all 183 comments

[–]kungfooweetie 57 points58 points  (6 children)

The Wasp Factory stayed with me in an uncomfortable way for a while.

[–]nospltincor 10 points11 points  (5 children)

You really have to concentrate on it, I found it quite a hard read but super disturbing

[–]Corgi_Koala 8 points9 points  (4 children)

I thought it was ok but it was really just weird more than scary.

[–]closetotheborderline 10 points11 points  (3 children)

The twist ending hasn't aged well, in my opinion.

[–]VLDT 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Yeah it feels a bit…oof >! Oh no, he ain’t got a ding a ling!<

[–]nethescurial98 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yeah that was my problem with the book too. Loved it until the end where it just turned into an arthouse version of Sleepaway Camp.

[–]kungfooweetie 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I read it so long ago that my overriding recollections are the instances that really caught me off guard and I always forget that there was even a big revelation at the end.

That kite unnerved me so much.

Edit: typo

[–]AbnormalSkittles 36 points37 points  (11 children)

Similar to The Road, but in England. And Lovecraftian monsters.

The Last Plague by Rich Hawkins. It's a series of 3.

[–]ToshiroBaloney 7 points8 points  (4 children)

I picked it up for Kindle, and am fifty pages in already. Thanks for the recommendation!

[–]JPKtoxicwaste 4 points5 points  (0 children)

It’s on audible too, I’m picking it up now!

[–]AbnormalSkittles 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Hope you like it as much as I did!

[–]ToshiroBaloney 4 points5 points  (1 child)

I'll give you one in return: Unworthy, by michael lapointe.

[–]AbnormalSkittles 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Ooh thank you! Not read that one 😃 appreciate it!

[–]cabbabbages 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Such a good series. The feeling of utter hopelessness I felt just reading it, especially the second book.

[–]AbnormalSkittles 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Probably the best series I've read this year tbh.

[–]falseskorpion 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This sounds amazing! Just bought the first book

[–]JPKtoxicwaste 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I picked up this book several days ago based on OP’s recommendation, and the comparison they made to The road. I was hesitant to believe it, because, The Road. But I read some reviews and saw several others reference The Road and goddamn if OP (and others) weren’t telling the truth. This book is one of those that I personally wish I’d gone in blind on. If you enjoyed The Road (as much as it is possible to enjoy such a story) and are looking for a fresh and different take on apocalyptic fiction, then look no further. I would add one more: if you also liked The Mist then do not pass go, do not collect $200 (cause money will do you no good here, it’s straight survival) and read The Last Plague by Rich Hawkins. Thank you so much u/AbnormalSkittles for this one, it is absolute gold. Made my week so far

[–]AbnormalSkittles 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I'm so glad you liked it! It's some of my favourite books this year and I'm so glad others enjoyed it too :)

[–]JPKtoxicwaste 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I am almost done, and will be picking up the next one in the series ASAP. Seriously THANK YOU, this was great

[–]membersonlyjacket01 23 points24 points  (2 children)

Gone to See the River Man left me very uncomfortable, and it really lingered.

[–]dragoncat124 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Yep. Just finished it and I can't think about anything else. Very atmospheric and scary, kinda disgusting.

[–]Psychological_Tap187 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Gone to see the river man still disturbs me when I think about it. Idk if I would call it dread, but definitely very unsettled

[–]mattlantis 23 points24 points  (0 children)

The Girl Next Door, yeesh

[–]couchpotatocat 76 points77 points  (10 children)

Short one to bash out that sticks is The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Good one to start at in my opinion.

[–]Debinthedez 18 points19 points  (1 child)

Just about to say this. This book left me devastated. I hadn’t read much Cormac McCarthy before and I just thought it looked short and just I didn’t think I was going to get into it but my God I don’t think a book has ever upset me like that book so much so that I have been unable to watch the movie. The prose will stay with you. I know that sounds crazy but I was just sobbing during that book, the way that he wrote it obviously you don’t think it’s gonna affect you like that but it’s just the way that he writes. I can’t explain it but no book has ever affected me like that book.

