Dare to Read a Scary Story This Halloween

Normally, I avoid reading anything scary. Horror just isn’t my thing. I can live without ghosts, goblins and things that may or may not be dead. Halloween, however, is an exception. It is the only time of year I’m brave enough to pull out a scary story and curl up for the night. Some of the best scary stories I’ve dared to read can be found in our teen section:

Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall

Buckle up. You are in for a wild ride. Rules for Vanishing is not your usual horror novel. It breaks all the rules. It’s not a story that you can predict. You just have to keep reading and let the tale unfold.

Everyone in Briar Glen knows the story of Lucy Gallows. One day she ran into the woods and disappeared. Legend says that once a year a road opens up in those same woods and Lucy stands at the end. Everyone thinks that Lucy is just an urban myth. Until Sara’s sister goes missing.

Determined to find her sister, Sara searches for Lucy’s road. There are rules she must follow: find a partner, never let go, find a key, never stray from the path. There are seven gates she must pass through. If Sara can complete the journey maybe she can find her sister and bring her home.

This book is full of nightmares and is a combination of everything that makes a horror story great. It has mystery, suspense, paranormal activities and things that go bump in the night. I’ve never read anything quite like Rules for Vanishing. It is difficult to describe the feeling you get while reading it. It’s eerie and terrifying and I loved every minute of it.

The Dogs by Allan Stratton

The Dogs is a psychological thriller mixed in with classic horror. It was the winner of the 2016 Red Maple Award.

Cameron and his mom move into an old farm house with a shady past. Cameron begins to sense things in the house that others cannot. He hears dogs barking in the distance. He sees a young boy walking in the fields. Brushed off as a mental health issue, no one takes Cameron’s sightings seriously. However, Cameron becomes more and more obsessed with discovering the identity of the boy and the mystery surrounding the farm house.

Author Allan Stratton blends a modern day story with supernatural elements so well that you won’t know where the human mind stops and the ghosts begin. I’m not going to lie….I slept with the lights on after I read this one.

How to Draw Chiller Monsters, Werewolves, Vampires and Zombies by David Spurlock

Horror stories are not for everyone and some creative minds may prefer to spend the evening sketching undead creatures of the night instead.

How to Draw Chiller Monsters, Werewolves, Vampires and Zombies is one of the most versatile art books I’ve come across. It’s not a step by step instructional book, but rather how to take your art to the next level. There are tips on lighting, style and perspective. It is interesting how much the story can change when a drawing is changed from a different angle or when the lighting is shifted from one part of the picture to another.

Each section of the book is centered on a different monster and gives the origins of each classic creature. The roots of zombie tales can be traced to the West African religion of Vodun. There are accounts of people being turned into mindless monsters by witchdoctors known as a bokor. The stories grew to become the type of flesh-eating zombies we see in movies starting with the classic 1968 film Night of the Living Dead.
There are even articles featuring classic horror artists, including Basil Gogos, followed by a breakdown of his iconic oil painting of Boris Karloff as Frankenstein. Even if you are not artistically inclined, this book is an interesting read about the history and lore that make up the modern day horror genre.

Happy Halloween!

— Lesley L.