1. I have read everything from Stoker and Lovecraft to Anne Rice but I just stumbled on a series of books that puts vampires and witches et al in a new and scary perspective. I have only read one so far.
    Kim Harrison: Dead Witch Walking
    Her descriptions of vampire life and motive are first rate and really creepy.

  2. tiki, i read that book too. it had a beast with seven heads and this whore from babylon and stuff. awesome scary. i mean, now when i go back and read it as an adult, i laugh at how ridiculously over the top it was, but it sure scared me as a kid.

  3. Salem’s Lot

    It’s really one of King’s scarier books — though not as scary as The Shining — but given that the only other vampire books I can remember reading are Interview With the Vampire and Octavia Butler’s Fledgling, “best vampire book” may be a stretch.

  4. I’m not a vampire person, but “It” still remains the scariest book I’ve read. Not because it’s terrifying, so much, but because it’s so epic.

  5. If you’re into the classic stuff, you can’t go wrong with Richard Matheson’s 1954 title I Am Legend. Read it.. avoid the Will Smith remake and watch Omega Man instead.

  6. Vampire are not scary so that’s that out of the window. Vampires are like superheroes for goths, who wouldn’t want to be forever young and look utterly cool.

    The scariest thing I ever read was “The Sun Dog2 in Stephen Kings four past midnight anthology. I couldn’t say exactly why it freaked me out so much, but that’s the one story that I had to sleep with the light on as a fully grown man.

  7. Scariest Story:
    “Survivor Type” … A short story by Stephen King.
    I literally threw the book across the room as soon as I finished the story…


    When wass the last time you saw Omega Man? because I watched it right after seeing I am Legend and to be frank Omega Man sucks cheesy balls, it’s too long, too slow and too ‘groovy’.

    I am Legend was a lot of fun even with the massive Deus Ex ending at least Will Smith died.

  9. Salem’s Lot is a pretty scary vampire book but you know The Exorcist was a pretty damn terrifiying novel even before it was adapted to film.

  10. I quite liked Brian Lumley’s ‘Necroscope’ series. Sort of a cross between X-Files, Lovecraft and 007 all rolled into one. His vampires are pure Lovecraftian baddies.

    Best ever… I Am Legend is hard to beat.

  11. I had the misfortune of reading “Fevre Dream” by George R R Martin. Avoid! Avoid!

    Scariest book would have to be Whitley Strieber’s “Communion” read when I was eighteen. I fair kecked my breeks.

  12. I’m reading “Let the right one in” right now and I must say it’s impressive so far. (The movie adaptation is getting rave reviews.) And I’m digging “true Blood” on HBO, FWIW.

  13. Oh, I’d forgotten about Octavia Butler’s Fledgling. Not as intense and terrifying as her Lilith’s Brood series, but quite good.

    I don’t read true horror because I get creeped out for days, but I find Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale terrifying. It’s kind of a silly choice, but I’m sticking to it.

    Although Lilith’s Brood is a good choice too, come to think of it. The ending alone is devastating.

  14. SQUID_DECOR: You hit the nail on the head. The Omega Man kicks ass! Charlton Heston as the last man on earth. Forget the Will Smith crap. Heston would mop the floor with the Fresh Prince!

  15. I’m going to second Richard’s suggestion: Necroscope. That book was a trip.

    I’m also going to recommend the Anita Blake series up to Obsidian Butterfly. It’s like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but funny, endearing, sick and disturbing. The first one is Guilty Pleasures. I would suggest stopping after Obsidian Butterfly though, because it goes downhill fast from there.

  16. I’d have to say that “IT” still gives me the heebie jeebies. I’d also have to nominate King’s short story “Apt Pupil”….I think stories that fall into the potential of possibly occurring are far more scary than made up monsters.
    One of my favorite vampire books was called The Vampire Diaries and was aimed towards ‘tweeners. The story, which spanned 4 books, was about a young woman torn between 2 vampire brothers who are about 4 or 5 hundred years old. This girl just happens to look like the young woman who turned the brothers into vampires and then supposedly exposed herself to sunlight centuries before. It was reminiscent of Dark Shadows and a great precursor to Buffy and Angel. But, it has been 15 years or so since I last read the books. It may not be as great as I remember.

    I’ll also give a nod to Bunnicula!

  17. I agree with SQUID_DECOR about The Omega Man. I’ve always thought it was the most undervalued title of the 70’s phalanx of notable and unique science fiction films. Yeah, its groovier aspects are outdated(even when it was first released!) but I think that adds to the charm. I was a teenager when I first saw it, and without giving anything away, when the credits rolled at the end, I was cognizant for the first time of the deliberant use of symbolism in film. It took me to a new level, so to speak.

    I never could “get” the vampire mystique. At the risk of sounding sexist, the whole genre seems kinda “girly” to me. Never read a vampire book I enjoyed, though I tried more than once. However, I did think the film “Martin”, George Romero’s oddball take on vampires, was entertaining, clever, and almost believable at points.

    Scary Fiction…
    “At the Mountains of Madness” – H. P. Lovecraft
    (The “book” includes the title story, plus a couple other exceptional short stories.)

    Scary Non-fiction…
    “Our Father Who Art in Hell: The Life and Death of Jim Jones” – James Jr. Reston
    (Spooky despite the fact that there are none of the gruesome and eerie photos that usually accompany books about Jonestown.)

  18. I read the entire Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles series and loved it. Dunno if they’re the BEST vampire books ever written, but they certainly made a devoted fan out of me. Lestat is my all-time favorite fictional character.

  19. I’m going to jump on the “I Am Legend” bandwagon for best vampire book.
    Scariest book I ever read?
    “Helter Skelter”, hands down.

  20. so far so good, but if anyone even CONSIDERS anything by stephanie meyer im going to take a board with a nail in it and kill an innocent fat kid. i swear by it.

  21. I know you just read “The Historian”. I enjoyed it, and it even gave me some ideas for a book that I am simply too lazy to write. I read Lovecraft when I was 11-12, and he was pretty scary to oneof my tender years.

  22. Man, the scariest thing I’ve ever read was The Amityville Horror. That book scared the sht out of me! Add the suppossed “true story” (riiiiight) aspect to the creepy happenings and you have the recipe for sleepless nights.

    As for vampire books, hmmmm. I Am Legend is good. Interview with the Vampire was good too.
    I have nothing that qualifies as best.

  23. Not exactly a vampire novel, per se, but I like the vampire character in Garth Ennis’ Preacher graphic novel series. An obnoxious Irish vampire with a complex turn of events thrown in? Hell yeah.

  24. In defence of Omega Man over I Am Legend (the movie), I would just have to say I have a soft spot for cheese. Heston’s presence in most movies make them 20% better than they would be otherwise. So whether he’s screaming about ‘damn dirty apes” or soilent green, I get a kick out of them. Dispite how dated it looks, and lack of flashy digital effects, I felt this version had a deeper empact on me in terms of it’s story, and presentation.

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