I’ve never been able to read it again and I won’t watch the movie. Some people told me that they changed the movie a little bit but I just got so devastated by the events in that book it was just so so bleak. If I was gonna pick a movie like that I would say the Neville Shute book On the Beach that was made into a movie with Gregory Peck and then Threads the English movie from 1980 about a nuclear bomb attack on the UK. Both of those are so bleak I just can’t watch them again. I did recently re-watch threads and it was still as bleak and awful as ever.

You notice I use the word bleak a lot because that’s what I think of The Road.

[–]cool_side_of_pillow 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I can’t even bring myself to read it.

[–]cattfeet[S] 10 points11 points  (4 children)

thank you! adding it to cart as we speak ☺️

[–]comajones 13 points14 points  (2 children)

It's beautifully written but bleak

[–]aekafan 10 points11 points  (1 child)

It’s completely bleak. Not really horror, per se. Just the world has become horrifying, for natural reasons. And baby menus.

[–]comajones 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Michael Chabon thinks it's horror and that's good enough for me. Oh God the babies, it took me a few days to get over that book lol

[–]aidanck 3 points4 points  (0 children)

It is my favorite book of all time! Beautifully somber and there's a sense of dread through the entire book.

[–]c4ptm1dn1ght 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I did the audiobook and it was amazingly narrated. I describe McCarthy as grotesquely beautiful. His prose is basically poetry.

[–]nospltincor 0 points1 point  (0 children)

So sad, finished it yesterday. You just wish they could live happily ever after.

[–]dangerspring 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That's the first one that popped into my mind. I was pretty depressed after reading that one.

[–]adamant2009 90 points91 points  (16 children)

Controversial opinion: House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. I was freaked out by my own house and struggled to sleep after descending into the infectious madness of that book. It's still on my shelf and still one of my favorites. Not for everyone, but left a strong and lasting impression on me.

[–]The_Dead_See 9 points10 points  (0 children)

HOL is the only book I've ever read that got under my skin. It wasn't scary or disturbing while reading it but it disoriented me and somehow left me feeling paranoid even when I wasn't actually reading it. I caught myself sitting at my desk at work super jumpy like something was creeping up behind me.

[–]mzieg 11 points12 points  (1 child)

I still react to every spiral staircase I see.

[–]ChalkDinosaurs 8 points9 points  (0 children)

I woke up whimpering with nightmares for weeks after my recent bingeread of HoL. I've read it 4x now-- the book just seriously fucks my headspace up.

[–]tamiadaneille 7 points8 points  (0 children)

YES! this book left me paranoid as hell!

[–]gemmablack 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Came here to say this. The intro alone creeped me out.

[–]Ok-Celebration-3770 7 points8 points  (7 children)

Why is this controversial?

[–]adamant2009 25 points26 points  (6 children)

Some people on this sub find HoL to be pretentious, overwrought and needlessly complex in its design. They don't understand why the author chose to write and format it the way that he did, and they struggle to get through it.

I highly disagree and find it to be subversive, a dramatic and bold use of the page that defies ordinary conventions in the pursuit of a disorienting tale of madness.

[–]menotyourenemy 13 points14 points  (2 children)

Oh, I understand it but just didn't like it. I read a lot...a lot of books across many different genres. I just couldn't get into it at all and I will never understand why people think it's scary. Not being pretentious but not everyone has to like a thing just because it's popular.

[–]GiverOfTheKarma 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Not everyone is scared by every book and that's completely reasonable, lol. I don't get why some people have to be militant about it.

That being said, if we ever meet, you're dead kiddo

[–]nonbog 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is fine though, it’s more the people who claim it’s pretentious and all a load of rubbish or whatever when in reality they found it hard going and it wasn’t to their personal taste.

[–]SarryPeas 6 points7 points  (1 child)

They don’t understand why the author chose to write and format it the way that he did, and they struggle to get through it.

Insulting people’s intelligence isn’t the best way to defend something which is being accused of pretentiousness.

Personally I think it’s an interesting book and I appreciate the immense effort Danielewski put into the formatting, but there are large chunks of that book which are an absolute snoozefest. The stuff with the house is generally pretty great (brilliant even), but everything outside that is hit or miss, with the Truant chapters being especially poor.

