No matter how much you think you love somebody, you'll step back when the pool of their blood edges up too close.
— Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters: A Novel

I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ. Slit me at my belly and it might slide out, meaty and dark, drop on the floor so you could stomp on it.
— Gillian Flynn, Dark Places

Mary started to scream, and then the curtains parted further and a hand appeared, holding a butcher's knife. It was the knife that, a moment later, cut off her scream.
And her head.
— Robert Bloch, Psycho: A Novel

People don't get better, they just get smarter. When you get smarter you don't stop pulling the wings off flies, you just think of better reasons for doing it.
— Stephen King, Carrie

Our love was a two-person game. At least until one of us died, and the other became a murderer.
— Dark Jar Tin Zoo, Love Quotes for the Ages. Specifically Ages 19-91.

Let's say you have an ax. Just a cheap one, from Home Depot. On one bitter winter day, you use said ax to behead a man. Don't worry, the man was already dead. Or maybe you should worry, because you're the one who shot him.
— David Wong, John Dies at the End

I felt like it needed some color down there, so I painted the walls with the motherfucker.
— Joe Hill, NOS4A2: A Novel

The zombie looks like a man, walks like a man, eats and otherwise functions fully, yet is devoid of the spark. It represents the nagging doubt that lays deep in the heart of even the most zealous believer: behind all of your pretty songs and stained glass, this is what you really are. Shambling meat. Our true fear of the zombie was never that its bite would turn us into one of them. Our fear is that we are already zombies.
— David Wong, This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It (John Dies at the End)

Him and God are supposed to be at war with each other. But if God hates sin and Satan punishes the sinners, aren’t they working the same side of the street? Aren’t the judge and the executioner on the same team?
— Joe Hill, Horns: A Novel

All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.
— Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters: A Novel


I lay in bed and thought about how easy it was to hurt a person. It didn't have to be physical. All you had to do was take a good hard kick at something they cared about.
— Jack Ketchum, The Girl Next Door

Flesh could not keep its glamour, nor eyes their sheen. They would go to nothing soon. But monsters are forever.
— Clive Barker, The Dark Fantastic

The mad sometimes drilled holes in their own heads to let the demons out. To relieve the pressure of thoughts they could no longer bear. Jude understood the impulse. Each beat of his heart was a fresh and staggering blow felt in the nerves behind his eyes and in his temples. Punishing evidence of life.
— Joe Hill, Heart-Shaped Box

When I came into your life your life was over. It had a beginning, a middle, and an end. This is the end.
— Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men (Vintage International)

I was not a lovable child, and I'd grown into a deeply unlovable adult. Draw a picture of my soul, and it'd be a scribble with fangs.
— Gillian Flynn, Dark Places

I am a cutter, you see. Also a snipper, a slicer, a carver, a jabber. I am a very special case. I have a purpose. My skin, you see, screams. It's covered with words - cook, cupcake, kitty, curls - as if a knife-wielding first-grader learned to write on my flesh. I sometimes, but only sometimes, laugh. Getting out of the bath and seeing, out of the corner of my eye, down the side of a leg: babydoll. Pull on a sweater and, in a flash of my wrist: harmful. Why these words? Thousands of hours of therapy have yielded a few ideas from the good doctors. They are often feminine, in a Dick and Jane, pink vs. puppy dog tails sort of way. Or they're flat-out negative. Number of synonyms for anxious carved in my skin: eleven. The one thing I know for sure is that at the time, it was crucial to see these letters on me, and not just see them, but feel them.
— Gillian Flynn, Sharp Objects

I had all the characteristics of a human being—flesh, blood, skin, hair—but my depersonalization was so intense, had gone so deep, that my normal ability to feel compassion had been eradicated, the victim of a slow, purposeful erasure. I was simply imitating reality, a rough resemblance of a human being, with only a dim corner of my mind functioning.
— Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho

Sometimes I think I won't ever feel safe until I can count my last days on one hand. Three more days to get through until I don't have to worry about life anymore.
— Gillian Flynn, Sharp Objects

When you think about it, most of the good ideas came along to make sin a whole lot easier.
— Joe Hill, Horns: A Novel

We are all our own graveyards, I believe; we squat amongst the tombs of the people we were.
— Clive Barker, Flash Wisdom

Maybe all the schemes of the devil were nothing compared to what man could think up.
— Joe Hill, Horns: A Novel

I felt a queasy mixture of relief and horror: when you finally stop an itch and realize it’s because you’ve ripped a hole in your skin.
— Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

Everybody is a book of blood; wherever we're opened, we're red.
— Clive Barker, Books of Blood, Vols. 1-3

