Really scary books please.

(93 Posts)

Pretty much housebound in the short term and last time I asked for book recommendations you lot were fab!

Just finishing up the Shining. read it yonks ago and it is still v. good. So something like that please but not too high brow. Thanks smile

BeerTricksPott3r Thu 22-Mar-12 18:46:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

iklboo Thu 22-Mar-12 18:46:52

'It' is pretty disturbing (I don't scare easily grin)

Sockspence Thu 22-Mar-12 18:47:56

Domain by James Herbert gave me the proper willies. And not in the good way.

Should have said, I think I've read every SK. Will have fun looking at the others smile

BeerTricksPott3r Thu 22-Mar-12 18:50:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I'd forgotten about James Herbert. Bugger, I gave all of my books away.

iklboo Thu 22-Mar-12 19:11:39

Clive Barker's Books of Blood are a good read.

Is world war z any good? Thank you for the ideas so far, struggling to find ones that appeal ATM.

BeerTricksPott3r Thu 22-Mar-12 19:32:05

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Conflugenglugen Thu 22-Mar-12 19:44:40

Night of the Seventh Darkness by Daniel Easterman <shivers>

Not normally a zombie fan but I did like passage and I am legend so I'm getting more open minded. The David moody books look good!
Night of the seventh darkness seems intriguing. Seems to be out of print.

RunningLatte Thu 22-Mar-12 20:26:17

David Moody books are great.Better than World War Z,I would say.

Also try out J L Bourne and Z A Recht for a good zombie read.

Takes a lot to beat the James Herbert 'The Rats','The Lair','Domain' and others,I'd agree.

Stephen King?

RunningLatte Thu 22-Mar-12 20:27:53

(Sorry,just seen you've done King's books)

Will try the David moody books - thank you!

toldmywrath Thu 22-Mar-12 21:35:33

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill. I read it before I even knew about a film being made & it literally made my spine tingle & gave me goose bumps. Thinking ab0ut going to see the film now (not something I usually like to do as a book always seems much better than a film)

toldmywrath Thu 22-Mar-12 21:36:30

And why is the kitten bad bad? Love the name btw!

AwkwardMary Thu 22-Mar-12 21:42:31

Oooh Bag Of Bones by Stephen King....that one's stayed with me for a long time!

Not such a kitten now, but she is still a bad cat ( likes hunting, stalks the others and me. Helps herself to my cups of tea, washes her paws in the water bowl) but she is very affectionate.

Tmw - we saw it at the theatre and tbh didn't find it very scary, just entertaining.

I read a pretty dreadful zombie one recently called (I think) 'Feed.' It wasn't scary but somebody on here might like it. It's zombies in the blogging world, essentially. Dreadfully written but quite amusing in places. 'Pride And Prejudice With Zombies' is ace - but it's comedy not horror.

I liked, 'The Passage' a lot but it wasn't scary.

'The Collector' by John Fowles is v scary and creepy and horrible but it's not anything like 'The Shining.'

Stephen King is the only horror writer I like though, so don't know why I'm on here really. I've been v unimpressed by Joe Hill. Quite liked 'The Gargoyle' which is mentioned down-thread but it's not scary. I really dislike 'The Woman In Black' but thought 'The Woman In White' was terrifying.

The Yellow Wallpaper is scary - but it's not horror.

How about some Poe? Or Dracula?

PepeLePew Thu 22-Mar-12 22:19:48

Mo Hayder is pretty scary. Not fantasy horror, more very disturbing thrillers. Pig Island and Tokyo were particularly traumatic, as I recall.

I do have a copy of Poes works. Not read them since high school!
I will look at the other books, thank you!