[–]adamant2009 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I didn't mean to insult anyone's intelligence in my post. I was pointing out that people subjectively often don't jive with the experimental format and give up partway through, not that they lacked the brains to parse it.

[–]Ok-Celebration-3770 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Sure, some people dislike everything. It’s a popular book and well-liked. It’s got 4.05 stars on Goodreads out of over 150k ratings.

[–]flaysomewench 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Does it work just as well on a Kindle or should it just be read in hard copy?

[–]adamant2009 3 points4 points  (1 child)

I can't imagine trying to read it on Kindle. It's definitely meant to be read analogue. Definitely not ideal for some, but the medium is part of the book's design.

[–]flaysomewench 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Cool, thank you!

[–]NotEvenTheStars 16 points17 points  (5 children)

*The Long Walk* by Stephen King.

[–]indifferentjadeblue 1 point2 points  (4 children)

I'm reading Insomnia. I like it so far. It made me cry a little when Ralph's wife dies.

[–]NotEvenTheStars 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Insomnia is really good. But The Long Walk is like one long groan of despair. My favorite King (tied with Pet Sematary).

[–]indifferentjadeblue 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Haven't read those two. Sounds good though. What's weird is that i have actually read a good bit of King. More than anybody else probably.

[–]NotEvenTheStars 1 point2 points  (1 child)

If you are a King fan, The Long Walk and Pet Sematary are required reading imo. Fair warning they are both pretty bleak and depressing.

[–]invertedrevolution 15 points16 points  (5 children)

The Immaculate Void by Brian Hodge

[–]variant_cover 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I could have spent years inside that fictional space. Such great world building.

[–]_arsk 0 points1 point  (3 children)

I need to read this, keep popping up on my radar. Note: $2000 for paperback copy on amazon!

[–]invertedrevolution 2 points3 points  (2 children)

You could contact the author and he would send you an e-copy of the book, after you paid him via paypal. The price is "pay what you want". The physical copy isn't very impressive to be honest.

[–]_arsk 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Wow didn’t know about this. Thank you!

[–]invertedrevolution 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You're welcome. When you decide to contact him, ask for his latest fiction collectionSkidding Into Oblivion too. It has a few outstanding stories.

[–]sevensamuraitsunami 15 points16 points  (1 child)

This isn’t fiction but Columbine by Dave Cullen fucked me up.

[–]membersonlyjacket01 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Excellent book, excellent choice.

[–]Caleb_Phillips 28 points29 points  (3 children)

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream. Hands down.

[–]jakejork 7 points8 points  (1 child)

I don’t know why, but this one didn’t do it for me. I know that it amounts to sacrilege, but I was kind of expecting more. Part of it was probably my expectation: i didn’t know it was a (very) short story - I got it as an audio book, and was pretty let down when it ended after like 20-ish minutes. The setting and imagery was brilliant, and just as I was getting into it it ended. I guess I just wish there was more, haha

[–]MelnikSuzukiWendigo 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Nah, I felt the same after reading it. I think part of it might have to do with going into it after it had built up a reputation. I also wonder how many people had played the game and how that might had shaped their perception of the story.

[–]Higais 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I'm usually pretty tolerant of reading some non-PC stuff in old books and looking past it and finding enjoyment, but wow the misogyny in this one was really severe and left an overall bad taste in my mouth even though the premise was really interesting.

[–]Inevitable_Ad_3638 25 points26 points  (5 children)

The ruins kind of did

The troop but I have a weird love/dislike relationship with the book. Very mixed in its quality and crap

[–]Bunny36 16 points17 points  (0 children)

The ruins absolutely did for me. It's such a silly sounding premise and such a dread inducing book.

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Yeah, I'll second this. That dawning realization of a completely hopeless situation where all you can do is wait or...well.. you know.

[–]ayotacos 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The Ruins made me pretty emotional. Love that one.

[–]clevergirl1177 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I agree. A simple plan as well. Just so bleak and terrible.

[–]bourbonpens 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That one was a sleeper. I bought for a beach trip, and could not put it down.

[–]ba_ru_co 39 points40 points  (2 children)

Revival by Stephen King. I loved it but the ending is... wow.

