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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Get Scared!

How about some willies? Or some heebie jeebies? Come on, pick a scare, any scare!
By Kitty Griffin

 Why do we enjoy thrills? Especially scary ones? Do you close your eyes when you watch a scary movie? Or like me, do you turn down the sound? 

Whatever the reason, scary stories have always been a source of enjoyment. Here are a few that haunt me still.

The Scarecrows by Robert Westall
This atmospheric tale pulls you in ever so slowly. The story is wrapped around strong emotions, jealousy, hatred, and love. Pulsing underneath is murder and betrayal. The main character, Simon, doesn’t understand why his mother and sister seem to have forgotten his late father so he seeks solace elsewhere. He seeks it in a place that embraces his anger.

All I have to do is pick up this book and read the opening, “It was the night before the Fund-raising Effort that the devils came. So it seemed to Simon Wood ever after.
            But they were formless then.
            They came with the whispering.”


This next book, “The Satanic Mill” by Otto Preussler isn’t just scary—it’s terrifying! What I didn’t know as I read it was that the journey that the main character, Krabat, takes mirrors the journey that Germans took as Hitler secured power. It’s a story of finding power and the temptations that go with it. While it’s called the Satanic Mill, it isn’t the devil that Krabat does battle with, rather it’s magic. This book received the German Prize for Children and Youth Literature in 1972. A fierce, powerful book that pushes temptation to the edge.

“The Eyes of the Killer Robot” by John Bellairs was one I read to my children and boy, oh boy, was that wild. This story is the fifth book in the Johnny Dixon mystery series and it doesn’t fail to thrill.

Those three are delicious for the fright they give. Here are a few other titles that will give you chills.

“The Silver Kiss” by Annette Curtis Klause is a vampire story that will put things in a different light.

What are the events that shape us? Find out more about Frankenstein, yes Dr. Frankenstein, when he was but a lad in “This Dark Endeavor” by Kenneth Oppel.

Make sure you have the windows locked and the doors barred when you start reading “The Forest of Hands and Teeth” by Carrie Ryan. That scratching at the door will give you heart palpitations.

What are your favorite scares?

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