Creepy

5 Classic Horror Novels That Will Still Haunt You Even Today

There is something to love about Gothic stories—the gloomy atmosphere, the chilling suspense, and the goosebumps that start at the back of your neck but over time slowly make their way down your arms as you frantically flip from page to page. And while the definition of scary changes from person to person, we can all agree that the most frightening things are ones that go bump in the night, unseen. For some, that may be haunted houses. For others, that may be ghosts. For me, that is demonic babies. Whatever it is that gives you the heebie-jeebies, this eccentric list has them all.

Without further ado, I present to you a list of the top 5 classic horror novels that will be sure to keep you on the edge of your seat;

Frankenstein by Mary Shelly (1818)

“To examine the causes of life, we must first have recourse to death.”

A young distraught doctor and his search for the cure to death, what could possibly go wrong? Well, if you’re ever so much as heard the tale of Frankenstein then you already know that when it comes to unorthodox scientific experiments…anything can go wrong. Dr. Frankenstein has done it! He has found the cure to death. He should be thrilled. Unfortunately for the monster, the doctor is anything but. Rejected by his creator, the monster swears revenge.

Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897)

“Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain.”

Dracula has gone down in history as one of the best horror novels to date and while Stoker did not invent the vampire, it’s safe to say that Count Dracula has become the world’s greatest undead icon. What begins with an English lawyer’s attempt to help Dracula move from Transylvania to England, ends with Dracula’s gruesome demise led by the famous Van Helsing. You can’t just go around trying to turn people into the undead ladies and gentlemen, there will be consequences.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (1959)

“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.”

It is no surprise why The Haunting of Hill House became an instant hit with Netflix bingers everywhere. This story is ten different levels of creepy. But don’t let this Netflix series confuse you, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House novel is slightly different and even more unnerving. When Dr. Montague and his team decide to investigate the reports of paranormal activity going on inside of Hill House, it seemed if their stay was destined to only be a few spooky encounters. What no had expected was the houses plan to make one of them its very own.

The Turn of The Screw by Henry James (1898)

“The story had held us, round the fire, sufficiently breathless, but except the obvious remark that it was gruesome, as, on Christmas Eve in an old house, a strange tale should essentially be…”

Turn of the Screw begins innocently enough with the governess arriving at a magnificent, English country home ready to take on her new job as the live-in nanny. What seemed like an easy enough job quickly turned into a futile attempt at protecting the children from malevolent spirits who are believed to be the ghosts of employees past. This novella is perfect if you’re looking for a quick, chilling read.

Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin (1967)

“The thing to do was kill it. Obviously.”

Is there anything scarier than believing that something wrong with your baby? As a mother myself, it’s the literal worst. Unfortunately for Rosemary, she is trapped in a satanic nightmare. Rosemary believes her baby is not of this world. When her husband makes his big break on Broadway and her obsessed neighbors begin to take over her life, who can she turn to?

Related

"I like my coffee with cream and my literature with optimism." Follow Bethany on Instagram or read more articles from Bethany on Thought Catalog.