by KRL Staff
This year we thought it would be fun to have KRL staff members share the scariest thing they’ve ever read. Check these out, maybe you’ll find something perfect to read this Halloween season. Feel free to share your scariest read in the comment section.
Larry Ham, Sports Spotlight
Without question, the scariest book I’ve ever read is The Exorcist. If you’ve seen the movie, the book is ten times creepier!
Margaret Mendel, Kings River Reviewers
Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery. The way she builds the suspense with the beautiful day is super. You’re not sure who will win the lottery or what they will win!! The boys stuff their pockets with the ‘smoothest and roundest rocks’ for reasons yet unknown. The winner is announced and then….. Boy what a great story teller!!! Delightfully thrilling!!
Sheryl Wall, Pet Perspective
The scariest book I have read is Coraline. I don’t really see it as scary but it’s a really good book and I can see how it can scare very young children especially the replacing the eyes with button eyes part.
Brian Wall, Weekend Wanderers
I’m not a big “scary” book reader, but if I had to choose, I’d say The Oath by Frank E. Peretti. It’s probably the most gripping book I’ve read personally, and I was so immersed in it that I read it over the course of a weekend. That says a lot coming from me (not an avid reader), and considering it’s 550 pages, is virtually unheard of!
Christina Morgan Cree, Mysteryrat’s Maze
When I was in High School, my best friend gave me her copy of Pet Sematary by Stephen King. While I don’t remember much about the book itself, I do remember the fact that she lived right across the street from a pet cemetery and I would have to talk myself down every time I left her house late at night to walk to my car. I vowed never to read another Stephen King novel and I never have. That was 25 years ago.
Roy Runnels, Kings River Reviewers
I just read Zom-B which is of course about zombies. The book opens in the middle of the zombie apocalypse and has a ton of violence in it. Zombies ripping open stomachs and guts, cracking open skulls to get brains. And then there is a sad moment involving a kid that is heart breaking. It has moments like that spread throughout the book and was sometimes hard to read.
Jackie Dale, Pet Perspective
The scariest book I ever read was The Exorcist. I was about 15 and on a babysitting job. There was nothing on TV, so looking through the bookshelf I came upon the Exorcist. I always liked the supernatural sort of stuff so I began to read and I could not put it down. It was so scary and compelling at the same time. I wasn’t able to finish the book before my job was over so I asked permission to borrow the book. I think it was so scary to me because it seemed like it could actually happen in real life. That it in fact, may have happened somewhere, to someone. It remains forever stamped in my memory as one of the scariest books I ever read.
Jesus Ibarra, Fantasy & Fangs
It is really hard to say what was the really scariest thing I have ever read, because I never really read scary horror stuff. And what I have read didn’t really faze me since I am a horror buff who enjoys the genre. I get scared, but not oh my god I’m scared I can’t sleep. However, being Mexican there was a story I was told that really scared me at five. It was the tale of the Llorana, the woman who drown her children in a lake, and now spent nights calling out for her lost children. Follow this up with a watching of Stephen King’s IT, and suffice it to say that five was a scary year for me. Luckily I grew up to love the genre and loved to get scared no matter what I saw or read.
Terrance McArthur, Kings River Reviewers
My family used to belong to a play-of-the-month club, where we received hardbound playscripts by mail. The scariest thing I ever read was the script of Deathtrap by Ira Levin, who wrote Rosemary’s Baby and the script of No Time for Sergeants. I curled up in a chair to read this Broadway smash, and was laughing at the jokes and shivering at the plot, as the writer killed the young man (Victor Garber on stage, Christopher Reeve in the movie) who had come to him with a script that could give him a hit…if he was the author. After the shock of the on-stage murder, I read the scene where the writer and his wife were cleaning up and covering up when the murdered man, caked with dirt, crashed through the French doors! I JUMPED! That was the scariest thing I ever read!
Christine Autrand Mitchell, Editing Team
Right now I’m reading Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Discovering true stories about how oppressing women around the globe so negatively affects the societies in which they live is utterly frightening; finding out the ways in which many of these women overcome atrocities to etch out their own opportunities in order to better their lives and their children’s lives, and in turn their communities, is empowering.
Irene Morse, Food Fun
1. See No Evil, the Story of the Moors Murders (a true account of a young couple who raped and murdered several children in the 60s) 2. In Cold Blood (the Truman Capote story of the Manson crimes) 3. Rosemary’s Baby – even though it was a novel, I was spooked by it long after I finished reading it.
