I have a huge collection of books I’ve read and enjoyed over the years, and quite a few are novels of the horror fiction genre. I decided to compile a list of 5 novels that memorably gave me a fright when I read them. They’re all by well known authors, but it’s possible that those reading this have not had the pleasure of reading at least one or two of the novels on the list, and hopefully will feel compelled to do so. If you do decide to (or already have), leave me a comment telling me what you thought of the book(s) and whether you found them as entertainingly terrifying as I did!
1. The Homing by John Saul
This book is really eerie. I hate bugs, and I believe it is a fear many of us seem to share. Just imagine a bunch of creepy-crawlies (spiders, scorpions) being used for evil purposes, and deadly flying insects (killer bees, wasps) wreaking havoc in a town where you live without you knowing it… and coming after your children. Shivering yet? If that’s not enough, there’s another enemy, an evil genius behind all of the monstrosities.
2. Pet Sematary by Stephen King
This is another terrifying book (and the movie is equally nightmarish, if not more so). The story takes place in a town in rural Maine, in which many years ago children started bringing their deceased pets to a little section of land to bury them. They created their own “pet sematary” (hence the misspelling of the word ‘cemetery’). Most of the pets buried there are casualties of the road that runs by the Creeds’ house, a road that seems cursed. The “pet sematary” seems harmless enough, but beyondit deep in the woods, another burial place exists. It’s an ancient burial ground of the Micmacs. Those who are buried there come back… only they’re not the same when they return.
3. Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
I’m sure many of you have heard of the movie. Well, the book is just as scary. Rosemary and Guy’s fellow tenants in the old apartment building seem harmless at first glance, but appearances can deceive. When Rosemary becomes pregnant, everyone wants to help her. But there’s an ulterior motive to their friendly assistance. It’s probably every pregnant woman’s nightmare: The man you love is not the father of the baby you’re carrying, but something else is… something that is the source of all evil.
4. Midnight Voices by John Saul
Here is another thrilling page turner! The main character in the book, Caroline Evans, is a vulnerable widow ready to give love another chance and is open to accepting a new man into her life who will be a father to her children. She thought she found such a man. However, her new husband, as well as his friends who live in their building, are not who (or what) they appear to be.
5. Winter Moon by Dean Koontz
There are tons of great books by Dean Koontz (such as Watchers, By the Light of the Moon, etc), but this is the one that gave me the chills. It’s the not fully knowing what’s going on at first, not completely understanding what the threat is, and all the subtle hints of something dangerous coming that make the hair on the back of your neck rise up. Some very ominous and dark beings are approaching the McGarvey family, things so hideous that they rely on the dead to get to the living. For the living have the potential to be so much more useful…
If you’ve already read these books, you know what I’m talking about when I say they are deliciously scary, made up of the kind of terrifying excitement one cannot put down. If you haven’t had the opportunity to try any or some of the books listed, bravely give them a whirl and leave a comment stating whether you liked them or not, and if you found them to be page after page of sheer entertaining terror. Enjoy, and don’t say I didn’t warn you!
King, Stephen. Pet Sematary New York: Signet, 1983 (reprinted 1984).
Koontz, Dean. Winter Moon New York: Ballantine Books, 1994.
Levin, Ira. Rosemary’s Baby New York: The Stephen King Horror Library, 2003 (original copyright by Ira Levin, 1967).
Saul, John. The Homing New York: Fawcett Crest, 1994.
Saul, John. Midnight Voices New York: Ballantine Books, 2002.