Words by Kevin Baird, EDN
The other day I was thinking about the scariest book of all time. What is it? After much debate I decided it was a toss-up between “The Berenstain Bears and The Spooky Old Tree”, Alvin Schwartz’s “Scary Stories” series, and the first Goosebumps I ever read, which was “You Can’t Scare Me.” Of course none of these books would scare an adult (maybe “Scary Stories” would), but as a child I was gullible, and my vivid imagination was still unchecked by science. As an adult I still love the horror genre. It’s gateway of nostalgia that opens up my imagination to frightening ideas and possibilities and never disappoints. So without further delay I give you, my readers—more horror.
A few months ago I contributed $1.00 to a Kickstarter for Nightmare Magazine, which was created by John Joseph Adams (whom you may remember from my last column); it features horror writing and horror art. This month Nightmare Magazine launched its first issue. You can read a couple of the stories without purchase on their website, and e-book issues cost $2.99, and they also have lifetime subscriptions for $500. Unfortunately for me the mag is only formatted for the Kindle, Kobo, and the Nook (I have neither, I am archaic). Next time I support a Kickstarter I’ll be doing a little more research.
If you are wondering about witches look no further than “Malleus Maleficarum” or “The Hammer of Witches”. Although the book is over 600-years old, and saying the book is outdated is an understatement it’s still an important piece of horror literature. Included in this book are methods for detecting and destroying witches. This book was a propeller for the proliferation witch accusations throughout the centuries. Since it was written so long ago you’ll have to read a translation from latin. You can pick up an e-book version for as low as $1.00.
Clive Barker, who you may know as the writer and director of the movie Hellraiser, is also a prolific horror writer. “The Books of Blood” is a dreadful collection of stories that explore the full spectrum of the senses and emotions through both humans and evil creatures. Included in this book is “The Midnight Meat Train,” which was adapted into a film in 2008. Clive Barker is a master of creating gritty scenes, hidden dimensions of evil, and original creatures.
“Poems Bewitched and Haunted” is an anthology of spooky poems. Some of these poems are clever and will leave have you cackling in your chair while others will get your imagination running wild. It features well known poets such as Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson, and plenty of poets I’ve never heard (their poems are great too). This book is part of the everyman’s pocket library so it comes in a compact hardcover with a built in bookmark.
What’s the scariest book you’ve ever read? Do you have something to say about books? The Book Monster wants to know. You can email him at [email protected] Be sure to share The Book Monster with your friends on Facebook.