Beyond Bestsellers: Horror, Part Two

by Kimberly P. 

Welcome back, my creatures of the night. It’s mid-October and only sixteen days separate us from Halloween. How goes your Beyond Bestsellers: Horror reading challenge? Did you discover a book that wiggled beneath your skin?

Spooky Fact: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, was one of ALA’s most challenged books during the 1990s so when its 30th anniversary came out, a very toned down version of the book was released.

My fascination with the darker half of life started at a young age. In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz was one of the earliest books I remember reading, followed closely by (the original) Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark also by Alvin Schwartz. Stephen Gammell’s illustrations gave me many a nightmare (and deepened my love for the series of books)!

Inevitably, I devoured all things Goosebumps and Fear Street until those stories ceased being frightening.

In my tween arrogance, I assumed I had reached the end of the line. All things horror ended with R.L. Stine, so my attention turned towards dark fantasy.

It was only until much later that I realized the error of my ways, and that the horror genre was so much more diverse than anything my wildest nightmares could conjure.

And I have your fantastic lists to prove it!:

Mercurious007 ushers us into a dimly lit room, has us joins hands, and demonstrates that séances aren’t for the for the faint of heart . . .

. . . While therhiannamater unspools horror into its
visceral, visual components . . .

. . . And lindseyanderson encourages us all to give tiny humans the side eye by providing irrevocable proof that children are never to be trusted!

(Special shout out to Lindsey for vindicating my distrust of children.)

Keep those lists coming, my fiendish friends! It’s not too late, and if you need a refresher on how to craft a terrifying list of your own, follow these instructions.

Still “haunting” for a horror title?



Take our frightful quiz to discover your next favorite, or read any of our four simultaneous access OverDrive titles.


“We live in a box of space and time. Movies are Windows in its walls.”–Roger Ebert

For film buffs, here are the famous horror quotes found throughout the quiz. Can you name that movie? I’ll share the answers on Halloween.

“I want to play a game.”
“When there’s no room in Hell, the dead will walk the Earth.”
“What an excellent day for an exorcism.”
“We all go a little mad sometimes.”
“It’s not the house that’s haunted. . . it’s your son.”
“Listen to them. Creatures of the night! What music they make.”
“You play a good game, boy. . . but the game is finished. Now you die.”
“Whatever you do. . . don’t fall asleep.”
“A census taker once tried to test me; I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”
“We have such sights to show you.”
“Death has come to your little town, Sheriff.”
“They’re here.”
“It’s Alive! It’s alive!”
“Come and play with us, Danny. Forever. . . and ever. . . and ever.”
“Be afraid. . . Be very afraid.”
“You know that part in scary movies where somebody does something really stupid and everyone hates them for it? This is it.”
“When the music stops, you’ll see him in the mirror standing behind you.”
“Hi, I’m Chucky! Wanna play?”
“One thing about living in Santa Clara I could never stomach, all the damn vampires.”
“I see dead people.”
“I’m your number one fan.”

See you on October 31–I hope you’ve already picked your costumes . . .

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2 responses to “Beyond Bestsellers: Horror, Part Two”

  1. Lindsey says:

    I’m still doing my re-read of It (which is filled with evil kids). I’m at 84% with only two days left! I can do this!

    I was appalled when I saw they had changed the Scary Stories illustrations; Gammell’s pictures were scarier than most of the stories. However, they just did ANOTHER re-release of them this year with the original illustrations!

    • Kimberly P. says:

      I’m so happy to hear that about the re-re-release of the books. I’m going to add them to my collection for sure. I’m going to tackle It as well, but decided I’d try to do the audiobook version. My heart’s already racing just thinking about it. *shudder*

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