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Your Favorite Spooky Stories

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Happy Halloween fellow Highwayers! We hope your weekend has been full of the horrible, the putrid and the dastardly, mwuahahahaaaa! And we hope you've dressed in epic literary costumes or at least seen some epic literary costumes. Remember, Bram Stoker's Dracula was a book before it was every third kid who visited your house.

On that note, we'd love to hear about your favorite scary, horrific, gruesome or otherwise completely Halloween-worthy books and stories! Especially since some of us Highwaywomen are kinda pansies (*raises hand*) when it comes to the horror and don't read it so much. The rest are bad-ass take no names types, of course.

A recent Tales of Tragedy round table (aka email) revealed a number of dreadful favorites, young adult and not so much young adult. Some of our favorite horror?

Stephen King's books figured prominently: IT scares everyone (creepy clowns = hell on earth), Rose Madder, Carrie and Michelle's favorite neck-ripping vamps in Salem's Lot.

R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike: Remember these? Amanda was all over them once upon a time.

The Exorcist: Yeah, the movie, but the book by William Peter Blatty expands the scary (a la Kirsten).

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson: Another Kirsten rec, she's talked up this one so much that I almost want to read it. Especially considering The Lottery (a paragon of creepy in its own right) is one of my favorite short stories.

What are your favorite horror novels? We'd love to hear about them, young adult or not. Maybe one of us easily spooked types might actually read it. In the middle of the day. With the lights on. And soft music in the background, of course.
Kristin Halbrook

Kristin Halbrook is the author of the critically-acclaimed young adult novels Nobody But Us (HarperTeen, 2013) and Every Last Promise (HarperTeen, 2015). She likes many things.

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  1. Mine's not a novel, but a short story. I'm a total wuss. When I was twelve, our drama teacher read us Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart. I nearly died of fright. I still remember the fear.

  2. When I was around the same age, they took us to see a play based off Poe's short stories and The Tell-Tale Heart scared the beejees out of me, too!

  3. Soulless by Christopher Golden freaked me out so bad, I was convinced zombies were outside my window and got zero sleep for two nights!

  4. Oh man, I forgot about Christopher Pike! I lived on those as a teen.

  5. The Forest of Hands and Teeth made me nervous quite a few times!

  6. Eek, Poe! I didn't even think of him. The Tell-Tale Heart is creepy as hell.
    IT scarred me for life when I tried to read it in like 7th grade. And for some ungodly reason, a couple years later, I decided I should try to read it AGAIN as I only made it through about 50 pages the first time. It wasn't any less traumatizing. I will forever fear clowns. Also I recall an R. L. Stine novel that I read sometime around the same age that really creeped me out, having something to do with dolls or clowns, I can't remember now. I read a lot of R. L. Stine, since the town library had (and still has!) a giant collection.

  7. Neck ripping vamps = win.

    There are no words for my love for Poe. The Tell-Tale Heart was is still one of my favorite scary shorts of all time, along with The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. SO CREEPY.


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Item Reviewed: Your Favorite Spooky Stories Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kristin Halbrook