Oct 8, 2008

Scary Books - Contest

I would like to know what is the scariest book you have ever read and why. Maybe you feel there are several, but just pick one (Well, OK, but no more than two!) and write about it. This will enter you in a drawing to be held on Oct. 31, 2008.

[This contest is now closed. Thanks to everyone for participating]

This contest will run until 11:59 pm on Oct 30. Winners - that's right, Winners - will be announced on Halloween!

A drawing for 5 books will be held.

[This contest is now closed. Thanks to everyone for participating]

Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris

Danse Macabre by Laurell K. Hamilton

Child of the Night by Nancy Kilpatrick

Renfield: Slave of Dracula by Barbara Hambly

by Bram Stoker


gautami tripathy said...

Frankenstein wins hands down. Nothing can compare with that. It is scary becos Man wants to play god reating a monster. It is very relevant today as we are doing the same by genetic engineering.

Count me in for any of the books other than Dracua. I have that!


Ruth Schaller said...

When I was in sixth grade I read Stephen King's It. That book scared the crap out of me. I had nightmares about It.

But recently I read Autumn by David Moody. I love apolocolyptic horror! This series was great! And it scared me cause what the heck would we do if a some type of chemical was released by our government and killed almost everyone then reanimated their corpses within two days. That is a scary thought!

Count me in for all of the books!! :)

Have a good day!

Ladytink_534 said...

The two scariest stories I've ever read would be The Woman in Black by Susan Hill and The Stand by Stephen King. See, I don't scare easily and I've been reading ghost stories since I was about 5 years old (I even read all of Stephen King's books when I was in middle and high school). The first book scared me because that ghost meant serious business and it's kind of like The Ring (I read it before that movie came out though).

Now The Stand on the other hand isn't exactly scary until you really start thinking about it. Your whole family, even your whole town dies and you're the only one left? Then you have to track halfway across an empty country full of dead bodies to meet up with people you don't know. It's subtle but it can give you nightmares if think about it too much and I've read this book twice lol!

(His movie IT scared me to pieces, clowns still freak me out, but I don't remember the book being half as scary)

Kara said...

I don't read Stephen King so I can't choose any of his...but I am reading one now that is very scary - Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill. It's about an aging rock star that buys a haunted suit online.

And then, of course, there is Dracula by Bram Stoker!! Awesome book.

Daelith said...

I'm with you on the clown situation ladytink. All because of the movie IT. Never read the book. I want nothing to do with them.

I'm sitting here trying to think of a book that really scared me and I'm having trouble coming up with one. I can read most anything and not be bothered by it. Seeing it as a movie or on TV, is a whole different ball game though. The first Alien movie had me sleeping with the light on for a week or so.

The only book I can think of that really got a reaction recently was one I read last year called Dark Places by Linda Ladd. Funny thing is it's not a paranormal but a pyscho type murder mystery. Without giving anything away in case someone wants to try it, I will say the emergency room scene creeped me out enough to have me checking my bed. Gave me a shudder that started at the top of my head and went all the way down to my toes. Toward the end, I kept having to put it down every few pages to walk off the heebies.

Pamk said...

hands down it would have to be The Stand by Steven King. Read it the first time almost 30 yrs ago when I was around 13. Made an impression on me let me tell ya.

Dena said...

When I was thirteen I started reading all my Mom's books and I thought Coma was pretty scary until I read The Stand by Stephen King. I couldn't go to sleep I was so scared so I kept reading waiting for a spot not so scary, when light start coming through my window and I had hour to get ready for school I put it down and faked being sick and then finished it after my Mom went to work.

I haven't read any of the books being offered except for Charlaine Harris' I read the whole series and couldn't wait for True Blood.

Bobbi said...

As a child, I thought Stephen King's vampire book, Salem's Lot was scary - now I think the scariest books I've read is The Stand.

I love and own Bram Stoker's Dracula and all of Laurell K. Hamilton's books, so count me out for those 2.

Patricia said...


Interesting choice - Frankenstein. I admit I have never read it, but what I know of the story you are right about genetic engineering being a scary tie -in.

Patricia said...


I had not heard of the Autumn books by Moody so I looked at the Amazon pages. No wonder you were frightened! Need to check the library for the trilogy.

It by King I did not read but saw the TV movie. That was scary enough.

Good to hear from you.

Patricia said...


The Woman in Black has been on my To-Be-Read list for a long time. I will get to it. Maybe now sooner rather than later.

The Stand is one of my favorite Stephen King books. The journey was suspenseful but not so scary that I had to keep a light on all night.

thanks for writing!

Patricia said...

Hi Kara

No doubt Dracula is still one of the scariest books ever written even 100 years later.

Let me know how you like The Heart Shaped Box when you finish it. Again it's one I've heard about but haven't read.

Take care!

Patricia said...


