10+ Gut-Wrenching Horror Books You NEED To Read


If you are a lover of books and horror, then you need to read these books immediately. These are some of the most terrifying, gut-wrenching, eye opening books one will ever read because of how detailed and explicit the authors are. They captivate their readers with a dark plot and make them go on a wild, horror filled adventure as they read through the book, making them remain on the edge of their seats the entire time. People went to Ask Reddit and gave their input on these reads, making people want to read them even more.

10+ Horror Books That You Can Read

1. The Jaunt

The Jaunt
The haunting cover of the book with one of its tag-lines. 

Source:Cinema Blend

The Jaunt is written by the famous horror author Stephen King and is proclaimed to be one of his best novels out there. This story takes place in the 24th century where teleporting, also called “Jaunting”, is a commonplace. People in this book use this type of transportation to travel great distances throughout their country, and this particular system even allows you to travel to other planets in the solar system. This story focuses on a family who is about to be jaunted to Mars and the main character, Mark, explains to his children how jaunting first started.

He explains that it took scientists a long while to discover that people need to be unconscious to be jaunted, but he doesn’t tell them about the first person to ever be jaunted and was awake when it happened. He also excludes the details that whomever jaunts while conscious either dies instantly, which happened to the first person to be jaunted, or goes completely insane. He reveals to the readers why people go insane if they are conscious during jaunting, still leaving out the information so he doesn’t scare his sons. The book intensifies after Mark tells the stories to his sons, but lovers of this book can’t get enough of it.

Reddit user frappuccinio claims that they discovered the book on Reddit after someone mentioned it in another post and after reading it, it screwed them up for days. This book is a must read for people who are interested in Sy-fy and horror, since it is a great combination of that, and it will make you wonder if this is what the future has to hold for us.

2. The Witches

The Witches
The creepy cover of this children’s book. 

Source:Wikipedia

Written by Roald Dahl, this children’s horror fantasy book is about a 7 year old British boy went to go live with his Norwegian grandmother after his parents were unfortunately killed in a car crash. The grandmother always told great stories to her grandson, but he was infatuated about the story with the witches. His grandmother described them to be horrific creatures who went out and sought for human children to kill. The grandmother informs her grandson that she knows five children who have become cursed from these witches and how to keep a look out for them; she even describes what they may potentially look like so her grandson doesn’t become curse from them. She also tells her grandson about witchophiles, who are people that hunt witches, and informs him that she is actually retired from hunting them. The grandmother continues the story by saying even though the witches look and act like human women, they are devils in disguise. This book will send chills down your spine as the story intensifies and the boy encounters one of the witches.

Reddit user po_tae_to_anna recalls that they read this story when they were nine years old and couldn’t stop trembling when the boy was discovered by the witches in the hall. It’s story to share with everyone, even though it’s a children’s fantasy book, but be sure you will get goosebumps from reading it.

3. The Damnation Game

The Damnation Game
The creepy book cover. 

Source:Clive Barker Cast

Horror and fantasy author Clive Barker wrote this novel about Marty Strauss, who is a gambling addict and was recently released from prison. He is hired as a personal body guard of Joseph Whitehead, who just so happens to be one of the wealthiest men in the world. The story continues to become a classic horror novel as supernatural events start happening around Marty while protecting Joseph that involve Joseph, his daughter, and a devilish man named Mamoulian. Joseph made a pact with Mamoulian during World War II and as time passes, Mamoulian begins to haunt Joseph with his supernatural powers- raising the dead- and continues to urge him to complete the pact he had made with him. Joseph tries to escape his fate as Mamoulian intensifies and his wife, daughter, and former bodyguard were now taken by him. Marty gets involved with Joseph and tries to help him escape the damnation game Joseph has become a part of.

Reddit user tristafiona claims that this is the only book that every gave them nightmares, meaning it is a book that will keep you awake at night. It’s a book to not pass up and will leave you on the edge of your seat.

4. The Road

The Road
A scene from the movie with the father and the son. 

