Have you ever been reading a really, really scary book, and wondered why you’re scaring yourself, or putting yourself through what can often be a harrowing situation?

Much like when watching a horror film that starts to get a little too scary, some horror books leave readers wondering what the point is! So, in the spirit of jump scares and the things that go bump in the night, let’s have a look at just some of the reasons why we like to curl up with a terrifying novel and get immersed in a world of frights!

We’ll also have a look at a few of the types of books that are classed as the ‘scariest’ (naturally, this is very subjective, but the three books we’ve listed certainly can’t be argued about when it comes to their terrifying nature).

Why do we read scary books?

Curiosity surrounding fear

Our fear is a very primal feeling, something which kept us safe from our very beginnings. But fear is also a driving force in our nature. Fear can be used for intimidation, can keep us from doing things we shouldn’t, and is naturally something we wonder about.

Reading scary books allows us seek out fear in a safe environment, to test our reactions and to see how far we can push our own limits of fear.

3 of the scariest books available today

1. House of Leaves

House of leaves is one of those books that is a slow burner. It’s a slow descent into madness, and, as a reader, you feel every slip and fall of the descent on the way down.

House of leaves has readers questioning their reality, being scared of inanimate objects, and slaving over the complex nature of the novel. Certainly one to look out for.

2. Dracula

Considering that this was a novel published at the tail-end of the 19th century, it still holds up as a bone-chilling book. Just imagine what readers were thinking when it was initially published!

3. Pet Sematary

Stephen King was always going to be on this little list! Whilst we could put any book on here, Pet Sematary stands out because it plays on our primal fears of loss. Don’t read this one in the dark.

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