Books that Scared you?

It, by Stephen King.
Same here. I actually acquired the habit of reading after watching tons of horror movies in my childhood. That means, only when I reached my adolescence, I became an avid reader. I figure, I had gotten more than enough doses of horror, out of the movies before; thus I barely get scared while reading books.

IT was an exception. It really gave me the creeps at the time.
As much as i adored IT (and it is one of my top ten bestest books ever), i was thought the ending was a huge let down.

I still need to see the recent movies.
i was thought the ending was a huge let down.

I still need to see the recent movies.
Yup. Most of King's endings are disappointing and this was perhaps the most.

I tried to watch the recent movies, but couldn't, after seeing an hour or so of the first. Totally unconvincing and "that" Pennywise is just not okay...
The Hungry Moon by Ramsey Campbell
Down There by Ramsey Campbell (Short Story)
As much as i adored IT (and it is one of my top ten bestest books ever), i was thought the ending was a huge let down.

I still need to see the recent movies.

I think that whilst his stories are very good, Steven King struggles to 'let go' of his characters, which leads to often unsatisfactory endings. (This is kind of summed up with Dark Tower series and Doctor Sleep (amongst others) where many of the previous characters from his stories get a second life/chance).

It feels at times that his endings have been tagged on, because an ending (of some sort) is necessary in order to make a novel commercially viable. This is possibly why I prefer many of his shorter stories, because in a number of them, there are no final chapters that nicely tie up the loose ends. One of his best 'The Sun Dog' is like this, and so much better for having an open ending.

But his stories for the first 80% of them are wonderful.
The Descent by Jeff Long? I don't read very much horror but the scene at the beginning (chapter 1 or chapter 2) with the exploration team in the caves freaked me out so much I never read further... maybe one day.
The Great White Space by Basil Copper This book is very much in the lovcratain vein of horror . It's quite unsettling. An excellent book.
I don't believe in anything supernatural, but I'd nominate Communion by Whitley Strieber. The events in it are unsettling, all the more so because they don't quite make sense, but the real thing is that the author believes all the stuff he's writing, and either he's really been abducted by aliens (which I very much doubt) or he's seriously deluded.

I'd also nominate Salem's Lot, The Doll That Ate His Mother by Ramsey Campbell (eerie and weirdly resonant) and the ghost stories of M.R. James. The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons has some sinister moments too.

Then I guess there are books like 1984, The Handmaid's Tale and It Can't Happen Here, which are based on real human evil. It is disturbing to think that there are some people who would really enjoy being in the Thought Police, the Eye or the new Minutemen.
IT by Stephen King, Bag of Bones by King, and The Terror by Dan Simmons are the only three books that I can remember being genuinely creeped out by. Bag of Bones is kind of goofy, but there's one scene with one of the ghosts that has always stuck with me.
Pet Sematary by Stephen King and Heart Shaped Box by his son, Joe Hill. I had to read them during daylight, even though I was an adult (in years anyway).

Oh, and in childhood, this book scared the living hell out of me and I couldn't sleep if it was in the house: Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffman. It's a children's book (ha!) written and illustrated in 1845 and my German mum had a copy and thought I might like it. I got a shiver of fear looking up the spelling just now...
In F. Paul Wilson's "Hosts", there is a passage in which Jack had a glimpse into the future of those that he loved. It was really well written and the total fear and paranoia of the story was actually really terrifying.

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