Since everyone loves lists, especially me, I've chosen to begin my attempt at participating regularly--at the very least, it'll give me something to look forward to posting every week.
Also, it helps that I have something else to do when I'm floundering between books and don't know what to start next.
This week's topic is:
Top Ten Books/Movies To Read or Watch to Get In the Halloween Spirit
- or -
Top Ten Characters Who I Would Totally Want to Be for Halloween
So... very few books actually tend to scare me (maybe I'm just not imaginative enough to picture the creepy stuff in horror novels; maybe I don't read enough horror novels anyway). I tend to shy away from scary movies (bad nightmares, bad childhood fears) and I like my Happily Ever Afters.
So this is going to be more of a suggestion list where I combine the above two topics and try to make it make sense.
1. Phantoms by Dean Koontz
This is probably one of the few books that I both adore and find eerily creepy-scary (I don't read scary or horror stories if I can help it). I recall one dark evening where I was at home alone on a weeknight, sitting in my living room reading some scene in this book pertaining to the dark creature appearing out of nowhere... when I heard some noises down the dark hallway from the bedrooms and nearly shrieked. It's not like this book actually sets off to be scary, but that was quite a memorable experience.
2. Dracula by Bram Stoker
This book is just a given as a horror classic; I DO remember getting chills reading certain parts of the book, but I think it had more to do with the ideals behind the subject matter moreso than the creepiness factor of the subject matter itself. I read this book in middle school, so it's hard to say whether or not I remember it being all too scary, but it certainly is a great novel and puts you in quite the Halloween spirit.
3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Frankenstein is revered as another of the horror classics in literature. I'm currently reading this and had chosen it specifically this year for an October read in an attempt to get into the Halloween spirit. However, while it's an intriguing and thought provoking story (there is more meaning behind the ideals of the subject matter as well as the humane topics imposed in contrast to the actual story itself), it doesn't come off as scary or spine-tingling--in fact, the long drawn out descriptions of horror and "subjects aghast!" are kind of counter-inductive (can this be a word?) to any scary factors.
4. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (collections) by Alvin Schwartz
This book is a compilation of short scary stories I remember skimming through and reading randomly as a child. I don't remember just how scary these selections were, but they are the type of Halloween Spirit inducing subject material that excites any kid for this time of year. For years after reading this compilation, I spent my time dreaming about recreating the same kind of magic with my own scary short stories... but alas, I am just not cut out for story telling!
5. The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright
By all rights, this book isn't really all that scary unless you really focus on specific elements and read it in the right atmosphere. The first time I read this book, the "Footsteps on the Staircase" scene scared me completely out of my skin (I was in middle school and I'm still a scaredy cat at present, so multiply that times ten for my younger self whilst reading that scene). When I reread this book again this year with my friend as part of our Mini Book Club pick, I was reading in the dead of the night and the book didn't feel as scary... until I decided to head out into the darkness of the garage where we keep our large storage freezer for a night time snack. Then I ended up getting that tingling feeling of being watched and I could really feel a chill crawl its way up my spine. It kind of happened out of nowhere. So this little gem will always be an interestingly special Halloween spirit one for me.
6. The Grudge
Known as Ju-on in Japanese, I've always been of the opinion that Japanese traditional tales of horror were far creepier than the scary movies I've ever seen created in America. Something about traditional tales involving legends and historical matter and curses... Anyway...
I don't watch horror movies or scary movies if I can help it. I'm far too chicken. I'm jumpy by nature despite my laid back outward persona and ice-cold heart and poker face. Japanese horror has always been scary as hell to me. I haven't seen The Ring, but I've heard of the legend and it scares me and would be on this list if I could make myself watch it. Instead, having seen The Grudge, I was haunted by the little click-click-click-click-click sound for the longest time, and dreamt about the deformed dead woman in white crawling awkwardly down a set of stairs at least twice. So The Grudge goes on my list.
This was the last time I watched a scary movie in a dark theater.
Characters to Be
1. Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series
Everyone wants to be the hero or the heroine, and whenever choosing a female character in Harry Potter, Hermoine seems to be the favorite choice. While I love Hermione Granger and believe she is one of the toughest, smartest, wittiest, and most resourceful tough girl in the YA universe, if I had to choose a character to be for Halloween, I think I'd actually choose Loony Lovegood instead--ethereal, spacey, unpredictable, strange... no one really gets her, but there's so much depth and insight in this character and I think that's the appeal.
2. Nagato Yuki from the Haruhi Suzumiya series
This being, in the form of an emotionless schoolgirl, is my favorite character in the Haruhi Suzumiya universe if only because she seems to be the all-knowing, ever-present, life-saving backstage damage control presence. Troubles with weird happenings, Nagato Yuki will take care of it all and you won't even know there had been troubles to begin with. It's just that, her eternal poker face really hits the right spot as well.
3. Edward Wong Hau Pepulu Tivrusky IV from Cowboy Bebop
Yes. Another anime character. This young girl is just all sorts of cool: A thirteen year old genius computer hacker who is revered to the point that people have created a legend out of her without even really knowing that she's just a happy-go-lucky thirteen year old girl (who could also be a contortionist, maybe) and has her own strange personality and habits.
4. Alphonse Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist
Hey, lookie! Another anime character!
To be honest, I just kind of want to wear the suit and stand around and see what reactions I get from people. But seriously, I do like Al a lot and the Fullmetal Alchemist series is uber awesome!
There you have it. This is the point where I'd ask for scary Halloween book suggestions, but since I avoid scary stories now, I'm just going to end with a Happy Halloween!
Happy Halloween everyone!