The Scariest Books We’ve Read

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It’s October. The weather is getting cooler, the days are getting shorter and all basic cable programming has turned to grainy nightvision footage. Even Animal Planet. It’s the second scariest time of year next to the last day of school. To celebrate we’re going to share with you the scariest books we’ve ever read. Click the links to wet yourself. Tell us what we missed inthe comments. 

 

 

 

 


 

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Pet Sematary by Stephen King

I read it when I was about 14 years old. Remember waking up and screaming. Mom and Dad came in and asked what was wrong, I was hyperventilating and just pointed at the book and just gasped a lot. I remember clear as day Dad saying, “Oh, you’re reading that? I don’t know hat to tell you. That’s a hard one to get through.”


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The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson

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Black slime coming from the walls? Disembodied voices telling the occupants to get out? A pig with glowing eyes staring through the windows? This book scared the childhood right out of me. I probably shouldn’t have read it when I was nine years old…still freaks me out when I think about it.


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The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

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The Lovely Bones. It is STILL haunting me years later. The scariest thing about this book is that although it’s fiction you know that it’s already actually happened to someone. I’m not joking when I say that this book has made me a lot more cautious and observant of my neighbours. I haven’t seen the movie, probably never will because the book was just too perfect.

 

 

 


 

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House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

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Never before have I felt so, so terrified while reading a book. The way the text and pages are formatted pulls you into the story and into the twisted, expanding house in a way that leaves you feeling locked into the exploration of the never-ending basement and makes you feel like maybe, just maybe, you’ll never make it back out of the house, or the book, alive.

 

 

 


 

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Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Linqvist

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Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindquist. No book about the vampire mythos has ever impacted me so deeply. Not only are the characters and their relationships fully realized and gorgeous, but some of the monstrous imagery will haunt my dreams for the rest of my life. The original film adaptation is pretty great. The american copy called “Let Me In” is basically a scene for scene rip off. That being said, I enjoyed that one too.

 

 

 


 

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What To Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff

I was kidding when I said the scariest book I’d ever read was What To Expect When You’re Expecting, because that would imply I actually read it. My wife handed me the book, and I told her I would get around to it. But why would I want to read about what I was supposed to expect? I was pretty sure I expected a lot of hand-wringing and nursing a nervous stomach with whiskey. And who the heck wants to see the INSIDE of a boob? *barf*

Anyway, I flipped through a couple pages and ended up just buying an iPhone app.

 

 


 

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If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Nurmeroff

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It’s about a codependent lab rat who has an addiction to cookies and demands that its human obey all his needs and wants without question. The rodent wears clothes and disguises his socialistic Animal Farm behavior with cute “favors”. It’s terrifying. I read it twice a day.

 

 


 

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The Shining by Stephen King

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The Shining is a great horror movie. The Shining is also an incredible horror novel. If you love the film but haven’t read the book, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Now this isn’t a case of “The book is better than the movie” but more like “The book terrifies a different part of your emotions.”




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Through the Tunnel by Doris Lessing

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I’d rather not talk about it.

 

 

 

 

 

What did we miss? Tell us in the comments.

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  • reply George Hilbert ,

    My scariest book was “Misery” by Stephen King. The reason was that of all his books, it was the very rare one in which there was NO supernatural component….I cane to the realization that there was nothing in that book, as horrifying as it was, that could not happen in real life….THAT is my definition of “scary”…

    • reply Ben the Editor ,

      Misery was a fantastic book. And, exactly for the reason you mention. Ghosts aren’t as scary as just plain crazy.

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