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Old 04-03-2015, 11:53 AM   #1
Kasper Hviid
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Scariest horror novel?

While a big fan of horror, I haven't read it much, but mostly satisfied my hunger by watching movies. I have read some short stories by Clive Baker and others, and a great deal of Stephen King. I have tried reading Dean Koontz but was absolutely horrified by his crap writing.

So please, enlighten me. What is the best scare in modern litterature?
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Old 04-03-2015, 01:29 PM   #2
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Dan Simmons "Summer of night". It takes those ordinary kids' fears and makes them really dangerous. Those scary noises from the closet at night? That niggling conviction that there's something under your bed? The way the old school building looks at night, during the summer holidays, when you know it's completely, utterly empty of life? When you're reading, those fears are far, far from irrational...
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Old 04-03-2015, 02:53 PM   #3
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I'd say The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson.
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Old 04-03-2015, 06:11 PM   #4
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It must have been about 30 years ago already, but I remember starting "Ghost Story" by Peter Straub. It gave me the willies so badly that I put the book away and didn't look at it again until many years later. Yes, I did eventually manage to finish it.
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Old 04-04-2015, 09:16 AM   #5
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I'd say The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson.
An acquired taste, but I love it.

I've read it 5 times since first reading it about 1978.
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Old 04-04-2015, 09:55 AM   #6
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It must have been about 30 years ago already, but I remember starting "Ghost Story" by Peter Straub. It gave me the willies so badly that I put the book away and didn't look at it again until many years later. Yes, I did eventually manage to finish it.
I thought Shadowland by Straub was great, but it wasn't particularly scary. I must give Ghost Story a try. I've heard it's excellent.

Stephen King's The Long Walk is horrific. I couldn't finish it, though I intend to one day. It's brilliantly written and for me proves King is a genius when at his best (and I'm not a King or horror fan).
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Old 04-04-2015, 08:17 PM   #7
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An acquired taste, but I love it.

I've read it 5 times since first reading it about 1978.
I like the first part, the outward journey.
For most of the second half I just wanted to smother them both in their sleep.
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Old 04-05-2015, 04:26 AM   #8
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SUMMER OF NIGHT sounds good ... I like the theme of IT, so this one could be a fun ride too. I feel it's stupid the way some people compare them to each other, like if fiction on similar themes is some sort of competion where you have to draw a "winner".

GHOST STORY - first time I have heard of a novel that caused a geniue scarequit! I remember having read THE TALISMAN which Peter Straub co-wrote with Stephen King. That one was quite good.

NIGHTLAND sounds bat-shit insane, but it's in the public domain, so instant download. It was far more easy to get into than I had expected, maybe because it gets right to the action. I found a Blackletter font which fits its vintage writing style:
http://unifraktur.sourceforge.net/maguntia.html
(It is hard to find a good Blackletter font - most don't look the slightest authentic. But I think this is one of the better ones)
17th century writing ... isn't the first letter of the nouns supposed to be capitalized?

Some suggestions of my own:

I liked Koji Suzuki's RING, the novel addapted into that japanese horror movie, this being the sole reason for me to read it. The book and the film follows roughly the same track, but there are some more depth to the story and the books most insane character are almost written out of the movie, for obvious reasons. And the main character is a guy. But beware that the book isn't scary - it reads more like a supernatural whodunnit. The novel was followed by SPIRAL and LOOP which takes the story to even more outlandish extremes. The author continued with even more stories, which I haven't read.

Koji Auzuki has also written the short story collection DARK WATER, which was addopted into the movie of the same name. The stories are not straight horror, but I remember them as mostly kinda gothic and water-themed.

Something which really got to me was the 1953 short story 'BLOT EN DRENGESTREG' by Villy Sørensen. Think torture porn, but with kiddies.

WHAT THE MAID SAW: EIGHT PSYCHIC TALES by Yasutaka Tsutsui - this is a short story collection centered on a maid whose mindreading brings trouble whereever she is employed. Not a scarefeast but pretty gothic, with focus on psychology.
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Old 04-05-2015, 08:37 AM   #9
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I like the first part, the outward journey.
For most of the second half I just wanted to smother them both in their sleep.
There's a weaker 100 pages or so in the return journey, but apart from that I found it gripping. Even in that weak bit there's a section where they remember a time when they were lovers on a train that circled the world to keep up with the slowly setting sun. Hard to believe it was written before WW1.

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17th century writing ... isn't the first letter of the nouns supposed to be capitalized?
17th century? It was written about 1911 in a faux antique style. Some readers don't like the style. It's fine with me.

While we're on the subject of horror, and Hodgson, check out The House on Borderland. Now that's a creepy book, and totally insane towards the end.

Thanks for the other gothic book tips. I'll look into those. I never thought of reading The Ring.
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Old 04-05-2015, 08:43 AM   #10
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The Shining by King is certainly scary enough. Of course the truly scaries book is the one that a person hasn't read yet. Who knows what terrors exist between its covers (e or paper).
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Old 05-24-2015, 03:37 PM   #11
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The scariest book I've read is It by Stephen King. It has children dealing with weird noises, creepy basements, creepy alleys, creepy sewers, children being taken away and never seen again, a creepy evil clown, etc.
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Old 05-24-2015, 03:44 PM   #12
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I thought IT by Stephen King was really frightening, too. I got it when I was 15 and stopped reading after 50 pages. Picked it up years later. His most frightening and disgusting novel, though, is The Buick. That has some really sick stuff in it.
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Old 05-24-2015, 04:46 PM   #13
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Stephen King has a couple short stories that stayed in my mind afterwards.

All that you love will be carried away.
Harvey's Dream
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Old 05-24-2015, 11:04 PM   #14
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I'm not a fan of horror novels, since I don't like being afraid. Is there general consensus amongst fans about what is the scariest? I would think that it would depend on what a person's deepest fears are, so would differ from person to person.
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Old 05-25-2015, 01:19 AM   #15
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I recently started reading House of Leaves after seeing it recommended in a scary books thread on Reddit after reading a few people claiming they couldn't sleep for days after and nonsense like that I was curious enough to have a look at it.

I'll just say I don't recommend it I found nothing scary at all in it (honestly nothing at all) just an author who likes quoting completely random latin phrases which have no relevance to the silly plot or anything else it felt more like they were just space filling like a kid who was told to write an essay for school or something.

So I'd give that one a big "don't even bother" and don't believe the hype.
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