Erebus by Shaun Hutson is the scariest book I ever read, not sure why, it's pretty typical SH stuff, but it scared the shit out of me!
The only other book that ever scared me even half so much was The Fog, and that's because I was about 8 when I read it and it scared me so much I couldn't sleep sad
I hated Heart Shaped Box and didn't finish it (which is something for me to say)
World War Z is a great book, but isn't particularly scary I don't think (although I never have found zombies all that scary, so others might find it more so than I did)
If you liked The Stand, you would probably like Swan Song by Robert McCammon, they have a fairly similar plot, as if the two authors had the same brief and those were the books they wrote.

2to3 Sun 25-Mar-12 00:27:56

The Road by Cormack mcCarthy. That's one scary book.

The road is amazing. So powerful!
Erebus and swan song are going on my list. They both look good!

Theas18 Sun 25-Mar-12 09:31:02

Mark billing ham - sleepyhead etc.

I later discovered this is same mark billingHam that writes for kids tv ( maid Marian and her merry men etc). Which is more scary if anything!

Splendid, another one to look at smile

porcamiseria Mon 26-Mar-12 16:05:11

Mo Hayder
agree that Pig island and Tokyo are scariest

pointythings Tue 27-Mar-12 22:58:39

The Birthing House - Christopher Ransome
Anything by Joe Donnelly (may be hard to come by but very scary horror stuff)
Seconding Clive Barker, especially Weaveworld.
I like James Herbert too, though he does frequently deserve the Bad Sex award in his writing.

MegBusset Tue 27-Mar-12 23:00:44

House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski. Really really creepy.

The Birthing House is one of the worst books I have ever tried to read. I gave it up in disgust after enduring about five pages of the main character trying to have a wank iirc. Absolute rubbish. Though yes, scary too I suppose!!! smile

Kitten - have you read 'The Talisman' and 'Black House' by Stephen King and Peter Straub? Straub on his own can't write to save his life but he and King seem to work really well together.

pointythings Wed 28-Mar-12 21:56:00

I agree with you, Remus I never said it was good - just scary.

I have read them Remus smile
I decided to try the z war thingy. It's not great tbh. I shall look at the other books suggested here and let you know what I reckon. Thank you smile

NicholasTeakozy Wed 28-Mar-12 22:10:28

Every Dead Thing by John Connolly.

BustyDeLaGhetto Wed 28-Mar-12 22:21:58

I think I posted on another thread about this a while ago but '20th Century Ghosts' by Joe King ( stay with me ) is a collection of short stories which are nothing short of awesome, and I am very fussy.
I found a copy in the library and was so intrigued by one story in particular - 'Voluntary Commital' - that I couldn't stop thinking about it and got the book out again next time I was in there. When I reread the story I discovered that, at the scariest point in it, someone had ripped out the pages. About five in total.

Maybe it was TOO SCARY FOR THEM ? <thunderbolts, etc>

See also Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist which I can't get into for the life of me, but which is meant to be wonderous. Also James Herberts the Magic Cottage is great, but not too big on horror.

Ooh yes, 'Let The Right One In' is really rather fun, except for the stupid ending but his other one is crap - have forgotten what it's called. Will google as I don't want anybody to read it thinking it will be good - it is a pile of useless drivel and I only finished reading it because he clearly likes The Smiths!

I didn't like Jo King's novels much but will hunt out the short stories. Oh and is it just me or is Joe King a really daft name? smile

It is called 'Harbour' - it is dreadful.

Tikkabillajive Thu 29-Mar-12 00:36:30

I found Dark Matter by Michelle Paver gripping and completely terrifying, much more so than The Woman in Black which also scared me a lot. (But I am a total wuss)

BustyDeLaGhetto Thu 29-Mar-12 13:27:01

Arrrgh. You're right, it is a stupid name hence he has changed it to Joe Hill - sorry, my mistake. Joe Hill, 20th Century Ghosts. I can remember 'Button Boy' being ghastly (in a grim way) and 'Pop Art' being fantastic from that collection to. It really is aces.

BustyDeLaGhetto Thu 29-Mar-12 13:29:33

I will steer clear of Harbour, then. Im really dragging myself through Let the Right One In, just can't seem to like any of it.

