A Real Fright

Last week we reviewed spooky books, but this week it's all about the real frights, my list of five of the scariest books I've ever read.
Fear is a very personal thing. One person may hate spiders, when another can pick them up without a problem. My fears tend toward the real, rather than fantasy. So you may agree with some, but not with others.
Be sure to note the skulls at the bottom. They indicate the fright level, with one skull for a book that is slightly scary to four skulls for a book that should come with a warning for those with heart conditions.

The Stand 
by Stephen King
Ah, the master of frights, Mr. Stephen King. You knew he had to be on this list somewhere. To me, this is the scariest of his stories, because it could be only too real.
If your only idea about The Stand is from the Molly Ringwald and Gary Sinise miniseries, do yourself a favor and read the book instead.
The story begins with a very sick man escaping from a bio-lab. He crashes his car and dies, but not before infecting everyone near him with a horrible flu-like bug (think bird flu or the film Contagion).
In an very short time, just a few thousand people are left alive in the entire country. And, as with most extreme situations, some people handle it better than others, and two distinct groups emerge.
One is comprised of people who want to make the best of what they have left as they gather under the leadership of a mystical woman named Mother Abigail.The second group...well you can see where this is going. They find themselves under the spell of a sinister Randall Flagg in the almost-too-obvious Sin City.
Yes, it can be a bit over the top with the good vs. evil powerplays, but the core fear in this story is the very real chance that a superbug could be the end of the world as we know it. Do you feel fine? (1980 - Penguin Group)

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