There are some book characters who are easy to love — like Elizabeth Bennet and Jane Eyre and Anne Shirley, all of whom possess an inner strength and passionate demeanor that endears them to readers from page one. But sometimes, readers find themselves falling in love with the creepy book characters — the villains, the anti-heroes, the misunderstood. This list is dedicated to those characters.
Maybe readers won't find these characters in uplifting books like Anne of Green Gables or Pride and Prejudice. Honestly, they're probably more easily found in the ghost stories book-lovers reach for every Halloween. They're flawed and strange, but isn't that the very reason readers love them?
Maybe some of these characters shouldn't be so beloved, but readers obstinately overlook their flaws. Maybe some of them really aren't so bad, but they end up in impossible situations. Maybe readers love them because they seem creepy, but at their core they're total cinnamon rolls. Or, of course, eaders could be appreciating their flaws because it makes them seem more realistic and relatable. A flawed hero is the best hero, and every villain thinks she's the hero of her own story — right?
Whatever the reason, readers can't help loving the follow characters:
1. Boo Radley From To Kill A Mockingbird
Boo — as his name suggests — is almost a ghost. He's a recluse with a bad reputation. But in the end, his "creepiness" dissipates to reveal a pretty nice guy.
2. Estella From Great Expectations
Miss Havisham is creepy, with her wedding dress and stopped clocks, but her pet project Estella is even creepier. She was literally raised to destroy men, but since readers see Estella through Pip's eyes, I can't help liking her anyway.
3. Heathcliff From Wuthering Heights
If you look up literary heartthrobs, you'll probably see Heathcliff on the list. After all, he and Catherine have a passionate romance, right? Except that Heathcliff is a manipulative creeper who literally kills a dog. He's actually horrible, but for some reason, I still like him??
4. Willy Wonka From Charlie And The Chocolate Factory
It's easy to overlook Willy Wonka's creepiness. After all, he has such an amazing chocolate factory! But if you think back on the book, you'll start to remember that Wonka was actually kind of terrifying. He invited children into his factory and got rid of them one by one...
5. Count Dracula From Dracula
Dracula is a vampire who corrupts innocent women. He's a villain. Instead, the world became obsessed with him, and he's spawned countless books, TV shows, and movies about vampires.
6. Lady Macbeth From Macbeth
She wants to help her husband commit murder, but dang it if I don't want to stand up and clap after her intense, passionate speeches.
7. Professor Snape From Harry Potter
Severus Snape is pretty problematic. He is obsessed with the Dark Arts, and can't even leave his obsession for the sake of Lily Potter. But despite his evil streak, I have to admit that I teared up when he said "Always."
8. Amy Dunne From Gone Girl
Amy was truly disturbed. She created an elaborate plot to frame her husband for her own death and she murdered anyone who stood in her way. But, somehow, I found myself rooting for her in spite of it all — especially after her epic "cool girls" rant.
9. Suzanne From The Girls
Evie is obsessed with Suzanne, but from the beginning readers can tell that something is off. Suzanne may be alluring, but she doesn't exactly make great decisions, and as the end of the story proves, she can be pretty creepy. Still, I shared Evie's curiosity and needed to find out exactly WHAT was going on with this mysterious girl.
10. Merricat From We Have Always Lived In The Castle
Mary Katherine Blackwood is a creepy little girl, but I, like Constance, like her anyway.
11. Carrie From Carrie
She just wanted to go to prom!
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