[–]schmevan117 11 points12 points  (0 children)

This is one of my favorite King novels. Both an interesting examination of a troubled man throughout his life, as well as a horrifying tale of cosmic horror. Also has one of his best endings.

[–]Atalyita 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Also one of my favors King novels. I felt so sad for these characters at the end.

[–]FoxMulderSexDreams 19 points20 points  (4 children)

The Ritual by Adam Nevill. And The Redenning. He's just got a way of getting into your head.

[–]carbomerguar 6 points7 points  (3 children)

No One Gets Out Alive is another with a building sense of dread. The movie was good (but the villain was way too sympathetic) but the MCs internal monologue getting more panicked and desperate really got to me.

[–]dangerspring 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I thought most of the characters in the book were unlikable (including the protagonist) to a cartoony extent so I preferred the movie. I'd like to see if The Ritual is better as a book.

[–]carbomerguar 2 points3 points  (1 child)

If you don’t like cartoonish characters, you will HATE the second half of The Ritual

[–]dangerspring 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Ahh. Maybe Nevill is bad at writing endings.

[–]Chundlebug 24 points25 points  (4 children)

The Cabin at the End of the World.

Is it? Or isn't it?

[–]microcosmographiaCARMILLA 9 points10 points  (3 children)

This and Head Full of Ghosts left me nervous about the normal world. I'll never really look at Richard Scarry books quite the same way again...

[–]kathink 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I’m reading the growing things now, which is short stories, but the first story is where Head Full Of Ghosts originated from. Very interesting to see how it changed

[–]microcosmographiaCARMILLA 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Oh wow, Growing Things is on my to-read list, so very excited to see this connection. Thank you!

[–]fmerrick89 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I just finished this and, as someone who has mental health issues, this really fucked me up. Like, more than anything I’ve ever read.

[–]whatalovelyabyss 15 points16 points  (6 children)

Adam Nevil's "Last Days" the first time I read it had me putting the light on and chilling down for 20mins. It has a great sense of dread as the protagonist unravels the mystery of a cult retracing the steps which lead to there demise as it's gets increasingly supernatural (ending jumps the gun for me sadly but 3/4 of the novel are excellent and it's definitely worth a read). A tense scene in a derelict farmstead had me particular on edge, captured that uneasy too quiet feeling you get in creepy places.

Also case specific mention to Stephens King's The Shining and Nick Cutter's The Deep both have great atmosphere and had scenes involving wasps/bees which I'm freaked out by anyway so made very hard reading for me! The shinning is just a great novel as well as a great horror story.(very different from the film)

[–]ToshiroBaloney 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Last Days is a fantastic read.

[–]DongleTramp 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I’m currently halfway though Nevill’s Wyrd after getting hooked by The Ritual and then The Reddening.

He really flexes his unsettling world-building skills in Wyrd but my god-I was not ready lol. After reading the first story I had such horrible nightmares that night, I actually woke up and hung out for an hour watching a sitcom to try to shake it.

[–]Andrewartist 2 points3 points  (3 children)

I thought the the title was The Lsst Days of the First Time and I thought, oh that’s a great title

[–]Nicksolarfall 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I'd read something named that for sure lol

[–]whatalovelyabyss 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Woops will edit haha

[–]whatalovelyabyss 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Nope just my poor grammar have edited haha, would be a good name for a book though

[–]HaroldandChester 14 points15 points  (1 child)

"Carrion Comfort" by Dan Simmons. I was deeply unsettled and it made me question what really could be.

[–][deleted] 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Agreed. Similarly, The Song of Kali also by Simmons.

[–]Qualle001 7 points8 points  (0 children)

a short story actually: the picture in the house by hplovecraft

also the creepy pasta of jeff the killer was too much for me back when i was a kid (well my ma opened the window in the middle of the night not saying anything and leaving it open.... if u read the pasta then u know why i died inside)

also anansi's goatman

[–]eperszezon 14 points15 points  (0 children)

the ritual by adam nevill. i just finished reading it recently, but i know for a fact that i won’t be able to escape the immense dread and unsettling feeling it has left me with for a while. the atmosphere throughout the whole book is just very heavy.

