Boo! What books scare you?

My husband is a huge fan of horror movies, eerie music, and shows about hauntings.  I don’t much mind his horror obsession; I suppose it could be worse–gambling, beer guzzling, or glue sniffing are some vices that come readily to mind.

The only problem is that he’s forever trying to cajole me into watching a nightmarish movie.  Listen, I’m all for a little scare every once in a while, but 100 solid minutes of a chainsaw-wielding madman is too much for my constitution.  I can’t justify paying $9 for a movie ticket and then watching said movie through my fingers.

No, I’m not a scary movie fan…but do love to read a scary or suspenseful book every once in a while.  Stephen King couldn’t write books fast enough when I was in high school–I read them all.  It, Needful Things, The Shining, Christine, and Pet Sematary stand out for their freaky-factor fifteen years later.  I’d stay up until all hours, my mind racing with fear.  Every noise in the house was a potential serial killer or bogeyman.  If a book got too scary, I’d skim ahead a few paragraphs until my pulse slowed.


These days, psychological thrillers or child-abduction stories freak me out.  The Road by Cormac McCarthy frightened me with its bleakness.  My husband submitted In A Dark Place by Ray Garton (released as a film called A Haunting in Connecticut) as the scariest book he’s ever read.


Do you read scary books or like horror movies?  What’s the scariest book you’ve ever read?


  • At 2009.10.18 22:42, softdrink said:

    I’m not a fan of horror and I’ve never read a Stephen King book. But one the most graphically gruesome authors I’ve read is Karin Slaughter.
    .-= softdrink´s last blog ..The Little Stranger =-.

    • At 2009.10.19 00:54, Ti said:

      I really like horror movies. My faves are:

      The Exorcist
      Halloween I & II (the originals)

      And one that freaked the hell out of me recently is The Bad Seed (the original). It was on TV and it was like nothing I had ever seen.

      I read all of King’s stuff when I was in college but I haven’t read anything really scary in a long time. Either that or words on the page don’t really scare me much anymore.
      .-= Ti´s last blog ..The Sunday Salon: It’s Fall but not Really =-.

      • At 2009.10.19 05:02, Jenn (Bibliolatrist) said:

        I love to read scary books, but I’m with Ti: words on the page don’t really scare me much any more. I did read a non-fiction book about real-life exorcisms by Malachi Martin, and that kinda scared the crap out of me. I’m interested to see what recommendations I can glean from the comments.
        .-= Jenn (Bibliolatrist)´s last blog ..Fall Festival Recipe Exchange =-.

        • At 2009.10.19 08:22, Kathy said:

          I’m not much for scary movies or scary books! I love your new header, though.
          .-= Kathy´s last blog ..Mailbox Monday =-.

          • At 2009.10.19 10:12, Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit) said:

            I prefer suspense in my movies, but horror books always seem to keep my interest…I love Stephen King’s books in particular

            • At 2009.10.19 10:35, randy russell said:

              What’s the scariest book you’ve ever read?>>

              JAWS. Peter Benchley.
              .-= randy russell´s last blog ..TRUE GHOSTS in Burlington, North Carolina =-.

              • At 2009.10.19 11:55, Meg said:

                I’m with you — I can’t do horror! I don’t read scary books or watch scary movies. In fact, “Hocus Pocus” is about as creepy as I can get with films! 🙂 I’m very skittish and easily frightened, and even some mysteries freak me out.

                The scariest book I’ve read lately was probably Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer… but not because it’s actually a horror story! Haha. It was frightening because of its realism in this whole “the world is ending” way… yikes!

                • At 2009.10.19 12:08, mariah said:

                  steven king’s pet semetary scared the crap out of me when i was about 12. i would read it and then not be able to stand it any longer being scared but then i couldn’t put it down either.

                  my imagination is too overactive to read scary stuff now.

                  • At 2009.10.19 12:35, hisqueen1 said:

                    Steven King’s Pet Cemetary and It both scared the daylights out of me when I was younger. Edger Alan Poe’s “Telltale Heart” also did me in but only at night as I lay listening to my own heart beat.

                    • At 2009.10.19 15:16, Hayden Tompkins said:

                      The last “scary” book I read came straight out of the Goosebumps series!
                      .-= Hayden Tompkins´s last blog ..How to Get Organized =-.

                      • At 2009.10.19 15:19, Prongs said:

                        Hey there this is my first time to your blog and am looking to see more in the future. When I was in highschool I did the same thing with King. I inhaled all of his books and couldn’t get enough. Some I hated and some I loved but almost all gave me the goosebumps. I’ll have to say the worst for me was The Shining though. I read it long before I saw the movie and then was just so underwhelmed at the movie that every one swore would freak me out. The book just rocked the horror genre and I’ve read nothing yet to touch it!
                        .-= Prongs´s last blog ..Good Books Club Round Up – Month #1 =-.

