Home alone? All the books you shouldn't read

Category: News

In the spirit of Halloween I asked the team to answer the following question:

What book would you never read alone in an empty house?

Don’t forget to look below for your chance to win two of our most terrifying reads… 

 Laura: I have started Misery by Stephen King many times. I have only ever finished it once, in broad daylight, in a park full of people. My reason for this was simple. Passers-by could come to my aid should Annie Wilkes decide to jump out from behind a tree and smash a typewriter over my legs before dragging me off into the wilderness. When reading Misery you cannot help but picture the film. But I urge you to read the book. It is the kind of read that has you on the edge of your seat from start to finish as obsessive fan Annie flits between the personas of, carer, tormentor and would-be murderer to author Paul Sheldon. The build-up of suspense between Annie and Paul is staggering and when you reach the end I guarantee that your heart will be in your mouth.

Helen: Anything by Neil White! I love Neil’s books, I really do, but he sure does know how to set up a gruesome murder scene. He’s a master of suspense, and as his killers stalk their victims, you know that someone’s about to meet a seriously sticky end.

I’m currently working on his new book, Beyond Evil, and it’s opening scene stayed with me long into the dark October nights. Imagine, if you will, the victim tied to a bed. Behind him, a wall daubed in his own blood. And his body, with blood, guts, bones and sinew on show to the world, after having had a full autopsy carried out on it. Whilst he was still alive…

Chilling? Gruesome? Oh yes. But I couldn’t wait to find out who was behind it all. Brilliant stuff.

prettylittlethingsHannah: When I’m not checking every single cupboard and wardrobe in the house for skulking murderers, double-checking under my bed for the odd rapist, closing the curtains tight so that the lone eye of a madman can’t peep through, and convincing myself that I can hear breathing coming from underneath my bed, I am reading crime and thriller fiction. I can’t help it, I’m obsessed, and nothing will dissuade me from plunging into the latest in the genre.

For me, the realer the scenario, the more terrifying it is. In Pretty Little Things, the murderer’s teenage victims are groomed online. But he doesn’t only talk to them, he watches them through their webcams. And what do I see when I lift my head from the page? The blinking eye of my web cam, staring me full in the face. Needless to say, it has remained in a locked drawer ever since.

Natasha: I once tried to read Stephen King’s It as a teenager, and by the time the infamous drain scene was over I was so scared that I gave the book away. I think I may attempt to read it again, but never in an empty house!

Sarah: After years of reading crime and horror novels I seem to be pretty hardened to all but the most vile tales. However, nostalgia is a powerful thing, and the books that really scare me are the ones I read as a twelve or thirteen year old, when I went through a massive Stephen King phase. If I cast my mind back to autumn nights holed up in my attic bedroom with the rain lashing against the window and recall the terrifying clown from IT, or the undead creatures from Pet Sematary, I still get that hairs going up on the back of my neck feeling…

herlastscream066104-fc3dTo celebrate the nights drawing in, we’re giving away two of our scariest reads: Jack Kerley’s Her Last Scream and Sorry by Zoran Drvenkar. To enter, just comment to let us know which book you would never read alone in an empty house and the best answers will win a copy of both books! We’ve got 5 sets to give away, so get writing!

17 thoughts on “Home alone? All the books you shouldn't read

  1. The Crucifix Killer by Chris Carter; it’s scary the lengths people will go to for revenge and to taunt people! This book had my heart thumping late into the night!

  2. Although not a book per se, try reading “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe, by yourself, by candlelight. Every groan and crack as the house settles and even the log spluttering in the fire brings a new tingle to the spine.

  3. It has to be Dennis Wheatleys “The Devil Rides Out” the only book that I have had to leave the light on when I read it.

  4. carrie
    Carrie is American author Stephen King’s first published novel, released in 1974…..this book and the film always gives me the creeps,weird yet very scarey,addictive and spooky

  5. I sat up and read The Shining by Stephen King in one overnight sitting and it gave me the heebie jeebies for weeks afterwards.

  6. Never, ever read The Apprentice by Tess Gerritsen when you’re home alone. I did and it scared me to my very core and I can still recall the feeling of fear I had whilst reading it almost 10 years later. Such a chilling tale that followed up on The Surgeon’s awesome story. I’ve only read a handful of books that have stayed with me after reading and this was one. Scary – definitely. Recommend it? ABSOLUTELY.

  7. I still can’t read Pet Cemetery – I started reading it when I was younger and its the only book of Stephen King’s that I haven’t been able to finish. Even now it makes me feel ill – mission accomplished for Mr King methinks!!!

  8. I’d never read “The Shining” in an empty house. With the sense of terror pervading throughout, the Overlook Hotel is more like another character in the story than just a building. I think I’d be afraid that if I turned the page, it would be covered with “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”!

  9. “The Exorcist” every time! To lose control is frightening, to lose control to another person is scary, to lose control to the devil is terrifying!!

  10. Forget the movie, tame by comparison: THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS by Thomas Harris gave me the heebie jeebies. It chilled my very marrow. I threw the book in the freezer & brought it out only in broad daylight.

  11. I love Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, but I don’t think I’d read it alone again. She’s a master of creating eerie settings and making you doubt everything.

  12. Closer by Stephen King

    I enjoyed it at the time but it is hard to get it out of your mind so need company to distract me.

  13. the exorcist it took me years to get past the cover as all the hype surrounding the film etc had me scared stiff…. and it lived up to its hype

  14. Dracula by Bram Stoker or Descent into the Maelstrom by Edgar Allan Poe. I wouldn’t recommend reading either of these without plenty of lights on either. Both guaranteed to creep you out.

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