- Everything's Eventual by Stephen King This is a book of King's short stories and it has some of my favorite King stories, including my favorite short story "1408". This story sincerely creeped me out and I immediately started it again. It's not only unsettling but a truly great tale. I wrote posts about "1408" and another great story from the collection "The Man in the Black Suit".
- The Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark collection by Alan Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammell I loved these books when I was little but at the same time they gave me nightmares. I'm pretty sure the illustrations were responsible for that. Even now those drawings are pretty terrifying.
- Misery by Stephen King King might come up a few more times on the list, so heads up. This is one of the few King novels I've read that doesn't include the supernatural and I think that makes it that much more terrifying. There are no ghosts or monsters, just a psychotic paranoid number one fan.
- Jaws by Peter Benchley My favorite book when I was little was The Golden Book of Sharks and Whales. And then many years later I read Jaws and a few other "terrors of the deep" books and no matter how many times Shark Week tries to tell me otherwise, I am terrified of deep water and things in the water attacking me. I have trouble playing video game underwater levels (Damn you, BanjoKazooie).
- Dracula by Bram Stoker I took a Horror Fiction class in college and this was the basis we used for horror stories to come later. It has some slow moments but it's the original and does have some great scenes.
- "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe The fact that the story is told from the PoV of the crazy narrator makes this story that much better. You're made an accomplice to his crime but you never really understand his motivation. You're with him and yet apart from him and there's something in that contradiction that makes the story so eerie.
- American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis I love this movie so I read the book. The movie is child's play compared to the novel, which is incredibly graphic. Incredibly graphic. Rats get shoved places rats should not go. But the movie is still one of my favorites so it stays on the list. Just don't say I didn't warn you about the book. Also if you really, really like the book, no matter what you say, I will think you have latent serial killer tendencies. Update! I found this list of 50 most hated literary characters and Patrick Bateman, the main character, is listed. Here's what they have to say: "Only the most twisted of individuals would admire Patrick Bateman, a slick, priviledged executive who enjoys murder, rape, cannibalism, torture, necrophilia and other wholesome activities."
- World War Z by Max Brooks. I actually plan on re-reading this in the near future so be on the lookout for those posts but I'll tell you that while awake I'm not afraid of zombies but apparently my subconscious is terrified of them. Every night while I was reading this book I dreamt of zombies and they were some strange dreams
And 2 horror stories I want to read but haven't yet...
9. Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson I've had this book for years but still haven't gotten around to reading it. I will, eventually. I love the idea of a pure evil character as part of all of us.
10. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson I almost included "The Lottery" on this list but I decided to save the spot for this Jackson novel. I've heard time and again that this is a horror must read.
Look at that, I made it to 10! Amazing. I even had to remove some book to keep it at 10. I knew this had to happen eventually. Just don't expect it to happen again in the near future.