Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Favorite Scary Story

Halloween is coming, friends! And that means telling each other scary stories. What's your favorite? Here are ours:

Mine comes from this book: Scary! Stories that Will Make You Scream! It's an anthology of scary stories (go figure) by famous authors like R. L. Stine, Roald Dahl, and Stephen King. I can't find my copy at the time of this writing, so I don't recall which author wrote my favorite story, which I remember the details of vaguely, but the general idea and feeling extremely well.

It's about a girl who live in what is essentially an isolation pod. She entertains herself with weapons and people who are sent in to her by some overseeing person (nameless, faceless). SPOILER ALERT: In the story, she is given a man that she plays with (I seem to recall it was with a knife) but she winds up dead because that particular toy was Jack the Ripper.

I practically memorized this book in high school, and I loved every story in it (I recall there being one from Ray Bradbury, and this was when I was discovering his work, as well as Stephen King's... and there's one called "Hush!" that I almost wrote about here instead). In On Writing, Stephen King talks about how imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and his early writing attempts mimicked the work of his favorite authors, which is embarrassing later in life, but makes sense for a young, new writer. Many of my early attempts (and some of my current ones) at writing involved isolation pods like the one in this story. So that must mean I'm a pretty big fan.

Ok, say whatever you will about scary stories, but these book absolutely scared the ever-living daylights out of me when I was little.

Who didn't read Goosebumps as a kid?  Oh, I'm sure someone didn't, but if you were a kid, growing up in the 1990s, you probably picked up at least one of these books.  R.L.Stine writes them (in fact, he writes a lot of scary books.  Fear Street is basically the YA/Adult version of Goosebumps.)  I like that he wasn't afraid to scare kids.  I STILL like that about it.  And the endings were often "happy" endings in the sense that things worked out, but then at the last minute, something would make you think twice.

Even the covers were scary looking (like the one above.  It's pretty creepy), but you couldn't stop reading them.  It would be 11 at night, all the lights out, and you're reading about a creepy, possessed dummy that wants to kill you.

If you didn't read these as a kid, well, I'm very sorry for you.  Because they were awesome.

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