But first, a word on the chilling and eerie. I’m a horror lover by nature. I always gravitated towards the paranormal as a child and, by the time I was in high school, I sat at the back of my classes and read Stephen King novels - not in English, of course. Though the amount of gore I can stomach varies year to year, my love of all things scary, mysterious, dark and horrifying has never changed.
|Edgar Allan Poe and Mary Shelley
|Scary Stories Artwork
If you’re more young-adult literature oriented, try reading The Witches by Roald Dahl, where a boy discovers that witches plan on turning all children into mice. It may sound tame, but these witches are particularly mean and merciless – even to children. I also must mention the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series, which terrified me as a child. I have a memory of it lying face-up on my floor one night, the pale white of the twisted face on the cover staring up at me. I catapulted out of bed, grabbed it with the tips of my fingers to avoid too much contact, and threw it out into the hallway. It’s that scary.
And then, of course, there are the horror masters like Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Anne Rice, and Clive Barker. My life would not be the same were it not for Needful Things and The Stand. I faced my severe clown phobia and read It, only to conclude that I would never get over my coulrophobia. The Taking by Dean Koontz is one of the most fascinating and horrifying looks at the second coming I’ve ever encountered, and Interview with a Vampire only solidified my intense fear and fascination with vampires.
I can’t write horror. I wish I could. But I can worship those writers who make me look over my shoulder at night, race up the basement stairs when the lights are off and I’m by myself, and huddle under my covers as my mind imagines every scary thing that haunts my bedroom.
So Happy Halloween horror lovers everywhere. Hope it’s the scariest one yet!