Spooky Reads

haunted house

(photo: Sean MacEntee, creative commons license)

The book-obsessed websites haven’t overlooked the opportunity to capitalize on the scary underpinnings of the Halloween season. A reader poll by the folks at BookRiot yielded this top 10 list, with The Shining scariest of all:

  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • It by Stephen King
  • Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
  • The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
  • Pet Sematary by Stephen King
  • House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski
  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  • The Stand by Stephen King
  • Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
  • Bird Box by Joshua Malerman

When you recall that Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son, that family has lock on half the fright mindshare.

Not surprisingly, The American Scholar takes a more high-brow approach to its list of “Spooktacular Books,” with the only overlaps House of Leaves and The Haunting of Hill House.

No time to read whole books? Jonathan Sturgeon, writing for Flavorwire, has assembled 30 of the scariest moments from Western literature—going all the way back to 760 BCE. Once again, Shirley Jackson and Hill House make the bloody cut.