The Silence of the Lambs tops scariest books list

Thomas Harris' The Silence of the Lambs has been voted the nation's scariest book of all time in a poll of 2,000 readers.

The chilling tale about cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter beat classics Dracula and The Shining to the top spot.

The novel became an instant bestseller following its publication in 1988, and its film adaptation, starring Anthony Hopkins, is still widely ranked among the best films ever made.

In second place is gothic horror story Dracula by Bram Stoker, while The Shining by Stephen King ranks third, followed by American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis in fourth.

Researchers said they were looking for horrifying books as opposed to horrifically written books… which is why The Da Vinci Code is nowhere to be seen.
1. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
2. Dracula by Bram Stoker
3. The Shining by Stephen King
4. American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis
5. The Collector by John Fowles
6. Books of Blood by Clive Barker
7. I am Legend by Richard Matheson
8. Salems Lot by Stephen King
9. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
10. The Exorcist by William Peter Blattey

Peter Crawshaw, from, which conducted the poll, said: "The Silence of the Lambs has been a horror book staple for more than 20 years.

"It has everything a good horror book needs - a spine-tingling plot, packed with twists and turns, bloodthirsty characters, and vulnerable heroine.

"This survey shows that a good horror stands the test of time, and that Harris has cemented his place in literary history."

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