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Halloween – The Scariest Books I’ve Never Read


Halloween – The Scariest Books I’ve Never Read

Halloween and scary books go had in hand, at least for most people. In my teens I devoured horror books, with Stephen King’s Pet Sematary topping the list of the scariest books I’ve ever read.

But with my transient reading tastes flowing through fantasy and currently solidifying into contemporary I haven’t opened a horror book for a while.

If I was going to read a scary book this Halloween which one should it be?

Halloween Collage

House by Frank E. Peretti & Ted Dekker 

Enter House – where you’ll find yourself thrown into a killer’s deadly game in which the only way to win is to lose… and the only way out is in.

The stakes of the game become clear when a tin can is tossed into the house with rules scrawled on it. Rules that only a madman—or worse—could have written. Rules that make no sense yet must be followed.

One game. Seven players. Three rules. Game ends at dawn.

Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett

“When you fall in love, you will carve out your heart and throw it into the deepest ocean. You will be all in—blood and salt.”

These are the last words Ash Larkin hears before her mother returns to the spiritual commune she escaped long ago. But when Ash follows her to Quivira, Kansas, something sinister and ancient waits among the rustling cornstalks of this village lost to time.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

When a young family move into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story — of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Four seekers have come to the ugly, abandoned old mansion: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of the psychic phenomenon called haunting; Theodora, his lovely and light-hearted assistant; Eleanor, a lonely, homeless girl well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the adventurous future heir of Hill House.

At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable noises and self-closing doors, but Hill House is gathering its powers and will soon choose one of them to make its own…

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

The terror began unobtrusively. Noises in Regan’s room, an odd smell, misplaced furniture, and icy chill. Small annoyances for which Chris MacNeil, Regan’s actress mother, easily found explanations. The changes in eleven-year-old Regan were so gradual, too, that Chris did not recognise for some time how much her daughter’s behaviour had altered. Even when she did, the medical tests which followed shed no light on Regan’s symptoms, which grew more severe and frightening. It was almost as if a different personality had invaded the child.

Desperate, Chris turned from the doctors to Father Damien Karras, a Jesuit priest who was trained as a psychiatrist and had a deep knowledge of such phenomena as satanism and possession. Was it possible that a demonic force was at large? If psychiatry could not help, might exorcism be the answer?

Night Chill by Jeff Gunhus

Jack Tremont moves his family to the quiet mountains of Western Maryland hoping to leave behind a troubled past and restart his life. Instead, he finds himself caught up in a nightmare when his daughter Sarah is targeted by Nate Huckley, a mysterious and horrifying stranger driven by a dark power that will stop at nothing to possess Sarah.

When Sarah goes missing, suspicion falls on Jack and he must uncover the secrets of the small mountain town of Prescott City and face the evil secret hidden there. As he digs further, he learns the conspiracy reaches more deeply than he could have imagined.

Finally, he will have to face the question, What is a father willing to do to save his child? The answer? Anything. Anything at all.

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? by Henry Farrell

The neighbors all whisper about the two sisters who live on the hill: It’s Blanche Hudson who lives in that house, you know. The Blanche Hudson, who starred in big Hollywood films all those years ago.

Such a shame her career ended so early, all because of that accident. They say it was her sister, Jane, who did it–that she crashed the car because she was drunk. They say that’s why she looks after Blanche now, because of the guilt. That’s what they say, at least.

Brother by Ania Ahlborn

Deep in the heart of Appalachia stands a crooked farmhouse miles from any road. The Morrows keep to themselves, and it’s served them well so far. When girls go missing off the side of the highway, the cops don’t knock on their door. Which is a good thing, seeing as to what’s buried in the Morrows’ backyard.

But nineteen-year-old Michael Morrow isn’t like the rest of his family. He doesn’t take pleasure in the screams that echo through the trees. Michael pines for normalcy, and he’s sure that someday he’ll see the world beyond West Virginia. When he meets Alice, a pretty girl working at a record shop in the small nearby town of Dahlia, he’s immediately smitten. For a moment, he nearly forgets about the monster he’s become. But his brother, Rebel, is all too eager to remind Michael of his place…

The Hand That Feeds by Michael W. Garza

How far will a parent go to keep their child alive?

