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Fun > What's Your Favorite Scary Tale?

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message 1: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Jensen (kdragon) | 468 comments So what's your favorite scary story? Be it a Stephen King Novel, Creepypasta, Urban Legend, Folklore or just something you heard around the camp fire, let us know.

Just give us the title of the story or at least a brief description if it doesn't have a title. No links, please.

To start off, I've always loved scary stuff even as a kid, so of course I adored the "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" Books. Best illustrations ever.

I've also been looking at some of Junji Ito's stuff, who's comics I would compare to being like a cross between the Twilight Zone and HP Lovecraft. The one about the ice cream, man... that ice cream... *shudders*.

And finally, "Confessions of a Deep Sea Diver" which you can listen to over on Youtube. I don't know why but I love creepy ocean related stuff.


message 2: by J.G. (new)

J.G. Follansbee (joe_follansbee) | 26 comments I'm not a big fan of horror, but I'll never forget seeing the original Alien in 1979. I thought I went to a sci-fi flick, but it turned out to be a monster movie! I had nightmares for days.


message 3: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4282 comments Mod
I love urban legends! My favorite might be the classic The Hook. Probably the creepiest one is the one where the girl thinks the dog is licking her hand...

As for books, I used to read a lot of horror. Most of it didn't scare me much, but the two I found creepiest were Stephen King's Misery and Peter Straub's Shadowland. I recently read listened to Washington Irving's short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in my car. Not scary, necessarily, but it certainly has a good creepy atmosphere to it.

And, of course, the short stories of fellow Indie author Charles Hash are nightmares in prose.


message 4: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Jensen (kdragon) | 468 comments Dwayne wrote: "I love urban legends! My favorite might be the classic The Hook. Probably the creepiest one is the one where the girl thinks the dog is licking her hand...

As for books, I used to read a lot of h..."


I remember the hook story, as well as the one about the girl (she was blind, right?) Great stuff.


message 5: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments I love all kinds of horror stories, whether they be novels, films, legends, anything really.
J.G. Alien is one of my favourite films of all time.
Dwayne I'll agree with you on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, not as scary as I expected, but it was a creepy story.

Probably my favourite horor story/character is Dracula, I absolutely love Dracula, though some of his depictions obviously stand head and shoulders above others - Christopher Lee is awesome - and the stories of Vlad the Impaler on which he is partially based are great/horrible as well.


message 6: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Lightfoot (goodreadscomandrea17) | 67 comments Did anyone here ever read the "Goosebumps" series by R.L Stine?

I did, and watched the televised versions as well.

They weren't particularly scary, but they were just those-books-that-you-just-had-to-read.


message 7: by Sherri (new)

Sherri Moorer (sherrithewriter) | 78 comments Honestly, I don't like most horror movies, but I LOVE the original Halloween and Halloween II movies. In fact, I just ordered them on Amazon because I realized we don't have them and should! As for books, I like the Christopher YA novels from the early 90's (when I was in that age range - yes, I'm Gen X). My favorite of his books were Die Softly, Road to Nowhere, Whisper of Death, Gimme a Kiss, and Fall Into Darkness.


message 8: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 770 comments Sherri wrote: "Honestly, I don't like most horror movies, but I LOVE the original Halloween and Halloween II movies. In fact, I just ordered them on Amazon because I realized we don't have them and should! As for..."

Halloween 1 and 2 are among my favourite movies, and I'm looking forward to/nervous about the Halloween movie due out next year with Jamie Lee Curtis back.


message 9: by Magnus (last edited Oct 14, 2017 09:36AM) (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 173 comments I think it's an interesting question - can a story/book be actually scary? Tense, creepy, atmospheric and uncanny - no doubt. But really scary? Well, obviously it depends on personal taste or reaction to 'scary' material, but I don't think so. Unlike movies (and there are a few, not many, but a few, films that are genuinely scary) books don't have sound effects, and I think mostly that's what makes the difference.
Of course, I'd be happy to stand corrected...


message 10: by Kenzie (new)

Kenzie O'Hara (loreenfinnyahoocom) Without calling on our senses, like the audio aspect that comes from watching a movie, and sitting next to someone who jumps, I don't believe books can rattle people in the same way.


message 11: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Reid | 2 comments I love traditional ghost stories, such as those of M.R. James. The one that creeped me out the most is called "The Mezzotint" and is about a haunted painting.

