Book Depository Competitions



  • blog image

    Filmmaker and longtime horror literature fan Guillermo del Toro serves as the curator for the Penguin Horror series, a new collection of classic tales and poems by masters of the genre. Featuring original cover art by Penguin Art Director Paul Buckley, these stunningly creepy deluxe hardcovers will be perfect additions to the shelves of horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal aficionados everywhere.

    blog imageBeing horror literature fans ourselves, we have endless debates over which is the scariest book of all time. To settle this once and for all, we thought we'd ask our customers to share the book that made them sleep with the lights on and look twice under the bed. The results will be revealed a few weeks before Halloween and they'll be the most frightening reading list of all time. Be afraid, be very afraid.

    Just tell us below which is the most terrifying book you've ever read and you'll be in with a chance to win 3 sets of the Penguin Horror series! The competition ends on Friday 4 October.

    Update: Competition extended to Monday 7 October.

    Update -- winners: Alexander Theihzen, Alex Burchmore, Oliver Robinson The results of our survey are here!

    Competition now closed

    Posted by Anna Anna

    Categories: competition, Horror

    Scariest books

    Show/Hide Terms and Conditions

    1. 1. No purchase necessary. Proof of entering is not proof of receipt of entry.

      2. To be eligible, entries must be received on or before the competition closing date. All entries shall become the property of The Book Depository, and their directors, officers, representatives, advertising and promotional agencies are not responsible for contacting or forwarding prizes to entrants who provide unclear or incomplete information or for entries lost, misdirected, delayed or destroyed.

      3. The competition is open to all excluding residents of Italy. Parents/guardians must submit the entry for those under the age of 16. Images must not contain photographs of minors without an adult's consent.

      4. The prize winner will be decided by The Book Depository. The Book Depository will not enter into correspondence about the choice of winner.

      5. The competition ends as specified on the competition page -- no entry received after that time will be considered. The winner will be announced as specified on the competition page. There is one prize

      6. The promoter reserves the right to amend the specification of the prize or offer an alternative prize of equal or greater value.

      7. The prize winner will be notified by telephone/email. If the selected entrant does not meet all of the contract conditions, another entrant will be selected from the remaining eligible entries.

      8. The competitions are not open to employees of The Book Depository and their sponsors or their immediate families.

      9. By entering the contest, entrants, consent to the use of their names, city of residence, photograph and/or image for publicity purposes in all media carried out by The Book Depository, without payment or compensation.

      10. The decisions of the contest judges are final. The prize must be accepted as awarded.

      11. The right is reserved to terminate or withdraw this contest at any time.

      12. All entries become the property of The Book Depository, who assume no responsibility for lost, stolen, delayed, damaged or misdirected entries or for any failure of the website during the promotional period, for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers, access providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any email or entry to be received by The Book Depository on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or any website, or any combination thereof including any injury or damage to an entrant's or any other person's computer related to or resulting from playing or downloading any material in the promotion. The Book Depository reserve the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel or suspend the email portion of this contest should a virus or bug or other cause beyond the reasonable control of The Book Depository corrupt the security or proper administration of the contest. Any attempt to deliberately damage any website or undermine the legitimate operation of this promotion is a violation of criminal and civil laws, and should such an attempt be made, The Book Depository reserve the right to seek remedies and damages to the fullest extent permitted by law, including criminal prosecution. Entries are subject to verification and will be declared invalid if they are illegible, mechanically reproduced, mutilated, forged, falsified, altered or tampered within any way. Entrants agree to abide by the Contest Rules and the decisions of the independent judging panel, which are final.

      13. Entries must be submitted by the named entrant (or their parent/guardian for children aged 16 or under) and will be invalid if found to come from a third party. Multiple entries from a single source (e.g 'competition entry' website/company) will be disqualified.

      14. For name/county of prize winner, please send a stamped addressed envelope marked The Book Depository, Thames Central, Hatfield Road, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 1QE. No entries should be sent to this address.

      15. Entry to the competition is conditional on acceptance of these terms and conditions.

      16. The email address and phone number you provide to enter the competition will be used by us to contact you if necessary, and will not be shared with other companies. The Book Depository will only use your email address in compliance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and in accordance with our privacy policy.

      17. The Promoters have organised these prize draws in good faith and do not accept liability relating to the prize.


    1. Dermot Arnold's avatar Dermot Arnold

      Communion by Whitley Scheiber. Last time I checked it was out of print. I know very little in the book is true but the fact that it is written as nonfiction makes it so much more creepier.

      Posted Sat, 28 Sep 2013 09:30
    2. Mrs Bruna Maria James's avatar Mrs Bruna Maria James

      The Stand was the scariest book I have ever read .The psychological thrillers are often the creepiest.

      Posted Sat, 28 Sep 2013 07:54
    3. Ernesto I. Ramirez's avatar Ernesto I. Ramirez

      I have read many books, but I must admit that the one that stays in my memory is Dracula by Bram Stoker. I can remember being a kid and reading the mesmerizing descriptions of Transilvania's mountain range and Harquer's experience in the Castle that it chilled me even by daylight.

      Posted Fri, 27 Sep 2013 20:48
    4. Joana Job Pinto's avatar Joana Job Pinto

      I want these, I want them bad!

      Posted Thu, 26 Sep 2013 22:36
    5. jo's avatar jo

      The Woman in Black is my all time go-to for a short scary book. It was one of the first scary books I ever read and I was about 10 years old!

