I’m normally not a fan of horror novels, but I do enjoy mysteries and the occasional fantasy, depending on the subject matter. Over the years, these genres have introduced me to several “scary” characters who perfectly embody the Halloween spirit.
So, in honor of Halloween, here’s my list of some of the most iconic frightening characters in literature.
1. Amy Elliott Dunne — “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn
If you’ve read this psychological thriller, you know exactly why Amy Dunne is on this list. She’s vengeful, ruthless, cunning and mentally unhinged all at the same time, yet to the average person, she appears completely normal.
Perhaps the scariest aspect of Amy’s character is the ease with which she can shift personalities, making herself a new person at the drop of a hat. That’s not to mention her twisted plot to get back at her husband, whom she resents for not being the “perfect man.”
2. Bellatrix Lestrange — Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter fans might be wondering why I chose Bellatrix Lestrange for this list rather than Voldemort, the main antagonist of the series. But from my perspective, choosing Bellatrix was a no-brainer.
Though Bellatrix faithfully follows Voldemort, he sometimes has to rein her in when her thirst for violence gets out of control. Throughout her appearances in the series, she makes a sport out of terrorizing people, whether it’s fellow wizards or average humans.
3. President Snow — The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
No matter how you look at it, President Snow is essentially the definition of evil. For years, Snow oversees the Hunger Games, which pits children and teens against each other in a brutal fight to the death.
If that wasn’t enough, Snow also destroys parts of his own country and kills hundreds of citizens when they begin to revolt against him. His recipe for fear is enough to keep him in power until his death near the end of the series.
4. Jack — “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
I read this book as part of an honors English class in high school, and I remember being quite disturbed by Jack’s character. Though Jack is only a child, it doesn’t take him long to go completely off the rails when he and several other boys are trapped on an isolated island.
From nearly the beginning, Jack displays a longing for power and feels threatened by anyone who opposes him. He and his followers end up killing one of the boys and destroying much of the island in their thirst for domination.
Who are some of your favorite scary book characters? Email them to me at [email protected]
Holly Viers is a general assignment reporter for the Kingsport Times News.