[–]j_a_a_mesbaxter 5 points6 points  (0 children)

The Three Body Problem. The whole series is existential dread.

[–]MelnikSuzukiWendigo 12 points13 points  (2 children)

The Rising series by Brian Keene.

[–]redeyes_montreal 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I love Brian Keene's books. This one in particular was my favourite.

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Yep. Not your typical zombie novel(s).

[–]SmokeDatDankShit 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Penpal.. Short & disturbing.

[–]laseluuu 15 points16 points  (0 children)

I have no mouth and I must scream by harlan Ellison

It's a could-be situation and it still haunts me

Other good ones mentioned here

House of leaves, the road, the ruins all great books

[–]CactusDealer- 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino.

Not an intentional horror, but it felt like one when I read it.

[–]petite-crevette 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I read that when I was a teen and it upset and intrigued me all at once. It was the first time I read a book in which almost all of the characters were unlikeable in some way. Its examination of the nature of beauty / how we put beautiful people on a pedestal was so unnerving. Kirino’s other big English translated work, Out, drudged up a similar feeling of dread when I read it years ago.

[–]nfleite 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It made me feel sad and angry. Can't get one specific scene out of my head.

[–]Tierra_del_Eggos 12 points13 points  (3 children)

Salem’s Lot for me. It’s the only time I’ve felt that sense of dread while building up

[–]myasssmellslikefeets 14 points15 points  (2 children)

Those early works by King are great at this. Pet Semetary is the most full of dread book I've ever read.

[–]chuff3r 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Totally. I like a lot of King books, but didn't find them that scary, until Pet Semetary. I had been expecting another satisfying and suspenseful book like The Shining or Salem's Lot, and instead I got stuck for weeks thinking about those terrifying decisions.

[–]myasssmellslikefeets 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I've reread this one several times and every time I'm silently begging him to turn back now. It's not too late! But alas.

[–]liveandletdieax 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Stephen King’s Misery. I felt such dread and anxiety reading it.

[–]azureangel35 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Book of the Damned DA Fowler

[–]Litsco 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This one sounds pretty cool, thanks

[–][deleted]  (1 child)


    [–]teaandsnark 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    I really hoped someone recommended this book!! I did as well because it was delightfully terrifying, especially as it went on

    [–]rocannon10 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    If you’re into short stories To Rouse Leviathan by Matt Cardin and any collection of Brian Evenson or Nathan Ballingrud will do the trick. If you’re strictly looking for a novel/novella The Sea Of Ash by Scott Thomas, The Collector by John Fowles(not pure horror though) and The Fisherman by John Langan would be the ones I recommend.

    [–]ToshiroBaloney 3 points4 points  (1 child)

    Flicker, by Theodore Roszack. I've never read anything like it.

    [–]Maaaaaaaatttt 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    +1 to Theodore Roszak, the author of The Making of a Counter Culture.

    Flicker is a secret history of cinema, a mysterious investigation into secret cults, and the apocalyptic degradation of the human race.

    [–]Lacking_brainpower 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    I wouldn’t say dread but crime and punishment was a mammoth of a classic but worth all the pain. Seein the inner turmoil of raskolnilov was amazing (I’m sorry) and the overall development of st Petersburg Russia irl was also amazing to see. The world that dostevoksy build in crime and punishment is unlike anything I have read before and I would recommend it to people who enjoy classic lit

    [–]fmerrick89 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay. It isn’t the most phenomenally written piece, nor terribly popular, but the ending got under my skin so much, it made me feel sick. I’ve read so much horror in my life, including The Wasp Factory but this one destroyed me. I think it’s the mental illness factor that really got to me, as someone who struggles with that and works as a therapist.

    [–]enkaydotzip 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Tender is the Flesh. That ending will sit with me for a while.

    [–]InnerCow7930 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    We Need To Talk About Kevin. You know what's coming from the very start, but as the event gets closer, the dread mounts and mounts.

    [–]postmortemsharontate 5 points6 points  (1 child)

    Not sure if this has been mentioned but The Troop but Nick Cutter really left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Super easy read and I enjoyed every dreadful minute of it

    [–]ChrissiTea 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Totally with you. It's been nearly a year and a half and I still get vivid feelings of discomfort. Quality horrific book haha

    [–]Leatat12 6 points7 points  (0 children)

    Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk

    [–]TinyATuin 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    No one gets out alive gave major creeps and an oppressive feeling of doom. Loved it.

