From fiction to mystery and true crime to classics, several reads can keep you on the edge of your seat. Whether you are going through this for the time being or you are looking forward to reading more good horror books, you are at the right place. Here in this article, we are going to read about the 10 creepiest novels of all time.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a classic 1818 novel. The story focuses on a young scientist, Victor Frankenstein who creates a sapient creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. This creature turns evil and kills everyone close to Viktor as an act of revenge for abandoning him. The story has layers and profound themes if read contextually. Mary Shelley was inspired to write this novel after imagining a scientist who create life and was terrified by his creation.
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Bram Stoker in his 1897 novel Dracula managed to create a masterpiece evoking a nightmarish world of vampire and their hunter. The novel illuminates the dark corners of Victorian desire and sexuality. Jonathan Harker is the primary character of the novel. He visits Transylvania to help his client Count Dracula with the purchase of a London house. Jonathan witnesses several horrific incidents such as puncture marks on the neck of a woman’s neck, an unmanned wrecked ship, his client, and more.
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
1898 published novel The Turn of the Screw is considered a work of both horror and gothic fiction. The influence of structuralism concluded that ambiguity is the key feature of the story. Later Marxist and feminist thinking was incorporated. The story focuses on a young governess. She is sent to a large country estate, Bly, to look after two children. The guardian has certain strict instructions – to never write to him, to not ask about the history of the house, and to never abandon the kids.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
1959 published gothic horror The Haunting of Hill House relies on terror, not on horror. The story is about four seekers who arrive at Hill House. Dr. Montague is a scholar who looking for evidence of a “haunting”. Theodora is blithe is the assistant. Eleanor is a fragile and friendless woman who is well acquainted with poltergeists. Luke is the potential heir of the Hill House. In the beginning, their stay seems fated to be a spooky encounter with bizarre phenomena. However, the house is gathering its powers and soon it will choose one of these four to make its own.
Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
Ira Levin’s 1967 published horror novel Rosemary’s Baby focuses on a young woman named Rosemary Woodhouse. This book is a commercially successful book and the film adaptation is just as popular in the horror genre. Rosemary wants to have a perfect life in her new apartment in New York City. She wants to have a baby as well. What if after pregnancy a satanic conspiracy set out to claim her small family including the baby?
The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
William Peter Blatty’s 1971 published novel The Exorcist deals with the demonic possession of 11-year-old girl Regan MacNeil. She is the daughter of the popular Washington D.C. actress Chris MacNeil. Regan gets afflicted by spasms, convulsions, and disturbing amnesiac episodes. Medical science failing to help Regan, Chris turns to psychiatrist Damien Karras and troubled priests. Karras recommends a specialist in the exorcism of demons, Father Merrin. William Blatty was inspired by a 1949 case of a 14-year-old boy.
The Shining by Stephen King
The Shining by Stephen King was published in 1977. It is hugely influenced by the writer’s personal experiences. A job at the Overlook Hotel is a perfect opportunity for Jack Torrance’s fresh start. As the caretaker during the off-season, he will also have time to spend with his family and work on his writing. However, with the arrival of winter, the idyllic location feels more remote and sinister. And five-year-old Danny Torrance is the only one to notice the strange force that is gathering around the hotel.
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
1983 published gothic horror The Woman in Black has been adapted into films. This book has been adapted into a stage play by Stephen Mallatratt. After The Mousetrap this is the second longest-running play in the history of West End. In this story, Arthur Kipps relates his haunting experiences at Eel Marsh House. The story begins on Christmas Eve when his step-children invite him to share a horror story. Being disturbed by his memories he writes them down instead of saying them aloud.
The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
Thomas Harris’s 1988 novel The Silence of the Lambs is a sequel to Red Dragon. Serial killer Buffalo Bill is stalking with an unfathomable purpose. A young FBI agent trainee Clarice Starling has an assignment of interviewing Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Hannibal is kept under close watch in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. He is a former psychiatrist, has an unusual taste, and has a deep curiosity about the mysterious corners of the mind. Hannibal’s intimate comprehension of the killer and Clarice forms the core of this novel.
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
Bret Easton Ellis’s 1991 published American Psycho focuses on a serial killer. Twenty-six-year-old charming, sophisticated, and intelligent Patrick Bateman works on Wall Street. However, he is also a psychopath. As the story will progress his nighttime activities will become more transparent – they are brutal and sadistic. And, Patrick being a psychopath has no guilt, remorse, or empathy in his blood.
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