I've been saying Coffin County by Gary A. Braunbeck is the scariest book I've ever read, but I don't think any writer today has anything on those 70's writers who wrote those satanic books like Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist (believe it or not, there are scarier writers than Stephen King). I mean, really, is anything more frightening than that? I don't think so. I just finished RB the other night and I was more than haunted--I was outright spooked. I keep promising myself not to read those kind of books anymore, but being let down by most of the modern authors, I always find myself returning to them.
Back in the day, an author had to be way talented to have a book contract. You can't go wrong with 70's horror. I've never read a book from back then that I didn't like: The Wolfen by Whitley Strieber, The Hellfire Club and The Haunting of Julia by Peter Straub, and old Stephen King books when he was a hardcore horror author--you can't go wrong there.
It would be great if we modern authors made an effort to be original and gave it all we've got to achieve the scare, giving these classic authors a run for their money.
A. R. 3/13/2010