Today's Friday Five is Books to Scare Your Pants Off! HOPE YOU LIKE BEING PANTSLESS!
The Elementals by Michael McDowell - In the Elementals, an Alabama family returns to their vacation estate on the Gulf coast after the death of the family matriarch. The estate consists of three identical houses, one of which is being overtaken by sand dunes. Don’t think sand can be scary? Wow, how wrong you are.
Golgotha Falls by Frank de Felitta - A priest and two paranormal investigators walk into an unconsecrated church. Horror ensues. Golgotha Falls is an excellent blend of religious horror (one of my favorite and the most-often-disappointing genres) and haunted house story. Mix in 1970s-era paranormal research tech and a little bit of sex and you got yerself a classic.
Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist - Let the Right One In is a layered and terrifying story about a young boy who befriends a child vampire. The story deals with issues like bullying, child neglect, and paedophelia, but you find yourself unsure of who you should hate and who you should sympathize with. And there’s this one scene in a dark room that legit scared the bejeezus out of me. Disregard your feelings about either of the movie adaptations and read this book.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson - In my humble opinion, the Netflix Hill House series is a hate crime. Jackson’s book is so much better. The Haunting of Hill House centers main character Eleanor Vance’s visit to the notoriously evil old mansion. She joins Dr. Montague, a scholar searching for proof of the paranormal; Teddy, a free spirit with a wicked turn; Luke, a playboy and future heir to hill house; and of course the house itself. Hill House offers an elegant exploration of loneliness and emotional complexity in its female protagonist, and a mighty good haunted house story to boot.
‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King - Before King’s books were 600+ pages of unedited coke spew, he wrote some real bangers. ‘Salem’s Lot is a swift and scary read. Writer Ben Mears returns to Jerusalem’s Lot to find the town decimated by a mysterious force. Guess what, it’s vampires. But not your sparkly, hair gelled vampires. These ones are some real sons of bitches.