The Greatest Horror Novels That Every Fans Should Know

The term "horror" has a wide scope. For others, horror is a genre built on tropes and conventions: ruined houses, horrible secrets, men in masks, and ladies in white nightgowns. For others, it's all about the mood and tone. Regardless, we've compiled a list of the top works in this genre that are sure to send shivers down your spine. This is a subjective list, so remember to  take it with a grain of salt.

IT By Stephen King


King remains and has always been well known for his collection of scary books from the 80s. These are the pluckiest, most memorable, and arguably the most infuriating of all the King books about plucky youngsters. The protagonists are a smorgasbord of tropes portrayed in an all-encompassing pastiche of 1950s American society, but that's exactly the purpose. On the other side, "IT" is undoubtedly King's most lasting and iconic monster, an interdimensional creature of pure malevolence and alien intellect that appears to be so much simpler on the surface. The finale is sometimes highlighted as a flaw, but it's a large, thick novel that's far more about a trip.

The Haunting Of Hill House By Shirley Jackson

"Hill House, not sane, stood alone against its hills, holding evil within..." begins Jackson's story, which is the best introduction to haunted architecture ever written. and whomever walked there on their own." The change from a haunted home as a location of re-enacted tragedy to a place that is fundamentally ill-intentioned is a watershed point in horror. The Haunting of Hill House is still a mystery over half a century later. It is still the yardstick by which all current supernatural fiction must be measured.

The Shining By Stephen King

The Shining

Yet another work from Stephen King in this list, but for a good reason. As winter approaches and the hotel comes to life, King kneads the reader's emotions like dough, demonstrating how much these people love one another despite their underlying resentments. A climactic scene between Jack and his kid puts the novel above and beyond Kubrick's film version.

Stoker's work inspired the pop culture vampire that when writers try to distance themselves from it, it frequently merely draws attention to what's lacking. Despite the fact that the narrative and tone of the novel varies from those of many of the innumerable adaptations it inspired, the Count's deadly charisma is always there. The Count in Bram Stoker's novel is a seducer, as current in his pansexuality as he is in years. It's a vampire casting that's more enticing—and terrifying—than any following incarnation.

Let The Right One In By John Ajvide Lindqvist

Let The Right One In

With his debut novel, Let the Right One In, Swedish writer John Ajvide Lindqvist poured fresh life into the perpetually overused classic, telling the story of a tormented grade-school youngster named Oskar and his new friend and neighbor, Eli. While the novel's implications for their relationship's future are troubling, their meeting reads like the worst of fairy tales. Few novels have ever managed to combine cruelty with compassion in such a fluid way.


Horror is an odd genre. What may surprise one reader may be amusing to another, therefore this type of list is always debatable. We've identified those novels in this article that either establish something about the genre or push it ahead into new territory