Reigniting my love affair with horror

A dark room for some dark reading.
A dark room for some dark reading.

I picked up keys and was heading out the front door shortly after my husband arrived home. Courtesy of one of the boys, dinner already was ready, even though it probably wouldn’t be eaten for another hour and a half.

“I’m going to the library,” I told him.

“Why?”

Was this a trick question? “To get books.”

I know there are plenty of other cool reasons to go to libraries. In fact, the one I was heading to, Sage Branch Library, is hosting a 3D printer demonstration in a few weeks and I am so there.

Still, when I head to a library, usually with my daughter, I tend to come home with a stack of books. In that regard, I was fairly restrained in only coming home with five books.

The librarian noted that I had found something I had liked, but then hesitated at A Book of Horrors. “Ooh, I couldn’t do that,” she said. “I’d hear things going bump all over the house.”

I shook my head and smiled. “I’ve loved horror since I was little,” I told her. “It’s easier now that I’m not afraid of the dark.”

It was true. I checked out Hitchcock anthologies from the elementary school library. When I was a little older, I pulled a book labeled “ghost stories,” I think, off my daddy’s shelf and read George Langelaan’s The Fly on the couch in his den, in full light.

I was terrified. It haunted me.

Years later, I fell in love with H.P. Lovecraft. It’s a guilty pleasure, especially the stories that end in italics. And exclamation points! So often, the idea is better than the execution. But some of his ideas are so intriguing. And The Thing On the Doorstep jarred me deeply, frightening me for weeks afterward whenever I thought about it.

I love horror movies. But frankly, scaring people with pictures is child’s play compared to scaring them with words. There’s a holiday weekend coming up and a collection of horror tales sounds like the perfect companion.

The books I came home with:
A Book of Horrors, edited by Stephen Jones
The Memory Painter, by Gwendolyn Womack
Disclaimer: A Novel, by Renee Knight
The Fold, by Peter Clines
Black House, by Stephen King and Peter Straub

Feel free to share your thoughts if you’ve read any of these books or authors, or have suggestions for other reading.

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