Dark Places by Linda Ladd now that's my kind of book. Something that will scare me silly. Why is that? I don't even know, but when I hear about a book like this I can't wait to get my hands on it. Even though it's not paranormal.

Movies are different. I don't want to see really scary ones although once in awhile I watch them anyway.

Thanks for the book recommendation!

Patricia said...

pank and dena

Again The Stand makes the scariest list. You are both in good company :}

Dena - I also read Coma a long time ago. Yes, tension was high in that one!

Thanks for commenting

Patricia said...


One more vote for The Stand! Not that anyone's counting. But it is interesting how often this title comes up.

A friend gave me a copy of Salem's Lot. The following weekend I did nothing but read that book and snack on popcorn. I also kept a light burning 24/7

Thanks for writing.

Night critter said...

For me it is ‘Midnight is a lonely place’ by Barbara Erskine

This is one chilling ghost story; it literally gave me goose bumps. The way Barbara Erskine describes the ghostly happenings is so believable, it’s like you’re there experiencing them. Totally put me off wanting to stay in a cottage by the beach. Once I started reading it, I found it hard to put down; I wanted to know what scary thing was going to happen next. The only criticism I have about this book is in regards to the ending, it was rather trite. Despite that this is a very, very spooky book.

Patricia said...

Hi night critter

The title alone sounds scary. And any isolated cottage in England (I looked up the title on Amazon) is always a terrific setting for evil spirits.

Thanks for writing!

aBookworm said...

I recently read Review - The Darker Side by Cody Mcfadyen. This is by far one of the scariest books I've read in a long time. More than anything actual, it was the immensely ominous atmosphere that got to me.

Patricia said...


Thanks for the review link for The Darker Side.

Obviously there is no need for the paranormal twist to frighten a reader!

Beawhiz said...

I am really hard to scare. Generally, vampires don't scare me, and suspense doesn't do much either. It's kind of weird, but the scariest characters I've ever read(in my opinion) are the Ring Wraiths from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The novel versions are scarier, although the movie versions are no walk in the park!

Great recommendations! I'm adding several to my TBR list--I love getting scared!


samantha.1020 said...

Ok, the scariest book that I've ever read I couldn't finish. It was The Shining by Stephen King. The whole thing freaked me out and I ended up not finishing it. Does that count? I've always wanted to read Carrie or Pet Sematary by King but have been too scared off to even try. I'm a wimp :)

Patricia said...


Scary Ring Wraiths! Works for me. I saw the movies but didn't read the books. Good addition to the scariest list. Thanks!

Patricia said...


For me The Shining was absolutely one of the scariest books I have ever read. There are still scenes from that book that give me chills. I read it during the winter, when I had the flu and a slight fever. All of that added to the atmosphere as I turned the pages. King is a cinematic writer. I felt like I was in the middle of all the ghostly happenings. When night time came I had to put down the book and wait for my husband to come home so that I wouldn't be alone in the house as I read.

The movie did not do this book justice. Even changed the ending!

Maybe now you can pick up a copy and give it another try.


Anita Yancey said...

The scariest book that I have read is Silence of the Lambs. It gave me nightmares.

ArkieRN said...

Pet Sematary by Stephan King. Somhow the idea of you pet coming back wrong was very frightening to me, I couldn't even finish the book. And I love horror stories.

LadyVampire2u said...

This is probably going to sound weird but the scariest book I've read was the Omen. I know Stephen King has creeped me out but his books and other horror books lack the biblical implications. And that makes a difference to me somehow. Anything refering the End of Times Prophecies really un-nerves me.

RebekahC said...

I love to read horror stories, and one of the best I've read was Chuck Palahniuk's Haunted.

littleminx at cox dot net

Patricia said...


The tension and fear I felt reading Silence of the Lambs was at times almost unbearable. This was the best of Thomas Harris's Hanable Lector novels. The others focused too much on blood and gore and less on story.

Excellent choice! Thanks.

Patricia said...


Stephen King strikes again! Some horror stories can be too much even for horror buffs like us. I read a few pages of Pet Semetary and put it down. It went way over my scare quotient.

Thanks for commenting!

Patricia said...


Honestly I didn't know the Omen was a book. I loved the movie with Gregoy Peck and was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I'm guessing the book was even better. That's usually the case.

For those making TBR lists. The Omen was written by David Seltzer.

Thanks for commenting!

Patricia said...


Haunted by Palahniuk is a new one for me. I took a brief look at Amazon. The cover is enough to spook anyone!

Thanks for your comment!

judybrittle said...

My scariest book ever was The Shining. I was reading it one night at 3 am and I got to that creepy part with the lady in the tub and someone knocked on my window. That scared me to death.

Patricia said...


Samantha and I are with you on this one.
For months I had to make a quick check of the bathtub anytime I was nearby just to be sure no Body was in there!


Patricia said...

This Comment added for purplelover218

Heart-shaped box is one of the scariest books I have ever read.