I’ll tell you now. That silence almost beat me. It’s the silence that scares me. It’s the blank page on which I can write my own fears. The spirits of the dead have nothing on it. The dead one tried to show me hell, but it was a pale imitation of the horror I can paint on the darkness in a quiet moment.
— Mark Lawrence, Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire)

Blood is really warm,
it's like drinking hot chocolate
but with more screaming.
— Ryan Mecum, Zombie Haiku: Good Poetry For Your...Brains

They think of suicide as a quick route to oblivion, an escape. Far from it. It merely alters a person from one form to another. Nothing can destroy the spirit. Suicide only precipitates a darker continuation of the same conditions from which escape was sought. A condition under circumstances so much more painful.
— Richard Matheson, What Dreams May Come: A Novel

Why is there evil in the world? Because sometimes you just wanna fuckin have it, and you don’t care who gets hurt.
— Joe Hill, Horns: A Novel

Because there was only one thing worse than dying. And that was knowing you were going to die. And where. And how.
— Richard Matheson, Nightmare At 20,000 Feet: Horror Stories By Richard Matheson

We feel most alive when we are closest to death.
— Nenia Campbell, Terrorscape (Horrorscape Book 3)

In case you didn't know, dead people don't bleed. If you can bleed-see it, feel it-then you know you're alive. It's irrefutable, undeniable proof. Sometimes I just need a little reminder.
— Amy Efaw, After

If you have the woman you love, what more do you need? Well, besides an alibi for the time of her husband’s murder.
— Dark Jar Tin Zoo, Love Quotes for the Ages. Specifically Ages 19-91.

I am constantly torn between killing myself and killing everyone around me.
— David Levithan, Will Grayson, Will Grayson

You can get used to horror, he thought. When it has lost immediacy and is no longer pungent and has become a steady diet. When it has degraded to a chain of mind-numbing events.
— Richard Matheson, The Shrinking Man (Richard Matheson's the Shrinking Man)

All I could think of when I got a look at the place from the outside was what fun it would be to stand out there and watch it burn down.
— Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House (Penguin Classics)

His breath stopped in a gasp. An almost drowsy terror stole through his veins. Yes. Yes. There was something in here with him, some awful thing the Overlook had saved for just such a chance as this. Maybe a huge spider that had burrowed down under the dead leaves, or a rat... or maybe the corpse of some little kid that had died here on the playground. Had that ever happened? At the far end of the concrete ring, Danny heard the stealthy crackle of dead leaves, as something came for him on its hands and knees.
— Stephen King, The Shining

You are not special. You're not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We're all part of the same compost heap. We're all singing, all dancing crap of the world.
— Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club 2 (Graphic Novel)

A stranger is shot in the street, you hardly move to help. But if, half an hour before, you spent just ten minutes with the fellow and knew a little about him and his family, you might just jump in front of his killer and try to stop it. Really knowing is good. Not knowing, or refusing to know is bad, or amoral, at least.
— Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes

Carrie was standing in front of them perhaps seventy feet away. The high beams picked her out in ghastly horror-movie blacks and whites, dripping and clotted with blood. Now much of it was her own. The hilt of the butcher knife still protruded from her shoulder... She stood swaying, her arms thrown out like the arms of a stage hypnotist, and she began to totter towards them.
— Stephen King, Carrie

I'm alive but I have no life. I'm alive but also dead. I'm dead and alive.
— Dean Koontz, Dead And Alive

Yet I think the demon's target is not the possessed; it is us . . . the observers . . . every person in this house. And I think---I think the point is to make us despair; to reject our own humanity, Damien: to see ourselves as ultimately bestial; as ultimately vile and putrescent; without dignity; ugly; unworthy.
— William Peter Blatty, The Exorcist

I’ve been buried, but I’m not dead. I’m not dead. I can’t breathe. What is that sound? Is someone here? No, it’s me, crying and using precious air…
Tremors shake my entire body, but the box I’m in does not shift at all.
— Bethany Griffin, The Fall

Shall I kill her now? Shall I not even investigate, but kill her and burn her?
His throat moved. Such thoughts were a hideous testimony to the world he had accepted; a world in which murder was easier than hope.
— Richard Matheson, I Am Legend

And the most terrifying question of all may be just how much horror the human mind can stand and still maintain a wakeful, staring, unrelenting sanity
— Stephen King, Pet Sematary

My pain is constant and sharp and I do not hope for a better world for anyone, in fact I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape, but even after admitting this there is no catharsis, my punishment continues to elude me and I gain no deeper knowledge of myself; no new knowledge can be extracted from my telling. This confession has meant nothing.
— Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho

He understood that the ghost existed first and foremost within his own head. That maybe ghosts always haunted minds, not places.
— Joe Hill, Heart-Shaped Box

