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Spooky September Challenge: Day One – Top TEN Spookiest Books

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I am super excited to be participating in Parajunkee’s Spooky September Challenge for the next six days. While I’m not sure how easy it will be to pick ten spooky stories and movies and creatures each day, I’m going to try.

Today’s challenge is…

DAY ONE: Top TEN Spookiest Books

And it is the hardest challenge of them all. Because I kind of block stories that creep me out from my memory so I don’t get haunted by them night after night after night. So reminding myself about ten of those stories is going to make me wish for a night light.

Anyway… if you’d like to know more about the challenge, just click the link above or either of the graphics and you’ll be taken to the information post.

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My Top TEN Spookiest Books

I am not listing them in any particular order, because they are reads from all different points in time in my life and trying to rank them now would be just too difficult. And I am not listing ONLY Stephen King’s books because that would be too easy. There are just so many. And believe me, it wasn’t easy, but here they are…

  1. MY SWEET AUDRINA by V.C. Andrews. I found this way more creepy than the Dollanganger books. There’s just something so disturbing about Audrina’s secret.
  2. THE SHINING by Stephen King. This was my first introduction to the master of horror. I was just 13, I believe. And the evil hotel, the deadly topiaries, and the descent into madness freaked me out. Badly. I’m still totally creeped out by this book.
  3. ROSEMARY’S BABY by Ira Levin. I’m not sure which was more disturbing – the book or the film – but I think I have to say the book. I found a copy at a used bookshop when I was 14 and it was subtle and weird and disturbing.
  4. AUDREY ROSE by Frank De Felitta. I didn’t love this book (or the movie) but it was definitely good for a fright. It’s possible I was more creeped out by the cover. But it was a good spooky story and one definitely makes the list.
  5. BOOKS OF BLOOD by Clive Barker. Perhaps they’re more disturbing and horrifying than spooky. But I was left feeling the creepy crawlies long after I read these stories.
  6. BAD GIRLS DON’T DIE by Katie Alender. Dolls creep me the eff out. I mean seriously scare the bejeezus out of me. And there was this doll… *shudder* so you can imagine why this story made the list.
  7. BLOOD MAGIC by Tessa Gratton. This was one of those books that was definitely spooky. But also gorgeous. And very, very haunting.
  8. CRYER’S CROSS by Lisa McMann. I’ll admit that the book’s countdown widget with the “heeelp me” audio freaked me out just a little. But not nearly as much as this book. So good and perfectly spooky.
  9. THE AMITYVILLE HORROR by Jay Anson. So scary, especially because it was one of those based on a true story books. And my friend’s father lived in Amityville. And I saw the movie when I was very, very young and was haunted by it. And because I believe there were crime scene photos in my copy… or maybe I saw those after the fact.
  10. IT by Stephen King. The clown. In the sewer. With the teeth. I read this book the summer before I started college. I was living all alone in a nearly empty dorm. I could not sleep. Every little creak. I kept picturing that damn clown whenever I closed my eyes. Spookiest freaking story I’ve ever read. (Yet I listed this as #10. Funny.)

And I just have to add…

  • LOCKDOWN by Alexander Gordon Smith. So freaking creepy. Chilling. Disturbing. Awesome. The stuff of nightmares.

Some runners up would be almost anything by Poe but especially THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO, anything by Lovecraft, quite a few by John Saul, THE FUNHOUSE by Dean Koontz, THE EXORCIST by William Peter Blatty, THE OMEN by David Seltzer, King’s THE BLACKSTONE CHRONICLES, THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by Shirley Jackson.

And maybe next year, if I finally read Peter Straub’s GHOST STORY which I heard is amazeballs and HELL HOUSE by Richard Matheson which King blurbed, those two books will make the list.

What about you?

What are some of your favorite spooky stories? THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW? Or something a tad more tame?

Do you prefer hauntings, psychosis, things that go bump in the night, or just plain evil?

What’s your spooky?

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