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What's the scariest book you've ever read?

(161 Posts)
Thurlow Tue 30-Jul-13 21:34:41

I'm currently reading IT and I didn't think it was particularly scary, maybe because I know what it's about because it's just one of those stories you know without reading/seeing it - but when I walked over a bridge over a stream today and thought "ooooh, this would be exactly the place Pennywise would hide if he lived in this town..." So it must be scaring me somehow!

Of course, it could just be the memory of Cujo, which I remember as the single most terrifying thing I've ever read at the time.

Also, Mo Hayder's first two Caffrey novels, Birdman and The Treatment, but they're probably more violent than scary. Though The Treatment was set less than half a mile from where I lived at the time I read it, which really didn't help much.

paperclips Sun 17-Nov-13 16:48:00

The Shining. Scary as! I read a few Stephen King books when I was a teenager, as you do, but I think this was scariest.

Recently I read "Into the darkest corner" which I really wasn't expecting to find scary, and I did.

Watching this post with interest as I might want to read something scary next.

LittleBairn Sun 17-Nov-13 16:40:08

The hand Maids Tale by Margaret Atwood made me feel sick to my stomach and stayed with me for a long time afterwards.

Bram Stoker Dracula I found really creepy.

tb Sun 17-Nov-13 15:24:05

Anything by Jean-Christophe Grangé - the first one I read was Serment des Limbes, all about negative near death experiences. I was reading until 2am to find a safe place to put the book down.

They're really good though.

madasamarchhare Sun 17-Nov-13 09:26:12

My amazon wish list has just grown with so many recommendations on here so many sound fab. I must admit though mo hayder with birdman and the treatment were absolutely brilliant. In fact I may start reading them again

steff13 Sun 17-Nov-13 03:09:06

I've read quite a few scary/horror novels, but Red Dragon was the only one that I've actually had to stop reading because it scared me so much.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is not exactly scary, more disturbing, but it's excellent.

Welshwabbit Wed 13-Nov-13 22:07:15

I'm sure everyone will laugh, but when I was 10 I read "And then there were None" by Agatha Christie and it scared the pants off me. Couldn't get to sleep and when I did, I had nightmares. I love Agatha Christie, but that one still scares me, even now.

nobodysbaby Wed 13-Nov-13 21:48:25

All Adam Nevill's are brilliant, especially The Ritual.

MrsBradleyCooper Wed 13-Nov-13 18:43:10

Marking place to read later

dizhin79 Sun 10-Nov-13 22:52:15

One not for pregnant women Nemesis, Shaun Hutson, eeeurgh!!!! Disturbed isn't quite a strong enough word as I recall it *closes that chapter of mind again*shock

BeQuicksieorBeDead Sun 10-Nov-13 12:04:17

Some great things on this thread. Thanks everyone, have filled my amazon basket!

I love M.R. James, Whistle and I'll Come to terrifying.

Shirley Jackson is brilliant, The Haunting of Hill House has been mentioned but I love We Have Always Lived in the Castle...creepy!

Emma's Diary is also creepy. For very different reasons.

Ellisisland Sun 10-Nov-13 11:51:51

Just finished reading 'How to be a Good Wife' and that really gave me the creeps

SpecialAgentFreyPie Sun 10-Nov-13 11:41:44


The thought of an 'on purpose' stroke chills me.

VerySmallSqueak Tue 29-Oct-13 14:46:47

Not from a ghosties and ghoulies POV but from a subject matter POV (nuclear bombs):

"Aftermath" by Roger Williams

VerySmallSqueak Tue 29-Oct-13 14:40:18

Recently "The plague of the dead" by Z A Recht (zombies)

For its day,"The Rats" by James Herbert.

NoMoreMarbles Tue 29-Oct-13 14:35:57

ooo GeeinitLaldy i love a good zombie apocalypse book! smile Have you read World war Z? If not i highly recommend that on smile

GeeinItLaldy Tue 29-Oct-13 10:19:52

I just finished reading All The Dead Are Here by Pete Bevan (author is married to a MNer but I don't recall her username). I haven't been that scared by a book since I read Salem's Lot when I was 14. If you like a good Zombie Apocalypse book then I can highly recommend it.

BloominNora Mon 28-Oct-13 20:41:26

Tapirbackrider - yy to The Long Walk - utterly devastating. All of the original four Bachman books were quite disturbing. Rage went out of print though after a high school shooting in America and Running Man gives me the shivers.

I found I am Legend quite disturbing as well, but thoroughly enjoyed it.

I think I find plausible post apocalyptic stuff much more disturbing than out and out horror, because the really good ones are utterly believable - you can really imagine that other human beings would act that way.

notapizzaeater Mon 28-Oct-13 20:15:03

Elsie yes it's by Shane Stevens

ThePlatypusAlwaysTriumphs Mon 28-Oct-13 19:44:33

I read Desparation by SK many years ago, then realised the living room window was open (late at night). Got halfway across the room to close it, then became convinced if I did the cop-but-not-a-cop with bits falling off him would suddenly hoist himself up to meet me with a horrific grin on his face. the window stayed open, and I stayed under the covers.

Also read Helter Skelter (the Charles manson story) and freaked myself out about them doing their "creepy-crawling" round people's houses at night. Shudder.

HarrietSchulenberg Mon 28-Oct-13 19:29:29

I read the Amityville Horror when I was 12 and it scared the pants off me. The blurb said it was a real story and I believed it.

I'm listening to Dracula on audiobook at the moment and I've had to leave the lights on a couple of times now. Serves me right for listening to it at bedtime.

PublicEnemyNumeroUno Mon 28-Oct-13 19:24:13

I've just read The Yellow Wallpaper - not scary but very....weird?

Glittermud Mon 28-Oct-13 14:35:16

House of Leaves is genuinely terrifying.

NoMoreMarbles Mon 28-Oct-13 14:18:42

I enjoyed IT but it didnt scare me nor did Rose Madder...

I thought World War Z was terrifying! i was actually shaking and kept having to put it down for a break!

Many of Dean Koontz's are great scary ones! (Phantoms and The Watchers to name 2)

I dont go in for scary films much but scary books are a new found favorite of mine smile

PublicEnemyNumeroUno Mon 28-Oct-13 14:07:47

Never thought I'd be scared by a book til I read The Shining a few years ago.

Elsiequadrille Mon 28-Oct-13 13:34:16

Is By Reason of Insanity the Shane Stevens book, notapizzaeater?

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