BeerTricksPott3r Thu 29-Mar-12 13:47:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EmmaCate Thu 29-Mar-12 14:00:14

Books of Blood I found rubbish. A bit high brow but 'In a Glass Darkly' by Sheridan LeFanu is great. I loved 'The Shining' too - Jaws by Peter Bentley is another good film/book read.

And some fairly dark stories in Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected 'Kiss Kiss', 'Switch Bitch' being some collections.

Dead Babies by Martin Amis is depraved and bleak and good.

Joe Hill - yes, of course it is! But it seems strange to me that two writers would come up with such a clunky name for their child in the first place.

'Jaws' I think is quite dated as it's v much a product of its time and also the sex stuff gets in the way a lot - rather like in Herbert and many other horror writiers tbh.

'Lullaby' by ChuckPalawhatsit whose name I can never remember/spell (Fight Club man).

BustyDeLaGhetto Thu 29-Mar-12 17:20:11

Aha! You've reminded me of 'Haunted' also by Chuck Palau Palahui Paluknickyknocy or whatever it is. Tis quite good.

I love James Herbert's sex scenes. I have never witnessed so many 'glistening erections' in my life and I've got around a bit.

God don't - you're reminding me of that teacher (think it's a teacher) at the beginning of, 'The Fog.' Don't the children cut 'it' off with gardening shears or something? Or did my warped imagination just invent that?

BeerTricksPott3r Thu 29-Mar-12 20:18:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NicholasTeakozy Thu 29-Mar-12 20:35:24

Most of Chuck Palahniuk's books make for uncomfortable reading. In a good way. They're unsettling.

queenrollo Thu 29-Mar-12 20:47:36

I have Apartment 16 by Adam Nevill and Haunted by Chuck Palaniuk. First one I quite enjoyed, second one had quite a few 'eeww' moments in it but neither of them have earned a place on my read again shelf. Have a google if you haven't read them and see what you think. If you want them PM your address and i'll sling them in the post.

BustyDeLaGhetto Thu 29-Mar-12 21:31:16

Remus BeerTricks Ack. Now I too have remembered that scene. I also recall one which was possibly in The Fog but more likely to have been in The Rats where a care assistant has sex with the elderly man in her care. Or gives him a blow job. Or something.

I recently re-read Needful Things by Stephen King in which Sheriff Pangborn gves a girl an orgasm by putting his hand between her legs and swinging her on his other hand or something. It was bizarre, not to mention confusingly vague.

<hijacks thread with BadSEX>

Are you SURE?! Alan Pangburn is Mr 'I love you Sally and I'm being v gentle with you' isn't he? 'Needful Things' is dreadful though (and I say that as somebody who would gladly read King's toenail clippings. Whereabouts in the book? I have to check that or it will drive me bonkers!

Scuse typoes - you've astonished me too much for coherent thought!

BustyDeLaGhetto Thu 29-Mar-12 22:11:45

Thats him, only its sexytime with Polly Chalmers (Dickensian name if ever I heard one) in Needful Things. Will seek it out and give you page number, possibly tommorrow. It is a woeful sex scene, made worse because one of her loafers sails off her feet and lands in the kitchen as he is 'swinging' her. Such is the ecstasy.

Polly - not Sally! Doh!

If you can remember if it's beginning, middle or end I will go and scan it now - I can't remember any swinging. smile

Well, how about that then? I found it within 30 seconds of picking up the book. So he catches a falling glass quickly; she gets amazingly turned on by watching him catch said glass; he picks her up and rocks her on his arm and she finds Heaven in about 3 swings. Blimey. I'm exhausted!

BeerTricksPott3r Thu 29-Mar-12 22:29:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I have to say I don't think I have ever, ever read anybody who is 'good' re sex. King is bad and I prefer it when he doesn't go there - then again, I prefer it when any writer leaves me at the bedroom door. I'm not interested in reading about sex: I'd rather have it later and meanwhile read about something else!

