House and Home

Top 10 Scary Books


Scary movies are always popular around Halloween and some of the best horror were adapted from books. There's something about reading a scary story and letting your imagination run wild that really seems increase the fright factor — especially if you're at home. Alone. At night.

With so many great ones to choose from, we wanted to find the scariest on the shelves.

We enlisted Miriam Tuliao, the Assistant Director of Branch Collection Development at the New York Public Library, to help choose the creepiest of the creepy.

Check out her top ten scary books picks:

The Amityville Horror by Jay HansonA young family discovers that their new Long Island home is haunted.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson"Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within." A chilling and foreboding literary classic. 

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe HillA creepy tale about an aging rock musician who purchases a haunted suit online.

Let Me In by John Ajvide LindqvistDisturbingly delightful, this gruesome vampire story is set in suburban Stockholm.

The Little Stranger by Sarah WatersReminiscent of Shirley Jackson’s Haunting of Hill House, Waters’ richly atmospheric novel is a classic ghost story set in post World War II England.  

Misery by Stephen King  In this chilling novel, a bestselling writer is held captive in a remote Colorado farmhouse.   

Rosemary’s Baby by Ira LevinWhat happens when a young, happily-married woman suspects she is carrying a demon spawn?

The Shining by Stephen KingGrandmaster Stephen King sets the bar for horror fiction in this gripping psychological tale.

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas HarrisA FBI trainee seeks advice from Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a cannibalistic serial killer.

The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck HoganVampires land at JFK airport in this thoroughly macabre apocalyptic thriller.