Hie Sandy

You and Kara agree on thins one.

Thanks for commenting!

blackroze37 said...

ANYthing by stephn king, but the green mile..

Daelith said...

Patricia, if you do give Linda Ladd a try start with Head to Head before reading Dark Places. Not as scary, but it is the first of the series and has some info you will need.

Patricia said...


Lots of agreement on Stephen KIng.

I did not read the Green Mile but saw the movie version and was completely mesmeized by it.

Was the book at all similar to the movie?

Patricia said...


Thanks you!

I have requested Head to Head and Dark Places from the library.

Anonymous said...

I've must have read thousands of scary books in my 45 years, but I think the one that disturbed me most was Pet Semetary by Stephen King. I think it stayed with me so long for the simple fact that I'm a parent, with only one child. Part of me could see why a parent would do that, damn the consequences.

micaela6955 said...

Being from Maine, I have to give credit to Stephen King. Years ago I read Salem's Lot as a young adult and was terrified. Another one that comes to mind is Pet Sematary. I really liked his style of writing back then, moreso than I do now. I also like the fact that many of his novels have been made into movies-kind of brings the book to life for me.

micaela6955 at msn dot com

PatriciaAltner said...

alishsmom and micaela

Now there are 2 more votes for Pet Sematary. I found it much too scary for me.

Alishosmom, I am also the mom of one child. Perhaps another reason for me to never read it.

micaela, I liked Salem's Lot. It had the right amount of fear factor. Meaning I could read it all the way through.

Diana Dang said...

Does graphic novels count? I read this comic book called the Dragon Head about the world coming to an end. It was so eerie because it plays with your mind!!

PatriciaAltner said...


Sure graphic novels count! I haven't read any but that is probably my loss.

Thanks for commenting.

Amberkatze said...

The Rats trilogy by James Herbert! The second book 'Lair' wasn't that bad but 'Rats' and 'Domain' were very frightening!

And even though I find them scary I still keep a copy of each in my permanent collection of books.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I believe I emailed you my answer, my email was: lauren51990 at aol dot com....

but I guess we're supposed to comment? LOL oops!

anyway...the scariest book i ever read? Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn was pretty creepy. It kept me hooked though. It was awful in a lot of ways though (not the BOOK, but what happens IN it)


PatriciaAltner said...

Hi Amber
Took a peak on Amazon about Rats. Several people agree with you! Not sure I would have the nerve to read it. It sounds very scary, indeed!

Thanks for commenting.

Teresa D'Amario said...

Hmm, I don't read tons of scary books these days, mostly because they give me nightmares. LOL. I remember though, when I was in my "Horror phase" as a kid, I read Stephen King's Pet Semetary. Just as I finished the book, my Mom asked me to walk over to a friend's house and ask to borrow something. I Had to walk past a graveyard. For the first time in my life, I was afraid to walk past that graveyard! Scared the bejeeeses out of me!

As far as recent work goes, A couple of years ago Kay Hooper came out with Chill of Fear. It's not an overly horrific book, but something about it reached deep into my soul and found a fear I didn't realize I had until then. That of evil being real. I had nightmares for 2 weeks!

PatriciaAltner said...

Hello Lauren

Thanks for recommending the very creepy Sharp Objects!

BTW I did not receive your email, if I had I would have copied and posted it as a comment. Any stray responses I come across I will post. I don't want anyone left out.

Kathleen said...

You know I was thinking about this for awhile... but I'm not really scared by books! Movies, yes. So the only thing I can think of was one of those R.L.Stine Goosebumps books that I read when I was little. It was very Poe-ish if that makes sense!

PatriciaAltner said...


Once again I am relieved not to have read Pet Semetary. Kudos to you and the others who read every chilling word!

After a peek at Amazon I have decided that Kay Hooper paranormal mysteries will be added to my TBR list.

AND Mega Congratulations to you, Teresa, for winning a Prism Award for She Wolf!!

PatriciaAltner said...


If a Goosebumps book scared you, it counts!

To me anything by Edagar Allan Poe belongs in the scary area. Years ago when I read Masque of the Red Death I was shocked, horrified. So of course I had to read everything else by Poe that I could find.

The Tome Traveller said...

I remember reading Pet Semetary in college and being scared out of my wits. I've read most of Stephen King's stuff and this was the one that scared me the most.

For classic horror, Frankenstein is it!

PatriciaAltner said...

the tome traveller

Another vote for Pet Semetary! and Frankenstein which gautami also mentioned.

Great fear factors here!

Thanks for commenting!

Anonymous said...

I vote for IT by Stephen King. Very scary stuff.

Count me in for Child of night or Renfield:Save of Dracula, I have the others.

bison61 said...

the book that really bothered me was The Exorcist

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

PatriciaAltner said...


Stephen KIng's It gets another vote for scariest! Thanks.


