October 27, 2010

Spooky Books for Halloween & a giveaway

I don't handle scary well.  I think I realized this when I tried to pick up Stephen King's It around the age of 10.  Of course, horror movies of even the most cheesy variety had frightened me too, so this shouldn't have been surprising.  I snuck the worn book back into my aunt's bookcase, but to this day, I'm still scared of vents (Pennywise might get tired of drains!).  I stuck with R.L. Stine for a while.  I could handle being spooked if not terrified.  Around five years later, I tried another Stephen King book.  I don't exactly remember which one, but I wasn't very far in when I realized that the book was the cause of me not sleeping well.  I decided that horror was not for me.  And that was okay.

For whatever reason my brain had no issue with zombies or thrillers.  Silence of the Lambs and I Am Legend (it is quite different than the candified Will Smith movie) crept into my bones and chilled me.  In high school I curled up on the corner of my bed, against the wall, and read until the wee hours of the morning.  I knew that each page would maybe haunt me the next time I was home alone in the dark, but I still couldn't stop turning them.  This is still very much true. 

It is a delightful feeling to be scared by images created by words.  So I was very happy to see this post from Neil Gaiman proposing a new tradition.  Simply this: On Halloween or the week of Halloween, give each other scary books.  Pretty frakking brilliant.

I want to get the word out and help perpetuate this tradition.  To this end, I want to give one reader a scary book.  Granted, because I'm a few days off my game, you're going to get the book a little after Halloween but I hope you don't mind.

How to Enter
1. Leave a comment telling me about a book that scared you BEFORE 9pm PST on Friday, 10/29.
2. Use a valid email with this comment.
3. Be able to reply by Monday evening with a shipping address if you're the winner.  You'll also need to let me know what level of scary you like.

What book do you get?  Well, it will my choice and it will be a surprise. 
Happy Halloween!  Now, go give books!

Also, the Washington Post started a #booksthatfreakedmeout tag on Twitter.  Add to it and find some new books for your reading list.


  1. Great tradition! Id have to say "It" by Stephen King scared the S&*# outta me. And the Shining... both were awesome reads, scary and I loved them!

  2. Oh and email: TheJessicaulove@gmail.com

  3. The book that scared me the most was a Dean Koontz book. I think it was Winter Moon, but I'm not sure. I only tried reading it once, shortly after it came out in the mid-90s and couldn't finish it, I got so scared. Christopher Golden's The Ferryman was also freaksome, but not beyond what I could actually handle reading.

  4. Oh, and you should have my email addy with my account info.

  5. The book that scared me the most is The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum. The depth of human depravity is shown through the horrible things a woman does to a young girl under care. The most chilling aspect is that it's based on true events that aren't too far from what happens in the novel. I read this book in one sitting and it completely made me lose my appetite, but it's a really good book.

  6. oops! My email is titania86@yahoo.com

  7. Love it! I'm into scary, always have been, I'm hard to scare. Makes it a game to hunt down scary things.

    Saying that, I am a firm believer in ghosts, so that tend to scare me the most, and I remember this book I read as a kid with a picture of a ghost girl on the cover. I can't remember the name now, but I never could leave that book cover visible at night.

    Girls Are Geeks

  8. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark were always freaky!! And the pictures were really scary too!

    my email is megan.vandee at gmail dot com

  9. I think what scared me most were Dean Koontz's books, though I haven't read much King. Koontz was so bad that I was having horrible horrible nightmares until I stop reading them.

  10. I'm right there with you! I really don't deal with horror well, but Silence of the Lambs is a fabulous flick. And I Am Legend was a wonderful book. I remember having nightmares at age 13 when I was reading Suffer the Children. My mom took it away from me, and I never finished it. I still will not go to haunted anythings or horror movies. As for sending me a scary book - no thanks, luv. I'll stick with my sci-fi and fantasy, and live in my alternate reality without all the terrifying images!

    Happy Halloween!

  11. scariest book, i've read? i dunnnoooo, i read a LOT of books, my friend.

    lesseee, i'd have to pick the witching hour by anne rice.

    i have read plenty of stephen king, read dracula numerous times but the witching hour is the only book to every make me shiver and to give me nightmares. the tale itself isn't completely horrific but the character lasher always frightened me. his smoothness, his demeanor was definitely chilling. i don't know what about him freaks me out, but creeptastic!

    still doesn't stop me from reading the maywitch series every year <3

  12. I've always love scary stories. When I was a kid, I read Christopher Pike until I was allowed to read adult fiction. I think the first one that I can remember actually scaring me was Dean Koontz's The Door to December.

    email: succubus77@sbcglobal.net

  13. Oh! Fun!

    I've read a number of horror novels and while they creep me out sometimes I never really get too scared by the horror genre.

    Hyperion by Dan Simmons though gave me real world nightmares. Something about a machine made of razor blades that moves back and forth through time trying to cause as much pain and suffering as possible. /shiver There are scenes in that book I will never unsee.

    Eric (entropyhed@gmail.com)

  14. cool idea. I am Legend is a pretty scary story, so give yourself points for that.

    Scariest book I have read, might just be Salem's Lot. Or at least it is the book that scared me the most at the time that I read it. I don't know if it would be the same today. I remember reading it and one night having to turn on comedy central for a half an hour to ensure that I would be able to go to sleep. BuddBlack(at)gmail

  15. Dark Property by Brian Evenson was a frightening literary endeavor. A dying child, religious extremism and a journey through a desert wasteland brought to life through Evenson's unique style. Truly a remarkable, yet disturbing, book.


  16. Song of Kali by Dan Simmons. A magazine editor is sent to Calcutta to buy recently discovered poems by a deceased poet. Except the poet might not be dead after all. I read this book a few years ago and it terrified me, both in its depiction of impoverishment and the horrors which fall upon the editor.

    Terry tbosky@gmail.com

  17. I think I was 7 or so when I first read It by Stephen King. And, yeah... to this day, clowns scare the bejubus out of me!

  18. The scariest book I have ever read is "House of Leaves" by Mark Z. Danielewski. The ever-expanding, labyrinthine house itself is frightening, but what creeped me out the most was Johnny Truant's slow descent into madness. His deteriorating mental state was described in such agonizing detail, I felt like I was going crazy right along with him. It's been about 6 years since I read it, and I still have the occasional nightmare about it! My email is crazycatlady713@gmail.com

  19. In the spirit of sharing, everyone should give Joe Hill's "Heart Shaped Box" a look. It's quite good, in some ways echoing his dad's (Stephen King) work while still managing to stand on its own and have a distinct voice. Also, his comic series "Locke & Key" is addictive, Cthulhu-y fun.

  20. Stephen King's Salem's Lot scared the crap out of me. I read it at 15 and couldn't sleep well for over a month. I still get really bad nightmares because of it.

    IT would be a sufficient runner-up


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