I love ghost stories. I love horror stories. I love everything that has to do with the paranormal and things that go bump in the night. I reach for books that promise a ghost and a good paranormal twist, and I love them.
But however much I love these scary books, they normally don’t scare me. As in, hardly ever. In fact, I can only think of one book ever truly scaring me; and I was 10 years old at the time so you might want to take my age into account.
Now the question here is why don’t these “scary” books that I love so much actually scare me like I was told they would?
Well the obvious answer is that I’m made of NAILS, people. I’m as tough as tough gets. I sit with windigos for breakfast. I play pinochle with ghosts in the afternoon. There’s skeleton in the entry way closet that kindly keeps the coats neat for me. I’m not afraid of anything that goes bump in the night, because I know how to hunt everything that goes bump in the night ( thank you Supernatural ).
There isn’t a paranormal creature that can scare me.
Ok, so maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but I still have this issue with scary stories not scaring me ( though I still love the story lines more than anything ). Now, I’m not sure if I actually want to be scared by these books that I read, but the point is that I was promised I would be scared by them, and I wasn’t.
Now this is not to be seen as a negative factor toward these books; it is simply a fact of my life. I want to dive deeper into why these books don’t scare me when they should, and I want to know if anyone else feels the same way I do. Because let’s be honest here; it’s not the book’s fault that it didn’t scare me. It’s all on me. And today’s Top Ten Tuesday gives me the perfect opportunity to explore this topic, because it’s a Halloween freebie. What better time to talk about scary things than around Halloween?
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Reason Why You Should Be Scared: There are ghosts ( and a vampire* ) everywhere. I mean Bod is living in a graveyard.
Why I wasn’t Scared: All the ghosts were just so darn nice! I mean they took Bod in and cared for him in their own creepy way. I loved the whole thing too much to be scared by it.
*Fun Fact! I didn’t actually realize Silas was a vampire until after I read the book and my friends mentioned it in passing. Please tell me I’m not the only one who didn’t realize this at first.
The Fall by Bethany Griffin
Reason Why You Should Be Scared: This a retelling/twist on The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe. The entire freaking house was just creepy.
Reason Why I Wasn’t Scared: I was too interested in the house as being a living, breathing thing and keeping track of the storyline ( which jumps around from chapter to chapter ) to fully realize that the whole house was a malevolent thing and not just, well, interesting.
Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid: The Book of Scary Urban Legends by Jan Harold Brunvand (editor)
Reason Why You Should Be Scared: These are accounts of horrifying happenings from REAL people that supposedly happened in the REAL world. Which means there is a possibility that these horrors might actually be, you know, REAL.
Why I wasn’t Scared: While I was reading this book, I saw it as study reading for some short stories I was planning on writing. And really, has studying ever truly struck terror in someone’s heart? ( If it has then I’m so sorry for you, truly; school shouldn’t be that bad for anyone. )
The Last Apprentice by Joseph Delaney
Reason Why You Should Be Scared: This whole series is nothing but intensional horror. You start out with 29 other apprentices dead; a vengeful, half undead witch crawling out of her grave to kill everyone; and the knowledge that there are 13* books total to read. That number might just freak you out itself.
Why I Wasn’t Scared: Basically, the guys in these books do a lot of hunting of evil, paranormal and other such creatures from the dark, and after watching so much Supernatural, instead of being scared by all these monsters, I was like, “Yeah, I could be hunting along side these characters right now. I totally got this.”
*Note: 13 is actually my favorite number!
The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco
Reason Why You Should Be Scared: You mean aside from the super freaky/awesome cover and the tag line “I am where dead children go?” Well, let’s just say the way in which the girl from the well’s ghost goes around killing people is mildly disturbing. Do not read if you have a vivid imagination and don’t like horror movies.
Why I Wasn’t Scared: I agreed with what she ( the ghost ) was doing. Simple as that. She had had wrong done to her, which is why she’s dead, and she goes around avenging the ghosts of children to set them free. So sure she is freaky as freaky gets, but she was actually nice when you looked at it.
House of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparulo
Reason Why You Should Be Scared: This would make the perfect horror/thriller script. The creepy house, the creepy “visitors”, the creepy family history, and the near death that is ever present and the running for you life from creepy things trying to kill you; like I said, perfect for a horror movie.
Why I Wasn’t Scared: Honestly, I think it’s something with the writing style in this one. But! This does not mean I don’t recommend it. The storyline is still awesome, and I’m currently on the last book in the series, bitting my nails wanting to know if everyone dies or not.
Darkwater by Catherine Fisher
Reason Why You Should Be Scared: There was real danger of souls being stolen by the creepy, very old, very evil, Lord of Darkwater Hall, creating a real struggle in the end between light and dark. Horror elements were tossed around in this book like candy in a street parade.
Reason Why I Wasn’t Scared: I was too much in love with one ghost in particular while reading this book. There are two twin brothers: one is alive, the other dead. The one who’s dead still lives with his brother, and his brother is the only one who can see him. I was too focused on wanting more brother scenes to worry about the other stuff too much. Because seriously this was just awesome.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Reason Why You Should Be Scared: The hollowgasts. A bunch of invisible monsters with tentacle-like tongues and voices that are nothing but unnatural screams trying hunt down and eat all of the peculiar children. These are the monsters of your nightmares.
Why I Wasn’t Scared: The old photographs, the peculiar children, the deserted island and the storyline; I was just too interested in it all for the hollowgasts to be much of a concern when they weren’t actually on the page.
Bones of Faerie by Jannie Lee Simner
Reason Why You Should Be Scared: Goodreads calls it ” -a dark fairy-tale twist on apocalyptic fiction—as familiar as a nightmare, yet altogether unique.” That should haunt you right there. As a matter of fact, I think that’s the best one word for this book: haunting.
Why I Wasn’t Scared: Faeries!!! I love everything that has neat faeries in it, even if they are war-bent, power hungry, murderous faeries with a strange and very large bloodlust.
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters
Reason Why You Should Be Scared: The air of death is everywhere. From the flu to war and the eerie photographers snapping creepy pictures of dead people standing by their loved ones; the atmosphere of the what seems like the entire world is shrouded with it.
Why I Wasn’t Scared: It was all very interesting, from the flu doctors* to the old photographs and the onions. I loved the setting, I loved the writing, I loved the storyline; basically I loved it all too much to be scared by it – plus, Mary is a pretty tough main character for all the death that surrounds her.
*Which have fascinated me since forever.
So looking though my above writings on why I wasn’t scared by these books, I think I can find one familiar theme to answer my question about myself.
I seem to love scary things far too much to actually be scared by most of them. They become “interesting” instead of “terrifying”. Also Supernatural. I think Supernatural might be a factor. Things do tend to be less scary if you know ( or at least think ) you can beat them.
Now for another question: should this above revelation worry me? I don’t know, but I’m going to keep reading scary books anyways. Because I do love them, and I think I always will.
Do YOU like scary books as much as I do? Do they actually scare you or are you extra weird like me? What tends to freak you out the most in a scary book? Have you read any of these scary books ( what did you think of them )? Give me your scary recommendations; and link me to your TTT in your comment!