SparkNotes Blog

Horror Novels for High School Students

There are many things commonly agreed upon to be Very Scary. That’s why our shelves are just chock full of horror novels about demons, clowns, and, in the case of Stephen King’s It, demon-clowns.

But perhaps the scariest thing of all is the one thing most horror authors won’t even touch: high school. And I’m not talking about a haunted high school or a high school overrun by zombies or a high school where the prom queen gets covered in pig’s blood. No, no, I’m talking the normal, everyday mundanities of high school. There’s nothing scarier than group projects, AP exams, and inexplicable cafeteria food, which is why I’d like to pitch the following horror novels:

American Psycho: That One Guy Who Reminded Your Teacher There Was Homework

Carrie (Didn’t Do Her Part of the Group Project)

The Woman in Black Called on Me and I Have No Idea What the Answer Is

The Tell-Tale Sound of Your Heart Pounding When You’re Gearing Up to Say “Here!” During Attendance

The Final Exam of Dr. Moreau (Is Worth 30% of Your Grade)

The Witching Hour, Otherwise Known as Calculus

Something Wicked This Way Comes (Surprise! It’s the Due Date)

Rosemary’s Baby is Just the Worst and Definitely Not Worth Babysitting After School for $5.50 an Hour

Interview with the Guidance Counselor Who Wants to Know What Your College Plans Are

The Terrible Yearbook Photo of Dorian Gray

Hell House: When You Have to Leave in Five Minutes or You’ll Miss the Bus But the Printer Isn’t Working

The Purloined Letter is Due Tomorrow and You Haven’t Even Started

Misery, Otherwise Known as Monday Morning

The Green Mile: Cardio Day in Gym Class

For Whom the Bell Tolls: A Closer Look at Teachers Who Get Angry When Everyone Starts Packing Up Early and Then Say, “The Bell Doesn’t Dismiss You, I Dismiss You”

The Strange Attendance Policies of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

William Wilson is Absent Today, Great, Now I Have to Present This PowerPoint By Myself

The Silence of the Classroom When Everyone’s Taking a Test and Your Stomach Starts Growling

A Head Full of Ghosts (Is the Reason You Can’t Remember the Dates of the Punic Wars)

The Ruins: The Story of Your GPA

The Procrastination in the Rue Morgue

The Stuff of Nightmares: Pop Quizzes, Presentations, and People Walking Slowly in the Hallway Right in Front of You