Booklists

10 Horror Books That Can Scare The Bravest Of People

10 horror stories
Written by Madhu Bairy

From ghosts, monsters, vampires, spooky children, to the deepest, darkest secrets of the human psyche – we bring you a list of 10 classic scary books. We assure you, if these are not on your TBR list, then you are definitely missing something!

The Haunting of Hill House

THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE BY SHIRLEY JACKSON

Authored by Shirley Jackson, this book came out in the year 1959. Considered to be one of the finest ghost stories of the 20th century, it was a finalist for the National Book Award. The author has very well interspersed the complexity of relationships with mysterious events unfolding in the house focusing on the element of terror.

FRANKENSTEIN BY MARY SHELLY

A young scientist tries to create life through unconventional methods. His experiment becomes successful, but a series of events trigger an impending catastrophe. Mary Shelly’s novel is a wonderful combination of Gothic horror and science fiction. The book was first published in 1818 anonymously.

dracula by bram stoker

DRACULA BY BRAM STOKER

This book published in 1897 gained wide acclaim for introducing one of the most popular horror characters, Count Dracula. The book recounts the life of Dracula and his battle against a group of people led by Professor Van Helsing. The character of Dracula spawned various genres of literature (including some that included sparkly versions of his species) and was also adapted into movies and stage plays.

THE SHINING BY STEPHEN KING

Danny is only five years old, but in the words of old Mr Hallorann he is a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father becomes caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, Danny’s visions grow out of control. The plot deals with an aspiring writer and his family who encounter supernatural forces in a hotel that puts them in grave danger. King’s third novel was a prominent and successful one, catapulting him into a master of the horror genre. Influenced mainly by the author’s personal experiences, the book was further made into a movie.

Pet Sematary

PET SEMETARY BY STEPHEN KING

This is another classic best-seller by Stephen King that was published in 1983. It was nominated for World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 1984 and was adapted into a movie in 1989. King, known for his ability to portray human fears through his books takes a step further in this novel by exploring the fear of losing a loved one, a child.

I Am Legend

I AM LEGEND BY RICHARD MATHESON

Matheson’s novel was instrumental in the growth of zombie trend in fiction and highlighted the medical catastrophe foreseen due to widespread diseases. The book was published in 1954 and it became a huge success. It was adapted into the plots of various movies that featured post-apocalyptic, medical disaster storylines.


CARRIE BY STEPHEN KING

The book released in 1954, marking itself as Stephen King’s first published novel. This is the story of a shy, misfit girl, Carrie who uses her telekinesis powers to exact revenge on her bullies and in the process wrecks havoc and destruction in the city. The book was adapted several times, including Broadway musicals and feature films.

The Woman in Black

THE WOMAN IN BLACK BY SUSAN HILL

This is a novella by Susan Hill in the year 1983 featuring the core essence of a gothic novel in its traditional form. It recounts the tale of a mysterious ghost that haunts an English town, causing the death of small children. The book was also adapted into a stage play, which went on to become the second longest play in the history of West End, London.

PSYCHO BY ROBERT BLOCH

The novel by Robert Bloch focuses on the suspense element laced with the psychological edge of horror. The book speaks of Norman Bates, a motel owner suffering from a grave identity disorder and the killings at his motel. It was later adapted into a movie with the same name in the year 1960 directed by the maestro of suspense himself, Alfred Hitchcock.

MISERY BY STEPHEN KING

One of the most acclaimed novels by Stephen King came out in the year 1987. It was nominated for The World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in the year 1988. The book is a psychological-horror-thriller which was later made into a movie and adapted into a Broadway play. It is another one of his stories where the prominent character is a writer.

Enjoyed this booklist? Check out more such booklists here

If you like crime and suspense, here’s a collection of 10 suspense short stories by some of the top-selling authors of fiction. 

About the author

Madhu Bairy

Born on 19th June, 1985, I am a resident of Bangalore and a native of Kundapur. A self-confessed book worm, I always found any activity that involved reading and writing interesting apart from my academics. Reading is something that came quite naturally since my schooling days and that continued to grow over the years.
Writing to me is not a hobby, but something that I pursue passionately. A graduate in Textile Technology and a designer by profession, I find writing as an effective medium to convey my thoughts and opinions on anything and everything.

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