                        • At 2009.10.19 18:39, Jena said:

                          I should’ve known better than to read 20 Most Famous Ghosts in the World (or something like that) when I was 11. Like a lot of readers, I had a wonderfully rich imagination–and my sister & I were never quite convinced that there wasn’t anything spooky going on in our basement, even though the house was only a couple decades old. Reading about Abe Lincoln’s ghost in the rose garden or Anne Boleyn’s headless ghost in the tower didn’t scare me overly much, but the chapter about screaming skulls–they talked about three–kept me up for WEEKS. Two of the skulls seemed to shriek if ever they were moved from their places, and one skull mysteriously kept reappearing in its original place, no matter where they tried to ditch it. My classmates thought I was a baby for freaking out over that book, but they clearly weren’t having nightmares about skulls showing up on their front porch!
                          .-= Jena ´s last blog ..My Read-a-Thon Reading List =-.

                          • At 2009.10.20 21:46, pannonica said:

                            The Holy Bible.

                            • At 2009.10.21 11:03, Kerri said:

                              When I was in University, I couldn’t get enough of Dean Koontz and found all of his books very scary. I still have a pile of them and have been contemplating a re-read on a few to see if they are still just as scary.

                              I’m with you, I love to read psychological thrillers as well. I’m about half way into Fear the Worst (about a dad’s quest to find his missing teenage daughter) by Linwood Barclay and I haven’t been able to put it down.

                              • At 2009.10.21 16:04, Holley said:

                                One of my favorite horror films that you might enjoy is the Spanish film The Orphanage. It is very thought provoking, not gory, and doesn’t leave you sleepless. Alas, I don’t remember the director’s name but Guillermo del Toro was the producer.

                                One of my favorite scary books is Daniel Hecht’s City of Masks. This one did cause me some trouble in the evenings, but I loved it anyway!
                                .-= Holley´s last blog ..evening of cinema =-.

                                • At 2009.10.21 18:40, Shari said:

                                  I don’t generally go in for the scary genre in movies or books but the scariest one I ever read was Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; probably reading it late at night in bed didn’t help!

                                  • At 2009.10.21 20:17, Jenners said:

                                    I actually did a post last week about a book that scared the crap out of me — “The Hot Zone” by Richard Preston — a NON-FICTION book about the Ebola Virus and how it almost was released into the U.S. His descriptions of what Ebola can do to your body is right up there with anything Stephen King has written as far as horror. And the book reads like a very scary thriller.

                                    As for fiction, I’m was quite creeped out by “Sharp Objects” by Gillian Flynn. Let’s just say, you’ll never think of dollhouses the same way again after reading it.
                                    .-= Jenners´s last blog ..Review: Silverstein & Me by Marv Gold =-.

                                    • At 2009.10.22 01:21, Carrie K. said:

                                      I don’t like horror movies or books. I don’t mind spooky books, and supernatural stuff doesn’t usually bother me – vampires, fantasy, etc. The stuff that does scare me is the stuff that is all too possible – serial killers, bad things being done to children, etc.

                                      (The only Steven King I’ve read is his memoir, On Writing.)
                                      .-= Carrie K.´s last blog ..Found in the pages of Bookmarks Magazine, November/December 2009 issue =-.

                                      • At 2009.10.22 09:26, Dishy said:

                                        Oooooooooh… I think the last one I read was in 1990. IT.

                                        Nuff said..
                                        .-= Dishy´s last blog ..Meet My House. =-.

                                        • […] ~ Natalie at Book, Line, and Sinker wants to know what books scare you. […]

                                          • At 2009.10.25 09:41, Connie said:

                                            The “scarier” the better!!! some books or movies have me looking over my shoulders for days! I did watch a “A Haunting in Connecticut” maybe I’ll try the book.

                                            • At 2009.10.25 14:49, Gnoe (on Graasland) said:

                                              Oh, you’ll probably love… erm, be scared by The Child in Time by Ian McEwan, a marvelous author!
                                              .-= Gnoe (on Graasland)´s last blog ..Wrapping up the 24 hour readathon (Sunday Salon of 25 October 2009) =-.

                                              • At 2009.10.28 18:41, Sammy said:

                                                uuummm I finished Amityville Horror while I was much to young and fragile to read it and now I have a complete fear of red eyes looking in on me from a darkened window….it terrified me and looking back I loved it too! I love good horror and murder mysteries!!!! I am totally urging you to read Amityville Horror!
                                                .-= Sammy´s last blog ..Scream =-.

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