1. The Exorcist, by William Peter Blatty. The frightening and controversial novel that spawned one of the scariest movies ever made. I won’t lie, this one still scares me!
2. IT, by Stephen King. And we wonder why so many people suffer from coulrophobia. Which came first? IT or the fear?
3. The Witching Hour, by Anne Rice. A dynasty of witches four centuries in the making has been haunted through time by an insidious presence
4. Rosemary’s Baby, by Ira Levin. Rosemary wakes up one morning to find herself pregnant and her soul apparently sold. Reality blurs for both Rosemary and reader in Levin’s (The Stepford Wives) classic.
5. Carrie, by Stephen King. High school misfit becomes prom queen in an elaborate prank. Word to the wise—don’t piss off the telekinetic.
6. Coldheart Canyon, by Clive Barker. A Hollywood ghost story treading lightly along the edge of dark fantasy. A room brought in its entirety from a Romanian monastery to a Hollywood mansion bestows its owner with supernatural powers.
7. The Stand, by Stephen King. The ultimate struggle of good and evil in a post-plague society where nothing, and no one, is as it seems.
8. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury. Two teenagers confront evil in the form of a dark and diabolical carnival that arrives in their small Midwestern town.
9. Tales of Terror, by Edgar Allen Poe. In recent years, Poe seems to have been deemed literature suitable for children. These dark, brooding tales, I find, are definitely not fare for bedtime stories.
10. The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde. Cautionary tale with a supernatural twist. Gray’s portrait is corrupted by his age and acts, instead of his mortal self.
You’ll notice as you read through that there’s a LOT of variety here for all having a similar theme. It just goes to show that there are many sides to any genre, and I encourage you to branch out and try new things!
Anything you’d want to add to the list? Leave a reply in the comments!