The Exorcist! Of course. I forgot about this one. That's definitely one that will keep the lights burning night after night after night. Scared me, a lot!

80slady said...

Its a tie between The Amityville Horror and The Tell-Tale Heart.
Read both when I was very young and impressionable and it is hard to shake how scared they made me.

Wrighty - said...

I love scary stories. I thought this was going to be easy until I started reading posts here and was reminded of all those good books! One of the ones that scared me silly is The Shining by Stephen King. That was so creepy and then the movie was scary too ("Here's Johnny!"). The most recent book that scared me was The Road by Cormac MacCarthy. That one scared me with the possibilities or what could become of us with an apocalypse-type event. *shivers* They both remind me that I like my "scary" to come from books.


catslady said...

I know this is an old book but The Exorcist scared me the most. I stayed up all night reading it and had to go to work the next morning with no sleep.

Carol said...

Pet Sematary by Stephen King really scared and upset me! I love animals and children and to think that something like that could happen made me really nervous!
mittens0831 AT aol DOT com

PatriciaAltner said...


The Amityville Horror scared me as well. Although it was published as nonfiction and I had doubts that all the things really happened. It was so well written that this book had me completely captivated as I read it.

And Poe's The Tell Tale Heart - what a classic horror tale!


The Shining! Yes!!

I have read about The Road and MacCarthy's post apocalyptic world is horrific!

Thanks to you both for commenting!

PatriciaAltner said...


When The Exorcist first came out I heard Peter Blatty describe the happenings in the story that inspired his novel. Then I spent one of the most frightening nights of my life. So of course I had to read the book which was just as scary as I expected1


Like you several others have picked Pet Sematary. Stephen King is such a good writer that he can make any scenario terrifying.

Great to hear from you both!

rb said...

The scariest will be Cell by Stephen King. I was so nervous to use my mobile for days!!!


PatriciaAltner said...

HI rb

Last night I saw Cell in Barnes & Noble. I was tempted to buy it buy didn't. If it's that scary I need to read it. Anyway I rarely use my cell phone.

Thanks for writing!

Jackie B. said...

I read lots of horror, gore, killings, etc. but I have only read two books in all these years that have really scared me. The first is The Excorcist. I read it at a time in my life when I lived alone and I could not read it right before bedtime or I would lay awake in fear for hours.
The other one that scared me was IT. IT had clowns---need I say more?

Mandy said...

I would say IT by Stephen King. After that I would never think about a clown in the same way *shudders*

bellesorrisa (at) gmail (dot) com

Book Spot said...

Salem's Lot (Stephen King) is the one I can think of now--never did finish it because it wasn't my favorite but it was scary ;)

Mary Ann Laing said...

I've only read one horror book every, IT by Stephen King. I was so terrified I never wanted to read any other in the genre since then.

PatriciaAltner said...

Hey Mary Ann

You're a real trooper taking on what many here consider a very scary book!

Thanks for dropping by.


PatriciaAltner said...

jackie b

There are several of us frightened to death by The Exorcist. For me it seemed all too real.


You Jackie, Mary Ann and numerous other have picked It as the big contender for scariest. No wonder Stephen King is so very rich!

book spot

Salem's Lot was so very Dracula like. It scared me but not as much as Stoker's masterpiece. Why didn't you finish it?

Raonaid Luckwell said...

The Dark Half by Stephen King.
There was another book that my friend told me to read, damn did it give me chills and I can't remember the name of it.

Crystal Adkins said...

Mine was Snuff by Eric Enck it was so gruesome and it could really happen. Men being paid to abduct someone and kill them in horrible sexually explicit ways on video and then mailed to the person who ordered the kill, so that they could "enjoy" what happened to the victim. ICK!!!

PatriciaAltner said...


A new Stephen King title which, per Amazon reviews, sounds just as scary as the others mentioned.


Snuff sounds exceedingly horrifying! And probably too realistic.

Thanks to you both for commenting!

jaime said...

Stephen King's Bag of Bones is one of the few books that actually made me consider not turning off my light to go to sleep!

PatriciaAltner said...

Hi Jaime

Did you know that in Sept. of this year a 10th anniversary edition was printed? Thought I would mention this in case you wanted another copy to read :)

Thanks for writing!

Anonymous said...

I've always loved horror books. But it's hard to pinpoint which I thought was scariest...
A lot of the 'scary' stuff I read was non-fiction and about ghosts and haunted places. Not that scary really. In fact, it kind of takes a lot of scare me.
There are definitely books that creeped me out. One would have to be 'Everything's Eventual' - Stephen King. I've read 'The Mist' which was creepy but more of a psychological thriller than anything else. 'Everything is Eventual' was just... creepy. Also the short stories are kind of like.. I'd describe them like a punch in the face. They're not all great, but the first story really got to me.
I think things that are scary and things that are creepy are kind of different. Something creepy affects me way more. Because the feeling lingers. It's not a sudden adrenaline rush (which is fun and awesome) it's something that lasts and makes me feel uncomfortable.
Do I make sense? Probably not!
This is making me want to read more scary stuff in time for Halloween. It's my favorite holiday! :D

LeighSavage said...

