13 Most Terrifying Books of All Time

You won’t be getting a good night’s sleep after reading any of these 13 terrifying tales, but if you, like us, enjoy the rapid heartbeat of pure and utter terror, you will surely delight in this list!
  1. 1.
    Pet Sematary by Stephen King
    This is probably the most frightening novel Stephen King has ever written. When the Creeds move into a beautiful old house in rural Maine, it all seems too good to be true: physician father, beautiful wife, charming little daughter, adorable infant son. As a family, they've got it all...right down to the friendly cat. But the nearby woods hide a blood-chilling truth, more terrifying than death itself, and hideously more powerful. The Creeds are going to learn that sometimes dead is better.
  2. 2.
    The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells
    In The Island of Dr. Moreau a shipwrecked gentleman named Edward Prendick, stranded on a Pacific island lorded over by the notorious Dr. Moreau, confronts dark secrets, strange creatures, and a reason to run for his life.
  3. 3.
    The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe
    Revenge turns deadly when the narrator, Montressor, buries his friend, Fortunato, alive as the result of a perceived insult. “The Cask of Amontillado” is remarkably chilling as it conveys murder from the perpetrator's perspective.
  4. 4.
    The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
    Idealistic young scientist Henry Jekyll struggles to unlock the secrets of the soul. Testing chemicals in his lab, he drinks a mixture he hopes will isolate—and eliminate—human evil. Instead it unleashes the dark forces within him, transforming him into the hideous and murderous Mr. Hyde.
  5. 5.
    The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
    One of literature's most gripping ghost stories depicts the sinister transformation of 2 innocent children into flagrant liars and hypocrites. Elegantly told tale of unspoken horror and psychological terror creates what few stories in literature have been able to do -- a complete feeling of dread and uncertainty.
  6. 6.
    The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
    A desperate mother and two priests fight to free the soul of a little girl from a powerful supernatural entity of sheerest malevolence and evil. An extraordinary classic work of faith and of dark paranormal suspense that is widely considered the most terrifying novel ever written, Blatty's masterpiece of unrelenting chills was the basis for the acclaimed Academy Award-nominated motion picture directed by William Friedkin and starring Ellen Burstyn, Jason Miller and Max Von Sydow.
  7. 7.
    Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
    In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And two boys will discover the secret of its smoke, mazes, and mirrors; two friends who will soon know all too well the heavy cost of wishes. . .and the stuff of nightmare.
  8. 8.
    Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
    To understand the machinations of serial killer "Buffalo Bill," FBI trainee Clarice Starling is assigned the task of interviewing criminally insane Dr. Hannibal Lecter for insight. A former psychiatrist with unusual tastes and an intense curiosity about the darker corners of the mind, Dr. Lecter is formidable twisted mind that Clarice must decode to solve to the case.
  9. 9.
    Hell House by Richard Matheson
    Dr. Lionel Barrett, the physicist, accompanied by the mediums, travel to the Belasco House in Maine, which has been abandoned and sealed since 1949 after a decade of drug addiction, alcoholism, and debauchery. For one night, Barrett and his colleagues investigate the Belasco House and learn exactly why the townfolks refer to it as the Hell House.
  10. 10.
    Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
    Rosemary Woodhouse and her struggling actor husband Guy move into an old New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and mostly elderly residents. Shortly after Guy lands a plum Broadway role, Rosemary becomes pregnant, and the neighbors start taking a special interest in her welfare. As the sickened Rosemary becomes increasingly isolated, she begins to suspect that the neighbors' circle is not what it seems...
  11. 11.
    Dracula by Bram Stoker
    During a business visit to Count Dracula's castle in Transylvania, a young English solicitor finds himself at the center of a series of horrifying incidents. Jonathan Harker is attacked by three phantom women, observes the Count's transformation from human to bat form, and discovers puncture wounds on his own neck that seem to have been made by teeth.
  12. 12.
    House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
    A young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story.