Another that scared me is one that wouldn't normally be considered a horror story - a Sherlock Holmes adventure called "The Speckled Band". I had nightmares after reading that.


message 12: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Lightfoot (goodreadscomandrea17) | 67 comments If an audio-book is in the horror genre, and it has creepy music to accompany it, then it would be a bit unnerving


message 13: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) J.G. wrote: "I'm not a big fan of horror, but I'll never forget seeing the original Alien in 1979. I thought I went to a sci-fi flick, but it turned out to be a monster movie! I had nightmares for days. "

Easily one of my top 5 films of all time.

Dwayne wrote: "I love urban legends! My favorite might be the classic The Hook."

Me too! Anything that has that 'but it really could happen...' vibe is a ridiculously guilty pleasure of mine this time of year. I don't know if they still do it, but every year, Cracked used to run creepy articles around Halloween and one was a list of urban legends that turned out to be true.

Back when I was younger, friends and I would sit up late and share our own creepy "true" stories. Most borrowed heavily from established legends, but none of us were willing to call anyone else out because that would ruin the fun.

I'm also not a huge fan of horror novels, but I love how horror seems tailor made for the short story. Stephen King's 1408 (from Everything's Eventual) is truly the only thing that I ever read where I was made suddenly very aware how alone and in the dark of night I was.

Magnus wrote: "I think it's an interesting question - can a story/book be actually scary? Tense, creepy, atmospheric and uncanny - no doubt. But really scary?"

Which leads me to a big old yes on this one. Movies don't usually scare me unless you count the jump scare, which is more of a reflex action, and gore just makes me gag.

But give me a night of perusing the Creepypasta corner of the internet and I may have trouble sleeping at night.

But since I mentioned Creepypasta, I need to admit my favorite guilty pleasure from October is the oft maligned cousin to Creepypasta: the crappy pasta. Stories that went off the rails somewhere on the way to spooksville and became intentionally or unintentionally hilarious. A Skeleton Popped Out is still my all time favorite.


message 14: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 173 comments Christina wrote: "Which leads me to a big old yes on this one. Movies don't usually scare me unless you count the jump scare, which is more of a reflex action, and gore just makes me gag. ..."

I'm not familiar with Creepypasta, but re. scary movies (once again) - there are few, elusives film scares that go beyond the jump scare, and that aren't gory at all.
Let's call it the goosebump scare. It's when something comes at you (or the protagonist), slowly, and you can't escape or run, the wft moment when you, the viewer, feels their adrinalin pumping and the (thankfully resistible) urge to loosen one's bowels.
I say it's elusive, because I can only name a handful of films that had that effect on me, though many try, and my wife is way more suseptible to it than me. As a kid Rosemarie's Baby, The Innocents (1961 adaptation of Henry James' Turning of the Shrew, with Deborah Kerr) and maybe 1979 Salem's Lot scared me.
More recently it's been the Japanese original tv movie Ju-on (not any of the remakes), The Conjuring, and - maybe more than any other - It Follows. Fab film


message 15: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4282 comments Mod
Magnus wrote: "I think it's an interesting question - can a story/book be actually scary?"

I think this depends more on the reader than the book. Like anything, we can put into a story as much as we can, but if the reader doesn't want to go along with us, they won't be affected. Some people find Stephen King books incredibly scary, some do not.

When I was a teenager I read a lot of "true" ghost story books. Some of them would keep me awake for hours because I was in the mind-set to be scared and not as skeptical as I am today.


message 16: by Samantha (new)

Samantha | 57 comments I listen to a lot of scary story podcasts. Book wise, I like anything by Ritchie Tankersley Cusick. Another favorite is Count Karlstein by Phillip Pullman; it's funny and scary and the same time, like an old-fashioned mystery-comedy.


message 17: by Magnus (last edited Oct 17, 2017 08:33AM) (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 173 comments V.M. wrote: Just watched "It Follows" last night! What a fantastic little movie! ."

