Monday, October 24, 2016

The King of Halloween

My plan for today's post was to pull out all the books that capture my love of Halloween. As I looked through my books, nothing was really calling out to me. Sure, there are books that I love in the stack, but none of them have really been the reason that I love Halloween. And that got me to thinking.

Who is my go-to author at Halloween when I need a good scare? I've been searching and searching for several years now for a story that really frightens me and haven't found one. Then it dawned on me: Stephen King.  I have never been so frightened from a story than one written by King, and no one has been able to give me that same fright. The weird thing is that I haven't read one of his books since the 1980s. I don't even own a copy of his books anymore! The last book I read was Pet Sematary.  It scared me so badly that I had a week's worth of nightmares and I decided it was time to give Stephen King a rest for awhile. I still remember those dreams.

Life got busy, my reading tended toward required college texts, and then I figured that there must be another author out there who could scare me as much as King and the search began. But, no other author has done it. Was I so frightened because of my age (I started reading King in middle school I think) or because it was the first time I had read adult horror? I need to find out.

I'm not going to start with any of King's newer novels. When I looked at his recent catalog of published works that frightened me! How will I ever catch-up? I'm going back to the start of my love for King. I want to re-read The Shining, Carrie, and Salem's Lot. Maybe I'll even work my way to Pet Sematary.  I'm curious to know whether my experiences as an adult now living in New England will have an impact on my level of enjoyment and fear while reading the stories. I'll admit I'm a bit anxious that I won't find them scary at all and my memories will be tainted. That's a risk, but I have a feeling all will be well.

I'm picking up a copy of Salems's Lot this week and I'm hoping it scares me almost to death or at least makes me read it during daylight hours only.  Thank you Stephen King for instilling in me a sense of unease when I walk through my dark house. I now remember it was you that played a large part in sparking my love of Halloween.

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