As I type this a molar is fighting my gums, and trying to get out of the burial of my jaw. Why are wisdom teeth extractions cosmetic? It hurts, but what hurts more is the fact that “Covered California” should’ve helped me get this taken care of, but instead, nope, they have frozen me out of getting coverage. That’s ok, I’m here with another illuminating post about scary stuff. Here are 5 novels that are scarier than most horror movies, but then again, I’ve read the Bible so that ranks top in my view. What? You don’t like non-fiction? What? It’s fiction too? Allegory maybe, but that’s not for debate here, what is for debate is whether or not these novels are scarier than hell or rather just another sad sack list of horror movies or rather books to ignore.
Terror by Dan Simmons
It was negative 8 degrees in Moscow, Idaho. I mention that because that was during the winter before my divorce in which I read this book. This is a dense historical fiction, and it is one of the toughest books to read when you’re freezing to death. I was so cold my bones hurt, and I didn’t find enough warm clothing to help, which made for a great deal of ambience amidst the 1845 Franklin Expedition that this book talks about. Going to the Arctic Circle 2 ships get stuck, and what they find is that it isn’t just space where no one can hear you scream, it’s here on earth, in the coldest of weather. Great horror fiction and historical fiction done right, but again, this is a dense book full of description up front. If you can pass the slow parts, you are going to get hit with a horrific story that will definitely pair well in cold weather.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
For some reason I was thinking of Wanda Jackson, but this is not the same person or the same genre at all. The Haunting of Hill House runs up a grand story of, well, a haunted hose. Better than the movie adaptations, this is a creepy book that peels away your skin slowly. It ramps up the horror in a very nuanced manner, and you are not going to get all the answers as something bad happens at every turn of the page. Jackson’s novel still bears more horror than the latest in cinema, that’s for sure.
The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
To this day, a modern tale of horror has enough gusto to pull your guts out. Forget what you’ve seen in the movies, this novel still gets a lot of people scared. If you’re a religious person, then there are going to be pages that you are going to absolutely be afraid of, but as you progress through this somewhat detective horror story, you are going to definitely enjoy yourself. It’s stronger than the original film, and your imagination can work wonders to scare you during the day and the night.
John Dies At The End by David Wong
David Wong has found a way to make absurd horror stories, and yet still pull you into the 1980s splatterpunk genre. Wong’s book was translated into a pretty cool movie, but as you turn the page, it’s incredibly different and dare I say harder hitting than the movie. There’s just so much going on here, as if R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series grew up and married Barker’s nightmare landscapes. Wong has a way of shoving you into a seriously comedic romp, while still tugging at the gore levels and horror elements that made movies like “Nightmare on Elm Street” famous. This may have a mixed bag, but at the core of the book and Wong’s second book, horror reigns.
The Shining by Stephen King
Sure, Stephen King may think of himself as the “Big Mac and Fries” of literature, but this is not afternoon picnic. “The Shining” translates well to supernatural horror, madness, and isolation. It speaks volumes through prose that the movie failed to capture. At the same time, it creates enduring characterizations, fights demons, and aspires to be the greatest horror novel ever written, and does so by throwing Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley into a closet and setting them on fire. Not a vampire tale, not a monster lurking, but rather the human mind, spirituality, and a cold snap that will break your fingers as you turn the page. The “King” of horror definitely pulled your eyelids off when this book was released and it still gets praised for it.
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