I'm not a mass horror fan, though I do love my crime fiction (which if you follow this blog, is pretty apparent)! So...as we are approaching Hallowe'en, I thought I'd ask what's the scariest book you've ever read?
I recently read James Herbert's The Secret of Crickley Hall but that was okay, it didn't terrify me.
I've read some Stephen King, and been okay with that too (but it has been selective choosing) but the book that has scared me the most wasn't one that I actually thought would.
A few years ago (okay in 2000) when I was living on my own doing my PGCE, I picked up a copy of House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. The blurb says:
Johnny Truant wild and troubled sometime employee in a LA tattoo parlour, finds a notebook kept by Zampano, a reclusive old man found dead in a cluttered apartment. Herein is the heavily annotated story of the Navidson Report.
Will Navidson, a photojournalist, and his family move into a new house. What happens next is recorded on videotapes and in interviews. Now the Navidsons are household names. Zampano, writing on loose sheets, stained napkins, crammed notebooks, has compiled what must be the definitive work on the events on Ash Tree Lane.
But Johnny Truant has never heard of the Navidson Record. Nor has anyone else he knows. And the more he reads about Will Navidson's house, the more frightened he becomes. Paranoia besets him. The worst part is that he can't just dismiss the notebook as the ramblings of a crazy old man. He's starting to notice things changing around him . . .
Immensely imaginative. Impossible to put down. Impossible to forget. House of Leaves is thrilling, terrifying and unlike anything you have ever read before.
I was intrigued. I'd watched The Blair Witch Project and this was being billed as the book equivalent so I fancied giving it a go. It's a huge book, over 700 pages in total, but not all of them have anything written on them, some have a quirky layout, it's not your 'usual' book.
I got less than a third of the way through before the book gave me nightmares and was instantly banished to the bookshelf, where it still remains to this day, albeit on a different shelf, in a different house; but the outcome is still the same: it's the scariest book I've read and I can't open it again. Having said that, I also haven't given it away either so does this mean I'm psychologically planning on reading it again?!
So what's the scariest book you've ever read - or not managed to read?
Miss Chapter x