Source:Good Reads

Cormac McCarthy wrote this novel and based it in a post-apocalyptic setting. It tells a tale of a father and his young over a period of seven months as they travel across a landscape that has been blasted by an unspecified cataclysm. It had destroyed the majority of the civilization and as time goes on, almost all of the life on Earth. This particular novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction award in 2007 and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction in 2006. What made this book even more outstanding is that the names of the boy and the son are never revealed throughout the story, allowing the reader to develop names for the two characters as the story goes on. This book has also been adapted into a movie by the same title, which premiered in 2009 and was directed by John Hillcoat.

Reddit user ezbakegaschamber says that this book isn’t scary in the typical sense, but it carries a sense of dread throughout the whole book that was oppressive. This book makes you feel like you’re actually there with the father and son, walking through America after almost all of the world has become extinct.

5. The Hot Zone

The Hot Zone
One of the redesign book covers for The Hot Zone. 

Source:Tumblr

The Hot Zone is a book about a terrifying true story and has been claimed to be one of the best selling books since its released in 1995. It is written by Richard Peterson and talks about the origins and incidents that occurred with viral hemorrhagic fevers, specifically Ebola Viruses and Marburg Viruses. The book is actually in four sections: The Shadow of Mount Elgon talks about the history of filoviruses and discusses the speculations of the origins of AIDS; The Monkey House talks about the discovery of the Reston Virus among the importation of monkey’s to Reston, Virginia, and discusses what the actions the U.S. Army and Centers of Disease Control did; Smashdown focuses more on the Reston epizootic, which involved a strain of virus that had no affects for humans but could spread through the air, and was very similar to Ebola Virus; and Kitum Cave tells of the adventure the author took going inside of the cave where it is rumored the host of the Ebola Virus lives.

Reddit user emibozu reinstates that this story is actually true and it does tell of the time where Ebola Zaire contaminated an entire lab and was almost released into the public. If you are a person that enjoys non-fiction and horror, this book is certainly for you.

6. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Even the book covers will give you nightmares. 

Source:Electric Literature

This is a series of three children’s book written by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammell. The titles in this series are Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and Scary Stories 3: More Stories to Chill Your Bones. The author brought folklore and urban legends into his stories, meaning he researched continuously about the legends he was writing about and took over a year to write each book. People claim that the chilling, nightmarish illustrations he uses in the series are in fact haunting and are often times more scary than the stories. Fans admired these images, though, and always looked forward to seeing them as they read the series. This particular series is listed to be the most challenged series of books from the year 1990 to 1999 and seventh most challenged from 2000 to 2009.

Reddit user depressedboy2 recalls that their favorite from this series was the story about the wolf girl as well as the one that took place in France with the dead mother and people convincing the daughter she was insane. If you enjoy books that will guarantee chills sent to your bones, then this is a must read series.

7. American Psycho

American Psycho
A scene from the movie, featuring Christian Bale. 

Source:Rolling Stone

Written by Bret Easton Ellis, this story is told in the first person by Patrick Bateman, a serial killer who is also a Manhattan businessman. This book follows Patrick’s every day life and goes into detail about the activities that he does throughout his days and his thoughts on various things as he encounters them. The horror kicks in when Patrick kills one of his co-workers, where Patrick sets up his apartment as a place to bring victims and kill them. A film adaptation of this novel has been created, where Christian Bale stars as Patrick Bateman. It’s a novel that takes you into extensive detail about a serial killers every day life and how he prepares his apartment each time he kills someone. You get to know Patrick, since it is told in first person and you learn his thoughts and actions, and you almost feel like you are there with him as he murders his victims.

Reddit user worstnameIeverhad claims this this novel is one of the hands down best novels out there to read. If you have an interest in serial killers and you want to get inside of the mind of one, then American Psycho should be on your list to read.

8. Pet Sematary

Pet Sematary
The opening to the disturbing cemetery. 