I believe that the scariest story I ever read was Stephen King - IT...I agree with others since he's taken something that you normally think of bringing happiness for children and turned it into a nightmare. Changes the way you look a clowns...Leigh

darbyscloset said...

Christine by Stephen King and he has another one too that scared the bee-jee-be's out of me and I never finished it...something to do with a grave yard......ugh, Stephen is a pro at the scary!!
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Tanya said...

THis novel was pretty disturbing and it stays with you long after you've read it. The book is Thirteen Bullets, a serial novel by David Wellington...the ending is very haunting..lets put it this way I hid the book in my bookcase (so I wouldn't see it)...lol so trust me when I say it's scary!

PatriciaAltner said...


I think you did a very good job of describing creepy. Thanks


Good to hear from you! Another recommendation for Stephen King's It. I really must read this book.


I believe you are the first to mention Christine - about the possessed car. King can make anything scary. Thanks


I read Thirteen Bullets. It is scary and does stay with you! There's also a sequel, 99 Coffins. Another scary one.
Thanks for writing

ChristyJan said...

Everything I've ever read of Stephen King's is scary!

Also, Ghost Story by Peter Straub is at the top of my list.


peoneil said...

Definitely "The Exorcist" and "'Salem's Lot". Both gave me nightmares - Reagan chasing me through a graveyard and Danny Glick scratching at my windows.

Susan B. said...

Hi Patricia,

I don't read scary books or watch scary movies, however a number of years ago I read the book 'Cause of Death' by Cyril Wecht the famous Forensic Pathologist. In it he wrote about several high profile cases & what he found by going over the evidence. I still have the book & it doesn't sit well with me that these famous people were murdered & still the cases are unsolved. What does that say for the rest of the population when investigations are made!!!

Thank you,
sbussey AT windstream.net

Dawn M. said...

Intensity by Dean Koontz is the first book that comes to mind. Freaked me out! (I'll never watch the movie again, either.)

The first books to make me jump, though, were the Twilight: Where Darkness Begins series. I read them way back in the early 80's when I was around 12 or 13. I forget which book it was but I remember jumping out of my skin when the trash truck started clanging up the alley at a particularly scary part. I yelled and the book went flying. LOL!

Karen G said...

The Stand by Stephen King is the scariest book I've read. It's the book I compare all other scary books to.

Patricia said...

The scariest books that I have read have been by H.P. Lovecraft. His Dunwich Horror is especially horrific. He usually wrote short stories, but they are some of the best for things that go bump in the night.

Caitlin Hoy said...

One of the scariest books I have ever read would have to be The Chosen by Sharon Sala. Its about this bad guy dying for a few minutes and seeing hell and the devil instead of a white light. When he realizes he went to hell he becomes a weird zealot preacher living on the street, emulating the New Testament of the bible so he can be exactly like Jesus. The truly scary part is he goes out and kidnaps a bunch of people with names like the apostles and those that Jeus new like his mother Mary. The guy's off his rocker but the story as a whole will give you a pychological thrill that will have you beleiving that hell has a bit more to in the afterlife and on earth than you originally thought.

ddurance said...

I loved the Blackstone Chronicles by John Saul. It was originally published in small serial novels and there were I think six stories that made up the set. Each story dealt with a specific item and how it related to the Blackstone Asylum and it would corrupt a character. I love asylums!
Also, there was a book that I read several years ago while on vacation in the north Georgia mountains. For the life of me, I can't remember the title or the author but it was about a group of people who attacked and killed families in their homes at night. They would skin them and make suits out of their skin to wear. It really creeped me out because at the same time we were having a lot of break-ins locally.


Tanya said...

Hey Patricia...

Yea, this author has 99 coffins and I'm on the fence..if im going to read it.

Another scary one: I Am legend by Richard Matheson ..not the story for I am legend (that was great) but in this book there are other short stories & one (I forgot the name) it's about a small warrier doll that comes to life that was sent to the girl (main character int he short) & the doll is a death warrier that kills everything..my description is not doing it justice..but there were certain parts of that story that really bothered me...

Janel said...

Blogger ate my first comment. Let's see if it works this time!

This is a great list! I'll have to cast my vote for a classic, Frankenstein. Thanks!

PatriciaAltner said...

Looks like Stephen King should be in the Hall of Fame.

I'm so glad you mentioned Ghost Story. I read it a long time ago but I do remember it being very frightening.

Thanks for your comments

Excellent selection of scary scenes! Thank you.

Susan B
I have seen Cyril Wecht on TV many times. What he has to say is always fascinating and more than a little creepy.
Thanks for commenting.