      Posted Thu, 26 Sep 2013 16:45
    6. Emily Shepley's avatar Emily Shepley

      IT by Stephen King. Storm drains and clowns have both become the most terrifying image. Plus I can't look down sink drains for too long without immediately imagining a voice coming from it. One of Stephens best.

      Posted Thu, 26 Sep 2013 14:06
    7. Alexander Sanchez's avatar Alexander Sanchez


      Posted Thu, 26 Sep 2013 00:19
    8. cecifer's avatar cecifer

      Amazing prize! I hope I have a chance! :D

      Posted Wed, 25 Sep 2013 23:06
    9. Carly Nicholas's avatar Carly Nicholas

      It by Stephen King really creeped me out, I hate clowns. I can't read the book or watch the film without feeling creeped out. Clowns are creepy :/ I hope this book will be available to buy, I am a hug fan of Guillermo Del Toro. I love The Strain vampire books the he co-wrote and the Hellboy films that he made.

      Posted Wed, 25 Sep 2013 21:30
    10. Eve's avatar Eve

      The Shining by Stephen King. I was in my early 20s when I read it but I still had to leave the book in another room each night. To this day every time I walk past it in bookshops I still cringe with fear!

      Posted Wed, 25 Sep 2013 13:07
    11. Marcus Good's avatar Marcus Good

      "Man After Man", by Dougal Dixon, a treatise on what man could evolve into. It's less the concept that scares, but the art. Google the art, and you'll see why.

      Posted Wed, 25 Sep 2013 03:42
    12. tony sloggett's avatar tony sloggett

      the haunting of hill house has always scared the heck out of me. Shirley Jackson`s original novel, and the original movie for that matter ,but, , NOT the horrible remake.

      Posted Tue, 24 Sep 2013 19:16
    13. Adrianna Dagmara's avatar Adrianna Dagmara

      Wow! So cool!

      Posted Tue, 24 Sep 2013 15:05
    14. onemeantoaster's avatar onemeantoaster

      Wouldnt mind picking up that one by Lovecrafts biographer, Joshi

      Posted Tue, 24 Sep 2013 09:13
    15. Sonia's avatar Sonia

      great competition!

      Posted Tue, 24 Sep 2013 02:26
    16. Rachel Whelen's avatar Rachel Whelen

      These books are so gorgeous in real life. I actually already bought a copy of The Haunting of Hill House because it's been on my to read list. I would love to win these, even if I don't I can see myself buying at least two more of these editions when I get the money.

      Posted Tue, 24 Sep 2013 01:58
    17. Alison Braidwood's avatar Alison Braidwood

      Stephen King's Salem's Lot always gave me the willies. Vampire kiddies floating outside second storey windows...

      Posted Mon, 23 Sep 2013 14:31
    18. Cait Molan's avatar Cait Molan

      The Diviners by Libba Bray. Not a book to read by torchlight when you are wrapped up in your sleeping bag in a tent on a dark windy night in the mountains. Trust me!! The spirit of a dead man coming to haunt 1920s New York and killing people but only taking certain body parts from each victim. The eyes from him and the hands her ...... Still an AWESOME read though!!

      Posted Mon, 23 Sep 2013 08:28
    19. Simon Malm's avatar Simon Malm

      Wow, what a price. Would love to win this. Anyway, good luck to everybody.

      Posted Sun, 22 Sep 2013 16:36
    20. Nadine Gardner's avatar Nadine Gardner

      The turn of the screw by Henry James, is to me the scariest book of the paranormal and Horror. It's setting, a lonely dark manor house in Britain,the ghostly theme that combines evil and ghostly horror kept me shivering for a long time.

      Posted Sun, 22 Sep 2013 09:52
    21. Sophie's avatar Sophie

      Don't Look Now by Daphne du Marier. I saw the film first, thought the book could hardly be creepier, so when those new green penguins came out in my local bookstore, I gave it a go. It wasn't the bedtime reading I anticipated :P Terrifying! But I guess that's just what I love. Dracula is my favourite book, after all...

      Posted Sun, 22 Sep 2013 03:52
    22. Hannah Lau's avatar Hannah Lau

      Geronimo Stilton: The Secret of Cacklefur Castle. I found that book seriously creepy. In my defense, I was something like 8. Next up is Dracula... though to be honest I think it was the dreary picture of the old man who thought croissants were a good hairstyle inspiration that had me chucking the book at the floor in fright.

      Posted Sat, 21 Sep 2013 14:04
    23. Brian A Kurrle's avatar Brian A Kurrle

      Guillermo del Toro ROCKS as an actor. I love horror stories but the distillation of horror is the last paragraph of "Graves" by Joe Haldeman , F&SF of the seventies. Viewer alert: you won't sleep well after this! Do NOT take temazepam : you might sleep too well!

      Posted Sat, 21 Sep 2013 12:56
    24. Gabriela Korosiova's avatar Gabriela Korosiova

      fingers crossed,love to get frightened in the night :)

      Posted Sat, 21 Sep 2013 08:41
    25. Jaime Valdes Fuentealba's avatar Jaime Valdes Fuentealba

      Guillermo del Toro THE BEST!! (or the beast of horror). Good luck!

      Posted Sat, 21 Sep 2013 01:54

    Write a Comment

    Create an account

    Fields marked * are required

    Please enter a password with at least six characters.