I don’t read a lot of horror but I have read some. Stephen King? Not so scary. The scariest books I’ve read are few and likely different than yours. And I can’t even remember the titles of all of them. Ready? Here they are, presented in chronological order for me, that is, the order I read them in.
Everything by H.G. Wells
H.G. Wells, I would so write you a letter for ruining my childhood if it weren’t for the fact that you were dead. Plus, being dead there’s always the slim chance you might haunt me—further compounding my suffering. You see, growing up, I was quite sure there were Morlocks in my closet. That little black circle on the calender, the new moon, made me want to cry. Plus, The Red Room! Good grief! Who let me read The Red Room when I slept in a red room while visiting my Grandmother? And while The Invisible Man wasn’t quite so scary I really didn’t need to know that vivisecting cats was a necessary step in discovering invisibility.
Unremembered Horror Titles
When I was in grade six, and eleven or twelve years old, someone brought their parent’s collection of Horror novels to school. I read two of them. One was called The Sandman, I think. I probably read it because I thought it might have something to do with Spider-Man. But both were written in what I presume follows The Amityville style (I don’t really read Horror remember so forgive me if this is completely wrong). A realistic account of a family’s haunting, building from small visitations up to full-on demonic experiences that are so far-fetched they can’t be believed—unless you’re eleven. I didn’t get a lot of sleep that year. Plus, these two books are personally notable for me developing my odd theory that ignorance of religion kept you safe from hauntings; the ghosts seemed to only bug religious folks.
If I can’t communicate essential human ideas because the tools to do so have been taken away from me, am I still human? I still remember vividly my initial shock from first reading 1984. Of course it’s not just frightening but incredibly sad and it’s overwhelming hopelessness and negativity is somewhat inspiring, that is: don’t let this happen to you. I rarely think of it as a science-fiction showpiece (sci-fi geeks love pointing at 1984 in defense). It’s horror for me.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
And lastly, one of the stupidest books I’ve ever read, a kid’s book, is also one of the scariest. The idea that someone thinks boring, terribly written garbage is somehow acceptable for kids fills me with Lovecraftian dread (speaking of, it’s the idea of unknowable whistling octopuses from beyond we Lovecraft fans find frightening—not the actual thing itself) . Here’s a sample page I saved before it hit the trash.
Yikes! Papa Bear’s feeling stabby again.
More Scary Stories for Halloween
There’s two days left till Halloween. If you’ve got any scary stories yourself why not blog about them and link back here so we can read them or post a comment. I can’t be the only guy around still afraid of Morlocks can I?