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flybye023
04-11-2009, 06:54 PM
I’m tired of the books I’ve been reading and would like book suggestions for something scary. I know fear is a personal thing and that what one person finds scary another person doesn’t so I’ve listed what movies, tv, and stories I found scary and why.

Movies
House of Wax (Vincent Price): I think it was the two identities…Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde.
Pit and the Pendulum (Vincent Price)—Hey, crazy man with two personalities tortures and kills, then entombs a victim forever. What’s not scary about that?
Wait Until Dark—Whole messing with the victim’s head idea.
Aliens—The idea of something growing inside you.
Jaws—I think it’s the timing…lull you into a false sense of security, then BAM!
The Mummy—Mostly just fun, but there were moments especially when the group was being tracked in a dark maze that I found scary.

TV episodes
x-files:
Ice—The worms that would take over the victims’ brains and change their personality
Detour—Chameleon-like beast that picks of members of the group out in the woods one by one.
Folie a Deux—Call center workers are bitten by a monstrous insect that turns them into zombies/drones but they look completely normal to everyone else.

Occasionally man v animal stories—if they’re told right. (Sasquatch, yeti, etc.)
Ghost stories.

Books/short stories
Dracula—still scares me if it’s night and I’m alone
I read this one vampire story that took place in Viking times. Basically the vampire came into the village in winter time—when the sun never rises. (I know, I know, “30 days of Night” only I heard that both the movie and the book sucked)
The Most Dangerous Game—Man is the apex predator.

Stories I didn’t find scary:
The Shining
The Ruins—not suspenseful or scientific enough. You knew right from the start that everyone would die. You knew that the giant plant would kill them but not why.
1408—Made no sense, was just odd
The Ring—Weird/gross imagery. Just not scary.
Any horror story involving incest or necrophilia. Not scary at all, just squicky. Eww.

Stories I find scary but not in a good way: Satanic ritual, demonic possession, etc.

So CS members, scare me! :p

El Pollo Guerrera
04-11-2009, 07:39 PM
One of the scarier movies I've seen over the last while was a BBC television film called "Ghostwatch"...

"On October 31st, 1992, the BBC aired a live documentary about house that is haunted, including a reporter with camera crew interviewing the family from inside the house. No one was prepared for what happened next..."

Well, OK, it wasn't live, or a documentary, but it was damn good and it has never aired in Britain again after that night. It is the "Orson Well's War of the Worlds" of British television.

KabeRinnaul
04-11-2009, 08:14 PM
The Complete Works of H. P. Lovecraft (http://www.dagonbytes.com/thelibrary/lovecraft/index.html)

I suggest the following:
At the Mountains of Madness
The Call of Cthulhu
The Colour Out of Space
The Haunter of the Dark
The Hound
The Rats in the Walls
The Unnamable

...but not if you enjoy sleep.

AdminAssistant
04-11-2009, 08:45 PM
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

It scared the living hell out of me. Heck, it scared my supposedly unscareable boyfriend. Most realistic cinematic violence I've ever seen.

AnaKhouri
04-11-2009, 09:55 PM
Here are some books I find disturbing:

House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski

(Very long, unconventional style and format. Not shock-scary but I found it profoundly disturbing in a primal manner)

Anything by Ramsey Campbell (He has written Lovecraftian fiction as well as other stuff; he is especially interested in the horrific potential in modern media such as film). I recommend Ancient Images, Alone with the Horrors, and especially The Overnight.

Shirley Jackson is a classic and I liked The House on Haunted Hill and We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

Ambrose Bierce, Sheridan LeFanu and Saki (H.H. Munro) were masters of the Victorian short horror story. M.R. James is also delicious.

There is also The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, though you have probably seen the movie.

JoitheArtist
04-11-2009, 11:21 PM
The Complete Works of H. P. Lovecraft (http://www.dagonbytes.com/thelibrary/lovecraft/index.html)

I suggest the following:
At the Mountains of Madness
The Call of Cthulhu
The Colour Out of Space
The Haunter of the Dark
The Hound
The Rats in the Walls
The Unnamable

...but not if you enjoy sleep.

Took the words right out of my mouth. Lovecraft gives me the heebie-jeebies! I would add The Shadow Out of Time to that list, as well. And Whisperer in the Dark or whatever that one is called. I also liked The Thing on the Doorstep, which was so much scary as disturbing.

http://www.dagonbytes.com/thelibrary/lovecraft/ has all of Lovecraft online.

dalesys
04-11-2009, 11:56 PM
The Shadow People - Margaret St. Clair (1969)

We had to move to a house without a basement after my wife read this book.