I think you're right that King has said that re female characters but I disagree - I think he creates some great female characters who are very fully realised: Beverley (?) in 'It' and Susannah in The Dark Tower for example.

BeerTricksPott3r Thu 29-Mar-12 22:40:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

It is an odd scene but I certainly don't see it as rape.

I think, 'The Dark Tower' is his finest work ever. It even beats 'The Stand' for me, nowadays.

I think any man writing about a girl's first period would want a female viewpoint on it before trying to write it, unless they were spectacularly arrogant.

hippoCritt Thu 29-Mar-12 22:48:23

The Shepherd by Ethan Cross, still makes me shudder to think about it

BeerTricksPott3r Thu 29-Mar-12 22:48:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Don't remember noticing much sex in King as a teen tbh - but that scene in 'The Fog' clearly stood out because I've not read that since I was about 14 and I still remembered the shear thing. Ugh.

BeerTricksPott3r Thu 29-Mar-12 22:56:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

King would be delighted (and v amused) at the idea of him being for, 'Proper Writing.' smile

I never really got into JH - read about three and couldn't like them. Plot, shock and horror and no characters (King's biggest strenght when at his best).

Anyway - must go to bed! I hope we haven't killed the thread with our hijack.

Sorry Kitten. smile

BeerTricksPott3r Thu 29-Mar-12 23:07:49

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BellaOfTheBalls Thu 29-Mar-12 23:17:23

Richard Montanari is pretty good and has a half decent back catalogue. More crime then horror but his murders are pretty gristly.

I've only ever read one James Herbert book that I cannot for the life of me remember the name of but the basic crux was weird mutant creatures being kept to make fetish porn? And yet it started off like any other crime novel.

BeerTricksPott3r Thu 29-Mar-12 23:21:56

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BellaOfTheBalls Thu 29-Mar-12 23:24:40

That's the badger beertricks. hours of my life I'll never get back.

Can I offer "The Terror" by Dan Simmons (apart from the last 100 or so pages), and 'The girl who loved Tom Gordon" by King...

...and also ask aficionados of short horror and ghost stories if they have ever come across one story in a collection of short stories (I think they were ghost/horror, but I'm not sure) that featured a walk up One Tree Hill in SE London, and a change in time from present to past (with accompanying weirdness) as the walker moved up the hill? I live near the spot, read the story in the library one day, and could Never Find The Book Again*. woooo-ooooo, cue spooky music.

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*It's probably been transferred to Catford library. wink

BeerTricksPott3r Fri 30-Mar-12 10:12:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mmmmm. I'm a big fan of Neil Gaiman's stuff, so I suspect I'd have remembered/noticed if it was one of his.
I'll go check out Michael Marshall Smith, though. Thanks for the tip!

BeerTricksPott3r Fri 30-Mar-12 10:25:30

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NowWeKnow Fri 30-Mar-12 10:31:57

The House of Lost Souls by F G Cottam.

It's a really good story and terrified me but I couldn't put it down. It's frightening in a psychological way which is much more disturbing imo than gory stuff which doesn't appeal to me.

Astr0naut Fri 30-Mar-12 10:32:59

I know it's technically sci-fi, but I thought Peter Hamilton's REality dysfunction trilogy was pretty scary in places. Think it's actually described as sci-fi/horror.

I was recommended "Come Closer" by Sarah Gran by another Mumsnetter on a similar thread. It's not keep-you-up-at-night scary, but it's a great read - a sort of thoughtful horror story.

(I reviewed it here if you'd like to see what I made of it.)

Now re: The House of Lost Souls by F G Cottam - is it you I've talked to about this before? I hated it and thought it was really silly, cliched (can't do accent thingie) and completely unscary but if it wasn't you, somebody else on MN found it terrifying too. I was disappointed, as I thought it seemed a perfect book for me on picking it up. It reminded me of 'The haunting Of Hill House' which I also really hated.