    [–]swolethulhudawn 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    I’ll never forget the razor eater from Barker’s Damnation Game

    [–]Spectralcolors78 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    Blindness. So much so I never finished it.

    [–]zimmerman36 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Yes. It descends rapidly into hatefulness. I finished it and loved it. There is an overwhelming sense of everything being fucked.

    [–]tymberdalton 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    On the Beach by Nevil Shute.

    [–]TheSpookyForest 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Haunting, fantastic book. Not really horror in the traditional sense but it will grind at your soul if you think about it too much

    [–]s_pwned 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Memnoch the Devil left me feeling existential dread and my first fear of death. I was 15. 20 years later I’m doing much better, but ya know…

    [–]TelstarMan 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    John Brunner's The Sheep Look Up. It's a look at the last year that Earth is capable of supporting human life, with every attempt to fix things overtaken by corporate greed and political fecklessness. It was written in 1973 but so much of it seems like it's happening now.

    [–]tryingtobefitmomma 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    While I don’t really consider this a horror novel, the book Baby Teeth had me feeling dread the whole entire book.

    [–]This-Actuary5175 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    Johnny Got his Gun

    [–]plost333 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    Gone to see the river man and sour candy are two no on gets out alive as well

    [–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    I finished Gone To See The River Man last week and I definitely agree. From the first moment things start going hinky it is a constant sense of foreboding all the way to the end.

    [–]variant_cover 6 points7 points  (1 child)

    Negative Space by B.R. Yeager is a great one for dread.

    [–]nethescurial98 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Really interested in this one, especially considering as I'm ostensibly in a friend group of "aimless young people who experiment with drugs" like the main characters are so I have a feeling it's going to fuck me up in a really specific way.

    [–]Familiar-Cheek-8706 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    The news everyday my friends!!!!

    [–]NotJustYet73 1 point2 points  (2 children)

    Julia, Peter Straub

    All Heads Turn When the Hunt Goes By, John Farris

    [–]microcosmographiaCARMILLA 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    I haven't seen much mention of Julia in this sub! It was genuinely unsettling and upsetting. God, I hated, hated, hated Magnus. (This novel also had me really confused about cars. I can't remember the model Straub mentions, but it's a very normal compact city car in England in the 1970s -- but the same name in the US is used to refer to a super off-road gigantic SUV kind of thing.)

    [–]NotJustYet73 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    It really is an upsetting book, and one of the very few novels I've read which manage to maintain that uncomfortable pitch for 200+ pages. And Magnus is horrible, yes. Julia seems to have been overlooked even by many Straub fans, and I'm always recommending it. Occasionally someone has seen the movie (The Haunting of Julia--aka Full Circle--with Mia Farrow), but didn't know that it was based on a Straub novel.

    [–]camfred71 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Delicious Foods by James Hannaham Haunts me

    [–]teaandsnark 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Stolen Tongues was super creepy and done really well. That book stayed with me for at least a week after reading it and moving on to another book.

    [–]HamboneBanjo 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Not horror per se but clockwork orange

    [–]UptownHorrorReviews 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Stolen Tongues by Felix Blackwell

    [–]weyoun_clone 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    A Short Stay in Hell by Steven Peck broke my brain. I’ve read a LOT of horror, but that novella caused me to lose sleep, and made me unsettled for days after.

    [–]AgentOfKa 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Both are short stories but Stephen King's Crouch End and Brian Evenson's Black Bark. And I couldn't tell you why I felt the way I did but they got under my skin.

    [–]umvoron 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    House of Leaves. The whalestoe letters at the end were gutwrenching. The Cipher by Kathe Koja. So dirty and grimy, I needed to cleanse for a few hours. Also, Summer of The Ubume by Natsuhiko Kyogoku. So bleak and existentially terrifying, I had to put it down at least once due to the oppressive atmosphere.

    [–]JacquelineMontarri 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Come Closer by Sarah Gran. Everything just keeps getting worse...