Kittish
04-12-2009, 12:13 AM
I know it's been out for a long time, but if you haven't read this one: It by Stephen King. Gave me nightmares for weeks and I still look at clowns a bit sideways.

Nurian
04-12-2009, 01:15 AM
The only movie that freaks me out is The Event Horizon. I couldn't sleep for awhile after that.

Jester
04-12-2009, 01:33 AM
Various random ideas:

"The Amityville Horror." The book, not the movies so much.
"The Exorcist." Book or (original) movie. Fucking scary shit. And yes, I HAVE stood on those stairs, thank you very much. (The movie "Exorcist III" was good too, but "Exorcist II" sucked balls.)
"Christine." Book, but movie is good too.
I know I am going to get roasted for this one, but I found the first "Candyman" movie to be scary as hell.
"Prince of Darkness." The movie. Don't know if there was a book.
"The Omen." Book or original movie. Creepy shit.
This is a bit odd, but the Doctor Who episode entitled "Blink."
The first "Saw" movie. It is not just gore. It is fucked up.
The very first "Nightmare on Elm Street," before it became a comedy campy series. Also, "Wes Craven's Final Nightmare" was pretty creepy.

And if you really want to be creeped out by truth, which is usually stranger than fiction, check out "The Last Victim" by Jason Moss, "Deranged" by Harold Schechter, "Citizen X" by Robert Cullen, "Cannibal" by Lois Jones, or "The Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson. Some of the creepier books I've read about real-life killers...and I've read a few. ("Cannibal is not about a serial killer, but just about one of the creepiest real-life crimes I've ever read about, being either a murder, a suicide, or both, depending upon how you look at it, but still ultra-creepy.)

Seshat
04-12-2009, 04:12 AM
Any Edgar Allen Poe, if you can tolerate the typical-for-his-era writing style (me, I find that hard).

Garth Nix, but not his teenager-books. Which are probably scary enough for teenagers! But the Sabriel/Lirael/Abhorsen series are great, if you go for creepy-slow horror, rather than sudden terror.

El Pollo Guerrera
04-12-2009, 09:29 AM
This is a bit odd, but the Doctor Who episode entitled "Blink."


I saw that episode... one of the greatest Doctor Who episodes I have ever seen. One of the greatest sci-fi SHOWS I have ever seen.

Gawdzillers
04-12-2009, 05:43 PM
The Complete Works of H. P. Lovecraft (http://www.dagonbytes.com/thelibrary/lovecraft/index.html)

I suggest the following:
At the Mountains of Madness
The Call of Cthulhu
The Colour Out of Space
The Haunter of the Dark
The Hound
The Rats in the Walls
The Unnamable

...but not if you enjoy sleep."The Music of Erich Zann" made me afraid of windows for three nights, and "The Shadow Out of Time" makes me physically ill. It's not scary, but anything attempting to describe the immensity of the universe and time just makes me dizzy and nauseous.

Talon
04-12-2009, 06:09 PM
Sadly I can't think of any books/movies at the moment, apart from what's already been mentioned.

Are you including video games in your list of horror media? If so I'd recommend the Silent Hill series, namely 1, 2, and 4. Not the over-the-top movie though.

SH1: The titular town itself seems to be the enemy. A faceless malevolent evil, enshrouded in fog, half-submerged into a blood and rust-encrusted mockery of reality, mainipulating the hapless ordinary-joe main character into going further into its depths. Unlike most survival-horror pretenders, ammo is extremely scarce.

SH2: This time the town is purgatory. There is nothing to fear in town, except what you take with you. But unfortunately, over-abundance of ammo kills some of the game's suspense. The real horror comes from the chillingly-unbalanced cast of characters who are drawn in, including the main. There was a scene near the end where one of the secondary characters gave up, and surrendered to her own personal hell. That scene was so heartbreaking I had to put the game down for a time.

SH4: Trapped inside a warped twisted world, born out of the mind of a serial killer. The only way out of this nightmare is down, through the depths of the killer's madness, to find the truth behind his insanity. Not as scary as the other two, and somewhat saddled by bad gameplay. But the story made up for it.

All of the above games contain genuinely tragic scenes. That's no mean feat, getting people emotionally invested in pixellated characters.

I noticed you mentioned Aliens in your list. At the risk of sounding shamelessly self-promotional, and perhaps cheezy, might I recommend my Aliens fanfic Soul of Silicon (http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2407054/1/Soul_of_Silicon)? One of my reviewers, Ridley's Garden, described it as "Quite possibly one of the most Psycologically [sp] scary stories I have ever read."

