I always felt like this was a bit of a tricky question since there were plenty of books that scared me when I was younger but no longer would. So I’m never sure if I should give an answer to something I was recently scared reading or something that just scared the daylights out of me at any point in my life. So I’ll answer it both ways.
I remember reading The Haunting of Hill House back in middle school and not being able to sleep for a long time after. I don’t really remember being particularly scared of any Edgar Allen Poe stories but in awe of the way he so easily set moods. And The Shining was by far Stephen King’s scariest book. Helter Skelter was easily one of the scariest non-fic books I’ve read.
Books or stories about supernatural happenings no longer scare me. In fact, I think the last book that I read which was good enough to give me a fright was I Am Legend which I read a few months ago for the first time. The scary part of the story isn’t really the vampires, but the terror of facing an ordeal totally alone. I’ve noticed the movie has given the main character a dog as a companion which defeats the underlying theme of the book although I’m guessing they put the dog in as a device to which he can direct his thoughts.
So Cynics, what’s the scariest book you’ve read?