John and Angela Mason’s lives are brought to a tormenting halt when their ten year old son is reduced to a lifeless shell. John watches his wife slip into madness as his son rises from the dead. He realizes they must escape the terrifying infection in order to survive but how can he choose between the insanity consuming his wife and the undying hunger of his son.

An appetite for death will come in one form or another and it will be left to John to decide on the hand that feeds

Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk

Haunted is a novel made up of stories: twenty-three of the most horrifying, hilarious, mind-blowing, stomach-churning tales you’ll ever encounter.

They are told by the people who have all answered an ad headlined ‘Artists Retreat: Abandon your life for three months’. They are led to believe that here they will leave behind all the distractions of ‘real life’ that are keeping them from creating the masterpiece that is in them.

But ‘here’ turns out to be a cavernous and ornate old theater where they are utterly isolated from the outside world – and where heat and power and, most importantly, food are in increasingly short supply. And the more desperate the circumstances become, the more desperate the stories they tell – and the more devious their machinations to make themselves the hero of the inevitable play/movie/non-fiction blockbuster that will certainly be made from their plight.

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish at http://www.brokeandbookish.com/p/top-ten-tuesday-other-features.html


  1. I’d vote for Blood and Salt, I liked that one a lot!! I haven’t read the others, but the Baby Jane cover scares the bejeezus out of me every time I see it! Actually, while we’re at it, Haunted is giving me the heebie jeebies too 😉 Great list!!

  2. I’ve not read any on the list, but there is something about this time of year, when the nights creep in, so do the ghost stories. I’m currently reading Edgar Allan Poe. You can’t beat curling up in the warmth on a dark cold night reading a creepy book!

  3. I’ve heard great things about Shirley Jackson! I haven’t read anything by her yet, but she is way high on my list! Palahniuk is great for shock value, but he usually isn’t my style. I’m a huge horror chicken though, so I’m not the best person to ask for horror recommendations!
    Thanks for stopping by the The Local Muse

  4. Amy

    I’ve never read any of these books, but I have heard good things about The Haunting of Hill House. Great list!

  5. Eeeek! They all sound terrifying! I used to love the Point Horror books when I was a young teenager but have never really read a horror book. I used to love scary movies but as soon as I got preganant, I used to find pre waqtershed tv too scary! Why on earth I’ll never know so I avoid anything with horror! Thanks for linking to #findtribe

  6. Havent read any of the books you listed and doubt i will. I try not to read horror books. Some how I feel they are worse that if i had to watch it on TV. Great list.

  7. I’m too much of a scaredy cat to read proper horror books. I can always read vampire books without being scared, and I like the old gothic horror and suspense (Dracula, Woman in White, Frankenstein), but couldn’t read anything along the Stephen King lines. Just the covers of these scare me! #FindTribe

  8. Out of all of those choices, I definitely recommend The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson is the queen of horror! 😉

  9. I love your list of spooky books. You know, I tried to read House of Leaves in High School, but I guess it just didn’t interest me, because I don’t remember ever finishing it. I’m a sucker for scary stuff, so I’ll have to check out some of these other books!

    Happy (early) Halloween!

  10. Wow, those covers are creepy! I don’t think I’d be picking up any of them because I’m such a chicken XD they all sound perfectly scary though!

  11. Great list! The House of Leaves looks really creepy. Actually, they all do.

  12. All of these sound really interesting. I’d probably pick… What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, because I’ve always loved the film.

  13. I really should give House of Leaves a chance but have heard you either love it or hate it. I have seen quite a few reviews of Brother and need to pick this one up. Great list!

  14. I have seen Blood and Salt around so much this week! I’m so intrigued, but I think it would be far too scary for me.

  15. This is a great list! I generally am not drawn to horror novels, but occasionally I find myself reading them. House of Leaves is one I have heard great things about. And The Haunting of Hill House. I’d be curious to read The Exorcist to see how it compares to the movies.

  16. Deb Nance at Readerbuzz

    I’ve heard over and over that House of Leaves is a fabulous book. Don’t think I will ever read it!

    Here’s mine: Spoo-ooky Books!

  17. That Whatever Happened to Baby Jane cover has seriously given me the creeps! LOL! Happy Halloween! 🙂

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