Thursday, March 31, 2011

Top Ten Scariest Books

I was placing a order into Barnes and Noble for two books which were recommended to me:
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski
And it got me thinking about my love of all things scary....especially books

I know its not October when this would be a more appropriate post but
I love Horror/Scary books anytime of year
Without further adieux
This is my top 10 Favorite most scary of all books in no particular order
***all book synopsis are from barnesandnoble.com****

1.The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
    My opinion: Anything with demons, the devil, possession or religion scares the hell out of me. The book is twice as scary as the movie. You will not sleep during or after reading this book it is so creepy.
Synopsis: The phenomenal bestseller that inspired the classic motion picture--newly re-released in a version you've never seen before! — Chris MacNeil - adored film star, divorced single mother - has come to Washington, D. C. to finish a movie. Swept up by the demands of her busy, flourishing career, Chris is blind to the subtle warnings that a dark, maleviolent presence has invaded her comfortable townhouse. Powerful and cunning, it is taking possession of Regan, her 12-year old daughter. Every avenue of help leads to a dead end. Now hope lies only in a doubt-ridden priest and his fragile elder... in a terrifying battle with an obscene, unspeakable evil that must end in victory ... or madness and death.

2. The Shining by Stephen King
My Opinion: I work in a Hotel that sits high on a hill and whenever I have to come in extra early or get called to come in late at night I can not help but anticipate seeing those creepy twins beckoning me to "come and play with them" at the end of every hallway. That is how scary this book is when you are thinking about its creepiness long after reading it.
Synopsis: Terrible events occur at the isolated Overlook Hotel. It's a place where the guests are deceased but not necessarily departed, high in the wintry Rocky Mountains in the off season. A family checks in so the father can write, and terror lurks behind every door. Their son, who has psychic powers but does not know he has them and does not know how to use them, struggles to hold his own against the forces of evil that are driving his father insane.

3. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
My Opinion: More psychological suspense then horror this book is a classic ghost story.
Synopsis: The classic supernatural thriller by an author who helped define the genre
First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a "haunting"; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers-and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

4. Amityville Horror by Jay Anson
My Opinion: It was probably scarier because it was "based" on true events. Growing up there was a house up the street that had the same windows and we used to run as fast as we could past it.
Synopsis: In December 1975, the Lutz family moved into their new home on suburban Long Island. George and Kathleen Lutz knew that, one year earlier, Ronald DeFeo had murdered his parents, brothers, and sisters in the house, but the property complete with boathouse and swimming pool and the price were too good to pass up. Twenty-eight days later, the entire Lutz family fled in terror. Synopsis: "Sometimes dead is better...."
This is the spellbinding, best-selling true story that gripped the nation the story of a house possessed by evil spirits, haunted by psychic phenomena almost too terrible to describe.

5. Stir of Echoes by Richard Matheson
My Opinion: Much Scarier then the movie this book will scare you and then when you think you can't be scared it will scare you again.
Synopsis: Tom Wallace lived an ordinary life, until a chance event awakened psychic abilities he never knew he possessed. Now he's hearing the private thoughts of the people around him-and learning shocking secrets he never wanted to know. But as Tom's existence becomes a waking nightmare, even greater jolts are in store as he becomes the unwilling recipient of a compelling message from beyond the grave!
Dun Dun Duh
(sorry that felt like it should have a dun dun dah after)

6. Ghost Story by Peter Straub
My Opinion: A ghost comes back to avenge against the men that killed her. A secret club of old men (creepy). Even the town and neighborhood this story takes place in is weird.
Synopsis: For four aging men in the terror-stricken town of Milburn, New York, an act inadvertently carried out in their youth has come back to haunt them. Now they are about to learn what happens to those who believe they can bury the past — and get away with murder.

7. Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin
My Opinion: I loved the movie but again the book was so much scarier. You can feel the tension with every word and nothing beats your own imagination when envisioning the scene when Rosemary finally sees her baby.
Synopsis: Rosemary Woodhouse and her struggling actor husband Guymove into the Bramford, an old New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and mostly elderly residents. Neighbors Roman and Minnie Castavet soon come nosing around to welcome the Woodhouses to the building, and despite Rosemary's reservations about their eccentricity and the weird noises that she keeps hearing, her husband takes a special shine to them.Shortly after Guy lands a plum Broadway role, Rosemary becomes pregnant, and the Castavets start taking a special interest in her welfare. As the sickened Rosemary becomes increasingly isolated, she begins to suspect that the Castavets' circle is not what it seems.

