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10 scariest villains in horror fiction

MANILA, Philippines — It's almost Halloween — that one single time of the year when spooks, ghosts, monsters, goblins and other scary creatures bask in the spotlight.

Kids wear costumes to look like them and then go around the neighborhood trick-or-treating. As for adults, they also get to celebrate the darker side of things by sharing ghost stories with friends, watching horror films and reading horror fiction.

What better way to amp up the fear factor this spooky season than to get reacquainted with some of the most terrifying literary villains of all time?

Here’s a list of 10 villains who have made horror novels certified page turners and hair-raising reads, as gathered by Fully Booked. The “countdown” starts with the least scary at No. 10 and escalates to the most terrifying villain at No. 1.

From psychopaths to witches and monsters to extraterrestrials and ancient shape-shifters… From a house with a sinister appetite, a demonic clown, a mad scientist and a vengeful baby, to a creature that resembles your mother (except that she’s not) and a secret institution that kidnaps and extracts children, there’s something for everyone’s kind of nightmare on this list. 

Prepare to be horrified beyond words!

Meet the undisputed villain of Wall Street. Mild-mannered, gold-trim business card-wielding investment banker by day, psychopath, sexual predator and murderer by night. Patrick Bateman goes on to commit the most depraved acts known to man. 

Of course, the book’s ending leaves readers guessing if everything just took place in his unhinged mind, but does it matter? He’s still a psychopath, so in he goes to this list.

The book’s author, Bret Easton Ellis, just released a new book, "The Shards," after a 12-year hiatus. 

In Margaret Atwood’s dystopian future where a repressive government called the Republic of Gilead forces fertile women to produce children, Aunt Lydia is the brutal religious teacher slash handmaid wrangler.

With forcible cruelty, she manipulates, tortures and brainwashes the handmaids under the auspices of “saving” them. Among her favorite methods of punishment are whipping via cattle prod, tongue and eye mutilation, and death by stoning. 

In Stephen