What scares you?
Is it that BUMP in the middle of the night that only you hear?
Is it the walk home through the woods with only the moonlight to guide you?
How about that movie you watched that gave you nightmares for a week? Or the dream that felt so real that you fought to wake up and escape it, a cry on your lips?
What was the last book or short story that REALLY scared you? As I’ve got older, I find a scary movie affects me more than a ghost story. Is that because a visual shock is more immediate than a comparable scare in a story? The filmed image is there, right in front of you, without you having to do any work creating it in your head. Is it just me?
This time last year I read two “haunted house” stories, Richard Matheson’s Hell House, and Stephen King’s The Shining. I enjoyed both books but they didn’t really scare me; not like when I was a teenager. As it is the beginning of October, I have decided to attempt a month of reading only darker tales, whether you label them ‘horror’ or not. I want to see what kind of effect these stories have on me.
My choices are:
Broken Monsters (2014) by Lauren Beukes
Off the back cover: “Something strange is happening in Detroit. Hybrid bodies are turning up, half-animal, half-human. For Detective Gabi Versado, they are the work of a twisted monster who surpasses even ‘Murder City’s’ most brutal criminals. […]”
Bag of Bones (1998) by Stephen King
Off the back cover: “When Mike Noonan’s wife dies unexpectedly, the bestselling author suffers from desperate writer’s block. Until he is drawn to their summer home, Sara Laughs, the beautiful Maine lakeside retreat which has recently been haunting his nightmares. […]”
Nightmare Magazine: Queers Destroy Horror! October 2015 (Issue 37)
From the website: “Our special issue for 2015 is Queers Destroy Horror!, guest edited by Wendy N. Wagner, with nonfiction editor Megan Arkenberg and poetry editor Robyn Lupo. This double-issue features new work from Chuck Palahniuk, Matthew Bright, Lee Thomas, Alyssa Wong, and Sunny Moraine, as well as reprints from Kelley Eskridge, Caitlín R. Kiernan, and Poppy Z. Brite. You’ll also be treated to a very special selection of dark poetry reprints and nonfiction that takes a hard look at queer achievements and challenges in the horror genre.”
Why don’t you join me on this journey through the darkness! Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.