I'd like to think I incorporated the theme of something growing inside you well, despite the fact that my main characters aren't even human. They are an android, and a ship's computer. Both have something dangerous lurking inside of them. It's not biological. It's not even alien. It is sadly, a purely human construct.

Jester
04-12-2009, 07:06 PM
I saw that episode... one of the greatest Doctor Who episodes I have ever seen. One of the greatest sci-fi SHOWS I have ever seen.

Absolutely agreed. Without question my favorite Doctor Who episode ever...and I have only ever seen it once!

JoitheArtist
04-12-2009, 07:48 PM
Absolutely agreed. Without question my favorite Doctor Who episode ever...and I have only ever seen it once!

Blink freaks me out every time I see it, and I LOVE it! Weeping angels....*shivers* SO glad I don't live in a town with lots of statues!!

That said, pretty much every Doctor Who episode by Stephen Moffat freaks me out.

The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances---"Are you my mummy?"
The Girl in the Fireplace
Blink
Silence in the Library--my bedroom is full of both books and shadows--I slept with my light on that night!!!

LibraryLady
04-12-2009, 07:56 PM
Lovecraft, King, they're all good for a scare.

Fear can best be achieved with a :confused: than an :eek: Here are some good ones in that mode.

One of the most scary stories I've ever read was Arthur C. Clark's "Nine Billion Names of God". The idea is that God had nine billion names. Once all those names have been discovered, the world will end.

A hubristic bunch of scientists decide that they will discover all the names using the random generator in an early computer. I won't say what happens but the last paragraph may well give you an involuntary Mohawk.

Algernon Blackwood's stories are always good for a frisson or two. He was a master of the surprise ending the reader should have seen coming.

William Golding's "The Spire" is an unappreciated treasure of the genre of fear. It's about the building of a Cathedral. From the beginning, the reader sees that something isn't quite right but how wrong things are only become clear as the story unfolds. If there's such a thing, this one is a slow-paced nail-biter.

"Harriet" by Elizabeth Jenkins was written in the 1930s. It's still a spine-chiller. Harriet was woman of considerable worth and legally entitled to marry as she wished. She was also a woman of compromised mental capacity. There is some fear in this book. More likely, you want to choke some of the characters to death.

Enjoy reading these Easter Eggs of fear and loathing!

JoitheArtist
04-12-2009, 08:57 PM
Garth Nix, but not his teenager-books. Which are probably scary enough for teenagers! But the Sabriel/Lirael/Abhorsen series are great, if you go for creepy-slow horror, rather than sudden terror.

I LOVE the Abhorsen books! Humor, romance, creeping horror, and those amazing bells...Some of the best YA fantasy I've read in a good long while.

Quoth LibraryLady:


One of the most scary stories I've ever read was Arthur C. Clark's "Nine Billion Names of God". The idea is that God had nine billion names. Once all those names have been discovered, the world will end.

I LOVE that story! I think I yelped at the final sentence. Clark was really great at those last-sentence-freaks-you-out kind of stories.

Oh, and Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes was creepy, at least to me.

KiaKat
04-14-2009, 04:25 AM
Also, James L. Grant's book On The Banks of Lethe.

Scared the bejeezus out of me. And I *don't* get scared at books. Ever. Movies, sure. Books, not so much.

I know a lot of people don't like his movies, but M. Night Shyamalan's movie Signs always does it for me. Fantastic suspense.

And Bradbury's Mars stories. Or anything from Clive Barker.

Eireann
04-14-2009, 11:53 AM
E.F. Benson, a contemporary of M.R. James, wrote a slew of ghost stories. Not all of them are successful, but two that REALLY work are:

"The Room in the Tower" (with a truly chilling tombstone inscription mentioned)
"The Step"

Frederic Brown's short fiction is also very good, especially "Come and Go Mad" and one of the most frightening short stories I've ever read, "Don't Look Behind You". There is also the short story - the name escapes me - about scientists linking up all the computers in the universe, and what happens when they ask the universal Internet their first question.

Ray Bradbury's short story collection The October Country, containing the story "The Emissary". Well, all of the stories are good, but that one is particularly frightening. Also look for his short story (not in this collection) titled "The October Game".

I'm going to have to check out some of the other recommendations on this thread!

LibraryLady
04-14-2009, 06:44 PM
I'm currently dipping into a big yokker of a book I got from a bargain table. It's

"The Best of Mystery. 63 Short Stories Chosen by the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock". This compendium includes such authors as Lawrence Block (the author of 'Psycho'), Bill Pronzini, Ron Goulart, Patricia Highsmith, Donald E. Westlake and many, many others. I'm reading it very sparingly because I think it'll be just the thing to read and leave on the ship when we sail from Barcelona to NYC in November. It'd be especially good on a misty night when the fog-horns are sounding.

