When I was growing up, I watched a lot of scary movies and TV shows. I remember watching Tales from the Crypt, The Blair Witch Project, and So Weird. It was a time when Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark? were really popular and all it took to scare your little brother was a frightened stare directed just behind his shoulder. So in honor of Halloween I thought I’d take a walk down memory lane and spotlight the books that defined horror for me as a child. These days it’s hard to find a book that truly freaks me out; I suppose I’ve become hardhearted in my old age. But these books frightened the heck out of me when I was a kid.
I really wish I would have kept my copies of these chilling books. These were the stories that made my imagination run wild. It was also the stories I used to read aloud to my brother to freak him out (I was only slightly sadistic). I distinctly remember one story in which a kid is asleep in bed when he suddenly hears a voice coming from downstairs. The voice begins to recount every step he takes, which brings him closer and closer to the kid. “I’m on the fifth step…I’m on the last step…I’m standing outside your room…I’m right by your bed.” It gave me the chills and had quite an impact on my decision to close my bedroom door at night.
No walk down memory lane would be completely without mentioning R.L. Stine. I’m sure most kids who grew up during the 90s were exposed to him one way or another. From his Goosebumps books to the T.V. show to his Fear Street series. These are the two books I can actually remember reading (which is saying something because I really have an awful memory). I am not ashamed to admit that I am now afraid of ventriloquist dummies and will never own a canopy bed.