PatriciaAltner said...

Dawn M
Dean Koontz knows how to build suspense. I have read a few of his books, but not this one. Your reaction to The Twilight series precisely defines what is a scary book!

Karen G
King's The Stand is a good measure. Several others picked this book as well>
Thank you for your comment.

Caitlin Hoy
The Chosen has the mixture of horror and Biblical that intrigues me. Another title for the TBR list!

PatriciaAltner said...

I have certainly heard of John Saul but have not read any of his books. An asylum setting is perfect for scary stories.
The second book you mention sounds terrifying! Took a lot of guts to finish that one!
Good to hear from you.

Richard Matheson is a terrific writer. You must have found a special edition of I Am Legend in order to get the short stories.
Let me know what you decide about 99 Coffins.

Mary Shelly's Frakenstein is a good choice. Several other commenters agree with you.
Thank you for commenting.

Anne said...

The scariest book I ever read was when I checked out Sybil from the library when I was much too young to read such a book. As far as books meant to be scary, I read Cujo when I was still pretty young and found that scary. I've never found classic scary books (Dracula, Frankenstein, etc.) scary, but I read those in high school or older.

PatriciaAltner said...

Hi Anne

I guess you don't scare easily.
There are still passages in Dracula that frighten me.

I consider you a challenge. I want to find something that scares you. How about Watchers by Dean Koontz. That's the first book of his I read. I found it very entertaining and very scary.

Maybe go through the comments and look for some possibilities. Let me know if you find anything.

Thanks for writing!

robin_titan said...

oh my goodness gracious! i cannot believe so many people also thought the stand was scary! i read it when i was about fifteen years old it scared me sooo much!!! recently i read frankenstein which also scared me but nothing as close to what stephen king did with his writing, after reading the stand i had thought it was really scary but wanted to try more stephen king and began reading IT, but then i stopped i did NOT want any more nightmares thank you


Jeanette J said...

My favorite is HP Lovecraft and any of his stories scare me but I guess I would have to add Dean Koontz's Phantoms to the list. Part of the reason it scares me is because the way he wrote it. It sounds quite plausible.

Anonymous said...

the green mile was alot closer to the book then most books asnd movies. which i was glad of. that was one of the most touchingmovies i think i had watched up to it


.Books by TJ Baff said...

I am another fan of Midnight is a Lonely Place by Barbara Erskine. That book scared me so much...the atmosphere during the haunting parts is 'freaky'! LOL

PatriciaAltner said...


Yes, The Stand was scary. Several people here think It was the scariest. Probably best you didn't read it! ;)
Thanks for writing.

jeanette j

HP Lovecraft stands at the top as scare-meister! How did he come up with the horror tales that he did?
Recently I was trying desperately to read the Koontz book that scared me more than any other, turn out to be Phantoms. Thanks for mentioning it!

PatriciaAltner said...


A good friend of mine finally convinced me to watch The Green Mile and I'm glad I did. It is in an odd way a very uplifting story.

PatriciaAltner said...

tj baff

At least 2 votes for Midnight Is a Lonely Place. It now moves a bit closer to the top of my TBR list.

Thanks for writing!

Vickie said...

THE DESCENT - Jeff Long. Scared the bejeezus out of me so much that I had to set it aside, send it to my sister for a friend of ours to read. My sister read it, her husband read it, her friend read it and then it came back to me. I finally read it and loved it. It's on my keeper shelf and I will be a Jeff Long fan forever.

Anonymous said...

Rosemary's Baby when it first came out.

PatriciaAltner said...

Hi Vickie

A new, for me, author to check out.

Thank you!


I loved Rosemary's Baby! Excellent choice.

So that I can enter your name in the contest PLEASE let me know who you are!!


Sandee61 said...

I've read alot of scary books, and alot of Stephen Kings, especially Cujo and Salem's Lot. Another that is really gruesome that I read recently, was "The Ruins" by Scott Smith. It gave me the creeps for a week or more! Ooh! and "The Crooked Tree" by Robert Charles Wilson...spooky!

Pearkitten said...

I have to agree that Stephen King's IT is the scariest book I have read so far! What a great contest!!

Maiden Fair Knits said...

I think for me, it was Stephen King's The Shining too. Edge of the seat stuff!

Meljprincess said...

THE FREAKSHOW by Bryan Smith and TICK TOCK by Dean Koontz.

Mel K.
Meljprincess AT aol DOT com

Anonymous said...

Stephen King is king of the horror genre.. For me, it would be The Stand. No bloodsucking monsters or chainsaw maniacs, just a nice healthy dose of flu to kill everyone off. I still get the chills whenever I read this one.
Blogged about here : http://mamasbooks.wordpress.com/current-contests/

Carol said...

I recently read a collection of HP Lovecraft's stories. Scary and Creepy.

Thanks for running this contest.