We should also consider the work of Shirley Jones. "The Lottery" is a high school classic but "We Have Always Lived in the Castle."is a slow-paced, genuine bone-chiller. When I first read it, I could easily imagine the story happening in my home town. I could easily identify the shops and the houses. I could even put the faces and names of people I knew to characters in the book.

Joyce Carol Oates's "Mysteries of Winterthurn" might not seem an immediate choice for lovers of horrific fiction but, if you approach it with the right attitude, the misadventures of Xavier Kilgarven can be both very funny and very scary.

Last of all, I'd like to recommend "The Dwarf Who Ate His Mother". I don't have the book any more and I don't remember the author but that one gave me nightmares long after I finished reading it.

Happy dreams, everyone!

LingualMonkey
04-14-2009, 07:24 PM
Here's a few more:

Movies
The Devil's Backbone--Guillermo del Toro's best movie (in my opinion). Parts are terrifying, although this won't give you nightmares. Great film. No one does critters and monsters as well as del Toro.

...28 Days Later--fast plague-ridden zombies! Woo! (Avoid the sucktastic sequel.)

The Wicker Man--the original movie with Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward, not the awful, awful remake. A complete mindscrew at the end. Not scary-scary, but definitely left me with some existential dread.

The Tenant--Existential horror from Roman Polanski. Again, not jump-out-of-the-seat scary, but a total headtrip.

Jacob's Ladder--see above with more scary stuff.

The Invasion of the Body Snatchers (either 1956 or the one from the 70s)--I lost a week of sleep from the original as a kid. The book's not bad, either.

Poltergeist--Proof that scary PG movies can exist.

The Serpent and the Rainbow--real Haitian voodoo zombies. Some scary imagery, and some awesome scenes.

Eraserhead--the closest thing ever to a nightmare depicted on screen. You will never, ever wash these images from your brain.

Books
World War Z--a history of the zombie war. Essentially, George Romero's zombie movies, post apocalypse, as told by survivors.

Along those same lines, if you can find "The Book of the Dead" edited by John Skipp and Craig Spector, this is a series of short stories that take place in Romero's zombie-filled universe.

Clive Barker's "In the Hills, the Cities" is one of the most disturbing short stories I've ever read. Another is Stephen King's "Survivor Type."

My favorite book ever is "High Rise" by J.G. Ballard. It's not scary like with supernatural-type things, but the depths of depravity the characters reach is pretty frightening. Great read.

While it's not often mentioned, I found Stephen King's "Pet Semetary" petrifying.

For real life scary, try Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood."

wagegoth
04-14-2009, 07:43 PM
LingualMonkey, The Devil's Backbone had me completely freaked out. So sad too. But an excellent movie. There's something about European ghost movies that really creep me out. I get freaked by the images in Asian ghost movies. Watched most of The Ring, and, well, yuck. But some English movies, just, rrrrrrrrrrrrrr. The Woman in Black, for example.

Supernatural, the television show, has some moments that have had me glad I was home on the couch with all the lights on.

Two books by Barbara Hambly (who is an excellent writer of all types of fiction): "Those Who Hunt the Night" and Traveling with the Dead." Vampires make it clear who the apex predator is. Not very gory. Takes place, I believe, during Edwardian times, so no automatic weapons or grenades or nukes.

The book "Ghost Story," not the movie.

The book, "Nomads," not the movie.

Near Dark is a must see movie.

The Frighteners has some good moments. So does The Changeling with George C. Scott.

I usually don't find books that scary, I'm more visual and aural. I can watch any scary movie as long as the sound is off. However, turn on the sound and let me hear the sound of fear and that's it. Stephen King's books don't scare me, but clowns, OMG! If you have a fear of clowns, do not watch "Killer Klowns from Outer Space."

JoitheArtist
04-14-2009, 08:19 PM
Here's a few more:

Movies
The Devil's Backbone--Guillermo del Toro's best movie (in my opinion). Parts are terrifying, although this won't give you nightmares. Great film. No one does critters and monsters as well as del Toro.

Books
World War Z--a history of the zombie war. Essentially, George Romero's zombie movies, post apocalypse, as told by survivors.

Loved Devil's Backbone, but honestly, I've loved everything I've seen from GdT--He's got such a great style, and a lovely sense of fantasy. The death of the forest elemental in Hellboy2 had me in tears.

