Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s category is a Halloween Themed Freebie. I decided to go for an obvious choice and pick my favorite scary stories/books, and then added a slight twist and made it all about the scary books/ghost stories I loved (or which terrified me) as a child.
1. Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz
These books terrified me as a kid. And it wasn’t even so much the stories themselves (though some of them really did haunt me for years) as the artwork contained within the pages of the books. The artwork alone is enough to provoke weeks of nightmares in a young child. But despite their terrifying nature, I couldn’t resist them either. Even now as an adult the artwork is disturbing to me.
2 The First Horror (99 Fear Street) by R.L. Stine
I was a big fan of the Fear Street novels back in the day. I read tons of them, but the trilogy of books that kicked off with this one remained my favorite, and I believe the creepiest. I’m still terrified of garbage disposals thanks to these books.
3. The Doll in the Garden by Mary Downing Hahn
Hahn’s books, like Stine’s, were big favorites of mine when I was younger. The Doll in the Garden wasn’t particularly creepy, but it was one of my favorite novels as a child. I can’t even count how many times I must have read this book.
4. Time Windows by Kathryn Reiss
This was another one that I read repeatedly as a child, about a girl who finds a dollhouse in the attic of her new home, and discovers that the dolls are re-enacting the past. Not only that, but the malevolence of past events is starting to affect her mother in the present as well.
5. The Wicked Heart by Christopher Pike
This was the only book I ever read by Christopher Pike. I remember finding his books in the library in the same section as the R.L. Stine books and thinking it would be similar, since I already loved Stine. However, this book was so dark and disturbing to me at the time that I never picked up another book by Pike.
6. Stonewords by Pam Conrad
Yet another book from my childhood that I absolutely loved and read multiple times. I think I must have wanted my own ghost friend when I was younger, since that seems to be a common thread in some of my favorite books. And now I realize there was a sequel written at some point that I never knew existed.
7. Tilly the Witch by Don Freeman
Okay, so this one wasn’t really scary, but it was definitely one of my favorite Halloween reads when I was a child. Tilly was a witch who forgot how to be mean and has to relearn everything. I loved it.
8. In a Dark Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz
Who doesn’t remember reading this when they were young? It’s one of the first (semi) scary books I remember. And I just now realized it was by the same author who terrified me with more scary stories a few years later.
9. Goosebumps by R.L. Stine
I wanted to try to pick out my favorite, but I honestly can’t remember which one that would be; I read so many of these books when I was younger and owned quite a few as well. Some of the ones that stick in my head are: Piano Lessons Can Be Murder, Welcome to Dead House and Night of the Living Dummy.
10. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Okay, so technically I didn’t read this when I was young, but I was having trouble coming up with a tenth book and I have a feeling if I did I would have loved it and been terrified (those button eyes? Seriously scary).
So there’s my list. What scary books did you love, or which ones terrified you as a child? Which do you still love now as an adult?