Source:IMDB

If you ask anyone who is a fan of horror who is the most iconic horror person, they will most likely say Stephen King. Stephen King wrote Pet Sematary and it has since been considered one of his most haunting tales. Louis Creed is a medical doctor from Chicago and becomes the director of the University of Maine’s campus health service. He moves into a large house with his wife and children, named Ellie and Gage, and Ellie’s cat, Church. From the second they arrive at their new home, strange occurrences keep happening to the family, including Ellie falling off of the swing and hurting her knee and Gage getting stung by a bee. Their neighbor, who is an elderly man, comes over to help them one day and warns them of the highway that runs along their road because the trucks that drive down it are constantly speeding.

The neighbor, named Jud, becomes close friends with Louis, but soon puts the friendship on the line when he takes them on a long walk behind Louis’ home and brings them to the pet cemetery (spelled “sematary” on the sign”). This cemetery is the place where the children of the town bring their deceased animals and bury them there. An argument arises between Louis and his wife because she believes that they shouldn’t be discussing death in front of Ellie, who is traumatized by her little sister’s death. As the story continues, an unfortunate tragedy happens when Gage is ran over by a speeding truck, making Louis bring him to the pet cemetery to bury him. The horror starts there and intensifies throughout the entire book.

Reddit user Embeast recalls this book to be one of the most terrifying and memorable Stephen King books they had ever read and everything about the story was terrifying to them, especially how the book transitioned from sadness to complete horror. The movie adaptation, though, doesn’t do the novel justice. If you enjoyed the movie adaptation, then you would for sure love this book.

9. The Tailypo

The Tailypo
One of the creepy pages from this book. 

Source:Good Reads

Written by Joanna C. Galdone and illustrated by Paul Galdone, this book is about an old story from Appalachian folklore. This story is marketed as a ghost story, however, people who have read this story claim it is in fact about a beast who should be left alone because of the spine tingling occurrences with it. The book starts with an old man living in a cabin deep in the woods where he lives alone, except for his three hunting dogs that he keeps by his side at all time. One day, after hunting was scarce and he returned home with one small rabbit, since he depended on hunting to survive, he was still feeling extremely hungry.

A strange creature then walked into his cabin, making the old man attack the creature with an ax. He only cut off the creature’s tail, though, but he still cooks and eats it to satisfy his hunger before bed. As he is sleeping, he is awoken by a scratching sound that starts off quietly and softly, but escalates to a loud scratching noise that echoes his home. A chilling voice wails out to the man: “Tailypo, tailypo. All I want is my tailypo”. The illustrations in this book make the readers tremble more as they read it because they perfectly explain what is happening within the various scenes in the book.

Reddit user PopeliusJones recalls reading this book at camp the first or second night they were there and that the book screwed them up for the rest of their camping trip. The user exclaims that they kept having a mental image of the thing in the story coming up at the end of the guy’s bed in the story scared the user to death. If you have an interest in strange beasts and haunting tales in the woods, put this book on your reading list ASAP.

10. War Day

War Day
The front and back of this book cover. 

Source:Apocalypse Books

This novel is written by Whitely Strieber and James Kunetka and is a fictional story of the authors traveling across America five years after a limited nuclear attack happened. Their mission is to assess how the nation is doing and surviving after this attack and how it has changed after the war. It is written in a form of a first person narrative research article and what makes it interesting is that it includes government documents, interviews with survivors and aid workers, and present-tense narration. The authors document what they see throughout their travels and discusses what happened during the war and why it started. They focus on all aspects of it and they create this novel to make readers believe like it actually happened because of their eye to details and leaving nothing unturned.

Reddit user requisitename summarizes the story as the U.S. Department of Defense conducted a thorough study in the late 1970’s that focused on the possibilities of consequences that a “limited nuclear bomb”, meaning only a few cities would be affected, would be. The user informs the viewers that the study could be found online if people searched for it. They continue their summary by saying how the authors set out to travel through America to collect stories for a book they are writing about the nuclear attack and that the scenario they write about is actually taken from the study the Department of Defense conducted. The user finishes their summary by saying that this novel discusses the political fracturing of the country, disease and famine, economic collapse, and the lingering after effects of nuclear contamination. This book will leave you on the edge of your seat and will start to make you question if this is a possibility that is going to happen in the future.