NowWeKnow Fri 30-Mar-12 18:39:52

Hi Remus..Oh dear, no it wasn't moi. It was really because of a mn thread ages ago suggesting it that made me read it at all. I thought it was very scary but it just goes to show that we all have different ideas about what's scary. I do prefer a psychological rather than a gory scare wrt to books though.

I must agree with you about Stephen King. He's really very hard to beat. Someone mentioned Bag of Bones earlier - I thought that was exceptionally good. You also mentioned John Fowles The Collector. Now that is a good book, disturbing rather than horror and like nothing else. Have you ever read The Magus by him? I always put that in my list of all time favourite books if the subject comes up. It's so hard to describe it. Like a book about a surreal painting confused I loved it.

I haven't read, 'The Magus.' In fact, I know nothing at all about it. Thank you so much for reminding me, as I'm always on the look out for something new to read and (as is clear from this thread!) am horribly fussy. I will look out for it. 'The Collector' completely freaked me out though - to the point of nightmares.

'Bag Of Bones' is great - that scene when the guy (have forgotten his name) goes to drown the girl - arghhhh.

Can't wait for the new Dark Tower book, which is out v soon.

Please tell me more books you love, as it seems we tend to go for similar things. smile

GeorginaWorsley Mon 02-Apr-12 17:43:49

I like FG Cottam.
The Waiting Room is my favourite,followed by Dark Echo.
Quite enjoyed House of Lost Souls,found The Magdalena Curse rubbish.

Pandalaw Sat 14-Apr-12 21:23:30

Remus, it was me who loved FG Cottam! Brodmaw Bay, his latest, is just brilliant. So scary without resorting to blood and guts. Also just read Florence and Giles which, once I'd become accustomed to the narrators rather idiosyncratic vocabulary, was great. Spooked me when I had a rare moment to myself.

Pandalaw Sat 14-Apr-12 21:48:51

Have you read Brodmaw Bay yet, Georgina and Nowweknow?

Jonathan Aycliffe - Naomi's room. Bloody hell it's horrific. There's a part midway through that really sacred me. The ending spoilt if for me though.

And of course The Little Stranger - ooh the bit in the Nursery. I was on the edge of my seat, literally. (Awaits the film)

ok I read Swan Song. it started off pretty good but by about page 600 i was starting to get a bit fed up of it. Much prefer The Stand as i thought that was less forced.

Am reading Hater now. Good start!

Anything by Nicci French - especially 'Killing Me Softly'

Had to hide the book in a cupboard, scared the pants off me.

Cloudminnow Sat 21-Apr-12 23:18:43

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Hater is superb. Finished it and ordered Dog Blood.

Jackyourbody Mon 23-Apr-12 13:31:25

Dark Matter by Michelle Paver. Very good and VERY scary!

I recently read FG Cottam The Waiting Room. Really enjoyed it. It's rekindled my interest in the First World War and the War Poets too.

I've picked up Brodmar Bay (i think it's called) and thought i might give that a try.

I prefer ghost stories and psychological terror to really heavy gore.

CoteDAzur Fri 11-Jan-13 23:05:19

OP - Try "Duma Key". It's one of Stephen King's newer books.

CoteDAzur Fri 11-Jan-13 23:06:40

Peter Hamilton's Reality Dysfunction books were not scary at all. Starts off at sci-fi, then becomes a zombie book. Meh.

OneHolyCow Mon 14-Jan-13 10:27:57

Tana French's last one really got under my skin, bleak and terrifying. What's it.. ehm, Broken Harbour!

rainbowriver Mon 14-Jan-13 15:51:16

Just read Dark Matter by Michelle Paver, thanks to Jackyourbody for the recommendation!

It was brilliant!

PeachActiviaMinge Mon 14-Jan-13 15:57:09

Prey by Michael Crichton

Its a Sci-Fi thriller really but it creeped the hell out of me and I'm pretty de-sensitized to horror.

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