Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Five Favorite Horror Reads and a Free Book

Headless Statue - Eastern Cemetery

I've two short dark fiction stories releasing soon. But rather than talk about my writing, I thought I'd share my five favorite horror stories, ones that still stay with me after all these years.

1. The Haunted Well (Tales of Terror) - Ida Chittum's story of a father who commits a heinous crime over a seemingly innocent act isn't for the squeamish. Indeed, this is probably the best collection of horror stories I've ever read and many of the stories still resonate with me. My only regret is I no longer have my copy.

2. Cool Air (H.P. Lovecraft) -You know those people who have their thermostats set so low, ice forms on their windowpanes? There may be a reason for it, but you probably don't want to know.

3. The Haunting of Hill House (Shirley Jackson) - A house that drips malevolence, seeking to trap the living within its walls. A young woman drawn to its darkest secrets. I think the scariest thing about Hill House, besides the fact Jackson made the house seem like a living, breathing character, is we never know what happened to make it so evil.

4. The Shining (Stephen King) - What's worse? Seeing the bloody ghosts of twin girls or watching your father descend into madness? Then there are those hedge animals and that boy lost in the concrete tunnel who wants Danny to play with him. Um, sure. Yeah. Right. 

5. The Monkey's Paw (W.W. Jacobs) - The classic "be careful what you wish for" story. And proof that horror is far more effective when less is more.

Special Note: Those are my favorite five, although I've many more. Now I'd like to share a free giveaway so you can enjoy some horror stories. No, none are by the authors mentioned, but you may find your own favorites:

Free from October 23-27: HAUNTED : TEN TALES OF GHOSTS 10 stories by 10 authors. US Kindle: http://buff.ly/QJTIxt UK Kindle: http://buff.ly/PKz5q0


Teresa Reasor said...

I love the Haunting of Hill House too. But one of my favorites too is Ann Rivers Sidon's The House Next Door. The ending really creeped me out.

Back in the seventies there was a spurt of interest in scary paranormals right after the Exorcist was released. Another of my favorites.
But there was one about a woman who'd moved out in the country alone and was stalked by a demon that turned into different creatures. A wolf and etc. Scared me to death. And I wish I still had it.
The Omen.
The Wolfen.
Whitney Strieber's The Hunger
Rosemary's Baby.
I'm dating myself but all those are classics.
Teresa R.

PamelaTurner said...

Hi, Teresa! Thanks for stopping by. I remember finding a copy of Rosemary's Baby on the upper shelf in the hall closet. Boy, was my mom upset. She warned me to stay away from that book. Ah, now we know where my interest in the supernatural started. :-)

Anonymous said...

The water ghost of harrowby Hall is a fav short story of mine. Humorous at times but all that water freaked me out. Wet footprints still bother me, and I still get a little nervous when I hear running water!

KL Mullens

Mitzi said...

You mentioned several of my favorite stories. Very good post. Now I have to find the Horrowby Hall story.


PamelaTurner said...

Hi Mitzi, and thanks! Here's a link to The Water Ghost of Harrowby Hall-
Fun story. :-)


danita cahill said...

Thanks for the link to the free book. I downloaded it and look forward to reading it.

Sondra Carr said...

Thanks Pam for the link. I've already downloaded and look forward to reading the short stories.
I have to agree with everyone's choices, those I've read, and plan to look up the ones I haven't. Here are some of my favorites (I have many, but will list just five):
1. Anything by M.R. James, especially "Oh Whistle and I'll Come to You My Lad"
2. The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter has one of my favorite vampire stories, "The Lady of the House of Love"
3. 20th Century Ghosts, Joe Hill's (Stephen King's son) collection of short stories, especially "Abraham's Boys." I will never think of Van Helsing the same way again.
4. The Devil in Me by Christopher Fowler, a collection of his short stories. Though it wasn't supernatural, the one about the guy on a pub crawl was seriously creepy.
5. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James and in that vein a more recent novel (I'm cheating by combining 2 in 1) The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. Both leave you wondering about the narrator at the end.

There are many more. I grew up on Poe and love the Modern Library's Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural. It was published in 1944. Don't know if it's still in print, but the library should have it.

PamelaTurner said...

Danita, thanks for downloading the book. I hope you enjoy it. :-)

Sondra, you're quite welcome. Also hope you enjoy the book. Yes, there are so many stories and authors to list. Poe is another favorite. And there's a story by Algernon Blackwood but I can't remember the title. I have Joe Hill's 20th Century Ghosts but haven't read it yet. Have you read The Woman in Black, by Susan Hill? Orgy of Souls by Maurice Broaddus and Wrath James White is another book I forgot to mention. (But I did limit myself to 5. Otherwise, I probably could've gone on and on.) LOL

I'll have to check out the books you mentioned. I'm familiar with Henry James and Joe Hill, but the others are new to me.

Carla Richards said...

One of my favorite scary books (not sure if I'd call it horror or not, but it's uber-suspenseful) is Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian. And I also have a favorite short story from Joe Hill. It's 2oth Century Ghost, the title story from the collection.