These are the five most chilling and scary novels that I have read. They may not be utterly terrifying, but compared to other novels of the genre, they certainly are.
5. Joe Hill – Heart Shaped Box: This book puts a twist on the ghost tale by having a spirit being found in the suit of a dead man. There are many violent and terrifying moments in this book and it’s a good companion piece to the novel Ghost Story.
4. Dean Koontz – Phantoms: This is easily the most horror/scare oriented novel from Dean Koontz. There are a variety of scary creatures that constantly eat away at the conscience of a group of people and cause a terrifying atmosphere that is removed from the typical thrilling serial killer nature of Koontz’s books.
3. Stephen King – It: The story of a serial killer clown ranks as one of the more pure horror-oriented books in the King catalogue. There are many different forms that the clown can take making the novel more interesting as well.
2. William Peter Blatty – The Exorcist: This is the benchmark for all the movies and novels involving satanic imagery that would come out in the future. The story of a girl possessed by a demon has plenty of chilling moments throughout.
1. Peter Straub – Ghost Story: This tale of a ghost from the past haunting a group of people has more scary moments than one will find in any other novel. Although the plot does come off a little disjointed at times, it’s a very wonderfully constructed story of hauntings overall.