11. Rat

Rat
The eerie cover of this classic book. 

Source:Over Drive

Written by Andrej Zaniewski, the protagonist in this novel is a rat who narrates his life from birth to death. This intense, imaginative novel takes you on the rats journey’s as he travels through alley ways and garbage dumps, lives in a bakery cellar, hops a train to a costal town, boards a ship and lands in a city war where missiles are dropped constantly. The rat dives deep into explicit details of what it sees as it travels through this city of war, but it soon finds its fate by the hands of humans. Even though it may seem a bit silly to write from a rats point of view, the reader of this novel gets to witness the average life for a rat, including explicit details of a deadly war and how the rat needs to avoid its enemies throughout the book, such as cats, traps, cars, and its greatest enemy of all- humans.

Reddit user autoposting_system remembers the time they read the book and claim it be completely realistic of the common rat people see. However, the user says that scary might not be the best word to describe this book, and continues to say that this story is so revolting that they had to put the book down and not finish it. They claim that they never had done that before with a book and they haven’t done again since reading the rat. If you’re in for an adventure that is gruesome and somewhat terrifying, be sure to pick of a copy of Rat today.

12. Johnny Got His Gun

Johnny Got His Gun
The book cover of this horrifying book. 

Source:IMDB

This novel was written by Dalton Trumbo and focuses on Joe Bonham, who is lying injured on a hospital bed. While he remains conscious, Joe flashbacks to certain parts of his life, including the night of his fathers death and the day he said goodbye to his girlfriend Kareen before he went to go serve in World War I. The narrative soon shifts from past to present as Joe regrets joining the war because he slowly realizes that he has become severely injured and that he is in a hospital getting treated for his injury.

Joe then panics because he discovers that his legs and arms have been amputated and that he can no longer see, smell, hear, or speak because he no longer has a face. As the novel continues, the reader is inside of Joe’s mind, since he cannot communicate with anyone, and is taken through memories Joe recalls and becomes terrorized with Joe with some terrifying nightmares he has. The novel continues to take you through Joe’s life as he struggles to communicate with people every day since the accident and gets to dive deep into his thoughts with him.

Reddit user kltys says that getting trapped in their own body and not being able to communicate with anyone is scarier than anything to the user. Even though this book may not be as horror filled as some of the other books on the list, it is one that makes you realize how much we rely on our senses and how scary it could be trapped inside of your own mind with no way to speak to anyone or hear what others are saying.

13. The Shining

The Shining
One of the most iconic movie moments ever is from The Shining. 

Source:Mental Floss

Another one of Stephen King’s most iconic stories of all time. This story is Stephen King’s third published novel and actually firmly established Stephen to be a preeminent author in the horror genre. The story fixates on Jack Torrance, an aspiring novel writing and a recovering alcoholic who accepts a position as an off-season caretaker of the historic Overlook Hotel in the Colorado Rockies. His family comes along with him to the hotel, which includes his young son Danny, who possess the “shining”, which is the array of psychic abilities that allows Danny to see the horrific past the hotel holds. After a snowstorm snows them in, the supernatural forces that are inside of the hotel start to possess Jack, making his wife and son in an incredible amount of danger.

Reddit user strawcat00 read this book when they were 12 years old and got to the part where it talked about a woman being in the bathtub and was dead for a wee. The user said they closed the book and threw it across the room, didn’t take a bath for a week, but reread it as an adult and loved it. It is one of the most critically acclaimed horror novels and the movie adaptation of it does it justice. Reading the book after the movie (or beforehand) will give you more chills than the movie ever did.

14. The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Blood Curdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre

The Best of H.P. Lovecraft
The haunting cover of some of the best horror stories to exist. 

Source:ISFDB

This book was, of course, written by H.P. Lovecraft, and is said to be a collection of stories that true horror fans have been waiting for. It contains 16 of H.P. Lovecraft most horrifying visions, which includes his masterpiece- The Shadow Out of Time. It is about the shocking revelation of the mysterious forces that holds all of mankind in their fearsome grip. Fans of this series enjoyed every second of the horrifying visions that are on each page, making them crave more and more of them. It is one to make you leave the lights on at night and to continuously check behind your back as you’re walking to make sure no one is following you.

