The Millions

Terrify Yourself with These Ten Horror Novels

Short stories tend to be scarier than novels: their tightness of focus allows them to do away with pesky things like backstory and character development and elaborate setting and offer a blazing unity of effect. A novel’s scare is more a creeping dread, a tension that builds slowly and inexorably and leaves you deeply unsettled even after the book is finished. For me, the most frightening books are not about scary clowns or demons or witchcraft, but those that show the awful things humans are capable of doing to one another.

There are many great writers I could have included, people like or or , whom I simply haven’t. Not because I don’t appreciate them, but because most readers have already found them. Then there are books like

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