did I scare you?
no? oh. okay. *cries in a corner*
are you someone who likes to be scared? who enjoys the rush of mysterious fear and the adrenaline of the moment? I am. however, I also get scared extremely easily, and then anxiety increases that terror ten-fold. so I have to be careful how I scare myself. I try to minimize the amount of "scary" tv shows I watch, although I do love a good suspenseful one, and over the years, I've found that the best way to give myself a scare is to read a scary book.
and since I am embarking on an adventure (tomorrow!!!) to write a somewhat scary book, I thought I would reminisce on some of the scary books I've enjoyed over the years.
(side note: not all of these are scary now. some were enhanced by my terrified child mind. and some still freak me out a little, even though I'll never admit it. oh. whoops.)
A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, and A Swiftly Tilting Planet, by Madeleine L'Engle
these books scarred me as a child. but in a good way. I was probably too young to read A Wind in the Door and A Swiftly Tilting Planet when I did read them, but I'm glad I did. this series contributed to my fear of large brains and the smell of cabbage, and they also extremely confused me about the actual function of mitochondria (which, I'm proud to say, I've finally sorted out after ten years).
A Wrinkle in Time was my first experience with science fiction--before I read Star Wars, before I read Ender's Game, I read about Meg and Charles Wallace and Calvin. and I loved it, even though it terrified me about high school math teachers turning into Echthroi. Many Water wasn't scary, although it inspired a great of the end of the world and great love for the Murry twins, and I haven't read An Acceptable Time--I know, the travesty. but I plan to with this reread of this wonderful series. I highly recommend these, especially now that I enjoy them as excellent pieces of fiction as well as somewhat scary books--they are perfect to curl up under a blanket with on a dark stormy night.
Morpheus Road, by James McHale
I'd forgotten about these until I was pondering what books actually scared me. these instantly popped up, shouting "pick me, pick me!" or maybe it wrote that on a mirror in blood. I don't really know. it has been AGES since I picked up a Morpheus Road book, so I don't remember a lot of the plot, but I do know that people died, there was a lake of blood (?), and boats. lots of boats. after thinking about it, it kind of reminds me a lot of Death Note, except there's no notebook you can kill people with, and no cake-loving genius. there is a demon thingie that reminds me a lot of Ryuk, but without the sass and the apples.
this description may not make sense or sound that exciting, but I genuinely enjoyed reading this series, even though it scared me. Morpheus Road was probably the first YA horror I ever experienced, and I think it was a good first experience.
This Present Darkness, by Frank Peretti
yoooo this was the first adult book I ever read (around age 13? I think?), and it freaked the crap out of me. it's a really good book, or at least I remember it being really good, with a lot of interesting characters, but those demon descriptions, man. I've actually read several of this guys books, and all of them, especially his YA ones, have been good and thrill-worthy. I just have a soft spot for This Present Darkness because of how much it terrified me as a child.
|basically me when I first read This Present Darkness|
Fiendish, by Brenna Yovanoff
I don't talk enough about my new love for Brenna Yovanoff, queen of all things weird and magical. Fiendish is about a girl who was buried alive with her eyes sewn shut until someone comes and wakes her and basically starts the end of the world. it's a ride and a half, and I love the concept of the various magics that the people in the town had. I wish certain things about Fiendish had been developed a little better, like Clementine adjusting to the real world, and her relationship with Eric was...weird. it had its good points, but it was mostly just...weird. but if you're looking for an extremely well-written book in terms of prose, premise, and potential, with just enough creepiness to make it spooky, Fiendish is perfect for you.
The Foxglove Killings, by Tara Kelly
this book kept me up at night. I love a good suspense novel, but The Foxglove Killings delivered above and beyond that. huge psychological thriller about a little town in the middle of the woods. pretty good characters with a romance side-plot that didn't need to be there, but I understand the why of it all. the twists and turns were actually very surprising, and I genuinely felt concerned for the protagonists and their well-being. this book was so creepy that I am actually a little worried about naming one of my characters Foxglove...oh well...
|first I was like this when I realized the similarity|
|then I was like this once I realized I'm too in love with this name.|
The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater
Fun story: I was so confused by this book and scared because it was just so weird that I didn't sleep well the night after finishing it. instead, I got up and reread it in order to fall asleep and/or get some form of peace, I guess. but this whole series is just creepy enough that it sends chills up your spines, and it plays with your mind in ways that you don't really understand.
The Lynburn Legacy trilogy, by Sarah Rees Brennan
this series is not as scary as much as it is an utter delight to read. although, scarecrows coming to life and attacking people has also been one of my unrealistic fears (I have a lot of these, fight me). if we ignore the whole drama that Jared and Kami are (by golly there's a lot of drama. I love them and I sort of like the way it was handled in the first book, but by book three we're still dealing with the same old song and it's a little exhausted), Unspoken, Untold, and Unmade have a lot of great characters, an interesting plot, and some of the best humor I've ever read.
it literally took me a page and a half to fall in love with the sassy Kami, and the concept of suddenly having that voice in your head be an actual real-life human being was both interesting and terrifying. my only issue is that Unspoken has an unbelievably gorgeous cover (actually the reason I picked it up), while Untold and Unmade have covers that are completely different and look like your stereotypical paranormal romance. *sighs* I'm nearly done with Unmade (it took me longer than the first two because DRAMA), but overall, I highly recommend these books if you enjoy Maggie Stiefvater or Brenna Yovanoff or basically if you want to read a book about gothic magic with hilarious dialogue.
|I literally could not stop laughing.|
I basically wrote this post as an excuse to recommend these books. go. find them at your library. put them on hold. devour them and love them like I did.
what are some of the books that creeped you out as a child? any creepy recommendations? I think I might try more Frank Peretti and maybe some Ted Dekker (man I haven't read Christian fiction in a while...), as well as other YA authors, but what are some that you have enjoyed?? do you prefer fantasy scary, real life scary, or supernatural scary--or all three??
|or are you just generally terrified of scariness? you're not alone--I am too. I'm just too in love with the adrenaline rush to stop.|