Thursday, October 22, 2015

Teal Trick or Treat Blog Hop (and giveaway): Books That Gave Me Nightmares

A couple months ago Nori started #BBCreativityProject, a way to build the book blogging community and come up with fresh ideas (I encourage you to check it out - there's been a lot of great posts).  And thus Teal Team was born!  Our Teal Trick or Treat is a 10 day feature leading up to Halloween with a variety of posts dedicated to the paranormal and horror of the holiday’s history, culture, films, and books, as well as a giveaway hosted by the lovely Rachel.

(On a sidenote to my regular readers, sadly this does not mean I'm off my hiatus - I just decided to make an exception for such a fun project!  I have another audition the first week of November, but after that expect to see me around with a vengeance!)  But onwards to the spooky reads that scared their way into my dreams!

Misery by Steven King


To regular readers of this blog, it should be no surprise that this is the first book that pops into my mind.  I suppose technically it doesn't qualify for this list - that would have required me to get much sleep at all, but any book that makes you call your mother at 2 am sobbing in terror and then cry yourself to sleep with all the lights on when you're in your twenties counts as a nightmare. Just a waking one.  (And surprisingly, I've just discovered I gave it 4 stars. I'm not sure what I expected since it DID do it's job as a horror novel, but this implies that I actually liked the book. Which I did not. At all. I don't know what I was thinking, reading this!!)

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (Scary Stories #1)

What kid in the 90's didn't read this series?  And what kid didn't get nightmares from this?? Seriously, I'm pretty sure these story collections weren't actually for kids.  For one, the artwork is TERRIFYING.   I mean, take a look at these:


Frankly, I still find these terrifying and a bit of me deeply regrets reminding myself how terrifying I found these.  THESE ARE NOT DRAWINGS FOR KIDS, GUYS.  (Or at least not for weenie adults kids like me).  If the stories weren't scary enough (they were), these pictures would have sealed the deal on their own!  I particularly remember the story of the woman with the ribbon around her neck and when she untied the ribbon her head fell off.  To be honest, it wouldn't have ranked in the scariest stories in the series, but she definitely featured in my dreams. (And oddly maybe I was less squeamish as a kid because I'm pretty sure I read these stories over and over. But I think it may have had less terrifying pictures in that particular book which makes a big difference)

The Birds by Daphne du Maurier

The Birds 

I can't remember when we read this in school, but I'm pretty sure we paired it with scenes from Hitchcock's movie as well, and while most people probably don't get scared from old black and white movies, I remain a scaredy cat at all times, so I of course freaked out every time I saw a bird for days after I read/watched this.  I definitely had being pecked to death dreams after this.  (Although I think mine were sparrows not seagulls which is kind of weird.  Luckily it didn't take and I think birds are cute again.)

Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy, #1)The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1)

Both these series were included in my favourite books I read last year, and they were instrumental in revealing to me that I have a loop hole when it comes to scary books: turns out that I LOVE zombies!  Who would have known?  BUT - just because I love them, doesn't mean I'm immune to zombie nightmares.  For about a week during and after I read each series I pretty much exclusively dreamt about zombies. Luckily, for some reason I think about zombie strategy plans enough that I feel much more prepared for said nightmares, so they end up feeling more like adventures than things of terror. 

The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin

The Cold Equations and Other Stories 

Ok first can I just say....oh my god this cover?!? And it was done in 2003 too! It looks like what you expect on romance fantasy novels from the 80s for god's sake!  Definitely not evocative of what I read, for sure.  The Cold Equations is a story I still think about quite a lot, and it's been over a decade since I would have last read it.  (If you haven't read it, it's a short story and it is really thought provoking.  It's also singlehandedly the biggest reason why I wouldn't be interested in space travel in my lifetime)  It also fits a bit more into what my nightmares are usually like - nightmares for me aren't things of pure physical terror, they're more emotionally horrifying for me.  They aren't usually about falling or showing up naked or have monsters - they're about people dying usually involving some level of responsibility on my part.  So it probably shouldn't have come as a surprise that this one was going to show up in various forms in my dreams for years afterwards.  It's a particularly powerful short story (if not one I'm in any rush to reread. It's not like I ENJOY giving myself nightmares).   In fact, really if I could remember which books gave me nightmares like this one, most of them would be stories that I found to be powerful stories, not powerfully horrifying stories.

That doesn't mean I'm ready to jump into Stephen King anytime soon.  I'm not an idiot.

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October 23rd - Lucy @ The Reading Emporium shares her Halloween 2015 bucket list 
October 24th - Maryam @ Once Upon a Story  has some Halloween horoscopes
October 25th - Melissa @ Live, Love, Read imagines YA characters at a masquerade
October 26th - Bea @ Beatrice Learns to Read interviews author Mindy McGinnis
October 27th - Nicole @ Nicole has read... tells us who is on her supernatural guest list
October 28th - Stephanie @ Steph in Wonderland has delicious Halloween treats and drinks
October 29th - Nori @ ReadWriteLove28 shows us the creepiest YA covers
October 30th - Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books talks about horror movie tropes and cliches
October 31st - Stop by all our blogs to see our bookish Halloween costumes!