A Mixed Trick or Treat Bag of the SCARIEST Books Ever . . . .
With Halloween soon approaching again, I headed to the Internet to find the "scariest" books ever written. What I discovered was a mixed bag of opinions, but several of the books below appeared on all the lists: King's "It", Anson's "The Amityville Horror" and Blatty's "The Exorcist".
Let's take a look at the list again. Notice something? The authors are male, every single one. I don't know if that says our most talented horror authors are men or rather men have the weirdest minds. I'll leave that answer up to you.
Hope you enjoy the list!
It, Stephen King
The amazingly prolific King returns to pure horror, pitting good against evil as in The Stand and The Shining. Moving back and forth between 1958 and 1985, the story tells of seven children in a small Maine town who discover the source of a series of horrifying murders. Having conquered the evil force once, they are summoned together 27 years later when the cycle begins again.
Ghost Story, Peter Straub
For four aging men in the terror-stricken town of Milburn, New York, an act inadvertently carried out in their youth has come back to haunt them. Now they are about to learn what happens to those who believe they can bury the past -- and get away with murder. Peter Straub's classic bestseller is a work of "superb horror" (The Washington Post Book World) that, like any good ghost story, stands the test of time -- and conjures our darkest fears and nightmares.
Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury
A masterpiece of modern Gothic literature, Something Wicked This Way Comes is the memorable story of two boys, James Nightshade and William Halloway, and the evil that grips their small Midwestern town with the arrival of a "dark carnival" one Autumn midnight. How these two innocents, both age 13, save the souls of the town (as well as their own), makes for compelling reading on timeless themes.
The Amityville Horror, Jay Anson
George and Kathleen Lutz were aware that the house had been the scene of a mass murder -- Ronnie DeFeo, 23, was convicted of shooting his parents, brothers, and sisters. But it seemed an ideal home for them and their three children, and the price was right. On the day they moved in, a priest invited to bless the house was told by an unseen voice to "Get out!" At his rectory, he began to suffer a series of inexplicable afflictions. Meanwhile, alone in their new home, the Lutz family were embarking on the most terrifying experience of their lives. It began when their five-year-old daughter boasted of her new playmate, someone -- or something -- named "Jodie."
Skull Session, Daniel Hecht
A stunning psychological thriller from the bestselling author of PUPPETS When Paul Skogland, who suffers from the mental disorder Tourette's syndrome, agrees to take on the repairs of the magnificent hunting lodge owned by his wealthy, eccentric aunt, little does he realise exactly what he's taken on. Inside the lodge lies a scene of almost superhuman destruction: a violence mirrored by a series of disappearances and grisly deaths haunting the region. As Paul delves into the wreckage, he can't help but wonder what dark passion - and what strength - could cause such chaos. Escalating events lead Paul deeper into his family's past, and as Paul faces the darker aspects of his own nature, he must brave the possibility that in saving those he loves, he might well destroy himself.
Salem's Lot, Stephen King
Stephen King's second book, 'Salem's Lot (1975)--about the slow takeover of an insular hamlet called Jerusalem's Lot by a vampire patterned after Bram Stoker's Dracula--has two elements that he also uses to good effect in later novels: a small American town, usually in Maine, where people are disconnected from each other, quietly nursing their potential for evil; and a mixed bag of rational, goodhearted people, including a writer, who band together to fight that evil.
Swamp Thing: Love and Death by Alan Moore
Don't let the mediocre Swamp Thing movies fool you, this book is filled with sophisticated suspense and terror. Created out of the swamp through a freak accident, Swamp Thing is an elemental creature who uses the forces of nature and the wisdom of the plant kingdom to fight the polluted world's self-destruction. Swamp Thing . . . the only one who can save mankind.
The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty
Blatty fictionalized the true story of a child's demonic possession in the 1940s. The deceptively simple story focuses on Regan, the 11-year-old daughter of a movie actress residing in Washington, D.C.; the child apparently is possessed by an ancient demon. It's up to a small group of overwhelmed yet determined humans to somehow rescue Regan from this unspeakable fate. Purposefully raw and profane, this novel still has the extraordinary ability to literally shock us into forgetting that it is "just a story." The Exorcist remains a truly unforgettable reading experience.
Red Dragon, Thomas Harris
Lying on a cot in his cell with Alexandre Dumas's Le Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine open on his chest, Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter makes his debut in this legendary horror novel, which is even better than its sequel, The Silence of the Lambs. As in Silence, the pulse-pounding suspense plot involves a hypersensitive FBI sleuth who consults psycho psychiatrist Lecter for clues to catching a killer on the loose.
Books of Blood, 1-3, Clive Barker
Barker's first hardcover appearance in America, gathers together 16 stories in one volume as the author originally intended and contains eerily effective illustrations by fantasy artists J. K. Potter and Harry O. Morris. The tales are of varying quality and will please mostly readers who like their horror bloody and graphic. An occasional reliance on hokey set-ups and deus ex machinas, and the frequent shifting of intention in mid-story are jarring qualities, however. Further, a pervasive misanthropy colors the narratives and makes them unpleasant in a way the author probably didn't intend.
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Keta Diablo writes erotic romance and gay fiction for numerous publishers. You can find her on the web at the links below. Leave a comment here and you'll be eligible to win your choice of one of Keta's books (visit Keta's Haunt bookshelf to see what's available).
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Boo! And Happy Halloween From Alternative Read (and Keta) Reviewed by Keta Diablo on 1:30 am Rating: