Take 5: Scariest Books We’ve Read

It’s that time of year when readers start looking for spooky, creepy, and scary reads. As the weather turns cooler and Halloween nears, lots of people are craving a bit of horror, suspense, or psychological thrillers.

Take Five The Hub

What is the scariest book you’ve read?

Reading Long Lankin by Lindsay Barraclough was a truly haunting experience for me! Between the sing-song rhyme describing the creepy legend behind the title character and the slowly building terror of the narrative, I had to go to bed with the lights still on after finishing this one. — Kelly Dickinson

I’m not sure I could articulate exactly what elements pushed me over the edge, but reading the brilliant Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick creeped me out more than any book in recent memory.  In particular, the first and last stories in that collection gave me actual goosebumps, and one ultra-tense scene made me gasp out loud, something I never do.  Bloody handprints, shadowy figures, and the crushing certainty of being utterly alone apparently do me in. ::Shiver::  — Julie Bartel

Carrie Ryan’s Forest of Hands and Teeth scared the heck out of me.  And of course after that I had to read the sequel, The Dead Tossed Waves, which was even scarier!  There is this scene in the book where the main character Gabry goes to this deserted amusement park in the dead of night and it’s filled with creepy zombies stumbling all over the place.  She’s looking for this boy named Catcher that she knows who’s been bitten by the Mudo (zombies) and she goes into an abandoned building and everything is very very dark and you just know something is going to jump out and get her.  I had to stop reading several times I got so scared. — Kimberli Buckley

I’m still totally creeped out by Daniel Kraus’s Rotters even though I read it when it came out in 2011. The descriptions of grave robbing with their decomposing corpses; the description of a Rat King (a number of rats with their tails entangled into one writhing creature) and, most of all, the character of Boggs, who reminds me a bit of a monstrously horrific Truman Capote. I also listened to it on audio and it’s wonderful but nightmare inducing. — Sharon Rawlins

Nova Ren Suma’s book The Walls Around Us creeped me out super bad.  The story of 3 girls who all become a part of the prison in which 2 of them are being held.  Who is innocent and who is guilty?  And, what exists in that thin space between the living and the dead?  Nova Ren writes in a way that makes readers inhabit this magical world where you start to think that you’re part of the story, too.  Totally sent chills up my spine and goosebumps up my arms when I got to the end of the book!  — Traci Glass

What are your favorite scary books to recommend? Leave us a note in the comments! 

— Molly Wetta, currently avoiding scary books and reading The Young Elites by Marie Lu

2 thoughts on “Take 5: Scariest Books We’ve Read”

  1. 1. Coraline, Neal Gaiman
    2. The Diviners, Libba Bray
    3. Rotters, Daniel Kraus
    4. The Stone Child, Dan Poblocki
    5. Wait Till Helen Cones, Mary Downing Hahn

  2. I was also creeped out by the Suma novel, although personally I found Imaginary Girls by the same author even scarier :). Another book I’d add is Through the Woods by Emily Carroll, which you mentioned in a post last week…reading that at night wasn’t a good idea.

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