This week’s topic is top five books that did scare me, which was a far easier list to put together than last time because I’m probably the easiest person to frighten on the entire planet. Seriously, my cats could brush against my legs and make me jump a foot in the air!
Top Five Books That Did Scare Me
There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury
A old short story that has stayed with me for a very, VERY long time. Nothing truly terrifying really even happens, and revolves around the daily functions of a futuristic, automatic house. It’s a quiet, peaecful setting, and yet everything around it fills me with chilling dread and sorrow. It’s an older short so I think most people have read it, but for those that haven’t yet, I really can’t say much about the story without spoiling everything about it. But if you have the time, I do recommend it as something that will absolutely unsettle you to your core.
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
This may be an odd choice, and I know this book is utterly brilliant and a lot of people love it, but the entire time I was reading it, I was filled with a terrible, crippling sense of dread that took me weeks to escape from, even after I’d finished. The characters, the narrator, and the reader is constantly second guessing what’s real and the sense of unknown (and unknowable) was downright terrifying. The idea of losing my mind is especially horrifying to me and that’s basically this book in a nutshell. I recommend it, but I’m not touching that again!
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
I first came across the Woman in Black as a movie starring Harry Potter/Daniel Radcliffe, then heard it was a play, and finally that it began as a truly spine-chilling novel.
Naturally, I had to read it, and it delivered everything that was promised and more. There are English moors, a mysterious curse, and of course, the absolutely chilling presence of the Woman in Black herself. If you’re looking for a smart, tense, TERRIFYING ghost story that’s practically dripping with gothic atmosphere and suspense, look no further.
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Similar to The Woman in Black, this wasn’t a book I’d read before seeing the movie, and I was also a fair bit outside the target audience when I finally decided to pick it up. And, much like the movie, I can’t believe this was marketed to kids – and the book is somehow worse! There’s far more terrifying things in here than could have ever made it into the film, while still maintaining that eerie, magical atmosphere that draws me in to all Gaimen’s books.
If you enjoyed the film, definitely check the book out, as it’s equally as intriguing and three-times as terrifying!
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
I couldn’t do this list without adding the first book to ever scare the pants off me. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is an anthology of creepy stories, and includes some truly disturbing illustrations that still haunt my nightmares. Each tale is it’s own special kind of terrifying, from the ghostly to the macabre, and I still remember having to sleep with the lights on each time I thought I was brave enough to try reading another. (Spoiler: I wasn’t.) I should never have been allowed to read this book as a child, and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to be thoroughly creeped out.
What were some books that scared you? Let me know in the comments below.
Happy reading everyone!