Saturday, October 29, 2005


I'm trying to put together a list of scary writer stuff for a Halloween-related ten post, but my definition of scary and everyone else's might be different.

Here's my working list:

1. Ghost Story by Peter Straub, also his first collaboration with Stephen King, The Talisman.

2. To save typing all the titles, pretty much everything Stephen King writes (even On Writing, which raised a few of my neck hairs.)

3. Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon. Very creepy (shuddering as I type it.)

4. The Abandoned by Douglas Clegg about burned off my hair ribbons.

5. Cold Granite by That Scottish Writer Whose Name I Can Never Remember.

The scariest book I've ever read? Midnight Rain by Holly Lisle.

What are some of your favorite scary, creepy, or hair-raising reads?


  1. Anonymous2:18 AM

    Anything Poe.

  2. The original book for Amityville Horror ... creepy

  3. The eardrum piercing scenes in On Writing were horrific.

    Holly Lisle's Midnight Rain. Only book that has ever given me nightmares. Very creepy stuff.

  4. Anonymous4:09 AM

    The news and A Writer's Life.


    ... :)

  5. Er... is that scary in a good, or a bad way?

  6. Anonymous6:18 AM

    Threads of Malice, by Tamara Siler Jones. Great book, but scary.
    Still finished it in 2 days, though :)

  7. Anything by James Patterson. It makes me afraid for the future of the human race.

  8. Anything by Tamara Siler Jones, but Midnight Rain was scarier in an all-too-real way.

    For scariest characters? Skirmig in Talyn.

    John R, reality makes me fear for the human race.

  9. Talyn by Holly Lisle, scary in a non-traditional way

    Threads of Malice by Tamara Siler Jones

    I agree with whoever said Poe.

    And then there's Lovecraft.

    And "I Have no Mouth and I Must Scream", a short story by Harlan Ellison that's one of the creepiest stories I've ever read.

    "Sandkings", a novella by G.R.R. Martin. That story is what got me hooked on his writing.

    A story called "The Watcher or Watchers". I don't remember the author. It was one of the fiction pieces in the long-defunct magazine "Omni". It was a sad, scary story about a musician who broke the rules and then was made to enforce those very rules. I'd love to find a copy of that one and read it again.



  10. Postmortem, Patricia Cornwell. Definitely one of the scariest books I've ever read, if not the scariest.

    Darkness, Take my Hand - Dennis Lehane. Scary as hell and just fantastic writing.

    The Bone Collector - Jeffrey Deaver. Scared the bejesus out of me.

    Headhunter - Michael Slade - that one will stuck with me for years.

    Nothing Human - Ronald Munson. Kept me checking the windows and lock on the door, and watching to make sure nobody was following me, for months.

  11. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson is still my touchstone when I really want to be creeped out.

    The Turn of the Screw by Henry James takes second place, followed by any number of Stephen King's short stories, to which I'm addicted. I love his novels, as well, but they don't pack as much of a " I'll NEVER get to sleep" punch as most of his shorter works. That man is inpsired by a very dark angel, God love him.

  12. I'll second Poe. I recall being fairly scared when I read Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist. But real life fictional horror, the sort that can really happen, usually scares me more, books like The Fixer, and more recently, The Plot Against America. The latter, by Philip Roth had me shaking when I read it this summer.

  13. pj had already said my pick. The original Amityville Horror. I read it as a kid and I can still remember the feeling. Creepy.

  14. Both of Sean Kennedy's books. He's unknown, but one helluva horror writer.

    Also I have to add the anything by Stephen King.

  15. Anonymous12:23 PM

    The absolute scariest book I've ever read in my life is my checkbook in a lean month.

    Second scariest? I can tell you what it was about, but nothing else. A family of three. Dad was an avenger of God's for good who married mom, a daughter of the Devil, who turned her ways to good. It was unknown who the toddler would fight for yet, but the kid had a defender in a dog who would kill any who tried to harm him. There was another daughter of the Devil who planned wicked things for the family of three, but I only made it through the first half of the book, so I don't know what happened.
    I had nightmares for a week, but to this day could not tell you the author or the title of the book. Which is just as well.

  16. Nowadays, my scare level is pretty high. If I think a book to be scary, than in the How Did That Ever Get Published-scary way. :-)

    But I remember one that scared me when I was 6 or 7, Ein Fest auf Haderslevhus, a novella by the 19th century German writer Theodor Storm. I loved the book - well, I still do - but there was that scene when most of the Count's family dies of the Black Death and they find their blackened bodies. *shudder* Not nowadays, though. ;-)

  17. I agree with Selah--anything short by Stephen King! And a lot of Dean Koontz's earlier works for the reality potential. One of the scariest though (don't laugh) a Robin Cook book involving our meat supply and the FDA *shudder*

  18. And, of course, Poe was the master. You can't go wrong selecting him.

  19. Anonymous7:21 PM

    Stephen King's It.

  20. I am a reading wuss. I scare so easily and an intense horror book can give me nightmares.

    When I was a kid, the Legend of Sleepy Hollow with the horrible headless horseman freaked me out.

    I used to read Stephen King until The Stand scared me so badly that I put it down when everyone was in the Lincoln Tunnel and never had the nerve to finish. (Told you I'm a wuss!)

    After King, Dean Koontz's Twilight Eyes ranks up there as scariest for me in my adult years. The thought that murderous goblins walk among us, hidden by seemingly normal human faces chilled me stupid.

  21. Stephen King's Salem's Lot, gave me nightmares for weeks and I've never read him again. Dean Koontz's Intensity was amazing, and Patricia Cornwell's Post Mortem would be my top three. But Midnight Rain? Not even close. Picked the who and the how and the where half way through the book. Sorry. Just not scary.

  22. Anonymous1:09 AM

    i don't find poe scary but beautiful.

    A little morbid and macabre, but very beautiful.

    I dont scare easily and i find most horror never hits my "eeek!" button.

  23. Into the Out Of by Alan Dean Foster. Just the idea of those things you see at the edge of your vision actually being real freaked me out.

  24. We had to read The Lottery by Shirley Jackson in the ninth grade and it still makes me queasy.


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