9 Terrifying Horror Books That Will Quicken Your Pulse

Horror allows you to face your deepest fears from the comfort (and safety) of your living room. If you want to dive into the dark world of things that go bump in the night, check out the nine terrifying books listed below. They're sure to capture your imagination and make your heart pound. When you click links from this website, we may receive advertising revenue to support our research. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

9 Terrifying Horror Books That Will Quicken Your Pulse

Title Author More by the Author
1. For Whom The Bell Tolls Shane K.P. O'Neill The Path To Decay Bound By Blood
2. Blanky Kealan Patrick Burke Sour Candy Kin
3. Mateguas Island Linda Watkins Secrets Return to Mateguas Island
4. Strangers David Moody All Roads End Here Autumn
5. The Hunger Alma Katsu The Taker The Reckoning
6. Cemetery Dance Select Michael Marshall Smith Hannah Green and Her Unfeasibly Mundane Existence The Anomaly
7. The Garden of Blue Roses Michael Barsa
8. Awake Melanie Surani The Silent Treatment Exchange in Eichstätt
9. The Killer in Me Margot Harrison

10 Great Horror Movies

  1. Get Out (2017)
  2. A Quiet Place (2018)
  3. Halloween (1978)
  4. The Shining (1980)
  5. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  6. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  7. Evil Dead II (1987)
  8. The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
  9. Alien (1979)
  10. Jeepers Creepers (2001)

Classic Horror Novels

The contemporary authors on our list are continuing a long tradition of writing about things that go bump in the night. Here are five classic horror novels that will send a shiver down your spine:

  1. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  3. The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe
  4. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  5. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Why Do People Love Horror?

In Depth

Horror stories are often full of shocking twists and turns, and they give you a constant feeling of uncertainty that's sure to get your heart pounding. People love reading them because they're exciting and unpredictable, especially since the protagonists typically have to face an unknown adversary that can strike at any time. With that in mind, we've compiled a list of nine terrifying horror books that will quicken your pulse. Take note that this list is done in no particular order.

First up, at #1, we have "For Whom The Bell Tolls" by Shane KP O'Neill. This book serves as an origin story for Vlad Dracula, who goes on to become the Impaler and, eventually, a powerful vampire lord. In 1431, the Voivode of Wallachia becomes the father of two children, Vlad and Andrei, who are chosen as the champions of Lucifer and God, respectively. It's an action-packed tale that follows the half-brothers' early lives as they grow up to become key figures in the war between heaven and hell.

Next, at #2, is "Blanky" by Kealan Patrick Burke. This novella revolves around a grieving father named Steve Brannigan. After the unexpected death of his infant daughter, his wife left to live with her parents, leaving him to wallow in grief alone. When her daughter's blanket, which they buried with her, reappears at her now-empty room, Steve is slowly driven to insanity.

When her daughter's blanket, which they buried with her, reappears at her now-empty room, Steve is slowly driven to insanity.

At #3 is "Mateguas Island" by Linda Watkins. Bill and Karen Andersen have a rough marriage, and things get worse for their family when the former loses his job. Together with their daughters, they're forced to move to Mateguas Island, which is where the house Bill inherited from his aunt is located. Unfortunately for them, the house isn't as innocent as it seems, and now, strange spirits from Native American folklore start terrorizing the family.

Next up, at #4, we have "Strangers" by David Moody. In the fictional town of Thussock, life seems quiet and peaceful, but when Scott Griffiths and his family move in, people in their small community suddenly start dying. Nobody knows who or what is committing the brutal murders around town, but people suspect that it could be one of the Griffiths. The story follows Scott as he tries to keep his family together, and hides a secret that may have something to do with the strange deaths in Thussock.

At #5 is "The Hunger" by Alma Katsu. It's a dark retelling of the nightmarish journey of the Donner Party, a group of settlers who set out for California in 1846. A series of unfortunate events and several bad decisions caused them to get stranded on a snowy mountain, and with their supplies running low, they had no choice but to cannibalize their dead. This novel adds a supernatural spin to the Donner Party's adventure, where they suspect that something evil may be responsible for their dwindling numbers.

A series of unfortunate events and several bad decisions caused them to get stranded on a snowy mountain, and with their supplies running low, they had no choice but to cannibalize their dead.

Next, at #6, is "Cemetery Dance Select" by Michael Marshall Smith. This is a collection of some of the author's short stories, and it's part of a series that aims to shine a spotlight on many different horror writers. The tales featured in this book are emotional and dark, and even though each story only lasts for a few pages, they're sure to leave a lasting impact on readers.

Next up, at #7, we have "The Garden of Blue Roses" by Michael Barsa. Milo Crane is the son of a renowned horror writer. When his parents die in a tragic car accident, his sister decides to hire a gardener to help spruce up their family's estate. Milo suspects that the mysterious landscaper is up to no good, and he's determined to find out the truth. It's an eerie tale full of twists and turns where none of the characters can be trusted, not even the narrator.

At #8 is "Awake" by Melanie Surani. It revolves around five strangers who wake up in an abandoned museum with no memory of how they got there. The book follows each of them as they try to unravel the mystery behind their abduction and the person responsible for it all, an enigmatic woman named Blair. As they work together to find a way out, they begin to realize that the outside world may not be what they're used to.

As they work together to find a way out, they begin to realize that the outside world may not be what they're used to.

Finally, at #9, we have "The Killer in Me" by Margot Harrison. Nina Barrows keeps having horrifying dreams about a serial killer known as the Thief. One day, she and her friend Warren decide to track down this mysterious Thief. When they arrive in New Mexico, they meet Dylan Shadwell, a young man who acts nothing like the ruthless killer Nina thought he was. It's a suspenseful and fast-paced story that will have you questioning the narrator's sanity as she tries to uncover the truth behind her weird dreams.