Sunday, October 25, 2015
10 Scary Books That Will Seriously Keep You Up At Night
In a recent interview with HuffPost, Goosebumps author R.L. Stine said he thought most fears were “universal,” and, for him at least, linked closely with humor. “It’s that same guttural reaction,” he said.
Unlike Stine, I’ve never equated scary with funny -- my guttural reaction to reading a scary book is to dwell on the images conjured from its pages as I shift around in bed, unable to sleep. The first book that sent my heartrate soaring higher than after a decent cardio workout was The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, which I listened to on audiobook while carpooling to swim practice. A narrator described a tiny, wormlike cat that wriggled around, possessed. I felt possessed myself, unable to shirk off the thought of a seemingly helpless but actually evil baby animal.
This is the power of scary books: a character like Worm would seem like a farce in a movie, but Snyder’s book, a cult YA classic, describes the anxious feelings of those affected by him -- and that, to me, is scarier than clowns and ghouls jumping out from behind corners.
So, in the spirit of Halloween, I’ve gathered up a few books that are psychologically eerie in the way some horror movies just aren’t.