Thank you, everyone, for scaring me silly. I certainly cringed when I read some of your stories, but two entries stood out.
“Haunted Roanoke” I’m awarding to 3rdFred for his creepy binoculars, which makes me wince whenever I read it. “Litter of the Law” I’m giving to twinkiequeen for telling me about the scary book she read. Fred and twinkie, please e-mail me your addresses at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can get the books to you ASAP.
There will be multiple Christmas book giveaways at the end of the month and the beginning of the next, so keep coming back to the blog to see what’s going on.
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Witches and wizards, goblins and ghosts, all that is creepy and scares us the most — that’s right, happy Halloween! And happy book giveaway day.
I have two books to give away this time, and the competition is an obvious one: What’s the scariest book/scene from a book you’ve ever read? Or, what’s a scary moment you had in real life? Tell me in the comments, and say which book you’d like to win: “Haunted Roanoke,” by L.B. Taylor Jr. or “The Litter of the Law (A Mrs. Murphy Mystery) by Rita Mae Brown and her cat Sneaky Pie Brown.
I can name a few scenes from books that freak me out, such as the muttations from “The Hunger Games” and Jonathan Harker in the count’s castle in “Dracula.” Most of “Cujo” is pretty freaky, but at the end, I felt more sad for the big dog than anything else. Otherwise, I haven’t read many truly scary books. Some people like to be scared, but I am not one of those people. (OK, I own seven seasons of “Criminal Minds” on DVD, but let’s put that aside for now.) I’ve read books that scare me in concept, such as “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy, but I wouldn’t classify that as Halloween scary, more incredibly depressing.
Few things frighten me like real life, so if I had to pick a scary book, it’s “The Serial Killer Files” by Harold Schechter. Schechter’s written multiple books about serial killers, but “The Serial Killer Files” is a good glance at all things murderous — not just the killers’ crimes, but so-called “murderabilia,” motives, definitions of terms and police techniques. It’s very broad, but a fascinating look into the darkest hearts that ever beat. I did have to put it down a few times because I was overwhelmed by the content. These were real people who did terrible things. They walk among us, but we don’t know who they are or if they have singled us out. No one imagines death by serial killer, but it could happen. That’s pretty frightening to think about.
The most frightened I’ve ever been in real life was when I was a fairly little girl, I’m not sure how old. I was reading a book about real-life mysteries and unexplained phenomena and got to the chapter on spontaneous combustion. I remember some details: One woman burst into flame and was reduced to a pile of ashes by a rocking chair, with just part of a leg intact. One woman caught on fire while in a barn and was quickly gone. Survivors reported feeling hot and a bit tingly before they suddenly caught fire.
Well, that did it for me. As soon as I lay down, I was positive my body was heating up and I was going to burst into flame at any second. And what if it happened in my sleep? I’d never wake up, I’d just be a pile of ashes on my bed. What would happen to my teddy bear? I couldn’t sleep alone for a few days after that. I’m not sure how I got over it, but I was genuinely afraid. I’d still rather not spontaneously combust, but I must say that of all the ways to go, it’s at least interesting.
I admit I scare easily, so go ahead, folks, answer either question I bolded above and give me the shivers. The deadline is Friday, Nov. 15. Good luck, and have a safe, happy Halloween!