When Fiction Becomes a Nightmare: Best Horror Books


Horror films are always the go-to option when it comes to feeling hungry for the spine-tingling sensation, even if it doesn’t last long. But if you’re looking for nonstop terror, a story to return to night after night, or a suspense feeling as the plot builds instead, then there’s nothing more satisfying as reading good horror books. You know what they say, books are better than movies. Even so, horror movies are still quite terrifying, so if you get the satisfaction for both, D360 has gather up some of the best horror books of all time, some of which have also been adapted into movies.


Book: Psycho (1959) by Robert Bloch
Film Adaptation: Psycho (1960) directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Inspired by the real story of Ed Gein, a psychotic American murderer and body snatcher, Bloch uses suspense and psychological thrills to scare the daylights out of readers. This reading consists of more internal dialogue than the film, giving us more of that glimpse into Norman Bates (Fictional Ed Gein) that the film doesn’t offer.

By now, everyone knows the story of Norman Bates, but do you know the story behind the story? It’s another tale of Hollywood taking advantage of the little guy: Bloch was not only not involved in the making of the film, but also he received less than $10,000 for the book rights to Psycho, being unaware that it was Alfred Hitchcock purchasing them.

The Silence of the Lambs

Book: The Silence of the Lambs (1988) by Thomas Harris
Film Adaptation: The Silence of the Lambs (1991) directed by Jonathan Demme

The Silence of the Lambs is a story of an FBI trainee, Clarice Starling, who embarks on a mission to obtain information from an infamous psychopath, Hannibal Lecter, to hunt another serial killer dubbed as “Buffalo Bill.” However, as their relationship progress, Starling struggles to maintain focus and drive, and Lecter has more fun tormenting her than helping with the investigation. The intensity while reading this book is thrilling, to say the least, it is one of the best horror books of all time.

This successful horror novel was realized into a movie in 1991 directed by Jonathan Demme. If you have read the book and haven’t watched the film yet or you haven’t done both, then we really recommend you start ASAP!


Book: Jaws (1974) by Peter Benchley
Film Adaptation: Jaws (1975) directed by Steven Spielberg

Jaws, a classic Peter Benchley suspense novel of shark versus man, which was later made into the blockbuster Steven Spielberg movie. The horror novel tells a story of a great white shark that preys upon a small resort town and the expedition of three men trying to kill it.

The Jaws phenomenon changed popular culture and continued to inspire a growing interest in sharks and the oceans today. Absolutely one of the classics and scariest books.

Children of the Corn

Book: Children of the Corn (1977) by Stephen King
Film Adaptation: Children of the Corn (1984) directed by Fritz Kiersch

Another Stephen King good horror books, Children of the Corn, tells the story of a couple driving across the Midwest, but their trip comes to a sudden halt when they encounter a body of a murdered boy on the road. Well, we are not going to tell you what happens next because you will have to read it in order to find out! Although we can tell you one thing, it is one of the best horror books of all time and it was also created into a film! So, there’s no excuse now!

30 Days of Night

Book: 30 Days of Night (2002) by Steve Niles and illustrated by Ben Templesmith
Film Adaptation: 30 Days of Night (2008) directed by David Slade

30 Days of Night is a three-issue comic book written by Steve Niles and illustrated by Ben Templesmith. The story takes place in small town called Barrow in Alaska, where the sun doesn’t rise for thirty consecutive days. Taking advantage of the darkness, vampires will come attacking savagely on their preys: human beings. But not only did the monsters took an opportunity, but also David Slade did – he turned this horror book into a chilling must watch movie that was adopted in 2008.


Book: IT (1986) by Stephen King
Film Adaptation: IT (2017) directed by Andrés Muschietti

Stephen King’s scariest book and classic #1 New York Times bestseller, IT, is about seven adults who return to their hometown to confront a nightmare they had first encountered as teenagers…an evil without a name: It. They made a promise to each other twenty-eight years ago to reunite in the same place where, as teenagers, they fought the evil creature that preyed on children. Now, the thing is attacking again and is bringing repressed memories of that summer and so the seven return as they prepare to encounter once again the monster lurking in Derry’s sewers.

If the novel is not enough for you, we welcome you also to watch the film adaptation of IT directed by Andrés Muschietti released in 2017. We assure you won’t be closing your lights so fast anymore.