World War Z...one of the most unexpected books I've ever read. I don't like zombie stories much, but when two of my fav blogs raved about the book within a day or two of each other, I figured I should read it. WOW, what a surprise! Sometimes funny, sometimes thought-provoking, sometimes making me need to read it under the covers because it freaked me out...especially the description of the zombie's moan...*shudders* can't wait for the film!

Parrothead
04-15-2009, 07:14 PM
Cell by Stephen King. Still can't get past chapter 1.

Strange Highways by Dean Koontz. It's a collection of short stories, some scarier than others.

Can't think of anything else.

Jester
04-15-2009, 08:22 PM
Blink freaks me out every time I see it

The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances---"Are you my mummy?"
The Girl in the Fireplace
Blink
Silence in the Library

I do so want to see Blink again. The others were also freaky, though I don't believe I've seen The Girl in the Fireplace.

I know a lot of people don't like his movies, but M. Night Shyamalan's movie Signs always does it for me. Fantastic suspense.

That was the one with Mel Gibson, right? Loved it. Love M. Night's work. Unbreakable is very good, and very unusual (though not necessarily scary).

Lawrence Block (the author of 'Psycho')

I have no idea who Lawrence Block is, but Robert Bloch was the author of Psycho. In the words of Alanis, "Because you...you...you....oughtta know!"

AdminAssistant
04-15-2009, 11:31 PM
That was the one with Mel Gibson, right? Loved it. Love M. Night's work. Unbreakable is very good, and very unusual (though not necessarily scary).

Yes, Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix (before he officially boarded the crazy train). GREAT movie...until the end. But scary.

Unbreakable is just so.....freaky. The shots of Samuel L. Jackson falling down the stairs and Bruce Willis falling in the pool....completely freaked me out. In an awesome way.

LibraryLady
04-16-2009, 02:17 AM
Various random ideas:

"The Amityville Horror." The book, not the movies so much.

Interesting that you should mention " The Amityville Horror". From a Librarian's perspective, that was a very interesting book.

It began it's life as a non-fiction title and was thought to be a true account of a haunting. It sold like hot-cakes but, after several scathing reviews by skeptics, it was reclassified by the publisher as 'fiction'. For several months, you could find that title in both the 'fiction' and 'non-fiction' lists issued by the publisher because the publisher wasn't quite sure what it was.

You never can tell, can you?

Gravekeeper
04-16-2009, 02:51 AM
One of the most scary stories I've ever read was Arthur C. Clark's "Nine Billion Names of God". The idea is that God had nine billion names. Once all those names have been discovered, the world will end.


Haha, damn. I had to Google that and go read it. ><

Arthur C. Clark is a bastard.

Eireann
04-16-2009, 09:55 AM
I have no idea who Lawrence Block is, but Robert Bloch was the author of Psycho. In the words of Alanis, "Because you...you...you....oughtta know!"

I noticed that, too. Lawrence Block is (was?) a crime writer, and a contemporary of the great Robert Bloch.

I can't believe I'm admitting this, but only recently did I FINALLY watch a horror classic, The Evil Dead. During the daytime, of course. Then I watched the second and third parts of the trilogy, and I am well and truly hooked, in addition to having a mad crush on the great Bruce Campbell; what a man!

Excuse me while I mop up the drool.

wagegoth
04-16-2009, 06:29 PM
I can't believe I'm admitting this, but only recently did I FINALLY watch a horror classic, The Evil Dead. During the daytime, of course. Then I watched the second and third parts of the trilogy, and I am well and truly hooked, in addition to having a mad crush on the great Bruce Campbell; what a man!

Excuse me while I mop up the drool.

Pick up his book "If Chins Could Kill," it's a memoir starting with making "The Evil Dead" up until a few years ago. He is very funny and I have a serious crush on him, too.

JoitheArtist
04-16-2009, 06:42 PM
Haha, damn. I had to Google that and go read it. ><

Arthur C. Clark is a bastard.

I loved that story. Made me squeak a bit at the end!

And yes, he is a total bastard. On one story, he spends a page and a half of story to build up to ONE BAD PUN. I laughed like crazy, but also wanted to throw the book across the room!

You can find that story here: http://www.awpi.com/Combs/Shaggy/557.html Don't say I didn't warn you.

Eireann
04-16-2009, 07:42 PM
Pick up his book "If Chins Could Kill," it's a memoir starting with making "The Evil Dead" up until a few years ago. He is very funny and I have a serious crush on him, too.

A friend is going to lend me her copy. I've read a few pages on Amazon, along with a few pages of his novel, and the guy is flat-out hilarious; I've found some YouTube videos of him appearing before and after screenings of his films, and he is so damned funny and charismatic, I can hardly believe it.