The film adaptation of Stephen King's novel It is at a cinema near you, whether you like it or not. If you do like it, you might also like these freaky-as books.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

It's been said that the enigmatic writer Shirley Jackson had an influence on Stephen King, and of her 1959 classic The Haunting of Hill House King has said, "Stepping into Hill House is like stepping into the mind of a madman; it isn't long before you weird yourself out." Dr Montague is a supernatural investigator who rents 80-year-old mansion Hill House for a summer to find evidence of supernatural activity. When he invites guests to stay, the house begins to possess the inhabitants. Hailed by critics as one of the best horror stories of all time, this novel helped cement Jackson's reputation as being a kind of "Virginia Werewoolf". Dealing with the supernatural and also the kind of psychological and psychic damage women are subjected to saw Jackson as an early significant contributor to feminist fiction.

Christine by Stephen King

Who would have thought that a story about a haunted car could be so terrifying? She is a blood red 1958 vintage Plymouth Fury named Christine, and creepy supernatural forces possess her. When nerdy high school student Arnie Cunningham buys and lovingly restores the rusting, clapped-out car christened Christine by its previous owner, Ronald D. LeBay, his popularity at school skyrockets along with his confidence. But it isn't long before it is revealed that Christine has a dark and ruinous history - Ronald's young daughter died in the back seat and his wife later committed suicide in the car, which has a murderous intent, and soon focuses on Arnie.

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories by H.P. Lovecraft

"I think it is beyond doubt that H.P. Lovecraft has yet to be surpassed as the 20th century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale," Stephen King has said of the seminal writer. And it's true; Lovecraft was the originator of cult horror and weird fiction with his twisted, imaginative and mind-melting take on horror. Bypassing hokey ghosts and witches in favour of the macabre horrors of the mind, things that go bump in the night and alternate realities, this unsettling collection of stories set in New England evokes an atmosphere of pure dread and includes The Hound, The Outsider and the title story.


Strangers by Dean Koontz

Like Stephen King, Dean Koontz brings the thrills, chills and a heady supernatural weirdness. And like King's The Shining, a motel is central to Strangers - the ironically titled Tranquillity Motel in dusty and isolated Nevada. Even though miles apart, a surgeon in Boston, a writer in California, a priest in Chicago, a thief in New York and a young girl in Las Vegas are all inexplicably struck by the same haunting and grisly nightmares. These night terrors bring them together, and they discover that they have been mysteriously brainwashed and the motel is the link.