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Top Ten Scariest Books Ever Written

Updated on July 8, 2015

1) Books of Blood by Clive Barker

Most famous for his Hellraiser series, and for Gods and Monsters (which won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay), Clive Barker is one of the many Kings of Horror. Books of Blood, written in the 1980s are a series of short stories that are truly terrifying. Separated into three books, this series of anthology are guaranteed to chill you to the bone. Mostly featuring everyday people who get through into mysterious events, these stories range from humorous to truly horrific. The Yattering and Jack has been my favorite story so far. It is about a man named Jack Polo, who is being haunted by a minor demon named The Yattering. The demon was commanded to haunt Jack by his master, because Jack’s great great great grandfather engaged in a pact made with a demon lord. The Yattering becomes increasingly more frustrated with Jack, as it’s efforts to drive Jack insane are met with a cheery attitude. The Yattering does not know that Jack is on to him, and is purposely ignoring him to frustrate it into doing something rash that would violate it’s orders. This story is scary, but also quite clever and comical. It gives a good insight on Barker’s world of class demons without being too scary or disturbing. His other stories, such as The Skins of Our Fathers are more intense. Definitely not for the feint of heart!

2) Jaws by Peter Benchley

Yes, Jaws was a novel before it became a cinematic classic! Clever, and suspenseful, this book gives more insight into the world of Jaws. Peter Benchley decided to write this book because he always wanted to write “a story about a shark that attacks people and what would happen if it came in and wouldn't go away” (wikipedia). His fascination with sharks started with his encounter with one while fishing in Nantucket. This book is high in suspense and successfully creates a sense of a predator that is an unstoppable threat. It also delves into the politics of Amity: a mayor that has ties with the mafia, an adulterous housewife and criminal tourists also add to the suspense of the violent shark attacks.

3) Jurassic Park by Micheal Crichton

This may be my favorite book of all time. Much more complicated than the movie, Jurassic Park dives head first into the world of genetically modified animals, biology, and of course, dinosaurs. This book is heavy on the science, but it’s the little details that make it a fantastic read. It basically answers the question, “What would happen if someone genetically engineered dinosaurs, and then put them in a theme park?”. The new JP movie, Jurassic World actually encompasses the feel of this book much better that the 1991 film, because it specifically answers that question.

4) The Lost World by Michael Crichton

This is probably my second favorite book of all time. It is so much better than the movie, it kind of makes me sad when I actually watch the movie. I love everything about this book; the characters, the dinosaurs, the fact that it starts off in Palo Alto (which is where I live), the science, the protagonist, the antagonists, absolutely everything.They do not go to San Diego on the island, nor does Ingen send in a second team to gather dinosaurs for a mainland attraction. This book follows scientists Ian Malcolm and Dr. Thorne as they venture on the island to save their fellow scholar, Dr. Richard Levine. Things get more complicated when they discover that two of Levine’s 7th grade students have stowed away inside their trailer. The movie uses some of the iconic scenes—like the T-Rexes attacking the trailers—but it also leaves out a lot, like how Dr. Dodgson returns to the island to steal dinosaur eggs for his company, Biosyn. He does this by feeding his partner to one of the T-Rexes! I really wish someone could remake the movie to be more like this book, because it would be fantastic.

5) Dark World by Zak Bagans

Zak Bagans is the lead investigator for the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures show. This is his autobiography, and he talks about how he started Ghost Adventures, what made him interested in the paranormal, and all that jazz. What makes it scary are the countless stories that he tells that never make it live on the show. Like the demon that possessed him when they were on Poveglia Island in Italy—apparently it followed him home. Or the other demon that scratched him when they were investigating that also followed him home, then proceeded to drag his current girlfriend off of his bed. Bottom line is; dont mess with demons. But if you like reading about them, then this is the book for you!

6) Metamorphosis by Franz Kafta

A poor man named Gregor wakes up and finds out he has been turned into a huge bug. His family then is faced with the burden of taking care of him. As Gregor becomes more and more like a bug, and less like a human, his family is faced with the ultimate question; should they put Gregor out of his misery, or keep him alive out of duties to the family? What would you do, if one of your loved ones turned into a giant bug? Would you let them go, or take care of them?

7) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Very progressive for it’s time, Frankenstein asks the question, “what could happen if you brought something back to life with electricity?” and answers it in a thrilling, dark novel that shows that not all monsters are bad, they are just misunderstood.

8) Dracula by Bram Stroker

The beginning of all vampire books is a must read for all those die hard twilight fans. Spooky, and dark, this book tells the bloody tale of Count Dracula, and how he became the famous vampire.

9) Coraline by Neil Gaiman

This book explores a creepy alternate universe where mom’s have buttons for eyes, and all isn't as it seems. Be careful what you wish for, or it may come true in the most horrible way possible!

10) Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman

The second book in His Dark Materials series, this book stands out as being on my top ten scariest lists because of one species of creatures; the spectors. In this book, there are multiple alternative universes, some are very similar to our own, and others are very very different. This book takes place in an alternative universe of Oxford, England where people have animal daemons and time travel is a real thing. Our main protagonist, Lyra sets out on a journey to find her Uncle, while on her journey she meets up with a boy named Will in a universe where there are no adults. Why are there no adults? Because of the spectors, ghostly creatures that suck the soul out of anyone over the age of 18. They roam from city to city, preying on the adults until there are none left. It is up to Will and Lyra to close all the universe doors so the spectors dont cross over. Spooky!


Which one will you read?

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    • thegrassisgreen77 profile image


      3 years ago

      I've read a lot of Clive Barker, and the Books of Blood are by far my favorite. The Yattering and Jack was so clever!

    • KindledFire77 profile image


      3 years ago

      Great! I am going to go to the bookstore now!


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