No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.
— Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House (Penguin Classics)

This was a dank, sinister chill: the chill of shadows where poison toadstools grown, their ruddy colors beckoning a child to come, come take a taste of candy.
— Robert McCammon, Swan Song

For him the word ‘horror’ had become obsolete. A surfeiting of terror made terror a cliché. To Robert Neville the situation merely existed as natural fact. It had no adjectives.
— Richard Matheson, I Am Legend

Death is just the last scene of the last act.
— Joyce Carol Oates, Blonde: A Novel

May be she’ll learn something about what death really is, which is where the pain stops and the good memories begin. Not the end of life but the end of pain.
— Stephen King, Pet Sematary

Son, the greatest trick the Devil pulled was convincing the world there was only one of him.
— David Wong, John Dies at the End

It is as though some old part of yourself wakes up in you, terrified, useless in the life you have, its skills and habits destructive but intact, and what is left of the present you, the person you have become, wilts and shrivels in sadness or despair: the person you have become is only a thin shell over this other, more electric and endangered self. The strongest, the least digested parts of your experience can rise up and put you back where you were when they occurred; all the rest of you stands back and weeps.
— Peter Straub, Ghost Story

Death doesn't exist. It never did, it never will. But we've drawn so many pictures of it, so many years, trying to pin it down, comprehend it, we've got to thinking of it as an entity, strangely alive and greedy. All it is, however, is a stopped watch, a loss, an end, a darkness. Nothing.
— Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes

The monsters that rose from the dead, they are nothing compared to the ones we carry in our hearts.
— Max Brooks, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

So fragile—the human body. Just one prick and it will draw blood. Just one bullet and the bleeding will never stop.
— Tiana Dalichov, Agenda 46 (Rebellion Rising) (Volume 1)

Bang bang bang. I understand now why so many horror movies use that device-the mysterious knock on the door-because it has the weight of a nightmare. You don't know what's out there, yet you know you'll open it. You'll think what I think: No one bad ever knocks.
— Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

The Edge... There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.
— Hunter S. Thompson, Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga

Nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How then am I mad?
— Edgar Allan Poe, The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe (Xist Classics)

You see, Frank found out the hard way that the dark things lurking in the night don’t haunt old houses or abandoned ships. They haunt minds.
— David Wong, John Dies at the End

Then the first Dead Hand pulled itself out of the mill race and turned towards him. It was dark, true dark now, but Sam could just make it out. It had been human once, but the magic that had brought it back to Life had twisted the body as if following a mad artist’s whim. Its arms trailed below its ankles, its head no longer sat upon a neck but sank into its should, and the mouth had split upwards, usurping the place that had once held a nose. There were more behind it, other twisted shapes.
— Garth Nix, LIRAEL: Daughter of the Clayr (Old Kingdom)

The noises started sometime in the night, during the hour when the moon was at its highest. Not screams, exactly. More like moans. Howls. Sounds I couldn’t put a name to. I lay in bed, wide awake, staring at the odd shapes the moonlight threw against the whitewashed walls. I couldn’t tell what type of creature he was working on in that blood red, windowless laboratory. I’d heard the panther make all types of howls and cries on the ship, but nothing like what came from that building.
Whatever it was, it was large.
— Megan Shepherd, The Madman's Daughter

God’s already pissed off. He has been for five thousand years, and He’s sick to the nucleus of His soul. He’s not going to show Himself—you’re not worth His time. God’s gone. He’s fuckin’ busy, man.
— Edward Lee, Terra Insanus

No one escapes from life alive.
— Michael Crichton, Congo

And feast on the dead, I thought with a shudder. As if he could read my thoughts, he pressed a hand to my shoulder. His fingers were long and white, splaying over my arm like a waxen spider. If the gesture was meant to comfort me, it failed.
— Leigh Bardugo, Ruin and Rising (The Grisha Trilogy)

He listened to the keening of the wind whistling through holes in the walls, and he pondered the thought that there might be something out there in the dark—God or Devil or something more elemental than either—that looked at humankind as Josh had viewed the roach—less than intelligent, certainly nasty, but struggling onward on its journey, never giving up, fighting through obstacles or going around them, doing whatever it had to do to survive. And he hoped that if the time ever came for that elemental fist to come crashing down, its wielder might take a moment of pause as well.
— Robert McCammon, Swan Song

They were trying to run, trying to hide. But the rock would not hide them; the dead tree gave no shelter.
— Stephen King, Carrie

We each die countless little deaths on our way to the last. We die out of shame as humiliation. We perish from despair. And, of course, we die for love.
— Clive Barker, Absolute Midnight