Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Top Ten Scariest Books

What do I do about this week’s top ten?  The Broke and The Bookish want to know what the scariest books are.  I decided to look for books that induce a feeling of tension/the creeps or have horrifying events, not necessarily "fear-producing".  Here is my top ten, in no particular order.

1. 1984, by: George Orwell – This one actually scared me. The situation, what’s happening to Winston, the lies, the watching, all of it.

2. Misery, by: Stephen King – I mentioned this one in a previous Top Ten list. It’s so creepy that I haven’t even read it yet.

3. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by: Robert Louis Stevenson – Classically creepy and very interesting.

4. Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, by: Mary Shelley – Also another classic. Mary Shelley really knew how to create a compelling Monster. I think any horror fan needs to read this.

5. The Raven, by: Edgar Allen Poe – I know it’s a poem, not novel, but it’s still one of the creepiest things I’ve ever read.

6. The Turn of The Screw, by: Henry James – Are ghosts driving her crazy or is she just crazy? I’m inclined to think the first.

7. Under The Dome, by: Stephen King – I wasn’t scared by the dome itself, what disturbed me was what the people trapped inside were doing to each other.

8. The Handmaids Tale, by: Margaret Atwood – I know it’s not a horror book, but I was afraid for Offred pretty much all the time.

9. A Series of Unfortunate Events, by: Lemony Snicket – I tried to decide which one was the scariest. Maybe it was number 2, or 1 or 6. Even though they are children’s stories, they are all full of tension.

10. Nightmares and Dreamscapes, by: Stephen King – a collection of scary short stories. “Popsy” has stayed with me for years.

I could have put more Stephen King books on the list, but I thought three was more than enough. I also considered Anne Rice, with The Witching Hour and Interview With A Vampire, but I don’t know if I was actually scared/tense when I read those books.


  1. I like your list! Excellent addition of 1984. I didn't think of that one but that book really did terrify me when I read it. Enough that I haven't read it again since high school.

  2. Great list! I really need to read 1984. I loved Animal Farm and I've only heard good things about 1984

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  4. I loved the Unfortuante Events series! I listened to some on audio tape and the narrator always freaked me out when he did Count Olafs voice haha!

    My Top Ten

  5. Don't really read scary books ---

    Probably could have done Frankenstein and Dracula and the like but those don't really scare me. I can't really remember ever being scared while reading ...

    I want to read Under the Dome though. It seems different than his other books.

  6. Great list. I no longer find either Frankenstein or Dracula particularly scary or even creepy, having read them so often that they have become more like old familiar friends.

  7. Nice choices, especially including dystopian fiction. I had to choose some unconventional ones to fill in the gaps :) Here are my picks.

  8. I'm really curious about Nightmares and Dreamscapes, a couple of King's other short story/novella collections made my list, and I think that's the way I like him best: short and sweet. Well, not-so-sweet.

    Re: Under the Dome - haven't read it, but I agree with you, King's very, very good at depicting the horrifying ways people will hurt each other in certain circumstances :/ I definitely find that way scarier than any monsters.

  9. I have 1984 sitting on a shelf waiting for me to read it and I'd love to read The Turn of the Screw. The Handmaid's Tale is one of of my favourite books, it's scary to think of a world like that.

  10. I have the Raven on my list as well! CREEPED ME OUT!

  11. What a wonderful list! The Handmaid's tale definitely scared me too, though I forgot to put it on my list for some reason.

  12. Ditto on 1984 and THE HANDMAID'S TALE. Dorris Lessing's THE FIFTH CHILD was also a gripping psychological horror.

  13. Ive read nearly all the books on your list , I love The Handmaids Tale , its one of my favourite books. Im a new follower