Hello, friends! Halloween is merely days away (finally!) and so today, I thought I’d go over 5 things that I look for in books when I want a good scare. This list is brought to you by Top Ten Tuesday, which was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. As I feel most comfortable with smaller numbers, I’ll be making a top 5 instead.
5. El Cuco
I’ve been thinking about this one a lot because I was talking with Jesse over at Bowties & Books about the book Five Midnights. The story features el Cuco as the main villain, and I was incredibly excited to pick it up because of this. If you don’t know, he’s sort of like the Puerto Rican boogeyman. My behavior as a child could be corrected instantly with the threat of him. Unfortunately, the book didn’t really work for me, but I would be glad to pick up another horror with this creature.
4. Supernatural Identity Theft
Someone recommended Netflix’s Haunted to me the other day because of a specific episode where a bunch of friends were tormented by something they called the Mimic. The episode itself was not very good in my opinion got me thinking about how horrifying that would be. Imagine thinking you’re seeing someone you care about, but it’s actually another being entirely? It could lure you into places you wouldn’t normally go. It could probably kill you. All it has to do…. is gain a little trust. This is also something that happens in my favorite horror movie, It Follows. I think that’s the part that made me the most paranoid, actually. How would you know that the person you’re seeing is real or not?
3. Home Invasion
I don’t know if I’d say that I actively seek this one out. This one frightens me so much that I’m sure I’d have instant nightmares if I read too much of it. The thing is, I don’t even live in a full house. I haven’t in years. If someone broke into my apartment in the middle of the night, there’s nowhere I can really go because it’s so tiny (which I guess is frightening on its own). But the idea of thinking you hear somebody in the house but you have no idea where? That’s terrifying. Suddenly it’s like you’re playing a game for your life. Make the wrong move and enter the wrong move, and you’re dead.
2. Ghosts / Poltergeists
This was very nearly my number one. Honestly, ghosts are much scarier to me than humans or even serial killers, because you have absolutely no idea what they can do. A serial killer has to find you in your hiding spot, but a ghost can just pop through the walls and be all, “You really thought I couldn’t see you there?” A human can harm you, yes, but a ghost has so many more ways to do it. Especially poltergeists! My favorite ghost series is the Bad Girls Don’t Die trilogy by Katie Alender, and the third book included a scene that frightened me enough to put the book down for a second and slowly back away to catch my breath.
I also want to note that new ghosts are much scarier to me than old ones. They know the way your mind works better and can mess with you that way.
Can you believe a shadow is what beat out a ghost? It may sound silly, but just the very idea of a shadow standing, immobile, in the corner of my room sends chills down my spine like you can’t even imagine. It’s something about the fact that you can’t see what’s there but you know that something is! You want to tear your eyes away from that spot of darkness, but you just can’t. And why are they just standing still like that? Gets me every time!!!!!
I even made up a game when I was a kid that I like to call Closer and Closer. You play with two people, on opposite sides of a room (one is preferably in bed, like in the horror movies). The person standing says “open” and “close”, and the other person opens and shuts their eyes accordingly. When their eyes are closed, the person on the opposite side of the room gets closer to the other. It’s always frightening. Always. I’ve tried playing it in school, in a classroom that wasn’t entirely dark because of a lack of proper curtains, while making funny sounds, and it’s always unnerving.
That’s all for today! What are some of the scariest things for you to read about? Let’s talk about it~ Have a happy and safe Halloween (if you celebrate!) and I’ll see you soon!