Reddit user Dendarri says that this was a collection that they read when they decided they should see what the hype was about with Lovecraft. They believed that his stories wouldn’t be as scary as people acclaimed this book to be, but after reading it the user says that this man deserves a reputation in the horror genre. This is a most read for fans of true horror stories.

15. House of Leaves

House of Leaves
The format style of this book. 

Source:Motto Distribution

This particular book is the debut novel for Mark Z. Danielewski and has become a bestseller that has been translated into various languages for other people to read and enjoy. The structure of this book has odd page layouts and style, making it a prime example of ergodic literature. It begins with a first person narrative by Johnny Truant, who is a Los Angeles tattoo parlor employee and an unreliable narrator. He is searching for a new apartment when his friend Lude informs him of an apartment that is up for rent.

The apartment, though, belonged to the recently deceased Zampanó, who was a blind, elderly man. In the apartment, Johnny finds a manuscript written by the elderly man about a documentary film called The Navidson Record, which turned out to be an academic study, and as Johnny searches deeper to find this film, he can’t find it nor the subjects involved with it. The rest of the novel has copious narratives throughout it, explaining The Navidson Record, what it was, who was apart of it, and interviews of people regarding this record. People claim that it is both a horror and love story, making it an excellent read for anyone who loves those two genres.

Reddit user thedevilsdelinquent recalls of the time when their friend told them to read the book after the friend had to stop midway, throw the book across the room, and ride out a panic attack that was induced from reading it. The user exclaims that they themselves had a few panic attacks while reading the book, as well as a few sleepless nights, and that they had to put the book down a few times and breathe so they can clearly process what they were reading. They say that it was one of the greatest books they have ever read, that it was extremely scary and blew your mind with every turn of a page. They highly recommend it, and so do we.

16. It

It
The original It. 

Source:Good Reads

Another Stephen King classic that will definitely send chills down your spine. An eponymous being terrorizes seven children by exploiting their fears and phobias. This being is known to transform into the fears and phobias of its victims, disguising itself as it preys on its victims. “It” normally disguises itself as a clown to attract its preferred prey- children. The novel switches between two time periods and through third person omniscient mode.

This novel also deals with the themes that became staples throughout Kings’ novels: the power of memory, children trauma and its reoccurrence in adulthood, the ugliness lurking behind a façade of small-town quaintness, and overcoming evil through mutual trust and sacrifice. Throughout the story, Stephen fixates on each of the seven children that are the main characters of the story and describe their experiences with It, what their past is like, and what type of fears and phobias they may have. The being, called It, in this story is awoken every 27 years, meaning that this story evidentially follows the seven main characters into adulthood and explains how they attempt to defeat It.

Reddit user Mailman_Cliff tells readers that they binge-read this book over a weekend in 1986 and had horrific nightmares for a week after reading it. They proclaim it is a fantastic book to read. With the new remake of the movie It, I highly recommend to read the story before watching the movie, if you haven’t seen the original yet, because I personally feel the movie does not do the book justice. It will leave you hiding your blanket as you read it- and it will make you terrified of clowns.

17. Let’s Go Play At The Adam’s

Let's Go Play At The Adam's
The cover of this book becomes creepy because readers can see the babysitter all tied up.

Source:Too Much Horror Fiction

Mendal W. Johnson wrote this compelling cult novel and stuns the readers. It is disturbing on all parts of disturbing because it reveals just how violent and malicious people can become in today’s society. It’s said to be a horror book that is so rare, people can’t find copies of it under 60 dollars because of how well it is. People who have read the book claim that it is one of the best stories they have ever read and it will leave you on the edge of your seat, wondering what will happen to the main character of the story.

