Scary Book Lists
23 Books That Are Actually Really, Really Scary
This story was written in collaboration with Forbes Finds. Featured products are independently selected and linked to for your convenience. If you buy something using a link on this page, Forbes may receive a small share of that sale. These five books all came out within the past year or two, and while you are free to keep reading the all-time greats from years or decades past, you might want to give some of these fresh ones a look. Read Now. At this point you have all heard of the famed, doomed Donner Party , which resorted to cannibalism on their trek out west, and here, Alma Katsu brilliantly reimagines the real-life saga in The Hunger, a new book fictionalizing the original, horrifying story—and making it into an even more terrifying tale.
The definition of scary changes from person to person. For some, it might be ghosts and haunted houses. For others, serial killers. For still others, the most frightening things are the ones that go bump in the night, unseen. Despite the width of this spectrum, what unites all lovers of horror is the thrill that horror novels inspire within us: that universal sensation of your heart thumping out of your chest, as cold sweat breaks on your forehead when you turn the page. To create this list, we went to the darkest, most ghostly corners of the literary world.
From the classic gothic novels that really are must-reads to more recent releases that deserve a spot in the horror canon, there are frights here for all kinds of readers. Looking for things that go bump in the night? Houses that will haunt you? Very, very creepy kids? As is Stephen King, because of course he is. This is a best-horror-books-of-all-time list, after all.
Another year is ending. The days grow shorter; the nights, darker. The weird noises two streets over are a little quieter, and a little weirder, when muffled by the snow. With these black nights comes the harvest of the best dark fiction of the year. The past 12 months was an interesting time for horror, especially for experiments in form: two established masters sank their teeth into new veins of the genre, we shuddered at an absolutely brutal novel written entirely in a single running monologue, fictional oral histories explored terror from every angle, and even the oldest tricks in the blackest of books were given new life. Submitted for your approval: the best horror books we read this year.