A haunted house is a wonderful thing in horror fiction, but only if done right. The spooky setting, the creaky stairs, the mirrors with strange images ... and don't forget the ghosts.
These are the 10 best horror novels centered around haunted houses, spooky hotels or haunted places.
1 - The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. The classic still stands at the top. Four spend the night in the house and will never be the same.
2 - Hell House by Richard Matheson. Another class from the author of "I Am Legend." Here again four strangers spend the night, but for different reasons. Spooky.
3 - The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, short for a novel, but powerfully frightening. This ghost tale never disappoints.
4 - The Amytiville Horror by Jay Anson. Supposedly based on the true story of the Lutz family house, this one had everything from bees to voices in the walls, fever spells and green slime. A classic!
5 - 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King. Granted, there are vampires, but it's a spooky set up at the old house in the 'Lot.
6 - The House on Borderland by William Hope Hodgson. "It came closer, a shapeless monstrosity of darkness—tremendous. It seemed to slip across the night, sleepily—a very hell-fog."
7 - The Shining by Stephen King. In a hotel in the Colorado mountains during a winter break, nothing is left between the caretakers and the spooky remnants still roaming the halls.
8 - The Graveyard Apartment by Mikoe Koike. When a family moves into an apartment building near a graveyard, horrors come to them at night. Well-written.
9 - Ghost Story by Peter Straub. A town is the scene of a haunting. A bit long and verbose, but there are some very nice scenes in this tale. Read by candlelight.
10 - The Secret of Crickley Hall by James Herbert. The bestselling author of The Rats gives you a haunted house thriller that you won't forget.
- Also check out the Scariest Summer Horror Novels
Haunted House Honorable Mention: House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe would have been on our list, but it is a short story. Still, quite a scary haunted house story and worth a second look. Read all of these at night by the light of a candle inside a jack o' lantern for full effect.