificent parable of loss and disorientation, Blindness has swept the reading public with its powerful portrayal of our worst appetites and weaknesses–and humanity’s ultimately exhilarating spirit.
You by Caroline Kepnes
When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card. There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight–the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.
The Dwelling by Susie Moloney
The house had history. Perhaps too much history.
362 Belisle Street is a homeowner’s dream. A nice neighborhood, close to schools, new hardwood oors, unique original detail. So why then, wonders real estate agent Glenn Darnley, won’t this charming property stay off the market? Perhaps the clawed feet of the antique bathtub look a little too threatening. Or maybe it’s the faint hospital-like smell of the room off the top of the stairs. It’s possible that the haunting music that pours out from under the steps keeps the residents awake at night.
The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor
In 1986, Eddie and his friends are on the verge of adolescence, spending their days biking in search of adventure. The chalk men are their secret code, stick figures they draw for one another as hidden messages. But one morning the friends find a chalk man leading them to the woods. They follow the message, only to find the dead body of a teenage girl.
Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill
Aging death-metal rock legend Judas Coyne is a collector of the macabre: a cookbook for cannibals…a used hangman’s noose…a snuff film. But nothing he possesses is as unique or as dreadful as his latest purchase off the Internet: a one-of-a-kind curiosity that arrives at his door in a black heart-shaped box…a musty dead man’s suit still inhabited by the spirit of its late owner. And now everywhere Judas Coyne goes, the old man is there–watching, waiting, dangling a razor blade on a chain from his bony hand.
The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
A serial murderer known only by a grotesquely apt nickname–Buffalo Bill–is stalking particular women. He has a purpose, but no one can fathom it, for the bodies are discovered in different states. Clarice Starling, a young trainee at the F.B.I. Academy, is surprised to be summoned by Jack Crawford, Chief of the Bureau’s Behavioral Science section. Her assignment: to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and grisly killer now kept under close watch in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.
House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski
Focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.
Naomi's Room by Jonathan Aycliffe
Tormented by grief after his four-year-old daughter is murdered, Charles hears sinister whispers as he tries to discover the truth about Naomi’s death. But long-buried secrets threaten to take Charles to a place where he could lose his very soul. Aycliffe is a pseudonym for Daniel Easterman, the bestselling author of Brotherhood of the Tomb.
What do you think about this scary book list?
Have you read any books from this list? Do you have any really scary books on your TBR? What is your favorite scary book?