Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books to Give You Nightmares

Hello and welcome to a special spook themed Top Ten Tuesday. Today we’re here to SCARE YOU. Yes, we know it’s not Halloween yet, but it IS Tuesday so we’re halfway there. Anyway, here are our Top Ten books to give you nightmares…


There’s a Swedish book called AGNES CECILIA by Maria Gripe. Oh man, the image of an old doll sitting in a fireplace that slowly opens still gives me chills.  Emma B


Mine is a movie based on a book: The Child Catcher in CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG (from the movie) utterly terrified me. The tension of him looking for the children, the putting them in cages, then trapping them with his horrid disguise. Oh, oh! Stop! I was so scarred that when I was rewatching it with my son, I fast forwarded that bit to spare him the trauma.  Sara
When I was little it was RUMPLESTILTSKIN – I was so scared that the princess would have to give away her precious first born to the hopping, skipping, jumping little trickster wearing a horrid little red hat.  Sarah O
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by Maurice Sendak, as read to me by my dad who had a very deep and sometimes scary voice.  Emily
The book that terrified me when I was a kid was THE PRINCESS & THE GOBLIN by George McDonald. My mum read it to me when I around 6 and I remember the winding staircases and endless passages and closed doors created a very claustrophobic atmosphere and the goblins were completely terrifying.  Meg
The Dreadful Story about Harriet and the Matches from STRUWWLPETER by Heinrich Hoffman – My godmother gave me STRUWWELPETER when I was 4 and I (still) have a grim fascination and love for it and it’s twisted but entertaining way of teaching children. However, I loved candles and the smell of burning matches when I was little, so my mum used to read me this particular poem rather a lot. The illustration of Harriet on fire was horrifying, but the one of her reduced to a pile of ash, with just her pretty red shoes left, chilled me to the core. I still love it though.  Livs
THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL by H.C. Andersen, because, you know, it’s incredibly sad. Or not really. But to a small kid… Really really. – Jan
I read this when I was about eleven, when I already had a vague fear of dogs – and this book pretty much cemented that fear. After reading it, I used to lie in bed at my Grandparent’s house, petrified that the Great Dane from a couple of houses down was going to jump in and eat me.  Sarah B

DARK MATTER by Michelle Paver – it in particular completely unnerved me. Never thought I’d be so freaked out by a post in the snow.  Naomi


Rikki tikki tavi (from THE JUNGLE BOOK) – the snake on the front of the edition I had, has I believe given me a permanent terrible fear of snakes. I loved the book, but had to open and close it each time with my eyes shut so that I did not see the snake on the cover!  Emma M