Top Ten Tuesday: Scariest Books

This week’s Top Ten list over at The Broke and the Bookish is Top Ten books for Halloween.  This one’s easy, I read plenty of scary books.  Of course the real stuff is often much scarier, but here’s my list of favorite fantasy/horror books.  Not surprisingly, plenty of children’s books make this list.  I don’t know why but the scarier children’s books are, the more we love them.  In order of scariness…

1) Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury.  I’m a recent Bradbury convert, and most of his books aren’t scary, but this is one of the eeriest books I’ve read.  I will never look at a carousel the same way again.

2) It by Stephen King.  I could name a lot of his books in this category.  But with It, Stephen King took every fear a child ever had and packed it into one book.  Sewers, clowns, scary giant birds, spiders, this book had it all.  King is great at  taking the things you see every day and making them really scary.

3) Any of the short stories by Roald Dahl.  Okay, anything by Roald Dahl.

4) The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.  An easy pick.

5) Coraline by Neil Gaiman.  The movie is frightening and the book is better. (Cornelia Funke’s books are a good runner-up.)

6) The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe.  I can still hear my camp counselor reading this one.  Thump, thump…

7) The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. I’ve never gotten this one out of my head. I keep meaning to read her other stories.

8)  Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke.

9 )The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs.  Forget the Twilight series.  You want vampires, werewolves, and some truly scary villains, they’re all here.  I love these books.

10) Gil’s All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez.  Because horror can be funny, and no one seems to have read this guy.

8 Responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Scariest Books”

  1. Alley

    Nice list! I love Roald Dahl, but Charlie and the Chocolate Factory gave me nightmares as a child. Especially the movie with Gene Wilder, although I love it now

  2. Danya

    Glad to hear I wasn’t the only one who found Animal Farm disturbing! Something Wicked This Way Comes was on somebody else’s top ten too – haven’t read it but after reading “The Veldt” by Bradbury I don’t think I’ll go near it, LOL.

  3. Ellie

    And bam! There’s another three books to add to my wishlist. And thanks for clearing up the name of the heart story for me – I was telling my mum about it the other day and I had no idea what it was called or who it was by! I just remember reading it as a small child in a mini compendium of ‘kiddie’ spooky stories and being so creeped out I threw the book away. *shudders* I hate Roald Dahl’s ‘The Witches’ too. I read it once, never again! Great list, anyway!

  4. Lit Addicted Brit

    Awesome list! I don’t tend to read scary books but I’m trying to be a bit braver these days and this list will help me know where to start! I have Edgar Allen Poe on my eReader and I really like the sound of the Mercy Thompson series!

    Thanks 🙂

  5. TheBookGirl

    I have wanted to read Jonathan Strange, and never got around to it…thanks for reminding me 🙂

    The scariest book I ever read was Lasher by Anne Rice about witches…it so freaked me out, that I left it unfinished with 50 pages to go!


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