Oooh, Scary, Scary: Books!

The question I pose is a pretty simple one:

What is the scariest book you’ve ever read?

It doesn’t need to be horror, of course, though I expect a good bit of horror to creep and skulk through. And you can talk about comic books, too, if you’re so inclined.

Note: I’m not asking about your favorite scary book. I’m asking about the one that scared you, or freaked you out, or disturbed you on some fundamental level.

I get more than a little freaked out by serial killer books. Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Z. Brite is an early one that got under my skin. Recently, worth noting Mister Slaughter, by Robert McCammon — pre-Revolutionary War serial killer tale, with tension so taut it was like a rope around my neck as I read it. Or, consider the last two Lauren Beukes novels: The Shining Girls and Broken Monsters. I’m only halfway through the latter but dang can she a) write and b) freak you the fuck out. For non-serial killer novels, while the film version didn’t spook me, the novel of The Exorcist is a pretty amazing read, and if you’ve never read it, well, now’s the time.

Anyway —

Your turn!

What books have really gotten under your skin?

Maybe it’s not a book, exactly, but a particular scene.

Let’s hear it.

(We’ll do movies next week, and maybe games after.)


  • Some of my favourites are by Jack Kilborn: Afraid, Trapped, and Endurance. Great reads. Scary, suspenseful, with some humor thrown in. Also Blake Crouch’s Andrew Z. Thomas trilogy. Very Creepy.

  • I’m a little late to this project, but there was a book called “Michelle Remembers” about a young woman remembering being a part of satanic rituals as a very young child. There were a number of things that terrified me about the book, not the least being that it happened in Victoria BC where I was born. Even the fact that the incidents are widely discredited hasn’t stopped the book being terrifying to me.

    That and “Amityville Horror”. I went through a period of reading books about stuff like this, but these two books scared the living bejeebuz out of me enough that I couldn’t even keep the books in my presence and got rid of them. I STILL have a fear of looking out of dark windows, thinking I’ll see piggy red eyes.

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