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    Oct 7, 2019

    23 Books That Actually Freaked People Out So Badly, They Had To Stop Reading

    For your reading (or not?) pleasure.

    With ~spooky~ season upon us, we asked the BuzzFeed Community which books were too scary for them to even finish. Here are the ones you might want to read with the light on.

    ***Warning: Some spoilers ahead.***

    1. Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill

    HarperCollins

    "I read it while waiting for jury duty selection, and in a brightly lit room full of people I was still so scared I had to put the book away. It scared me so bad that I got rid of the book as fast as I could! I didn’t even like seeing it in my house."

    anjuli

    2. Misery by Stephen King

    Scribner

    "Her breaking his legs made me squirm, plus him being drugged and trying to escape and all that. I Still don’t know how it ended."

    rhiannamae

    3. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

    HMH Books for Young Readers

    "I had to stop reading, which is funny because it’s written for middle schoolers. It was just too plausible and depressing."

    rueflower

    4. The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver

    G.P. Putnam's Sons

    "I was on an airplane reading about people being picked up at the airport by a taxi driver who ends up killing them. Had to stop after the first chapter or so. No thank you."

    sydneygreenfield

    5. The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

    Sourcebooks

    "The fact that it’s a true story just shook me to my core. As a hypochondriac, this was an absolute nightmare to read. I couldn’t finish it. I just kept thinking to myself: Is plastic the 'radium' of today?"

    audreym4e467c33f

    6. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

    Vintage

    "When I was an impressionable freshman in high school, The Road was required reading. I had to stop because I started having nightmares about cannibals, and my English teacher was NOT happy I didn’t finish the book."

    caseyloren

    7. Bag of Bones by Stephen King

    Scirbner

    "That book left me so mentally unhinged that halfway through I had to stop, and I haven't read it since."

    lizzifer

    8. Final Truth: The Autobiography of a Serial Killer by Donald H. Gaskins and Wilton Earle

    Adept

    "It's a very detailed account of the life of Donald Gaskins, a serial murderer from South Carolina. Some of his murders were truly heinous and hard to stomach."

    t4930447bf

    9. 1984 by George Orwell

    Signet Classic

    "I could just see too many similarities with what’s happening in today’s world, and I could not deal with that reality. No thanks."

    samanthasadler

    10. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

    Pantheon

    "I can’t even begin to describe this book. I hid it in my trunk so it wouldn’t be in my house, and eventually had to throw it away because I felt like it was still haunting me. I didn’t even come close to finishing it. A few friends who were reading it with me suggested not reading specific chapters while I was home alone."

    mspitz

    11. Pet Sematary by Stephen King

    Gallery Books

    "I have tried countless times to finish it and have never been able to because it's so creepy and unsettling. It's the only Stephen King book I’ve never been able to finish."

    hunterb44e7f7679

    12. Grimm Memorials by R. Patrick Gates

    Pinnacle

    "After each time I put it down, I felt the need to wash my hands."

    libra6poe

    13. Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

    Griffin

    "A 7-year-old daughter continues to try and murder her mom so she can have her dad all to her self. Creepy AF."

    cal7072020

    14. Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk

    Anchor

    "That chapter with the pool, and the colon...I put it down and didn’t pick it back up for ten years."

    jasmineb464ba8024

    15. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

    Penguin

    "It was just so violent and appalling I couldn’t make it through. I understand the purpose of the story, but from a woman’s perspective it was just too upsetting to read about the things the main characters did."

    carinae4aca2b6af

    16. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

    Broadway Books

    "I could only read it on the beach in the bright sunlight to shake the creepiness that stayed with me."

    midwestteacher

    17. You by Caroline Kepnes

    Simon & Schuster

    "The show was creepy but the book was way too much. It made me so uncomfortable that I had to get out of bed five times a night to make sure my doors were locked."

    lizzyonizzy

    18. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

    Vintage

    "Not only is it incredibly long, but it's also very creepy and weird. I nearly made it to the end, but had to stop when I got to the weird alien-creature-like insemination scene. It was bizarre-o land."

    alaynag4417b1433

    19. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

    Anchor

    "There are very few books that I’ve stopped reading for any reason, but the only one I’ve ever stopped reading because I found it too disturbing was The Handmaid’s Tale. I was a new mom and could not get past the fact that her child was taken from her."

    michellet448bccfb5

    20. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

    Dover Publications

    "I’ve never been able to finish The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle. I tried in my teens and again a couple of times in my twenties, but creepy Victorian manors with ghost dogs are a definite no from me."

    elliebatesx

    21. Marabou Stork Nightmares by Irvine Welsh

    W. W. Norton & Company;

    "There are a lot of very violent scenes described in graphic detail and it should definitely come with a trigger warning. I got about halfway through and had to stop reading. My boyfriend managed to read it all and told me how it ends. The image still haunts me. Don't read this book unless you have a strong stomach."

    rachelr4fe512183

    22. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty.

    Harper

    "I first started reading it when I was around 15, and it terrified me. I ended up getting halfway through and then put it in a box in my closet. The writing was just so detailed and freaky."

    ashleyvictoriab

    23. AndThe Shining by Stephen King

    Anchor

    "Nothing has unnerved me quite like The Shining. Just the palpable feeling of coldness and isolation is enough to make you uncomfortable, but then he added in those hedge animals and whatever it was hiding in that tunnel in the playground. 100% nightmare fuel."

    ssphoenix94

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

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