True boo: Writing students suggest books that scare
There’s nothing quite like curling up with a scary book as a frightfully fun way to get into the spirit of Halloween. Inside NAU asked seniors in professor Ann Cummins’ fiction writing seminar which books they turn to when they want a good scare. Here are some reads they guarantee will send shivers up your spine.
House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski
This is a dark and mysterious novel that twists the boundaries of non-fiction and fiction. It progresses in a documentary style, pushing us to question what is real. I love it because it is so unique, in both how it is written, but also how it focuses its attention on genuine characters struggling with their grasp on reality in a very ominous setting.
The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe
What I always like about Poe is the way he used such poetic language. He made scary things sound so pretty. In Tell Tale Heart, the best thing is the suspense. The beating heart just keeps pounding and pounding inside the narrator’s head, and that suspense really affected me as a reader.
Graveminder by Melissa Marr
Marr intertwines romance with chilling horror of dead people coming back to life and eating the living.
Imajica by Clive Barker
It’s not a horror novel per se, but it’s just really good and it scared me with its weirdness. Gross, bizarre, scary…just a great novel.
The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
The scariest book I ever read was also still my scariest movie. I’ll go so far as to say that it’s one of those books that after you’re done you ask, “Why did I just do that to myself?”
Pet Sematary by Stephen King
Just plain scary. Chills all around.
Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
A perfect combination of supernatural horror and gritty realism.
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
This story, while not classically scary, is beautifully written and has moments which made me feel genuinely afraid.
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Coraline is written for younger readers but the frightening situations are incredible and the overall atmosphere of the story is deliciously chilling for readers of all ages.