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(io9)   Ten novels scarier than most horror movies   (io9.com) divider line 229
    More: Obvious, horror movies, Chuck Palahniuk, psychological thriller, graphic violence, novels, mountain resort, misanthropy  
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13010 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 26 Oct 2012 at 11:41 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-25 11:50:36 PM
I have always found Salem's Lot much scarier than any other King book. It is also beautifully written.

Also "At the Mountains of Madness" is the scariest of Lovecraft's works.

Other than that, good list. Props for The King in Yellow.
 
2012-10-25 11:52:28 PM
Jude the Obscure.
 
2012-10-26 12:01:20 AM
House of Leaves is terrifying if you are able to get into it. I always found myself sounding like an idiot trying to explain it, but that just added to the horror of making sense of it.
 
2012-10-26 12:31:36 AM
3.bp.blogspot.com
scottsigler.com
 
2012-10-26 08:35:51 AM
FTFA: The movie version of The Shining is a pop culture touchstone - but as usual, the book is even better than the movie.

This is absolutely false.

The Shining is an okay book -- but, it's not scary. Not even a little. It's full of ghosts and evil topiary and all sorts of imaginary nonsense.

Stanley Kubrick's Shining was a psychological thriller that's very unnerving. I'm not frightened of ghosts or hedges that stalk me when I'm not looking...but, I AM scared of crazy people. So, the film scared me. The book? Not so much.
 
2012-10-26 09:14:03 AM

tillerman35: I have always found Salem's Lot much scarier than any other King book. It is also beautifully written.

Also "At the Mountains of Madness" is the scariest of Lovecraft's works.

Other than that, good list. Props for The King in Yellow.


The Dunwich Horror is my personal favorite of Lovecraft's works. Don't know why, but that one really got me the first time I read it.
 
2012-10-26 09:14:56 AM
And The Colour Out of Space is creepily good. Not outright scary, but very creepy.
 
2012-10-26 10:03:32 AM
If you've never read it, I would also recommend Ghost Story by Peter Straub. Interestingly, Straub gave a lot of credit to 'Salem's Lot for inspiring his book.
 
Pud [TotalFark]
2012-10-26 10:03:43 AM
The books are always better than the movies. When I can, I prefer to watch the movie first, then read the book. That just usually works out better for me ... 

/But that's just me
 
2012-10-26 11:25:12 AM
The most terrifying book is Twilight.

The most terrifying thing about it is that there are people who think it's a good book.
 
2012-10-26 11:27:02 AM

WI241TH: House of Leaves is terrifying if you are able to get into it. I always found myself sounding like an idiot trying to explain it, but that just added to the horror of making sense of it.



It is scary... until it goes to complete shiat and abandons the scary story.

I've never had a book piss me off as much as that one.
 
2012-10-26 11:29:21 AM
I'm going to go with Atlas Shrugged. The scary happens after someone with a lesser mind reads it.
 
2012-10-26 11:29:28 AM
I'm surprised The Shining made the list instead of Pet Sematary, or even Misery. Both of those books are far more disturbing than The Shining.
 
2012-10-26 11:41:08 AM

Blues_X: WI241TH: House of Leaves is terrifying if you are able to get into it. I always found myself sounding like an idiot trying to explain it, but that just added to the horror of making sense of it.


It is scary... until it goes to complete shiat and abandons the scary story.

I've never had a book piss me off as much as that one.


After reading a lot of Stephen King I'm pretty used to a disappointing ending
 
2012-10-26 11:44:09 AM

WI241TH: House of Leaves is terrifying if you are able to get into it. I always found myself sounding like an idiot trying to explain it, but that just added to the horror of making sense of it.


Came for House of Leaves disappointed it took 3 whole posts.

If you liked John Dies at the End. The sequel, this book is full of spiders, is very good.
 
2012-10-26 11:47:05 AM
Ancient Images by Ramsey Campbell and The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson are pretty damned scary. Read both late at night and they freaked me out.

