A few weeks ago Book Riot ran the results of a survey they took about the “10 Scariest Books You’ve Read” and while the outcome was not all that surprising (Stephen King books grab the majority), I thought I’d throw my 2 cents into the mix.
- The Shining by Stephen King (199 votes)
- It by Stephen King (176)
- Salem’s Lot by Stephen King (102)
- The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty (99)
- Pet Sematary by Stephen King (94)
- House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski (78)
- The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (74)
- The Stand by Stephen King (41)
- Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill (39)
- Bird Box by Joshua Malerman (36)
As you can see, Stephen King books took 6 of the top 10 places. My only real argument with the King placements is that I would move “It” to number 1 and drop “The Shining” to number 2. The other King books I might have a little difference of opinion about where they rank, but not enough to actively dispute their placement.
I haven’t read ANY of the other books, which is fine because they give me some apparently good stories to add to my “To Be Read” list. I also found it curious that Dean Koontz is not included as he’s had some scary books in the past.
My biggest “beef” is the lack of inclusion of one of the BEST horror writers; Robert R. McCammon. I actually found McCammon’s “Swan Song” and “Stinger” to be far more frightening than most of King’s works. He pulls you into his stories and then you find yourself clawing your way out in fear. It’s a shame that none of his works found their way into this top 10 survey.
But the upside of my unhappiness is that it has reminded me that it has been years since I read the titles above, and others of his, so I need to dig them out and re-read them when I get to our cabin next month…all alone in the woods.