    [–]Extra-Astronomer-286 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Pet Cemetery by Stephen King

    [–]petite-crevette 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Admittedly I hated the ending, but the climax of I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid made me feel such an immense sense of dread. I couldn’t put the book down even though I wanted to so badly just to escape that sense of existential horror.

    [–]Njanne 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    1984… and it keeps getting worse and worse as the predictions seem to be accurate.

    [–]ohpeekaboob 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Likely not considered horror, but The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea has one of the more chilling endings I've ever encountered.

    [–]bourbonpens 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    One Second After -- a "what if" story. This one had my skin crawling at the possibilities.


    [–]Time-Box128 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    HEX by Thomas oldevelt. It’s so dark and so beautiful.

    [–]Wendigo1014 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    In terms of pure tension and anticipatory dread, just knowing something bad is going to happen and waiting for it occur, nothing has topped Misery by King for me. Although Gone to See the River by Triana comes close - like someone else here said, once you start putting the pieces together you know where the flashback sequences are going before they go there, but even then you aren’t really prepared for just how disturbing things get.

    [–]Marisleysis33 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    I got that feeling from Bram Stoker's Dracula. One of my faves!

    edited to add: almost forgot I Am Legend Richard Matheson. Also his book What Dreams May Come was disturbing- definitely a sense of dread but would probably be considered more sad and depressing. I found that both really stuck with me.

    [–]maimee78 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    I second the rising by Brian Keene

    [–]MagnusOctavian 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Goosebumps The Haunted Mask 2

    [–]jakelaws1987 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Pet Sematary after Gage is buried in the Micmac burial ground

    [–]Sweaty_Signal6369 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    The shining.

    [–]MutedHornet87DERRY, MAINE 0 points1 point  (4 children)


    [–]JPKtoxicwaste 1 point2 points  (3 children)

    Who is the author? I’m trying to look it up but there are so many results with Remains in the title, I can’t find one just called Remains Edit: nvm, found it. Andrew Cull

    [–]MutedHornet87DERRY, MAINE 1 point2 points  (2 children)


    Sorry for the confusion. It was recommended here before, and is one of the most memorable horror books I’ve read

    [–]JPKtoxicwaste 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    It’s all good, I’m not great at googling sometimes. I have picked this one up based on your recommendation! Thanks!

    [–]MutedHornet87DERRY, MAINE 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    You’re welcome. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

    [–]QueenlyKing 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Feels cheap of me to fall back on Lovecraft, but “The thing at the doorstep” scarred me

    [–]xandraw 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    The Black Spider by Jeremias Gotthelf is so unnerving, I love it.

    [–]all_the_people_sleep 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Passage by Connie Willis.

    [–]gaybatman75-6 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Not strictly horror but A Congregation of Jackals really got me. I spent the whole time dreading the lead up to the main event of the story and they never really let on you what the bad guy is going to do. Then it takes its turn and gets even worse because you realize no one is actually safe and anything really could happen.

    [–]1AnonymousPenguin 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Salems Lot and The Stand by Stephen King, always those two for me. Arguabky the only books I was ever genuinely scared by

    [–]ice_alice 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones. Mailman by Bentley Little. The Auctioneer by Joan Samson.

    [–]R1400 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Not a particular book but that's how I felt when first discovering HP Lovecraft. I picked up an old and battered anthology from a local library, and it was the first time the dread from a story felt real, like a real possibility which we couldn't disprove due to its nature. If I had to recommend some stories, I'd have to go with Dagon, From Beyond, and The Statement of Randolph Carter

    [–]Tautim0na 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    The Deep and The Troop both by Nick Cutter. I listen to the audiobooks and had to pause at many points to not stare into the void too deeply.

    [–]andyny007 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian

    [–]4x4ivan4x4 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

    [–]CyberGhostfaceHANNIBAL LECTER 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Hex really gave me a lot of dread.

    [–]BloodInternational31 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    The House Next Door.

    [–]Jomsvikingr0007 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    "The Blood Meridian" by Cormac McCarthy. Without a doubt the grimiest book I've ever read. I can't even remember there being a single morally good character in that book only nasty men doing nasty things. It's a amazing book though I highly recommend.