Good times!

=]
 
2012-10-26 11:47:45 AM
But of course, Call of Cthulhu is not a novel. Bah, who cares, whatever gets the Lovecraft cultists to click, right?
 
2012-10-26 11:48:01 AM
I never really found Lovecraft creepy. Moody, overwrought, full of "purple prose", but not really creepy. Honestly, his overt xenophobia (pretty much every scary moment for him revolved around the idea that mankind was not master of the Earth, and that those that were unlike us were to be feared) just makes me think of him as funny.

I enjoy his stories, but I just can't see them as creepy.

Now for true horror, look at Twilight, or at least its fans.
 
2012-10-26 11:51:07 AM
I would have to go with "The Hot Zone" by Richard Preston. Real life trumps fiction.

/"Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense"
//or something.
 
2012-10-26 11:52:30 AM
Haunted wasnt really that scary, just gross in places. I enjoyed it and all, but it was never really scary
 
2012-10-26 11:54:03 AM

Saborlas: The most terrifying book is Twilight.

The most terrifying thing about it is that there are people who think it's a good book.


50 shades of grey. It is Twilight Fan fiction loved by millions.
 
2012-10-26 11:57:57 AM
re: John Dies at the End

The first third of that book was intensely creepy to the point you don't want to read it with the lights off. From vegas on it got increasingly ridiculous to the point i think you can call it more humor than horror.
 
2012-10-26 12:05:24 PM
farm4.staticflickr.com 

/Well they were good kids' books anyway...
 
2012-10-26 12:08:00 PM
Its my understanding from certain motivational type poster that reading is for those of the homosexual persuasion.
 
2012-10-26 12:08:15 PM
eraser8

The Shining is an okay book -- but, it's not scary. Not even a little. It's full of ghosts and evil topiary and all sorts of imaginary nonsense.

Stanley Kubrick's Shining was a psychological thriller that's very unnerving. I'm not frightened of ghosts or hedges that stalk me when I'm not looking...but, I AM scared of crazy people. So, the film scared me.

It's fine you didn't care for the book, to each his/her own, but what exactly was disturbing/unnerving about that film?

* Twins just standing there aren't scarey or disturbing.
* Jack was off his nut at the start so there's no arc.
* Jack -as well as the other two to a lesser degree- aren't likeable characters so there's no pathos.
* Farrr tooooo many lonnng drawwwn ouuut sceeens that goooo noooo wherrrrre.
* Wendy's acting is, pretty bad.
* Blood running down hallways may gross someone out, but that's not scary, that's nausea.

I will give it credit for offing Dick Hallorann like it did. It was a bit of a shock, but that only works for those who have read the book and expect him to be the cavalry.

Serious inquiry, I just don't get why this is held in such esteem.
 
2012-10-26 12:09:42 PM

Sybarite: If you've never read it, I would also recommend Ghost Story by Peter Straub. Interestingly, Straub gave a lot of credit to 'Salem's Lot for inspiring his book.


That's the one I'd recommend. It presents this atmosphere of hopelessness and doom that is almost scarier than the events themselves.
 
2012-10-26 12:10:01 PM

BKITU: I'm surprised The Shining made the list instead of Pet Sematary, or even Misery. Both of those books are far more disturbing than The Shining.


I just started reading Pet Sematary and just finished the dream the doctor has after his patient dies. That entire dream sequence creeped me out - the diction used, how descriptions are used, etc.
 
2012-10-26 12:11:20 PM

eraser8: FTFA: The movie version of The Shining is a pop culture touchstone - but as usual, the book is even better than the movie.

This is absolutely false.

The Shining is an okay book -- but, it's not scary. Not even a little. It's full of ghosts and evil topiary and all sorts of imaginary nonsense.

Stanley Kubrick's Shining was a psychological thriller that's very unnerving. I'm not frightened of ghosts or hedges that stalk me when I'm not looking...but, I AM scared of crazy people. So, the film scared me. The book? Not so much.


