If You Like Stories That Make You Sleep With The Light On

If You Like… is a feature highlighting blogger recommendations for books, authors, TV shows, movies, and music based on the things you already know and love. This week’s post includes recommendations for stories so scary they make you sleep with the light on.

If you like stories that make you sleep with the light on, you might like


Recommended by Kari @ A Good Addiction:

  • Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake: Angry ghost chick kills anyone that comes into her house. And blood constantly seeps from her dress. Yeah. It’s a bit creeptastic.
  • Possess by Gretchen McNeil: Honestly, turn this one into a movie, and it really would be freaky as all get out. But if you let your imagination do it for you, it’s still creepy. Especially the doll scene.
  • The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey: There is some seriously freaky stuff in this book, and just enough out of the realm of what’s usually in books and movies to make it even creepier.
  • Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

Recommended by Tahleen @ Tahleen’s Mixed-Up Files:

Recommended by Annette @ Annette’s Book Spot:

  • The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding: Pretty much my all-time scariest book. Followed closely by….
  • The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancy: Gory, creepy, scary!!! A “must read” for scary book fans.
  • Gerald’s Game by Stephen King: He’s written a lot of scary stuff — but this one is the worst (or best, depending on how you look at it!) Cujo also scared the crap out of me.
  • Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston: Sometimes the books that keep me up at night are real-life stories of horrible situations.
  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova: I’ve never read Dracula, but this is a suspenseful novel about Vlad the Impaler.

Recommended by Sarah Darer Littman:

  • It by Stephen King: After I read Stephen King’s It I was afraid to go to the bathroom for months.

Recommended by @JustlyJennifer:

Recommended by Cat @ Books4Hearts:

Recommended by Katie @ Sophistikatied Reviews:

Recommended by Tracy Banghart:

Recommended by Me:

  • Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan: This is one of my favorite books of all time. If you love creepy boarding school stories, this novel is well worth your time. Lois Duncan has an abundance of great, creepy stories, and many of them are being reissued with updated text and covers.
  • Time for Andrew by Mary Downing Hahn: Another childhood favorite–I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve read this book. It’s a ghost story with a historical element, and it’s great for middle grade readers. I also enjoyed Han’s Wait Till Helen Comes.
  • The Forbidden Game by L.J. Smith: I read L.J. Smith when I was really young, way before The Vampire Diaries was a “thing,” but I remember being creeped out by this set of stories about a very high stakes game.
  • The Strange Power by L.J. Smith: This is another three story bindup, this time about a group of psychic teens.

TV Shows

Recommended by Capillya @ That Cover Girl:

  • The Walking Dead Series: Based on the comic book series by the same name, The Walking Dead was one of those TV series that I would never have dreamed I’d watch in a million years, since I’m a giant scaredy pants. But for some odd reason, I was completely intrigued by the series trailer. I give The Walking Dead the same kind of treatment that I give Friday Night Lights: it’s not just about its blatant subject matter. It’s about the characters — if you want a show that’s going to make your entire body clench with anxiety towards its characters and fear towards its scary source at the same time (y’all those zombies look AMAZING), this is it. Even in the most recent episode (which barely featured any zombies), I was moved to tears. This series makes me want to watch everything on AMC.

Recommended by Me:

  • So Weird: This Disney channel show about a girl obsessed with the supernatural was one of my childhood favorites. It’s been off the air for a long time, and sadly there are no DVDs available, but it is pretty readily available on YouTube.
  • Are You Afraid of the Dark?: I have an obscene amount of love for this show about a group of teens known as The Midnight Society who meet around the campfire to tell scary stories. Nickelodeon has started re-releasing episodes of the show on iTunes, and even airing some as part of their 90s Are All That campaign, which brings me endless amounts of joy.
  • Supernatural: This show about two brothers who hunt down evil supernatural creatures is admittedly not that frightening most of the time, but there are a few episodes (like the Bloody Mary one) that are downright terrifying.
  • The Scariest Place on Earth: This show is a joke until you watch an all day marathon of it and all of a sudden sleeping with the lights off isn’t so easy.
  • American Horror Story: This is a relatively new show that is one of the weirdest things I have ever seen, but also one of the scariest. A family moves into a haunted mansion in Los Angeles and soon comes face to face with a number of former residents who decided to stick around after death.


Recommended by Cat @ Books4Hearts:

  • Darkness Falls: I caught it on tv last year at like 1:30am and OHMYGOSH FREAKING SCARY TOOTH FAIRY OHMYGOSH.

Recommended by Katie @ Sophistikatied Reviews:

Recommended by Capillya @ That Cover Girl:

Recommended by Me:

  • Candyman: I’ve never been able to look at mirrors the same way again.
  • Child’s Play: Chucky is one terrifying little doll.
  • Poltergeist: A classic that expertly utilizes the ability of children to make anything 10 times creepier.
  • Se7en: A serial killer bases his murders on the seven deadly sins.
  • Psycho: Norman Bates is a classic horror movie creeper. Don’t watch this right before you need to take a shower.
  • The Shining: Redrum. Redrum. A writer staying in a hotel full of ghosts loses his mind.
  • Rosemary’s Baby: Sometimes the nicest neighbors turn out to be the scariest of all.
  • Thinner: A gypsy curses a man, causing him to become thinner and thinner and thinner….


Recommended by Isaiah @ From Yes:

  • Night of Hunters by Tori Amos: In typical Tori fashion, the album is about the de-evolution of a relationship. However, this album has a particularly fantastic premise that involves the female protagonist talking to spirits and demons during her night of crisis. She talks to trees. There is blood on her cottage floor. A spirit tells her about “Job’s Coffin.” It’s a chilling album to listen to this Halloween.
  • Before the Dawn Heals Us by M83: Yes, another M83 recommendation; they seem to be all the indie rage these days. On this album, the band starts diving into the angst that has become iconic in their work. The song to pay particular attention to is “Car Chase Terror!” which features a thriller plot-line, melodramatic monologues, and ambient backing.

Recommended by @JustlyJennifer:

  • Haunted by Poe: Poe is Mark Danielewski’s sister and Haunted is like a soundtrack to House of Leaves.

What are your favorite scary books, movies, tv shows, or music? Please share your own recommendations in the comments!

If you would like to get involved in future weeks of “If You Like…” please contact me for more information. You can check out past weeks of If You Like posts here.

4 Responses to "If You Like Stories That Make You Sleep With The Light On"

  • Excellent list. And yay for seeing Imaginary Girls on the list. It was creeperific.

    1 christina said this (October 31, 2011 at 7:32 AM)

  • Great list! I find it hard to get scared by books but I must say that “The Shining” by Stephen King had me at moments! Classic Horror!

    2 Courtney said this (October 31, 2011 at 9:28 PM)

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