In the days leading up to Halloween, during conversations about costumes, candy, and celebrations for the coming spooky holiday, I asked authors, friends, and teen readers alike:
What was your favorite scary book as a kid?
Here are some of their responses.
"Well, I was always a fan of Where the Wild Things Are...that was one of my favorites year round. As I got older, I sorta skipped kids' books and went right into the old Doc Savage pulp reprints. After my pulp phase, I discovered Richard Matheson's I Am Legend and there was no going back. I found my love in horror and there was no looking back. That book scared the crap out of me. From there I discovered Stephen King, devouring Carrie and Salem's Lot, but it was The Shining that again reduced me to a quivering mass...but I loved every second!" - Tom Sniegoski
"I LOVED Baby-sitters Beware, The Baby-Sitters Club Super Mystery #2 by Ann M. Martin. The girls were stalked by a creepy dude. So unsettling for a BSC book!!!" - Courtney Summers
"As a kid: Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn. As a teen, I read memoirs about tragedy, which scared me plenty!" - Courtney Sheinmel
"Ghost Cat by Beverly Butler changed how I felt about ghosts, cats, and Wisconsin farms.
Spooky and a little quirky, which is my favorite flavor of spooky. Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn was suggested to me by my bookish friend in grade school.
What I remember most about this book are the fires, the liars, and the
skeletons. I'm sure I'm making it sound less chilling than it was for me
at the time. It scared me. Also, Carrie was scary. I was the first
Stephen King book I ever read. I was in high school and I think it's the
only frightening novel I read at that age. I metabolize horror very
slowly and read it sparingly. My husband is the scary writer. I'm the
funny one." - Kristen Tracy
"Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz. It gave me nightmares." - 15-year-old reader
"There was this book about a kid who was visited by monsters every night and the monsters broke his toys. Every night. Until one night when he asked them not to do it anymore, and then they fixed his toys. I can't remember the title." - another 15-year-old reader (If anyone is familiar with this book and knows the title/author, please share the info in the comments below!)
How about you, gentle reader? What was your favorite scary book as a kid? Leave a comment below and let me know!
Want to check out some of my favorite scary stories? Looking for more books to pick up this Halloween? Here are some booklists I created that you might enjoy:
Vamping It Up
Mind Readers and Ghostly Visitors
Teen Mystery and Horror Books