PatriciaAltner said...

sandee61 and Pearkitten

I think a black hole swallowed my answers to you both.

So Sandee - More votes for Stephen King! I read The Ruins - way off my creep meter. I can't even think about The Crooked Tree. More power to ya! Thanks for writing!


King's It does it again. Thanks for writing. Glad you like the contest.

PatriciaAltner said...

maiden fair knits
I love The Shining! It terrified me, but I loved it. Thanks for commenting.


THE FREAKSHOW by Bryan Smith and TICK TOCK by Dean Koontz. Not familiar with either one of these. Let me get out my TBR list!
Thanks for writing

PatriciaAltner said...


Yep, King is the King. I also liked The Stand. And thanks for the mention on your blog!!


If King is King then Lovecraft is emperor (think that's higher than a king). Anyway a Lovecraft story can scare anyone!
Thanks for commenting!

Kiki said...

Scariest book I've ever read:

I would have to say The Shining, by Stephen King. It is scary on so many levels--the alcoholism, the craziness, and the fact that this little boy has this amazing power to see what his dad is going through--that's the scariest!

PatriciaAltner said...


Like I told Maiden Fair Knits I loved The Shining. Not just the story, but the characters, even Jack!

Thanks, kiki. Also be sure I have a way to contact you in case you're a winner.

Crystal Adkins said...

Patricia-- YES! Snuff is really scary and gross! It's not for the weak stomached b/c the way the victims die is very ummm inhumane and mostly with chainsaws, drills and more...BRUTAL!

PatriciaAltner said...


Yuck! just as I thought! It is not nor ever will be on my TBR list.
Even so, its great to hear from you!

Kate said...

What scared me big-time wasn't a book but a made-for-TV movie, Stephen King's "Rose Red". I am a wimp when it comes to ghosts! Second scariest...also seen on TV (didn't read the book)...IT by Stephen King. King wins hands down in the scariest category.
Kate Sanner

PatriciaAltner said...

Hi Kate

Missed Rose Red, but I have certainly heard from others about the scare factor for IT - book and TV movie!

Thanks for writing!

Kimberly said...

When I was in junior high I read Bram Stoker's Dracula. It both scared and fascinated me.

Kath said...

Bram Stoker's Dracula. I read it as an early teen and it scared the wits out of me. I've been looking for those wits ever since!

PatriciaAltner said...

Hi Kimberly

Yes, another vote for Dracula. Which is still a scary story after more than 100 years! Thanks for writing

Hey Kath

I bet you still have your wits about you ;)

Good to hear from another Dracula fan!

Jena said...

You know I answered this question on another blog yesterday with Pet Semetary because for weeks after reading that book I couldn't let my cat into my room at night (she used to come in and sleep on the heat register). But really, I think it may have been a book I read when I was 10 about the world's most famous ghosts (that may have been its title: The World's Most Famous Ghosts); for weeks I couldn't sleep, I had nightmares about screaming skulls for months, and it reinforced my fear of our basement. No Stephen King novel ever scared me like that.

PatriciaAltner said...

Hi Jenna

Interesting that you should mention the fears from childhood being the worst. Back in the stone age there were comic books called Tales form the Crypt - skeletons, mummies, rotting corpses running around. I was not allowed to buy them, but I had a friend who had a great collection. She let me read as many as I wanted. Then at night I would be so frightened I was afraid to close my eyes.

Anonymous said...

The scariest book I ever read was The Amityville Horror. When I get really scared my eyes will start to water. I read the book at night while pregnant with my first child. I snuggled up back to back to my husband and was constantly wiping my eyes because I was so scared that my eyes wouldn't quit watering. I'm scared most by haunted house stories and movies because I believe they actually exist.

Patricia said...

I loved The Stand by King. But, for some reason Pet Semetary scared me the most. Maybe it was the little boy who came back from the grave and giggled while he killed.

PatriciaAltner said...

Hi traymona

Amityville Horror is one scary book! I read it when it first came out. Couldn't put it down even though I kept imagining something was creeping up on me. Of course the writer and the family claimed it was all true, they later admitted they had made it up. Thank goodness!

Glad you wrote!

Anonymous said...

Throne of Bones from Brian McNaughton. This book contains creepy tales about Lovecraftian ghouls.

(please enter me in the contest)

PatriciaAltner said...


Throne of Bones - excellent choice. Apparently this book won the World Fantasy Award.

Thanks for writing!

darbyscloset said...

I remembered the other book by Stephen King...the one I didn't finish and had scenes in a grave yard, it is "Salem's Lot"!
Scarey Read!!!!
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

PatriciaAltner said...

It's been awhile since I read Salem's Lot. Yes, I do remember it as quite scary, but also a very good story. Perhaps on a bright sunny day you can try it again. No dark and stormy nights though ;}

Glad you remembered!

Rue said...

