The following have stood the test of time and frighten us as much today as when they were first written:
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818)
This is often cited as the first horror novel ever written as well as the first science fiction novel. Dr. Frankenstein's monster is a legendary character of the horror genre. It is a literary masterpiece that is more disturbing and gothic than outright scary. It's what happens when humankind foolishly tries to create life and conquer nature.
Turn of the Screw by Henry James (1898)
Some call this the most sophisticated ghost story ever written. Two small children on their uncle's estate are put in the care of a young governess. Everything is going well until the uncle's servant and the previous governess return from the dead to collect the souls of the children.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (1847)
Driven mad by his thwarted love, Heathcliff seeks to destroy the Linton and Earnshaw families after the death of his beloved Catherine. Revenge, however, cannot calm the deluded Heathcliff who is forever haunted by Catherine's ghost at Wuthering Heights.
Tales of Terror and Mystery by Arthur Conan Doyle (1922)
Thirteen stories by the famous creator of Sherlock Holmes move from factual beginnings to climaxes of fear, puzzlement, and, sometimes, horror.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (1938)
A classic novel of romantic suspense finds the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter entering the home of her mysterious and enigmatic new husband and learning the story of the house's first mistress, to whom the sinister housekeeper is unnaturally devoted.
Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (1959)
An anthropologist conducts an unusual research project in a reputedly haunted house. This novel is one of Stephen King's favorites, and he cites it as being a big influence on his novel The Shining.
Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897)
Having discovered the double identity of the wealthy Transylvanian nobleman, Count Dracula, a small group of people vow to rid the world of the evil vampire. Dracula was the beginning, and the reason why vampires are, and always will be, popular icons of the horror genre.
The Shining by Stephen King (1977)
This novel develops around the little boy, Danny, and his talent of "shining," his telepathic ability to read minds, see the future, and converse with a spiritual guide he calls Tony. Only Stephen King could make his readers afraid to ever again walk by a fire hose in a hotel hallway.
The Exorcist by William Blatty (1971)
A Jesuit priest, unable to find plausible explanations for an eleven-year-old's strange behavior, begins to suspect demonic possession. Is it really possession, or symptoms of mental illness, or an illustration of the dichotomy of religion versus science? It's up to the reader!
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886)
In 19th century London, Dr. Jekyll performs an experiment in which he attempts to separate his pure, good side from his dark, evil qualities. He succeeds and splits his personality in two, but his other half is the evil Mr. Hyde. This is the classic tale of a split personality.
HAPPY HAUNTED READING!!!!!!!