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What's the scariest book you ever read? This I think one could be based on a real story and scared me horribly even though I don't have children.

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
 

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I've read Tokyo and I love all Mo Hayder's books!! Tokyo was scary but I'd be hard pressed to say which is the scariest I've ever read. Something about Kevin disturbed me - but didn't scare me.  I think I could pick of few of Stephen King's that made me want to leave the light on!
 

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TOKYO may not strictly be the 'scariest' book I've ever read, but it sure has stuck with me long after the final page was turned.

But then, I've had something of a fascination with the Nanking Massacre and how unspeakably horrific it was. I went to Shanghai a few years ago and found that even in the young Chinese there was still deep resentment against the Japanese for what happened during the war.

Mo Hayder just managed to capture that and create a tale of a disturbed young woman and her quest to confront the unthinkable.
 

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Now, this book wouldn't scare me at my current age, but when I was about 10? Eek! I STILL think of these stories when everyday things happen that relate to them. I don't know how many children (or maybe parents) of the 80s/90s we have here, but does anyone else remember this?



Terrified me as a child, but I LOVED it! And it was the first book that came to mind when I saw the title of this thread! :D I'm not easily scared these days, so I'm having trouble thinking of a book I've read recently that scared me.
 

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JRainey said:
Now, this book wouldn't scare me at my current age, but when I was about 10? Eek! I STILL think of these stories when everyday things happen that relate to them. I don't know how many children (or maybe parents) of the 80s/90s we have here, but does anyone else remember this?



Terrified me as a child, but I LOVED it! And it was the first book that came to mind when I saw the title of this thread! :D I'm not easily scared these days, so I'm having trouble thinking of a book I've read recently that scared me.
Hey, that sounds great! There's something to be said for how childish horrors stick with you (and indeed some scary adult books exploit this theme - Stephen King with IT and especially The Library Policeman in Four Past Midnight springs to mind.

But I've already bought two books based on discussion threads today. I really can't buy any more... can I?
 

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@JRainey, YES!  And I loved the drawings, too!  In fact, I saw it for sale recently at a thrift store and bought it for my kids, even though they are only 2 and 3 right now.  No harm in planning ahead when it comes to books!
 

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James Everington said:
Hey, that sounds great! There's something to be said for how childish horrors stick with you (and indeed some scary adult books exploit this theme - Stephen King with IT and especially The Library Policeman in Four Past Midnight springs to mind.

But I've already bought two books based on discussion threads today. I really can't buy any more... can I?
Absolutely there is something to be said for it. I've found so many people in my age range who just flip out when you mention these books and all these terrors from when they were pre-teens come back to them at once. There was one story in the book about a girl who bought a dress at a pawn shop for her prom, but the dress was stained with poison that seeped through her skin and killed her on prom night. I didn't buy ANYTHING from a thrift store or pawn shop until I was about 15 years old because of that story, LOL!

Julie Christensen said:
@JRainey, YES! And I loved the drawings, too! In fact, I saw it for sale recently at a thrift store and bought it for my kids, even though they are only 2 and 3 right now. No harm in planning ahead when it comes to books!
Hahaha! Exactly! And yeah, the drawings are insane. Some of the creepiest stuff in the book is just that guy's artwork.
 

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The Exorcist, without a doubt, probably ranks as the scariest book I ever read.  Also, surprisingly, Helter Skelter, which is a true crime book.  But I tell you, the opening pages of Skelter will scare the bejeezus out of you.

I am also a huge fan of Stephen King and, for me, the book The Shining will always be his scariest.
 

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The scariest book I ever read was a true-crime book called Whoever Fights Monsters by Robert Ressler, a colleague of John Douglas at the FBI's Behavioral Science group. I had two young children when I was reading this and it was literally giving me nightmares. Back then I almost never quit reading a boot but I wasn't able to finish this one.

John Douglas was used by Thomas Harris as a source for The Silence of the Lambs and Scott Glenn's character in the movie is based on him.
 

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I think the scariest ones are the true crime ones because it actually happened. The scariest one I started but never got to finish because I drove my husband nuts was the true story of The Night Stalker - Richard Ramirez.

Reading about how he made his way into his victims homes through open windows and unlocked doors. I swore as I lay there in bed every night that I heard footsteps and such in the house. I kept waking up my husband to ask "Did you hear that?" "Are you sure you locked both the the front door and the back?" Needless to say he FORCED me to stop reading it. In the end I think it was for the best.  :-\       
 

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Whitley Strieber's, Communion. It actually gave me nightmares -- to the point that I woke up in my parents room, stark naked and holding a samurai sword one night, as I thought the Grays were after me.

I may have shared too much information there.
 

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Do not read this if you want to be able to sleep at night.

Understanding how the Federal Reserve System works is real, true-life scary.

(murderers are creepy, I've met several. The Fed, however, that's a kind of creepy I can't defend myself against.)
 

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When I was a kid I had to read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for school. That book scared the heck out of me. Also, Intensity by Dean Koontz. I don't find supernatural books scary, but anything that could happen to a person in real life (a stranger showing up at your house to kill everyone) scares me. Which is why I don't normally read those kind of books. :)
 

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Stephen King's Pet Semetary, hands down.  It reminded me of W.W. Jacobs short story The Monkey's Paw.  In face Stephen King mentioned the story in his book, so I think it inspired the book.  I read Pet Semetary again recently and it had the same chilling effect.  He's just brilliant.

Joan
 

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JRainey said:
Now, this book wouldn't scare me at my current age, but when I was about 10? Eek! I STILL think of these stories when everyday things happen that relate to them. I don't know how many children (or maybe parents) of the 80s/90s we have here, but does anyone else remember this?



Terrified me as a child, but I LOVED it! And it was the first book that came to mind when I saw the title of this thread! :D I'm not easily scared these days, so I'm having trouble thinking of a book I've read recently that scared me.
I feel like we're really bonding today. First Flipper and now this book! This is one of the first scary books I ever read as well, and I agree, it was really scary! I think I got it in one of those book sales from the little flyers. Do they still do that anymore? I guess probably not. Gah, now I feel old.
 
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