Have you ever wondered why people like horror novels and movies so much even though they are so unsettling and fear-inducing? A probable answer lies in a study conducted by the Journal of Media Psychology. A study published in it shows that horror novels owe their popularity to the “tension, relevance and unrealism”. Whether you love them due to the entertainment quotient or because the stakes are high. We have curated a list of 10 most terrifying horror novels ever (Horror Books That are Really Scary) especially for you.
List of 10 Most Terrifying Horror Novels Ever | Horror Books That are Really Scary:
- Carrie by Stephen King
- The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
- Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
- Hell House by Richard Matheson
- Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hell
- The Exorcist by William peter Blatty
- The Passage by Justin Cronin
- The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson
- Evil Eye by Madhuri Shekhar
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Carrie by Stephen King
Considered the master of horror, Stephen King never fails to spook you with his characters, their motives and the plot. Carrie is considered a modern classic now, and follows the story of Carrie White. Carrie is bullied as a high school girl, and when she discovers her extraordinary powers of telekinesis, she decides to use them to take revenge on her harassers. What ensues is a gripping and macabre tale full of quintessential horror.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Another classic of horror literature, this novel is known to give jitters to the most unafraid of readers. It is the story of an eclectic lot of four – Dr Montague, the owner of the haunted Hill Hosue as he enlists the help of Theodora, Eleanor and Luke. As the story unfolds, ghostly and thrilling things happen, the revelation of which would ruin the reading experience. Suffice it to say that this novel is an exemplar of its genre, and its psychological undertones and literary beauty make it one-of-a-kind.
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
The true terror of this horror fiction is that it is also historical fiction. Set in the 1850s at the Mexico-Texas border, it follows the story of a fourteen year old Tennesseean and Judge Holden. In this grim and ghoulish world, where the market for Indian scalps is booming, we find ourselves immersed in a world of war and violence. Critically acclaimed for its spine chilling writing and its symbolism, this one’s a must read for all horror lovers.
Hell House by Richard Matheson
As the title suggests, this is the story of the haunted Belasco House, whose secrets many have unearth but none has returned unscathed. As our four protagonists undertake this task, for a multitude of reasons, a fine horror story takes birth. Full of graphic, sexual and paranormal horror, this one definitely isn’t for the newbies!
Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hell
This horror fiction novel follows the story of middle aged rockstar Judas Coyne who is obsessed with eerie, morbid, creepy things. He collects objects of horror. When there’s an online bid for the sale of a ‘ghost,’ he just has to buy it. And accordingly, in his mail arrives the suit of a dead man along with his spirit. Determined to seek vengeance against Coyne for a past mistake, this spirit is hell-bent on killing Coyne. Spooky enough?
The Exorcist by William peter Blatty
This widely loved novel follows the story of a young girl possessed by a malevolent spirit. As her mother, a Jesuit priest and a weird detective try to rid her of the demon, a chilling story of horror follows. Often paired with its movie adaptation for a stronger effect, this book is the perfect one if you’re okay with some serious fright.
The Passage by Justin Cronin
A unique story in the horror genre, this novel follows FBI agent Brad Wolgast, and six year old orphan, Amy Harper Bellafonte as a security breach in the US government facility unleashes a horror. With beautiful storytelling and elements of science fiction fused with paranormal activity, this one will keep you on the edge of your seat!
The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson
This fictional account of a haunted house is based on a true story – there’s nothing more terrifying than that, now, is there? This follows the Lutz family in 1975 as they move into the house where Ronald Defeo murdered his parents and siblings a year before. The crazy spooky events that follow are best read, not narrated in a blog post. If the story itself doesn’t make you curl up into a ball and hide under your blanket, the afterward damn sure will.
Evil Eye by Madhuri Shekhar
Evil Eye is available only as an audiobook – it is an audible original. However, this one had to be included in this list because of its sheer beauty in capturing the senses of the reader and making his heartbeats faster. This audiobook follows Pallavi, a woman whose mother will stop at nothing to find her a husband. But when Pallavi finds the perfect man, her mother can’t shake of the queasy, unsettling feeling she has about him. Told through a series of telephone conversations, this audiobook has become a bestseller.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Written in Gaiman’s typical suspenseful and horrific style, this one follows a man who returns to his home to attend a funeral and events force to remember a dark, unlikely past. As we follow his own childhood world, his friendship with a possibly eternal girl and the magic and horror of the English countryside, this book feels like a lullaby that lulls you to death. Written in a glassy, dreamlike way, this one is sure to make you fall for Gaiman.