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Tell Me About A Book That Was So Terrifying, It Genuinely Traumatized You

I really love reading thrillers and, more recently, horror books. When I get absorbed in a really well-crafted scary story, I won't put it down all day...or all night. Sometimes, the terror of a story stays with me long past the final page.

For example, I still have to actively stop myself from thinking about the Stitcher from Where He Can't Find You by Darcy Coates when it gets dark out. While reading, I had such a clear picture of him in my mind that I'm sure it will never leave.

Cover of "Where He Can't Find You" by Darcy Coates, featuring a hand and hanging red threads with text
Sourceboks Fire / Via bookshop.org

The Netflix premise of Dear Child reminded me of Room, so I read the book by Romy Hausmann. I think it speaks to the worst nightmares of a lot of women. It was so disturbing that I haven't been able to bring myself to actually watch the series.

Book cover of 'Dear Child' by Romy Hausmann. Features a silhouette of a person walking in a forest with a Netflix logo
Flatiron Books / Via bookshop.org

And You Won't Believe Me by Cyn Balog is the single most edge-of-your-seat, WTH thing I've ever read. It was nothing like I expected it to be, and also unlike anything I've read before. Trying to figure out the truth in the story broke my brain.

Book cover for "You Won't Believe Me" by Cyn Balog, with a survival theme and an eerie backdrop
Sourcebooks Fire / Via bookshop.org

So, what's the scariest or most disturbing book you've ever read? What made it so terrifying? Would you recommend it? Share your answers in the comments, and they may be featured in an upcoming BuzzFeed Community post!