Glad you liked it...
By the way, my favourite 'scary' book is probably Taichi Yamada's 'Strangers'. It's been a while since I read it, but it was well eerie and creey....
My conclusion for now is this: eerie, atmospheric is very possible in literature, scary scary isn't... (and I'd still love to stand corrected). I've been trying to do this myself for something I'm working on at the moment, but I'm sure it's not really scary. I guess if I'll have to settle for creepy ;)


message 18: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Magnus wrote: "(and I'd still love to stand corrected)"

Probably won't happen as Dwayne mentioned, it's all depending on the reader (or watcher). I find books do scary better than films. You find the opposite is true for you. Everyone will have a different reaction.


message 19: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments Christina wrote: "Magnus wrote: "(and I'd still love to stand corrected)"

Probably won't happen as Dwayne mentioned, it's all depending on the reader (or watcher). I find books do scary better than films. You find ..."


I agree with you for a simple reason. When I watch scary movie, I walk away and come back when the worst is over if I can't stand it as for books, I can't do that. I have to continue to read or stop the book, but since I don't stop a book unless it's boring, I am stuck biting the bullet and read the passages. :P


message 20: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1042 comments I'm not normally a horror fan but ...

Story: H.P. Lovecraft's novella "The Whisperer in Darkness".

Movie: F. W. Murnau's 1929 silent great, "Nosferatu".


message 21: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4282 comments Mod
Just came to mind last night: Helter Skelter. I read it a few years ago and it scared me more than any movie, TV show, or any other book. I'll have to jump on the books scarier than movies bandwagon. The first time I read Misery, it really got to me. The movie? I thought it was well done and entertaining, but not terribly scary. One of Charles Hash's shorts got to me, too. I can't recall which one, now.


message 22: by Larry (new)

Larry Buenafe | 36 comments It may be a little cliche’ to mention Stephen King, but In my early teens I read Salem’s Lot, and it scared the holy crap out of me. I read all of his stuff, and I found that by far the scariest. I remember being really frightened while reading Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes. As far as movies are concerned, while the effects don’t really hold up compared to the things we see nowadays, tell me you weren’t scared when that shark loomed up behind Roy Schieder (we’re gonna need a bigger boat!) and I’ll scream “liar!”


message 23: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments For me it was Dean Koontz. I read a lot of King but with him it was hit or miss. With Koontz, I was sure to love. Scary? I don't scare easily. I was watching Outer limits as a young kid. (5 or 6) I used to lay on the sofa making sure my back was protected by the sofa and I would sit there watching, not moving until it was done. I never had nightmares either or my mom would have put a stop to that. :P


message 24: by Dan (new)

Dan Burley (danburleyauthor) | 112 comments The "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" books are hands down my favorite. Those illustrations are way too intense for a children's book series, and I've always loved that.

As for adult material, you can't go wrong with Stephen King.


message 25: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Reid | 2 comments Magnus wrote: "V.M. wrote: Just watched "It Follows" last night! What a fantastic little movie! ."

Glad you liked it...
By the way, my favourite 'scary' book is probably Taichi Yamada's 'Strangers'. It's been a ..."


I liked "It follows" too.

"Strangers" is one of my favourite novels. Very clever, because it engages a lot of feelings, besides being eerie and creepy.

There are a number of Japanese films which do this very well too, ratcheting up tension without being gory. I really liked the original Ring film (Ringu) as well as Ju-On: The Grudge. They are all much better than the remakes.


message 26: by Magnus (new)

Magnus Stanke (magnus_stanke) | 173 comments D.J. wrote: "There are a number of Japanese films which do this very well too, ratcheting up tension without being gory. I really liked the original Ring film (Ringu) as well as Ju-On: The Grudge. They are all much better than the remakes."

Couldn't agree more, on all fronts. Ring probably influenced It Follows in the sense that it's a deceptively simple high-concept premise. In fact I like the first Japanese film so much, I went back and read the books by Koji Suzuki (who also wrote 'Dark Water').


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