Scary stories for seasonal selection
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Staff Writer
While horror has become increasingly popular in movies, TV shows, and even video games, it often remains underground in book form. While many novels exist in the genre, they often remain undetected by the mainstream since horror has elements that may not appeal to casual readers. Nevertheless, with Halloween upon us, there’s a new reason to get scared by what we read. Here are my suggestions for fiction to get you in the spirit.
Stephen King: An exception to the lack of mainstream horror success, King’s prolific career has made him one of the most successful writers of all time. His books come in many forms and, while virtually all feature a creepy tone, many of his works contain no supernatural or shock value elements. For those looking for less straight horror, his works The Bachman Books, The Stand, The Dark Tower, Different Seasons, and 11/22/63 feature a focus on drama, fantasy, and even some comedy over his typical association. For those wanting the books that give him his association, The Shining, It, Pet Sematary, and Skeleton Crew are amongst his scariest works.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark: Alvin Schwartz’s trilogy, which is allegedly for children, was the source of nightmares for millions of kids. The books are collections of very short, 0ne- to two-page, stories inspired by folklore and urban legends. Perhaps the scariest part of this series was not the stories themselves, but the disturbing illustrations by Stephen Gammell. A recent re-release of the series eliminated the terrifying artwork, and the creepiness factor just isn’t the same. Be sure to read the original editions for maximum fright.
R.L. Stine: Often known as “Stephen King for children,” Stine’s books have frights for all ages. While his children’s series Goosebumps and its spin-offs are the most popular and perhaps his best works, Stine’s books extend far beyond. His Fear Street books for teenagers went into much more mature territory and were often reminiscent of a horror movie. He even wrote a couple novels for adults, like Superstition and Red Rain. Why not relive childhood this October by revisiting one of his hundreds of books, especially after checking out the recent Goosebumps movie?
Edgar Allen Poe: One of the original horror writers, Poe’s works from the 1800s can still be frightening as well as entertaining to modern audiences. Although his stories can be difficult to understand language-wise, anyone with an interest in classical literature or the horror genre should read a bit of the literary master. His scariest short stories include “The Black Cat,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” and “The Premature Burial.”
Creepypasta: While not usually available in print form, Creepypasta is a form of scary story written by amateurs on the Internet that is still very effective. Many of the stories have been extended to serial form or even mainstream pop culture, such as the “Slender Man” figure, who originally appeared in Creepypasta lore. These stories can be viewed on websites such as Reddit.com/r/creepypasta, or Creepypasta.com