Summer Lane, Kings River Reviewers
Coraline by Neil Gaiman. No lie! ;D
James Garcia Jr., Fantasy & Fangs
Whether one believes the story is the gospel truth or a perfect hoax, there is nothing more frightening than The Amityville Horror. Jay Anson’s chilling tale of the 28 day ordeal that George and Kathleen Lutz spent in the three-storey colonial on 112 Ocean Avenue is the stuff of nightmares. For the uninitiated, the couple found and bought their dream home. Just the year before, it was the site where Ronald DeFeo had murdered his parents, brothers and sisters. Ultimately, the Lutz’s fled the house, convinced that it was possessed by evil spirits. The house either never forgot the terrible murders…or caused them in the first place. Sounds at night; objects moved or turning up missing; George Lutz’s frequent waking at 3:15 a.m. and degrading demeanor; the daughter’s imaginary friend Jodie that leaves hoof prints in the yard and makes pig sounds; the hidden red room in the basement; the flies; and the classic scene where a horrible voice commands the visiting priest to “GET OUT!”, all make this classic completely terrifying. Read it late at night when your house is deathly quiet, save for the sounds of the house settling and the breeze blowing through the curtains. I dare you.
Diana Bulls, Hometown History
The scariest thing I ever read was in The Shining by Stephen King (1977). The Torrance family has moved to a huge, old, isolated hotel to be caretakers when it is shut down for the winter. Danny, the little boy, “shines” or is extra sensitive to his surroundings and the hotel has been around a long time and appears to have a lot of “things” one could be sensitive to.
There are seven hedge animals in front of the hotel, near a playground: a rabbit, dog, horse, cow, and a trio of lions. Danny is playing on the swings and he can feel the hedge animals creeping up behind him, ever so slowly. He knows it can’t be really happening, but it is. Whenever he turns around to look, they are just a little closer, and then a little more closer…
This is still creepy-scary to me, just thinking about it.
DJ Reimer, Teen Talk
Scariest thing I’ve read?
Anything by Lois Duncan. She made me afraid to sleep at night. I’ve grown fond of reading her novels. DURING THE DAY!
Cindy Chow, Mysteryrat’s Maze
As a kid, I plowed through the Stephen King horror books, but although I found them gross, I was never really terrorized by them. I was too young to drive a Christine, there are no rabies in Hawaii, and the power to start fires or throw mean classmates around with just my mind seemed cool despite the potential for major bloodshed.
But a book about a mother who professes unending love, who promises that everything will be perfect in just a few days if her children just hide in the attic of her estranged parents’ mansion only until she can manipulate her way back into their good graces…that horrified, thrilled, and entranced me. V.C. Andrews’ Flowers in The Attic was the book we all passed around in 7th grade, and it was a taboo dark fairy tale of four children locked in an attic for years, just feet from the people who are supposed to love them. Sure, the series eventually disintegrated into an overdramatic soap opera, but this first book encapsulated all of the feelings of alienation, insecurity, and torment inherent in adolescence. What could be more horrific than spending years locked in an attic with your siblings?
Heather Parish, Arts & Entertainment
The Haunting of Hill House is a must for anyone who loves horror. Written in 1959, the horrors of Hill House are very subtle but intensely unnerving and set the standard for the haunted house genre for the next three generations. Shirley Jackson’s work also influenced Stephen King, Neil Gaiman (Coraline) and Richard Matheson (Hell House). The book was adapted into the 1963 film The Haunting.
For those who are into historical novels, All that Lives: A Novel of the Bell Witch is a terrific piece of historical horror. Using the documentary details of an early 1800s haunting in Tennessee (The Bell Witch), Melissa Sanders-Self paints a sympathetic and chilling portrait of a haunting that plagued the Bell family for years. It is a terrific marriage of poltergeists and historical settings- and there is a ton of non-fiction reading to be had about the Bell Witch when you’re through.
Sandra Murphy, Mysteryrat’s Maze
I don’t read scary although Mary Higgins Clark has a very deviant mind for such a sweet looking little woman. Loves Music, Loves to Dance I think is the one that made me sleep with the lights on – still. If I remember right (and there’s no guarantee) the book is about women who answer personal ads and then go to this guy’s house and he asks them to dance. He says dancing is more fun if they are dressed up more and gives them a pair of ankle strap high heels to wear. Then when he goes for the kill, they can’t run away because of the three or four inch heels they can’t slip out of. Scared the hell out of me. Women are taught to be too polite and it gets us in dangerous situations. And I love high-heeled shoes.
Lorie Lewis Ham, Editor-in-Chief
I too stay away from reading scary things most of the time, but one of the scariest things I ever read was something that wasn’t meant to be scary–The Shack by William Young. The Shack is a Christian fiction book and the scary thing about it for me was that it involved the very realistic account of the kidnapping of a small girl. As a parent this disturbed me so much that I had nightmares and had a hard time finishing the book.