In celebration of Halloween, a list of my top ten favorite scary books.
1. Let the Right One In, John Ajvide Lindqvist
2. Pet Sematary, Stephen King
3. People Who Eat Darkness (nonfiction), Richard Lloyd Parry
4. The Exorcist, William Peter Batty
5. In Cold Blood (nonfiction), Truman Capote
6. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Stephen King
7. Helter Skelter (nonfiction), Vincent Bugliosi
8. Misery, Stephen King
9. Rosemary’s Baby, Ira Levin
10. The Witching Hour, Anne Rice
The first three books on the list are the ones that scared me the most. I read John Lindqvist’s Let the Right One In while traveling alone in Chicago. I had to wait until I got home to finish it because it was too scary to read alone in my hotel room at night. I read Stephen King’s Pet Sematary in 1983 when my husband and I were first married. He was away—I don’t remember where—on military travel. I was staying at my parents’ house. I finished reading the book around 2 a.m. and I was too scared to get out of bed to turn out the light. So I called out for my mom (I was 21 years old at the time), and she climbed into bed with me. One of the reasons People Who Eat Darkness is so damn scary is because it’s true crime—and we all know that truth is not only stranger than fiction, it’s a helluva lot scarier sometimes too.
I loved Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles but those books didn’t scare me as much as the ones in my top ten list. I also loved Stephen King’s The Shining but again, it didn’t scare me as much as the others.
Some scary books on my TBR list: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Bird Box by Josh Malerman, and The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes.
What are your favorite scary books?