It’s Halloween. Let’s have some scary books.

It’s Halloween weekend. What are some of your favorite scary books?

A few of mine:

Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury

We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson

The Stand, Stephen King

The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty

Acceptance, Jeff VanderMeer

By scary, I mean these books had me holding my breath, curled in a ball, creeped out, watching over my shoulder, with goosebumps on my arms. In other words, I loved them.

How about you?

17 responses to “It’s Halloween. Let’s have some scary books.

  1. The ghost stories of M.R. James are absolutely the best. If “Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad” doesn’t scare your socks off, nothing will. And then there are “Casting the Runes,” “A Warning to the Curious,” “The Ash Tree,” “Rats,” and so many others.

  2. Two Stephen King Books: It and Pet Sematary. And out of the two of those, it was Pet Sematary I really didn’t like.

  3. The Shining, Stephen King
    The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson
    Bag of Bones, Stephen King (one of my favorite ghost stories of all time)
    Red Dragon, Thomas Harris
    Hell House, Richard Matheson
    Rosemary’s Baby, Ira Levin

    There was a part in ‘Bag of Bones’ that made me get up off the couch and go turn on every light in the house. They don’t call him “The Master of Horror” for nothing.

  4. Mary Poppins, by P.L. Travers. She freaks me out!

  5. You have some great books on your list. For me, The Shining has always ranked as the King book that scared me the most, although Skeleton Crew has The Mist and The Raft. Also, for those that aren’t familiar, Ray Bradbury’s The October Country is a fantastic collection of short stories. Joe Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box had a really terrifying scene early on that gave me the wiggens for weeks.

  6. The Stand by Stephan King is the scariest book I’ve ever read. I read it in my dorm room at college on Thanksgiving weekend in an empty dorm. I started reading it lying in bed and finished it sitting cross legged on top of a chest of drawers inside my closet. I’ve never been so freaked out before or since.

  7. These are great selections.

    DJ: Years ago the Husband read Pet Sematary. He finished it late at night and immediately took it outside and stuffed it deep into the trashcan. It disturbed him so much that he didn’t want me to find it and read it. I still haven’t.

  8. Stacy McKitrick

    Pet Sematary freaked me out the most. Followed by The Stand and It. I’ve re-read The Stand and It (and could read them again). I will NOT re-read Pet Sematary. That should say something, huh?

  9. My theory is that Pet Sematary (auto-correct wanted to make that Seminary – heh) hits parents the hardest. My brother-in-law couldn’t deal with it, either, but I don’t remember having nearly as much of a problem. Everybody that I know that has had that reaction had kids at the time they read it. Horror, of course, is like comedy in that it’s very personal, so YMMV.

  10. You’re right on the money. At the time, our kids were little. It was too much.

    Which speaks again to the power of Stephen King’s writing.

  11. There are two written works that I remember scaring me, The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs, and The Amityville Horror (not the movie!). I’m certain there have been others, but those two are the ones that left scars.

  12. The only writer to scare me was Stephen King. I made the mistake of starting ‘salem’s Lot about 9 PM and stayed up till about 3 AM when I couldn’t stay awake any longer. I was actually making little crosses out of toothpicks. Then along came The Shining which was even more frightening, mostly because the better part of the horror was conjured up in my mind. That’s how great King is. After that, nothing ever scared me again.

  13. For me it has to be Bag of Bones by Stephen King. Nothing really scares me but that’s a great ghost story.

  14. Bag of Bones is one of my favorite books ever. But Pet Sematary is the scariest–King said it scared even him. Meg, try reading it before the grandkids come along. There’s also the Haunting of Hill House. And for some reason…Neil Gaiman’s Coraline.

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