Happy Halloween! I couldn’t let this holiday go by without sharing some of my favorite scary stories. So, I’m bringing you this bonus post, in case you needed some suggestions of what to do tonight.
These are my personal favorite books, listed in order from worst to best. If I’m leaving out some classics, it might be because I didn’t read them, not necessarily because I didn’t like them. Hell, it might be because I didn’t like them, I don’t know. Feel free to ask me in the comments.
All the Goosebumps books, by RL Stein
Okay, so these aren’t really what I’d call scary. But the sheer number of books that Stein has written is horrifying. The man’s got to live on an IV with a colostomy bag or something.
I’m including these books as a whole because they were my introduction to the horror genre. I read Goosebumps books voraciously, so it was a good thing there were a lot of them. I even read the knock-off series called Shivers. It was to Goosebumps like Mad TV was to SNL. Darker, edgier, and not nearly as well known. Anyway, it would be dishonest in a big way not to give a nod to this influential series on this list. If you’re wondering, my favorite was The Barking Ghost.
The Stand, by Stephen King
Buckle up, there’s going to be a lot of Stephen King on this list. The Stand is, just to be clear, a time commitment. Of course, I had to read the Author’s Preferred Text, so it was actually longer than the original. If you haven’t read it, read it now. It’s long but amazingly rich.
Hearts in Atlantis, by Stephen King
The only reason this book isn’t listed higher is because it’s really stretching the bounds of what I’d consider horror. There’s a small tie into King’s Dark Tower series, which I hated, but that’s not really what it’s about. It’s about the Vietnam war. It’s hard to explain. Do yourself a favor, and read it.
I love this book, love everything about it. And I love what it has to say about what really scares us. If you haven’t read Stephen King’s Dance Macabre, he has a great explanation about the financial squeeze and money scares that a lot of this book and movie are really based on.
From A Buick 8, by Stephen King
This is such a cool book, about a young man whose police officer father is slain in the line of duty. He’s hanging around the police station when he finds an old Buick in a back garage. When he asks the old timers why its there, the story that comes out is terrifying and moving.
Misery, by Stephen King
I’m a writer, of course, this is my favorite Stephen King book. Annie, the antagonist, is terrifying. She is believably crazy, believably dangerous. And she certainly sticks in one’s memory. And, I do want to include a quick side note about the movie. If King is the king of horror, it’s clear that Kathy Bates is the queen.
Stepford Wives, by Ira Levin
What, you haven’t read this book? Stop reading this blog post and go read it right the hell now. Trust me, the movie is nothing like the book. The main character is a happy, intelligent woman who is caught in a nightmare in which she can trust literally no one. Especially the people closest to her.
The House Next Door, by Ann Rivers Siddons
Not a lot of people know about this book. Those of us who do know it have been left haunted by it. When you imagine a haunted house, it’s normally an old house, a creepy old house in which something terrible happened years and years ago. But what if the house is brand new and welcoming. It seems to almost lure people into it.
Read the book, is what I’m saying.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of horror books I have loved in my life. But now I want to hear from you. What is your favorite scary story? Let us know in the comments below.