The 50 Best Horror Books to Read Before You Die

These bone-chilling books will haunt you forever.

best horror books

1. Frankenstein, 1818

Frankenstein

Frankenstein

By Mary Shelley

2. The Complete Short Stories of Edgar Allan Poe, 1827-1849

The Complete Short Stories

The Complete Short Stories

By Edgar Allan Poe

3. Carmilla, 1872

Carmilla

Carmilla

By J. Sheridan Le Fanu

4. Dracula, 1897

Dracula

Dracula

By Bram Stoker

5. The King in Yellow, 1895

The King in Yellow

The King in Yellow

By Robert W. Chambers

6. The Scarlet Plague, 1912

The Scarlet Plague

The Scarlet Plague

By Jack London

7. Who Goes There?, 1938

Who Goes There?

Who Goes There?

By John W. Campbell

8. Conjure Wife, 1953

Conjure Wife

Conjure Wife

By Fritz Leiber

9. I Am Legend, 1954

I Am Legend

I Am Legend

By Richard Matheson

10. Midwich Cuckoos, 1957

The Midwich Cuckoos

The Midwich Cuckoos

By John Wyndham

11. The Haunting of Hill House, 1959 

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The Haunting of Hill House

By Shirley Jackson

12. Something Wicked This Way Comes, 1962

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Something Wicked This Way Comes

By Ray Bradbury

13. Rosemary's Baby, 1967

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Rosemary's Baby

By Ira Levin

14. The Exorcist, 1971

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The Exorcist

By William Peter Blatty

15. Burnt Offerings, 1973

Burnt Offerings

Burnt Offerings

By Robert Marasco

16. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, 1981

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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Collection

By Alvin Schwartz

17. The Woman in Black, 1983

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The Woman in Black

By Susan Hill

18. The Books of Blood, 1984

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The Books of Blood

By Clive Barker

19. The Ceremonies, 1984

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The Ceremonies

By T.E.D. Klein

20. It, 1986

21. The Graveyard Apartment, 1986

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The Graveyard Apartment

By Mariko Koike

22. Beloved, 1987

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Beloved

By Toni Morrison

23. Jurassic Park, 1990

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Jurassic Park

By Michael Crichton

24. Boy's Life, 1991

Boy's Life

Boy's Life

By Robert McCammon

25. Uzumaki, 1998-1999

26. Skin Folk, 2001

Skin Folk

Skin Folk

By Nalo Hopkinson

27. Come Closer, 2003

Come Closer

Come Closer

By Sara Gran

28. The Good House, 2003

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The Good House

By Tananarive Due

29. Let the Right One In, 2004

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Let the Right One In

By John Ajvide Lindqvist

30. World War Z, 2006

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World War Z

By Max Brooks

31. The Ruins, 2006

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The Ruins

By Scott Smith

32. The Terror, 2007

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The Terror

By Dan Simmons

33. Heart-Shaped Box, 2008

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Heart-Shaped Box

By Joe Hill

34. Zone One, 2011

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Zone One

By Colson Whitehead

35. Eutopia, 2011

Eutopia

Eutopia

By David Nickle

36. How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend, 2011

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How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend

By Linda Addison

37. Hex, 2013

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Hex

By Thomas Olde Heuvelt

38. The Girl With All the Gifts, 2014

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The Girl With All the Gifts

By M.R. Carey

39. Experimental Film, 2015

Experimental Film

Experimental Film

By Gemma Files

40. Wylding Hall, 2015

Wylding Hall

Wylding Hall

By Elizabeth Hand

41. A Head Full of Ghosts, 2015

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A Head Full of Ghosts

By Paul Tremblay

42. Ghost Story, 2016

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Ghost Story

By Peter Straub

43. A Collapse of Horses, 2016

A Collapse of Horses

A Collapse of Horses

By Brian Evenson

44. The Ballad of Black Tom, 2016

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The Ballad of Black Tom

By Victor LaValle

45. Agents of Dreamland, 2017

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Agents of Dreamland

By Caitlín R. Kiernan

46. The Hunger, 2018

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The Hunger

By Alma Katsu

47. We Sold Our Souls, 2018

we sold our souls

We Sold Our Souls

By Grady Hendrix

48. The Return, 2020

The Return by Rachel Harrison

The Return

By Rachel Harrison

49. The Only Good Indians, 2020

The Only Good Indians

The Only Good Indians

By Stephen Graham Jones

50. The Book of Accidents, 2021

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig

The Book of Accidents

By Chuck Wendig