Saturday, October 29, 2011

Suggestions Wanted: What's the Scariest Book You've Read?

by Sara N.

Photo by brainloc at stock.xchgn

It's Halloween weekend, and I'm looking for a book to read. So I ask you, fellow nerds and book lovers: What's the scariest book you've ever read? (For me, it was Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot when I was 13. I slept with the lights on for a week.)

What would you suggest to give an adult reader a good case of the creeps? Hit the comments!

Photo by brainloc at stock.xchgn
Pin It

16 comments:

  1. This is Knight_of_Pentacles from io9. I'd have to say that "Pet Cemetary" by Stephen King was probably one of the scariest books I've ever read. You know that what the characters are going to do is really bad, and then it turns out even worse than you expected.

    On a more disturbing, making you wish you had brain bleach level, is almost anything by British author Clive Barker. I'd recommend his "Books of Blood" or the unfinished "Books of the Art" series consisting of "The Great and Secret Show" and "Everville." I wish I could get the image of the Vlad Oborous striding toward the characters across the dream-sea Quiddity out of my subconscious . . .

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'd go with Martin Lastrapes' "Inside the Outside," a literary novel about cannibalism that goes past horror and into terror. Lastrapes effectively creates an atmosphere of dread through simple, fluid prose and a great structure. Highly recommended.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am skincrawlingly petrified of Shirley Jackson's classic "The Haunting of Hill House". It's atmospheric and intensely creepy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I read Henry James "Turn of the Screw" when I first started babysitting. It completely creeped me out. Creepy kids, figures at windows, then the end. The fact that I occasionally babysat Lucifer's spawn didn't help. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ghost Story - Peter Straub. That is all.

    ReplyDelete
  6. When I was a tween (of course, it wasn't called that back then), I LOVED all the Christopher Pike books, the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series, and a little later on, Stephen King's play,Sorry, Right Number. I don't read a lot of horror now, but the last story I read that I found actually disturbing was Coraline when it first came out.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "Salem's Lot" by Stephen King was the only book ever to actually give me nightmares. But... "Blindsight" by Peter Watts is the most horrific book I've read recently. It's the best annotated fiction book I've ever read; he cites his sources and they're real sources, which truly creeped me out.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have to go with Ms. Wench on this one: I read King's SALEM'S LOT in the 1970s while living alone in a tiny one bedroom apartment. Reading late one night I finally had to get up and turn all the lights on. And her description of Watt's BLINDSIGHT as horrific is credible as well.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who was completely unnerved by 'Salem's Lot.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Honestly, Bram Stoker's Dracula is intensely creepy, especially given the time period. The descriptions of the Count's off-putting behavior, the constantly changing narration, and the overwhelming uncertainty all combine to give me the wiggins. Not to mention it is one of (if not the) original vampire novels.

    ReplyDelete
  11. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. Terrifying!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Don't laugh, but I'd also suggest R.L. Stine's The Fear Street Saga (The Betrayal, The Secret, The Burning). Plus, all three can probably be read in a single night.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Knight_of_Pentacles from io9 again, I'd like to support Bookwench's mention of "Blindsight" by Peter Watts. It actually is a SF novel, but it has a plausible explanation of vampires (really). I'd also like to mention that Mr. Watts has made it a free e-boook, as he does most of his work after its commercial publication, Get your copy here:

    http://www.feedbooks.com/book/976/blindsight

    ReplyDelete
  14. The Shining. I was reading it late at night, house all dark, big wind outside, in Colorado...

    and I ended up only reading it on the school bus, broad daylight, lots of noisy kids.

    Evil T's Mom

    ReplyDelete
  15. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, that gave me nightmares for weeks

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ugh, The Road. I promised myself that I wouldn't ever go back to that mental place again. I was more depressed than scared, but it most certainly had a lasting effect.

    I don't know how I've never read The Shining. I'll need to rectify that. And I love the thought of scary sci fi (as well as free ebooks), so I'll check out the Peter Watts, too.

    Lots of great ideas for my list!

    ReplyDelete