back to top

17 Non-Fiction Books That Will Freak You The Fuck Out

Truth is scarier than fiction.

Posted on

We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community which non-fictions books seriously gave them the creeps. Here are some of the best responses...

We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.

1. People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Parry

Amazon

"Detailed, gripping, and utterly terrifying in many different ways. You'll genuinely fear for anyone you know who's living alone in a foreign country. I completely identified with the powerlessness of the victim's family in the face of such horrific violence, bureaucratic red-tape, and ill-equipped investigative procedure."

product1977

Get it on Amazon

Advertisement

2. The Hot Zone by Richard Preston

Amazon

"The pacing and wordplay is sinister and well thought out, and when you add that to how frighteningly dangerous Ebola is and the crazy history it has. I will usually re-read books at least half a dozen times on the regular. This book? I refuse."

niccig

Get it on Amazon

3. Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi

Amazon

"Helter Skelter terrified me. When I got to the part about them doing creepy crawlies through people's houses, I couldn't sleep well for days."

– Tiffany Gould, Facebook

Get it on Amazon

4. Brain On Fire by Susannah Cahalan

Amazon

"For me, one of the most terrifying non-fiction books is Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan. She talks about a short period of her life when her mental health suddenly deteriorated and she spontaneously lost her mind. It's always been a real fear of mine, but knowing that it's a legitimate possibility makes it so much more terrifying."

– jement

Get it on Amazon

5. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

Amazon

"It is about the World's Fair of 1893 in Chicago. Larson writes about the planning of the World's Fair and the Fair itself like a novel – casual, engaging, informative, and detailed. In the same manner and tone he writes about the murders that happened at the same time. The late 19th century was a good time to reinvent yourself, unless you took a job with H.H. Holmes in his murder castle not far from the location of the World's Fair. Grisly, chilling, and calculated – read it, you won't be disappointed!"

– Jill Romick, Facebook

Get it on Amazon

6. The Hate Factory by Georgelle Hirliman

Amazon

"It's about a huge riot at a prison in New Mexico in 1980. It's absolutely sickening reading about the sheer level of violence that erupted when prisoners rebelled against officers."

kathrynr4af7577c5

Get it on Amazon

Advertisement

9. Mindhunter by John E. Douglas

Amazon

"The author, John Douglas, was one of the original FBI profilers and some of the cases he writes about haunt me to do this day."

– Kristina Houde Barry, Facebook

Get it on Amazon

Advertisement

12. Witches: History of a Persecution Paperback by Nigel Cawthorne

Amazon

"Just reading about all of the horrible ways innocent people were killed on the basis of being suspected witches, and the historical images of said torture is terrifying. It's a really terrifying, but ultimately interesting book."

– Alta Hatcher, Facebook

Get it on Amazon

14. Communion by Whitley Strieber

Amazon

"It's written by someone who claims to have been repeatedly abducted by aliens. I actually couldn't finish it because it scared me so badly."

– Sanj Leone, Facebook

Get it on Amazon

15. Columbine by Dave Cullen

Amazon

"Reading through the book as it takes you step-by-step through what happened is chilling. I had night terrors for weeks after reading it."

– Elizabeth Langley, Facebook

Get it on Amazon

16. Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

Amazon

"The book starts with the story of brothers who killed a woman and her baby because God commanded it, and it goes deep into the Mormon fundamentalist communities who still practice polygamy. I remember being completely terrified and extremely angry when I read this book."

allisonstull

Get it on Hive

17. The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule

Amazon

"The author worked alone next to Ted Bundy at a suicide hotline in the middle of the night, and was writing a true crime book on the side before she realised it was about her 'friend', Ted."

kerronjeanb

Get it on Amazon

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Want to be featured in similar BuzzFeed posts? Make sure to follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter!

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!

Dismiss