Reddit user nervehacker sums up the story as a group of kids who manage to tie up their babysitter and they soon realize that they have immense power over her. Their games they “play” with her become extremely violent and humiliating for her. The user continues to say that it is a fantastic and disturbing book to read and that if people look at the amazon reviews, some readers had to actually burn the book. This book is an absolute must read for people who enjoy good, psychological, horror thrillers.

18. Coraline

Coraline
What the movie adaptation made Coraline look like. 

Source:Good Reads

This particular book is another dark children’s fantasy book written by British author Neil Gaiman. The story is that Coraline Jones and her family move into an old house that has been divided into flats. There are two elderly women also living in the house and a man who is deemed to be the crazy old man upstairs. The flat beside Coraline, though, is unoccupied. Coraline discovers a door in the living room one day and begs her mother to open it; however, when they opened it, they discovered that it used to connect to the other apartment flat but has since been bricked up. Mr. Bobo, the crazy old man upstairs, tells her to not go through the door and warns her of the dangers that lie behind it.

One day when Coraline is home alone, though, she decides to unlock the door to see what is actually hidden behind it. She received other warnings from the two elderly neighbors she has, but she ignored those as well as Mr. Bobo’s and continued on through the door. The brick wall is no longer there- in place of it is a long hallway that takes her to a flat that is similar to hers. It’s almost as if Coraline stepped into another dimension, where evil things are unleashed. This book was actually adapted into a movie in 2009 and is deemed to be one of the most terrifying children’s movies of all time.

Reddit user tunabuttons says that this novel has some pretty great unnerving bits if a preteen or a younger child were to read it. The user also recommended scary reads for adults by the same author, which includes Feeders and Eaters. Coraline is a novel that is unnerving in a few ways and can cause some disturbing mental images for you as you read it. It’s a book to read by yourself and maybe read to your children if they are horror obsessed like yourself.

19. The Yellow Wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper
The design of the yellow wallpaper in the room. 

Source:The Chiron Journal

Written by Charolette Perkins Gilman, the narrator starts this story off by beginning her journal and marvels at the grandeur of the house and the grounds she is staying at for her summer vacation with her husband. She goes on to describe it in almost a romantic way, but also touches upon the topic of it being a haunted house and wonders why they got it so cheap and why it was abandoned for so long.

She informs her journal that there is something off about the house, disclosing to her journal about the illness she is suffering from-which is nervous depression. She continues to write about things inside the house that she loves, giving it an almost positive review, but readers start to notice that disturbing elements start to appear in the journal, such as the “rings and things” in the bedrooms walls, the bars on the windows, and how she is particularly disturbed by the yellow wallpaper in the bedroom. The wallpaper has a strange, formless pattern, and the narrator describes it as revolting. As the weeks pass, the reader finds out that the narrator is good at hiding her journal, meaning that her true thoughts about her husband are kept safe from him.

She writes in her journal about how she wants more stimulating company and more activity in her life, and complains about how her husband continues to have controlling tendencies. She immediately returns to the discussion of the yellow wallpaper in her room and says that it is oddly menacing. She continues to write that her husband has become worried about her fixation on the wallpaper and refuses to redo the room to give in to her neurotic worries. As the story develops, the narrator becomes increasingly obsessed with the wallpaper and begins to hide her love and interest for it, making sure that no one else discovers it so she can “find it” all on her own. The narrator soon loses her mind and goes into a brink of insanity, leaving the readers shocked of how quickly this story unfolded into a true terror.

Reddit user iamasecretthrowaway says that the story completely scared them and that as you read it, it continuously builds up suspense and the ending completely freaked out the user. The user also says that when they read it, they refused to sleep in a house that had yellow wallpaper.

20. The Amityville Horror

The Amityville Horror
One of the eerie covers of the story. 

Source:Lytherus

Jay Anson wrote this book about the acclaimed paranormal experiences that happened to the Lutz family and the terror they witnessed. This book, however, has brought lawsuits to the table because people doubt its truthfulness about what actually happened in the house. Nonetheless, though, this book will send shivers down your spine because the detailed put in to explaining the paranormal experiences this family had are chilling. The book is based on a true story and addresses the house that was left abandoned after the Defeo murders.

George and Kathleen Lutz bought the house in 1975, even knew they were well aware of the murders that took place in the home. Much of the furniture from the DeFeo family was left in the house because it was included for 400 dollars as part of the deal in buying the house and soon after they moved in, a friend of George’s learned about the history of the house and begged George to have the house blessed. A priest soon came to bless the house, but after he flicked the holy water in a room, he heard a deep man’s voice tell him to “get out”.

A few weeks later, the priest called George and told him to stay out of the second floor room where he had heard the mysterious voice, but his phone call was cut short by static. The priest exclaimed that after he visited the house, he developed a high fever and blisters started to appear on the his hands. George and Kathleen both noticed nothing unusual about the house, but as time went on, both reported that they have been living in completely separate houses because of the things that happened in the house.

Reddit user Bec-o-Bec recalls that while reading the book, they remembered that every night George would wake up, the clock would read 3:15 a.m.  and that was an indicator that the house was haunted. The user also claims that they had to hide the book after reading it so they didn’t have to look at it. People argue that what happened in the house is true or not, and despite everything that people have said, reading this book will send shivers down your spine. What happened in the house was unexplainable to George.

21. The Green Ribbon

The Green Ribbon
One of the pages from the story. 

Source:YouTube

Alvin Schwartz makes it back on this list with The Green Ribbon. There are multiple versions of the story out there, but the one that has illustrations by Dirk Zimmer are known to be some of the best illustrations of this story. People rave that his illustrations captured the dark and gloomy mood this story held to it and they were so extremely detailed that you can see there were tiny black etchings to create depth to them. It was disturbing to some because of how Jenny looked in the pictures because even though she appeared to be smiling, she still had a hint of sadness hidden behind her lips. Readers of this story say that this particular one started their love for horror, especially after finding out the terrifying secret that is within this story.

Reddit user JeSebella says that this short story is either called The Girl With The Green Ribbon or just simply The Green Ribbon and explains that a boy and a girl fall in love with each other but the boy always wondered why the girl wore a green ribbon around her neck. As they grow up together, the user explains that she never revealed to why she wore the green ribbon around her neck, until her husband finds out while the girl is laying on her deathbed. It’s a short story that will leave you on the edge of your seat and should be on your list of “next books to read”.

22. Gerald’s Game

Gerald's Game
The mysterious cover to this thriller. 

Source:Turner Publishing

Stephen King makes his mark again on this list with this horror filled book. It is about a woman who accidentally kills her husband while she is handcuffed to a bed and when she realizes she has no chance in escaping, she lets the voices slowly captivate her mind. The story escalates when Jessie, the main character of the book, has an internal dialogue that is mixed with her attempts of getting out of the handcuffs, where she first attempts to break the headboard or move the bed over to where the keys are.

As Jessie sits there with no way in getting help, she watches a stray dog named Prince start consuming her dead husband and watches as a dark apparition appears one night in front of her but does nothing. Because of this weird visitor, Jessie renames him as “The Space Cowboy”, and soon Jessie is left to hallucinate because of panic and thirst. She starts to hear voices in her head the represent a person in her life and represent different parts of her personality, which help her extract a painful childhood memory that she has been keeping a secret for years. As the story furthers, though, her attempts become dark and the voices in her head intensify, making the readers grip the book as the read it.

Reddit user sillystarfishy claims that this book was one of the first books that freaked them out and says that the book built suspense in an intense and creative way and the imagery detail was unnerving to them. It’s a book readers can’t put down when they start it and it’s a book that will haunt your dreams for a while.

23. Lilith’s Brood


The fantastic trilogy. 

Source:Amazon

This is a collection of three works by Octavia E. Butler and contains her science fiction stories Dawn, Adulthood Rites, and Imago. The first story, Dawn, is about a story beginning after a terrible nuclear war that left the earth uninhabitable. Humans are extinct and if there are any survivors they are removed from the earth by an alien species called Oankali. 250 years after the war, a black female named Lilith Iyapo awakens on an Oankali ship and she firstly refuses the aliens that saved/captured her but then falls for one of them. The Oankali soon make the earth habitable again and want Lilith help them train humans to survive on the earth, but in exchange of her help they want to be able breed with the humans in order to make it more beneficial for the humans to live on the earth.