Agreed. I even thought the TV remake of The Shining with Stephen Weber was ok too until the cheesy ending. As tillerman35 pointed out, Salem's Lot is a scarier book than The Shining... come to think of it, the original TV version of that one is pretty scary too. Hutch!

I haven't read Haunted: A Novel in Stories by Chuck Palahniuk, yet. But according to the description it is "a series of short stories strung together under the artifice of the captives telling tales". If you like stories told with that type of narrative, you might check out Hyperion by Dan Simmons. It is considered Sci-Fi genre, but the monster in it- the Shrike- occasionally crosses it over into horror territory. Good read for a lazy Sunday.
 
2012-10-26 12:11:46 PM
i50.tinypic.com
 
2012-10-26 12:16:44 PM

BKITU: I'm surprised The Shining made the list instead of Pet Sematary, or even Misery. Both of those books are far more disturbing than The Shining.


This. Pet Sematary freaked me the fark out.
 
2012-10-26 12:16:48 PM

aevorea: BKITU: I'm surprised The Shining made the list instead of Pet Sematary, or even Misery. Both of those books are far more disturbing than The Shining.

I just started reading Pet Sematary and just finished the dream the doctor has after his patient dies. That entire dream sequence creeped me out - the diction used, how descriptions are used, etc.



Pet Semetray bored the crap out of me. I know there are only so many 'core' stories that can be told, but damned if that thing just wasn't a really verbose retelling of 'The Monkey's Paw'.
 
2012-10-26 12:21:23 PM

WI241TH: House of Leaves is terrifying if you are able to get into it. I always found myself sounding like an idiot trying to explain it, but that just added to the horror of making sense of it.


I read House of Leaves during a weird time in my life. I more or less read it straight through, over three days while coked to the gills. It was an interesting experience.
 
2012-10-26 12:23:13 PM
For me it was Cujo. Tried to watch the movie after reading it. Had to stop the movie about half an hour in.
 
2012-10-26 12:25:50 PM

eraser8: FTFA: The movie version of The Shining is a pop culture touchstone - but as usual, the book is even better than the movie.

This is absolutely false.

The Shining is an okay book -- but, it's not scary. Not even a little. It's full of ghosts and evil topiary and all sorts of imaginary nonsense.

Stanley Kubrick's Shining was a psychological thriller that's very unnerving. I'm not frightened of ghosts or hedges that stalk me when I'm not looking...but, I AM scared of crazy people. So, the film scared me. The book? Not so much.


For you, maybe. Twelve year old me never made it through the book because it freaked me out, but 12 year old me had no problem with the movie.
 
2012-10-26 12:26:06 PM
www.browniebites.net

Also, as someone who is trying to read more, I think I'll pick up David Wong's books. I've heard from other sources that they are pretty good.

/also taking suggestions for non-horror lit.
 
2012-10-26 12:26:45 PM
I've never found any horror in horror stories and scary books

I think books that are much more frightening are Kafka's the Trial, or Conrad's Heart of Darkness. real horror is not in the plot so much as it is in the prose. following conrad's anxious evil along the river to kurtz, or lost in the panic of kafka's process. moral terror. personal terror. to me, that's much more frightening. violence is just violence. very scary in real life, but not so much in re-telling. and the supernatural is never really very scary.
 
2012-10-26 12:27:59 PM
Bookmark

/more relevant than ever....
 
2012-10-26 12:29:24 PM

Blues_X: WI241TH: House of Leaves is terrifying if you are able to get into it. I always found myself sounding like an idiot trying to explain it, but that just added to the horror of making sense of it.


It is scary... until it goes to complete shiat and abandons the scary story.

I've never had a book piss me off as much as that one.

House of Leaves

is one of those rare books that I'm legitimately glad I read, but I could never honestly recommend to anyone.

For the sake of the discussion, I'll say The Ruins by Scott Smith was very unsettling. I'd recommend it to anybody looking for an intensely creepy and occasionally scary read.
 
2012-10-26 12:30:42 PM

funk_soul_bubby: [farm4.staticflickr.com image 500x404] 

/Well they were good kids' books anyway...


I remember those! Book Fair staples when I was a kid. I've still got the first one floating around somewhere, I think.
 
2012-10-26 12:34:00 PM

Sybarite: If you've never read it, I would also recommend Ghost Story by Peter Straub. Interestingly, Straub gave a lot of credit to 'Salem's Lot for inspiring his book.


My wife showed me this list last night and I said the same thing. I dug through one of my many boxed of paperbacks to give her a copy to read over the weekend.
 
2012-10-26 12:39:00 PM
i.ebayimg.com
 
2012-10-26 12:39:42 PM
I'll admit it The Shining creeped me out. Especially that poem. Not sure why.

Medoc, are you here...?
ive had trouble sleeping again my dear
the plants are moving under the rug
its the inhuman monsters that i fear
 
2012-10-26 12:41:43 PM
The Shining is best read late at night in the mountains while it is snowing.
 
2012-10-26 12:41:51 PM
I only liked the Shining in book form because it explained that damn furry sex scene in the movie better. I was like "oh... now I get it".
 
2012-10-26 12:42:05 PM

WI241TH: House of Leaves is terrifying if you are able to get into it. I always found myself sounding like an idiot trying to explain it, but that just added to the horror of making sense of it.


You know what, I must be the only person that didn't like the book.

I just couldn't get through the Navidson Record bits, it just read like all those academic masturbatory papers I read in grad school. Ugh.
 
2012-10-26 12:43:22 PM
No "The Willows"? Glad ol Saint Gutfree got in there, it took me about 45 min to read the (i don't know) 5 pages that make up that story. I was even happier at the end reading about CP doing those reading tours and people were fainting or laying on the cool bathroom floor.
 
2012-10-26 12:43:24 PM
Least scariest novels: Any time China Miéville tries to describe something horrific.
 
2012-10-26 12:48:19 PM

SilentStrider: tillerman35: I have always found Salem's Lot much scarier than any other King book. It is also beautifully written.

Also "At the Mountains of Madness" is the scariest of Lovecraft's works.

Other than that, good list. Props for The King in Yellow.

The Dunwich Horror is my personal favorite of Lovecraft's works. Don't know why, but that one really got me the first time I read it.


I agree on The Dunwich Horror, and I think it is the best Lovecraft work. The scene in the library--where they suddenly realize that the creature is not only sentient, but much smarter than they are--is filled with dread.

Also, I liked The Terror by Simmons as well, but the ending was kind of hokey. The original Let the Right One in worked pretty well also.
 
2012-10-26 12:49:39 PM

Grapple: I only liked the Shining in book form because it explained that damn furry sex scene in the movie better. I was like "oh... now I get it".


The randomness and WTF nature of the scene in movie is what made it great. Especially while under the influence.
 
2012-10-26 12:49:42 PM

Carth: re: John Dies at the End

The first third of that book was intensely creepy to the point you don't want to read it with the lights off. From vegas on it got increasingly ridiculous to the point i think you can call it more humor than horror.


Seriously? Have you forgotten the last 100 pages or so? The ditch with the spiders ("bred for war")?

I love that book. It is horror, but it's also trippy as hell. I also like that due to its episodic origins, you never know where the story will go.

I am afraid though that the movie will not come close to comparing with the book. Beyond just the prose, so much of it is visual, and I just don't trust a low budget effort to do it justice. Also, I don't consider Don Coscarelli do be a good film maker, at all. I think needs a more legitimate treatment, along the lines of Fight Club, but we'll see how it is.

The sequel, "This Book is Full of Spiders", is equally fantastic. The plot is more centralized too, seeing as it was written from the outset as a novel.

In any event, I will ALWAYS laugh at dick jokes that occur in the face of unspeakable horror and insanity. It's literary gold.
 
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