The month of October is prime time for horror movies and books. Some classic horror movies have retained their popularity throughout the years because they scare the pants off of everyone that watches them, but many people do not know that the horror books they are based on are way scarier than their movies. Here are three horror books to read that are guaranteed to scare you more than their movies did.
IT by Stephen King
Tim Curry’s portrayal of Pennywise the clown in “IT” made thousands of adults rethink how scary clowns really are. The terrifying masterpiece follows seven kids who set out to fight an evil demon posing as the child killing clown Pennywise. The movie shows the myriad ways that children can be lured away by a stranger who seems harmless and the danger those kids encounter once they are alone with a true predator.
The book, released in 1986, completely explores the horrors that the movie glosses over, adding details to the kids’ traumas that are sure to send a shiver down your spine. The books also includes a number of terrifying incidents that didn’t make it to the big screen, such as one child’s fearsome encounter with an abandoned refrigerator in the woods. The horror book was the best selling book in the United States the year it was released, selling more than a million first-run copies.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
The movie based on the book The Haunting of Hill House, simply titled “The Haunting,” follows a group of people who arrive at Hill House for a sleep study conducted by Dr. Marrow (Liam Neeson), only to find that it is actually an experiment in fear. As the group begins to learn the truth about the house and its former owner, they find that they must escape the house before they are all killed by the malevolent spirits inside.
The book, released in 1959, focuses more on true terror and suspense than on descriptive images of horrifying incidents. Many of the haunting episodes in the book are described vaguely, letting the readers rely on their imagination to fill in the blanks. The book was named one of the best literary ghost stories of the 20th century and was a finalist for the National Book Award.
The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
Anthony Hopkins made Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the villain of the Oscar-winning Silence of the Lambs, a household name. His portrayal of the brilliant, psychotic cannibal captivated audiences worldwide and showed them how scary a highly intelligent psychopath could be.
The horror book that the movie is based on quickly became an international best seller after its release. The book further explores the relationship between Dr. Lecter and FBI agent Clarice Starling and has more clues and twists than the movie adaptation. Published in 1988, the book won the Bram Stoker Award for best novel that year and the Anthony Award in the same category the following year. It was also nominated for the World Fantasy Award in 1989.