However, soon the humans turn on her and the story becomes increasingly intense after that point. Adulthood Rites takes place years after Dawn and focuses on how humans and Oankali’s live together on earth, but are not in complete peace with one another. Some humans breed with Oankali’s, though, because they had accepted their wishes and produce children called constructs, while others have refused the Oankali’s wishes and bargain and live in human villages. Tension and strain increase between the humans because they were made infertile, so they view their lives to be useless and pointless without reproduction, especially since they seem themselves to be out breed by the human-Oankali constructs.

This book focuses on the main character, Akin, as he struggles with his Oankali-human heritage because as a human, he understands why they are fighting for them to become an independent race but as an Oankali he can see why the breeding of the two races is essential. The book continues to follow his struggles in trying to make these races live in peace and figure out a way that humans can live where they will not be a hazard to themselves anymore. Imago is the shortest book of the series and shows what the other two books have been hinting at to the reader, which is the full potential of the human-Oankali hybrid species. This story is told by Jodahs, who is the first Ooli construct and a child of Lilith. The story lets the readers understand the Oankali more as they understand Jodahs. He continues to try to make everything equal between the Oankali and humans, leaving the reader wanting more and wondering what is going to happen throughout the book.

Reddit user geuis says that the books aren’t scary at all, however it does make you feel uncomfortable as you read it. The user also says that these are amazing stories by the author and that when the alien race is fixing earth’s ecosystem, they aren’t doing for our own good. These books aren’t as horror appealing as the rest of the books on the list, however, it leaves an interesting mark on people’s minds and makes them feel a sense of uncomfortableness as they read through the series.

24. People of the Lie: A Hope For Healing Human Evil

People of the Lie: A Hope For Healing Human Evil
What will you discover after reading this novel? 

Source:Amazon

M. Scott Peck writes this novel and dives deep into the essence of human evil. People who evilly attack others instead of facing their own failures is a common theme throughout this book. Peck demonstrates the evilness that people have and the lies they tell to one another, exemplifying how evil humans can really be. Readers of this book say it is a fascinating read and it is as disturbing as ever as it has an original approach to the inevitable human evil.

Reddit user Sweaterman says that this book claims evil should be diagnosed as a psychological disorder and that this book has a collection of stories from patients in which the author believed were evil, which includes a couple that gave their severely depressed son a rifle for Christmas, which was the rifle his brother used to commit suicide a few months later. This books takes you into evil minds like never before and gives you a different outlook of human evil than you had before.

25. Blood Meridian

Blood Meridian
One of the book covers for this iconic, horror story. 

Source:Red Bubble

Also called The Evening Redness in the West is written by Cormac McCarthy and the majority of the story follows a teenager around who is only referred to as “the kid”. The bulk of the text in this book refers to his experiences with the Glanton gang, which is a historical group of scalp hunters who slaughtered Native Americans and others that were located on the American-Mexico line in the year 1849 to 1950 for bounty, pleasure, and eventually a disturbing habit. The novel goes into extensive detail about the gangs plans and the murders they commit as they travel on horseback through the badlands. It follows the dangerous and murderous activities the kid gets involved in, making it a heart-ponding, gut-wrenching novel people cannot put down.

Reddit user randomstrangerof says that it is one of the best books they have ever read. The craziness in this story is unbelievable and the detail of each events will make the readers cringe. It’s one we highly recommend you read.

Halloween will be here before you know it and this list is compiled of books that could be the spooky holiday even spookier. They will have you sitting on the edge of your seat and will make your heart stop, and sometimes will make you put it down to catch your breath. The details put in every single one of these books make them some of the best horror stories out there, and readers can tell the authors put a lot time and effort into creating such exquisite stories. Halloween is coming, are you ready to get your scare on with these books?

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