8. Pet Cemetery by Stephen King
My Opinion: Stephen King is King and I could have done this entire post on just his books but I tried to be fair and decided to only allow myself to pick two. This book has everything...absolute horror when Gage Creed gets hit, terror from the creepy sister, fear of the cemetery. You name it its in this book. The tag line alone will give you nightmares.
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 — and now an idyllic home. 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.

9. The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe
My Opinion: Poe is one of my favorite authors and I would have been remiss to exclude him as he is the master of horror. This story is especially scary as it is told from the perspective of an insane person you can almost hear the narrators mind snapping.
Synopsis: An unnamed narrator opens the story by addressing the reader and claiming that he is nervous but not mad. He says that he is going to tell a story in which he will defend his sanity yet confess to having killed an old man. His motivation was neither passion nor desire for money, but rather a fear of the man’s pale blue eye. Again, he insists that he is not crazy because his cool and measured actions, though criminal, are not those of a madman. Every night, he went to the old man’s apartment and secretly observed the man sleeping. In the morning, he would behave as if everything were normal. After a week of this activity, the narrator decides, somewhat randomly, that the time is right actually to kill the old man

10. In a Dark Place: The story of a True Haunting by Ray Garton & Ed and Lorraine Warren
My Opinion: Anything with "true haunting" in the title scares the pants off of me. You can feel the pain and fear of the family as you read this story. And again possession = SCARY
Synopsis: Chronicling the most disturbing case of their career, a demonologist team recounts the haunting of the Snedeker family, whose new home harbored an evil past that resulted in poltergeist activity and the possession of their teenage son.

So that is my top 10 list
How about you? What book has scared the pants off of you?
I know you will wonder with my extreme fear of clowns why I didn't include It by Stephen King and the reason is that I don't even want to think about that creepy clown clutching his bunch of balloons beckoning me with his creepy white gloved hand....damn it! Thank God all of the lights are on ...and now they are staying on!

8 comments:

Deborah Lawrenson said...

A shivery list, Jennifer...have to agree with you about The Amityville Horror precisely because it was supposedly based on true events.

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

I'm too chicken to read horror books. The "scariest" (and I'm using GIANT quotation marks here because only some parts were scary) book I've read is Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice. :D

Dawn Brazil said...

I absolutely love horror, too. Anything scary and I'm there...movies, books, anything. The book that scaried the crap out of me was The Amityville Horror. I read it like 20 times the summer I turned 16. House by Ted Dekker and Frank Perrieti was awesome and Anne Rice's The Witching Hour (but it was all kinda long. But all the books you mention are scary. Great post!

Lesa said...

I've read six of them back in my horror days. Can't remember if I read Ghost Story or not-- sounds familiar.

Yep, Rosemary's Baby was a goodie and so much better than the movie.

Funny, Samantha and Dawn both mentioned Anne Rice-- and another bloggy friend of mine feels the same way but I never considered her books horror. do you? To me they are just really good novels that happen to be about vampires ect.

Lazy Girl said...

I very rarely read scary books but if I DO I'd like to try The Haunting of Hill House!

Def read Tell Tale Heart, super scary..I'm such a chicken!

Serendipity's Library said...

Lesa No I don't consider her books horror or scary but I guess that is the genre she technically is in. I didn't find any of her books scary but I loved the Witching Hour and Interview with a Vampire for their dark gothic type feel.

vinobaby said...

IT was my scariest read by far. Not so much for the actual writing, but the concept--whatever fears YOU have will be what comes to get you. We each have our own personal bogeymen. Granted, I was also about 13 or 14 when I read it (what were my parents thinking?) My greatest fears at the time were influenced by the movies Jaws and Piranha. After that book, each time I dipped a toe in the pool I waited for my spectral sharks and fish to come and get me, even though I knew it was totally impossible and irrational. I covered the drain in the shower just in case. One day my Dad decided to scare the #*!@ out of me and opened the drain and left some balloons in the shower--evil.

Ashley McBride said...

Aunt Jenn, I LOVE you for having a tell tale heart on this list. Poe is my favorite and that is by far my favorite story of his.

 
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