I have read books that have made me laugh, and cry, but indeed very few books or stories have made me tremble with fear.
I am glad to present you with my horror stars that have instilled terror into my literary world:
1. Children of the Corn. Stephen King, 1977.
This short story by the master of terror is the first “monster story without a monster” I ever read. You know there is a monster, but you never get in touch with it properly. The idea of a way of life ruled by fear and fanaticism, and exerted by children, more than the monster itself, gave me the creeps.
I was lent this book by my best friend (an avid reader himself) when I was 16, after I told him about my fear of the movie. And probably because of that, I started feeling extremely disturbed while reading it, to the point of almost having a stroke when I once was reading late at night and my lap dog unexpectedly jumped onto my bed.
3. 1984. George Orwell, 1949.
I am fully aware that this is no horror book, but a dystopian novel. However, the notion of being deprived of the most essential elements of private life and the ultimate rape of human individualism, more that poverty and war themselves, really shook me up at that time. Even now, the idea of being regarded as nothing more than a sheep in a herd makes me sick