My Top Ten Favorite Horror Novels
The month of October always puts me in the mood for a good thriller, chiller, ghost , or haunted house story.
Every year I begin combing through my books looking for an old favorite and if I have the chance I try to read a recently published horror novel for Halloween.
This year my schedule left me with little time for chills or thrills, but I have been thinking about all those books I would have read if I had had the time. So, I decided to compile a list of MY top ten favorite horror novels.
So without further ado...
MY TOP TEN LIST OF FAVORITE HORROR NOVELS
10- House of Many Shadows by Barbara Michaels
Barbara Michaels was the queen of Gothic horror novels. House of Many Shadows is one of her oldest titles but one of most suspenseful. Most of her novels are still in print, many of which are also available in digital format.
9- The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
I have read this book countless times and it never fails to leave me with chills. No list of ghost stories or tales of suspense would be complete without this classic Henry James story.
8- Dracula- by Bram Stoker
What more can I say about this classic horror novel? Pure genius or the vulgar fictions of a demented Irishman? ( * wink, wink* for Anne Rice fans)
7- The House Next Door by Anne River Siddons
While there are many classic haunted house stories out there, such as The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, this one ranks right up there with other, and perhaps more well known titles. I read this book when I was a teenager and it scared the crap out of me!
6- The Fall of the House of Usher- Edgar Allan Poe
It goes without saying that Edgar Allan Poe was the master of the macabre. The Fall of the House of Usher is his masterpiece, in my humble opinion.
5- Ghost by Noel Hynd
Probably best known for his spy and espionage novels, Noel Hynd can also weave a great ghost story and has a nice backlist of scary stories. This one is not for everyone, mainly because it's so understated and the build up is a little slow. But , the pay off is worth the wait. I also want to give an honorable mention to another one of Hynd's ghost stories: Cementery of Angels.
4- Ghost Story by Peter Straub
This is one of the most atmospheric ghost stories I've ever read, delivered at a tantalizing pace, with the tension becoming almost unbearable. Riveting and spine tingling from start to finish. Every once in awhile I have to take this one out and re-read it. One of the best ghost stories around.
3- The Woman in Black- Susan Hill
No list could be complete without adding The Woman in Black by Susan Hill. This classic horror/ghost story is chock full of shivery chills. For those who have only watched the movie, be aware this book doesn't have a 'Hollywood' ending, proving once again, the book is always better.
2- Misery- Stephen King
You knew a Stephen King novel would make the list. How could it not? While this one is not of the supernatural persuasion, it still counts. Why? Because to this date, this is the only book that gave me a full on panic attack. I literally broke out in a cold sweat, and experienced shortness of breath. No ghost, monsters, or vampires have ever gotten that kind of physical response from me. Just thinking about it makes me uncomfortable.
1- House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Arguably one of the best and scariest haunted house novels ever written. This book scared me to death. It took me a long time to read it because I couldn't take the suspense, and kept having to put it aside and catch my breath. It is unique, atmospheric, stunning! A real classic and one that is so far ahead of any other novels written in this genre, I wonder if there will ever be another one that could ever even come close to this one.
As you can tell, I am big on ghost and haunted houses, preferring the subtle and understated goosebumps over blood and gore. What are YOUR favorite scary novels?