Horror is one of those genres which, if done well, can really stick with you for a long time. There's a lot of horror books out there. Some are eerie, some are creepy, some are downright disturbing. But what truly makes a horror book amazing, in my opinion, is one you can remember years later and still get that uneasy feeling. And these four books definitely lingered with me for quiet some time. So, here they are. Four of my favorite horror books, in no particular order.
4. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Richard Matheson's book I Am Legend was outstanding. It had everything a horror fan could ask for. Post apocalyptic society, vampires, desperate loneliness, and more. Plus, the vampires were real vampires, unlike the movie of the same name. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the movie sucked but the book was certainly better. There are still scenes that stick with me to this day. For example, there's a scene with Robert Neville trying to return home before the vampires come out for the night. He's behind the wheel of his manual car and his foot slips off the clutch and it stalls. There was so much tension in that scene. There are plenty more examples but I want to keep this spoiler free. If you haven't read I Am Legend, you need to!
3. Dracula by Bram Stoker
I'm sure you've read Dracula or at least seen one of the many movies inspired by the book. If not, you surely know his name. He's the king of all the undead beasts of our horror fueled nightmares. Dracula is cunning, charming, dangerous, and vile. This book sticks with me for many reasons but mainly because of its style. The book is written as journal entries from our hero Johnathan Harker and others at times. It was such a cool concept and original idea. It seemed to build the suspense over the entire novel. Plus, Dracula was much more than the simple villain movies made have made him out to be. In the book, he's far more dangerous and cunning. He's able to shape-shift into multiple forms, not just a bat. Some of them are utterly terrifying. I really feel for Jonathan and his fiance. There's a particular scene between Dracula and Jonathan's fiance Mina that was particularly unsettling. But I'll let you discover it for yourself.
2. The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe
I know what you're thinking. Evan, The Cask of Amontillado is a short story and not a book. To which I say, how are you able to interrupt me while I'm writing this? You must have the shine (from Stephen King's The Shining. Foreshadowing to the number 1?) Seriously, The Cask of Amontillado by Mr. Poe has to be my all time favorite story of his. Of course, there's the classics like A Tell Tale Heart, or The Raven (yes, I know that's a poem. Stop interrupting!), and The Pit and the Pendulum. But I can still remember this story clear as day from when I first read it in middle school. I can't say much about the story, for those who are about a hundred years late in reading it. Let's just say it centers around being buried alive. That is an utterly terrifying notion. In fact, it's been a while since I've read this story. I think I'll go read it now.
1. The Shining by Stephen King
Now that I've reread The Cask of Amontillado, let's talk about The Shining. (Seriously, I did go read it before finishing. Don't believe me? Follow me on Goodreads. You'll see!) Now, I know I said there was no particular order to these but I think I lied about the number one spot. The Shining has to be my all time favorite horror book and might even be my favorite King novel. The book is far more unsettling than the movie and there's plenty of scenes to get your paranoia flowing. One part in particular happens in the bathroom. Let's just say it took me a while to use the bathroom without moving the shower curtain first. Then there's a bit about a firehouse, an elevator, and just everything. Everything in this book is creepy and terrifying. It's amazing!
There you have it. Four of my favorite horror books and my number one favorite of all time. Are any on my list your favorites as well? If not, what are some of yours? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and remember, keep wandering. Just not alone.
Evan Bond, author of To the Wolves and Death Can Wait, is a thriller/suspense author. When not writing, he can be found hiking or camping in the beautiful state of Florida.