When I was in elementary school I read John Bellairs "The Spell of the Socerer's Skull". Only book I've ever read that gave me nightmares. But, of course, I went on to read others of his books. I think "The House with the Clock in it's Walls" was my favorite.

ruthann (dot) francis (at) gmail (dot) com

PatriciaAltner said...


I missed the Bellairs books but I have read about them and many people love them because they are so wonderfully scary.

Thanks for writing!

Gwendolyn B. said...

One summer I was living in an unfinished basement (no comment) and read a lot of Stephen King. The one that scared me the most was PET SEMETERY -- I had to read it backwards! But THE scariest thing I ever read was a short story by George R.R. Martin entitled "The Pear-Shaped Man." It just really got to me!
Thanks for hosting this giveaway, and Happy Halloween!
geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

annalisa said...

The Exorcist was the scariest book I ever read. Read it back in the 70's in paperback. It really creeped me out. One of these days I will have to read it again and see if it is still as scary to me. :)


PatriciaAltner said...

Hi gwendolyn

OK no comments or questions about the unfinished basement :)

Pet Semetery scores again.

I have not read Martin's The Pear-Shaped Man, but I know he is an excellent writer. His vampire novel Fevre Dream is one of my favorites.

Hi annalisa

A second reading years later would be an interesting test. Let me know the results if you do this.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Overall, the most scary thing I ever read wasn’t a single book but the three HP Lovecraft omnibuses – which I read back to back. Whilst Lovecraft wrote some cracking stories, “Pickman’s model” and “Dreams in the Witchhouse” being two of my favourites, I never found that a single story was that scary. Indeed by the end of the first omnibus I was wondering what all the fuss was about.

However, the joy of Lovecraft to me is that the stories often interlink, though you might not realise it at first, not just with mythos but with characters and events. These links are often incredibly subtle. I found that the stories weaved a paranoid landscape around the reader – in this case me – so that by the third omnibus I was looking strangely at shadows, wondering what might emerge. No other book has had that effect, though Stephen King came close with Salem’s Lot when I read it as a kid and, again, it was detail that did it – though in his case it was minutia. My vote, therefore, goes to the HP Lovecraft Omnibuses.

Anonymous said...

I can't enter for the Hachette books because I'm in Oz, but...

The scariest book I've read would have to be Tom Perrotta's Little Children. The scenes at the pool and in church were so creepy and suspenseful.

Have a lovely day! :-)

CrystalGB said...

Pet Cemetary and The Shining by Stephen King were scary to me.

Ruby (Mouth) said...

Hands down, it is either The Christening by Roger Elwood or Still Life with Crows by Preston and Child.

angelleslament @ gmail.com

MsValerie said...

Stephen King's "The Stand" ranks right up there, but I think the scariest book I read in my younger years was "The Andromeda Strain." Those "you know, it COULD happen" books just make me wet myself.

But then, last year, I read "I am Legend." So...that is the scariest book of my "next" 50 years.


PatriciaAltner said...

I have never read Lovecraft stories in the way you have. This obviously increases the creep factor which makes it all the more appealing.
Thanks for your thoughtful comment!

Hi Tez
Tom Perrotta's Little Children - Haven' even heard of this one. Time to get out the TBR list!

PatriciaAltner said...

More books for that ever expanding TBR list - The Christening by Roger Elwood or Still Life with Crows by Preston and Child.
Thank you

I loved The Andromeda Strain - book and movie. The scary stuff was almost too real.
I Am Legend - caused me sleepless night
Thanks for wriitng.

Rebekah E. said...

The scariest book I have read was the stand by stephen king. I think it was the concept of the whole book and the things people believe in he used to make a wonderful scary story

PatriciaAltner said...

Hi Rebekah

No question King knows how to scare us probably more than any other writer. I'm going by the many comments about him on this blog.
Definitely The Stand is a classic.

Wanda Maynard said...

Hi Patricia, The scariest book I have ever read is ROSE RED by Stephen King. When I read about a haunted house, I didn't realize it was going to delve so deep into the mind consuming the conscious and subconscious. That laid heavy on my memory, especially the part about the doll house inside the house. Even the pages of the book felt rough or different to the touch.

PatriciaAltner said...

Stephen King strikes again.
You describe so well the experience of reading a truly scary book!
I'm not sure but I think you are the first to mention Rose Red.


Ellory said...

I don't do scary but Poe's short stories still give me the creeps at times.

PatriciaAltner said...

Hi ellory

Creepy counts! Poe is certainly that.


Anonymous said...

Pet Semetary has got to be a competetor. Bits of the book scared the living hell outta me then the movie.. zelda actually made me cry when i was younger..

She still sends a shiver down my spine :|

Virginia C said...

Two Classics: DRACULA by Bram Stoker, and FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley. gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Anonymous said...

Scariest book hmmm can't recall really. Does it count if you don't have a really scary book?

Count me in. I need to expand my scary book reading. LOL