5 of the scariest books ever written, according to BCPL Staff

Looking for a good scare? Want to shiver and shake and tremble with fear? According to 5 BCPL staff members, the books below are the scariest they’ve ever read!

1.Youth Services Associate Chelsea Swinford-Johantges says, “It isn’t a traditional horror story, but Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy disturbed me so much that I stopped reading it and dropped the class that assigned it. With an eloquence few authors are capable of, McCarthy tells the tale of a runaway teen navigating the border between Texas and Mexico in the mid-1800s. Although the book is beautifully written, the violence and depravity it describes are just too much for me. I’ve always wanted to give it another shot since it’s considered one of the greatest American novels of all time, but I still have nightmares of carnage in the desert. If your horror preference is blood and gore, Blood Meridian will definitely scratch the itch.”

2. Teresa Sayers Collection Development Manager shared, “Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi is the story of Charles Manson, his “family” of followers, and the murders they committed in the late 1960s. I read this book when I was in college. It terrified me to think that these seemingly normal young people could be brainwashed to perform such atrocities! The pictures in the book made quite an impression on me – especially the ones of Charles Mason. He seemed to have this crazy, hypnotic, and demonic look in his eyes! This book terrified me, but it also turned me into a true crime book reader.”


3. According to Early Literacy Specialist Ginger Stapp, “The Ocean at the End of the
by Neil Gaiman
is the scariest book I’ve read in recent memory, keeping in mind that I’m a big chicken who doesn’t really like scary books or media. The protagonist is a child who lives near mysterious neighbors, one of whom is a playmate.  He and the playmate get into a dangerous situation dealing with parallel dimensions, for lack of a better word, and one of the beings slips out with him and causes him great trouble. I don’t want to give much away because it’s a terrific story. I can’t stop thinking about the antagonist in the book, and I can still visualize her in my mind as soon as I thought of the book.  I listened to it over a year ago and can’t get it out of my mind.  Gaiman is a master of horror that sucks you in and doesn’t let you go easily.”

4. Of course one of these books would have to be by the master of horror, Stephen King! Public Service Associate Karen Helmle says, “I read Salem’s Lot by Stephen King and the book terrified me! The scene where the younger brother who was turned into a vampire, is floating outside the 2nd story window of his older brother’s room asking to be let in, is still the single most terrifying scene. I had a dream after reading that passage of the same thing happening to me. I imagined vampires in my car at night sitting behind me! It is the one story that has stayed with me for a lifetime. I was in 8th grade when I read the book and I’m still scared of vampires to this day!!!!”


5. Community Events Liaison Micha O’Connor says, “You, by Caroline Kepnes scared me because it made me aware of how much information we put out there about ourselves – our digital footprint – and how it is so easy for someone to get this information and stalk us. Joe, a bookstore clerk, meets the girl of his dreams when she comes into his shop.  He saves the credit card receipt with her name Guinevere Beck, or Beck, for short.  What follows is a terrifying glimpse into the mind of a stalker, as Joe talks the reader through his madness.  Positioning himself as her boyfriend, he eliminates those closest to Beck, leaving her all to himself.  This book kept me up all night!



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Go to www.bcpl.org/digital to get started and scroll down to Mango.
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Below is the complete list of Mango language classes: