Scare Me

scaredFear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil.
~ Aristotle

It’s Thursday. I have coffee. There are now three green couches in the garage. You know where this is going…

I have read some amazing books in the last few years—horror, thriller, non-genre and even non-fiction. But today, the important one on that list is horror.

I remember the last time I needed to stop and make The Tomo Face™. I remember the last time I requested brain bleach. I remember the last time I had to take a shower to cleanse my soul of the eww-factor—mid-novel and afterward. I remember the last time I cringed. I remember the last time I looked up and said “ewww” aloud. I even remember the last time I paused to call/write the author and type out “ewww!”

But I don’t remember the last time I wanted to leave the lights on.

I don’t remember the last time the words jumped off the page and into my brain, making me check back seats and sit facing windows and hide under the covers.

Now don’t you dare tell me I’m jaded. I’m sooooooo not. I still shake and cry in haunted house attractions—yes, I just admitted that. So why can’t I remember the last good scare?

A hectic life and writing schedule caused me to become a major slacker on the blog. Life is calmer (surprise party done, holidays done, graduation done) but the writing is going to stay insane for the rest of this year (and hopefully life), and I will try not to use it as an excuse. Now, back to that first paragraph. It’s Thursday. There’s a garage. And to celebrate the rebirth of garage talk, I’m not going to offer a thought provoking question. I’m just going to make a simple request…

Suggest a book that will scare me. And I mean scare. I want to sleep with the lights on. I want to check the backseat. I want to sit facing the windows out of fear. New, old, it doesn’t matter… hell, I’ll even reread something if you think it’ll scare me. Now grab your coffee and try to remember the last time you slept with the lights on… what were you reading?

0 Responses to Scare Me

  • The Black Train by Ed Lee. First it disturbed me, then sucker punched me with a shot to the ol’ scare factory. I’m a ghost hunter who doesn’t scare easy, but sometimes things just can’t be helped.

  • Kelli says:

    via twitter I’ve heard:

    J.F. Gonzalez – okay, I read the blog entry. And for my money, “The Events at Poroth’s Farm” by T.E.D. Klein still does it for me.

  • Greg Fisher says:

    The last book to really scare me was The City of Masks by Daniel Hecht. Before that book, I never thought ghosts were scary. Man, was I wrong. It creeped me out several times and I had to leave the lights one at night. There is one scene, almost at the end, which haunts me today.

  • The scariest thing I ever read was Stephen King’s GERALD’S GAME. Seriously, I was reading it in the stockroom of my old store, and when I hit the opening line of a paragraph about halfway through, it freaked my shit out. I had to close the book and go back out on the sales floor because I didn’t want to be alone.


  • Mac campbell says:

    The Ceremonies, by TED Klein. That was creepy as hell, even when there was nothing happening.
    Blood Meridian, by Cormac Mccarthy. The bad guy was the most frightening villain ever, and one his lines is my forum signature.
    Billy, by Whitley Strieber. Just a horribly disturbing book: a little boy in the clutches of a serial child killer.

  • Wesley Southard says:

    You know me and my love of all things Simon Clark. If you haven’t read Vampyrrhic yet, then do so quickly. One of the only books that has ever truely scared me.

  • Neil Davies says:

    Have to go back a long way, but the last time I remember a book sending a shiver down my spine was Hell House by Richard Matheson.

  • Joel Arnold says:

    The last thing to send a shiver down my spine was an oldie but goodie: The Mezzotint by M.R. James. This is a short story in his collection Ghost Stories from an Antiquiary. One of the creepiest things I’ve read.


  • Zwolf says:

    I agree on the T.E.D. Klein “Events at Poroth Farm” – read it last night on that recommendation from J.F. Gonzalez, and that’s powerful stuff.

    Some other short stories that pack a punch:
    “The Pear-Shaped Man” by George R.R. Martin – disturbing on several levels.
    “The Listener” – Algernon Blackwood – that one will bug you for days.
    “The Bus” – Shirley Jackson – a nightmare on paper, and ultra-dark.
    “Gas Station Carnivals” and “The Clown Puppet” – Thomas Ligotti. I don’t know how he does it, but this guy writes things that make you feel like you remember them from some forgotten dream you had. The weirdness seems familiar… and repressed.
    “The Room In The Tower” – E. F. Benson. Also dreamlike.
    “In The Pines” and “River of Night’s Dreaming” by Karl Edward Wagner (It’s a crime that this guy’s out of print)
    “The Yellow Sign” and “The Repairer of Reputations” by Robert W. Chambers (Almost everything else he wrote is crap, but on these two, he nailed it)
    “The Swords” – Robert Aickman (or anything else of his, really)
    “The Companion” – Ramsey Campbell – disturbing for reasons unknown
    “Mujina” – Lafcadio Hearn – here, go read it, it’ll take you three minutes, and it’ll chill you –
    And all M.R. James is great.

    As for novels, I listed a bunch on a blog for Halloween a few years back… here’s the post if it interests you:

  • Nick Cato says:

    Whether it’s all BS or not is anyone’s guess…whether the author is a liar or not is anyone’s guess…either way, this thing scared the living crap out of me: It’s considered non-fiction but I hope it’s not.

    (I think I’m too jaded with fiction to be scared by it anymore, even though I love and read it constantly. The last one that scared me the way you’re descriving was Doug Clegg’s THE HOUR BEFORE DARK).

  • Nick Cato says:

    describing, even!

  • Darkfall and or The Bad Place by Dean Koontz. Depends if you prefer gore or creep to freak you out. Darkfall still freaks me the hell out.

  • Kelli says:

    closed and moved

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