This has been my theme this week: I hate scary stuff. In fact, I can’t wait for this whole month of October to be over. Everyone is blogging about “Books perfect for Halloween!” and it’s made it really hard to comment and find good books because I just can’t get into any of them! I know I’m whining, and the blogosphere isn’t here to serve me, but it’s just like… Halloween is not that special, is it??
I’ll give you a picture of me: Supernatural has scarred me for life. I watch it because I love the Winchesters and the overall story arcs, but some episodes scared me so bad that I have to check my closet every night and I run from the bathroom to my room at night because I swear something is following me and I jump into bed because a hand is going to grab my ankle and I’m going to die. Not to mention the fact that no matter how hot I might get, I have to have my feet to shoulders covered by blankets. Because then nothing can get you then, right? Right. Other than Supernatural, the scariest thing I’ll watch is Criminal Minds, and even then I cover my eyes at the awful bits. I can’t stand seeing needles be stuck in people, torture of any kind, hear the screams… It’s just awful. I’m getting the willies just typing this right now.
Actually, I’m writing this right after I went through all the Top Ten Tuesday posts (where people show off the scariest covers they can find), and I just
Anyway, now to my point: why won’t I read scary books? If I can handle Supernatural, I should be able to read scary stuff, right? The answer is no, and here’s why: the mind and imagination is much more powerful than a tv show. If I’m watching something, that’s it. I see the image and I can turn away if I want. But with a book, you create it in your mind. You don’t just see the image, you hear the screams, you feel the prickles in your skin, and whatever you imagine is probably 1000x more grotesque than the author intended. The mind is a powerful thing, folks. Which is why I dedicate my imagination to fantasy and sci-fi, because I can totally get behind developing those worlds and ideas.
This isn’t to say that I haven’t read scary stuff – in fact I have. And this may also have contributed to my latent scaredy pants syndrome.
When I was fourteen, I got really into Stephen King. I bought stacks of his books from my used bookstore, and sat down to read them all. I started with Pet Sematary.
I stayed up till 3am because I was so terrified. It still is to this day the most horrifying thing I have ever read. And then I read more of his books after that, and then Dean Koontz’s What the Night Knows (scary, scary, scary). And a few other thrillers to top it off. After that, I was done. I resigned from the entire thriller/mystery/horror genre for good, and I maintain that to this day.
One exception will be made, however: Edgar Allen Poe. But even then I mostly read his poetry, and I consider those gothic rather than horror. My favorites are Annabel Lee and The Raven, if you’re wondering.
Oh and since it’s Halloween today, I’ll share my plans with you all. I’m going to my church, parking my green bug that may or may not be decorated like Shrek (because I’ve named her Fiona), filling up my trunk with candy, and letting the kids come and “trunk or treat.” It’s a tradition at the church, and I’m super excited to be a part of it this year. I’m going to have blankets, Panera soup, and a Starbucks. And possibly a book in my hand 😉 I’ll be home by 9, in my pjs, watching Spongebob Squarepants.
So what about you? How do you feel about scary books? What are your plans for Halloween?