Nightmarish Novels

The year’s most well-publicized witching hour is rapidly approaching, and I haven’t yet talked about anything sinister or spooky. Shame on me! So let’s take a moment, if you don’t mind, to talk about scary books.

I love horror novels. They’re one of my absolute favorite things to read, and they’re the reason that my first published novel was a zombie apocalypse story. I love horror movies and scary video games as well, but there’s just something about a creepy book…especially if you’re curled up under a blanket, all alone, in a room that’s lit just well enough for you to read. The imagination runs wild and you start hearing things, feeling things… If it’s a dark and stormy night you might have an outright panic attack. I love that feeling, as funny as it may seem to some people. I love being scared. So what are some of the novels that have given me the maximum amount of shivers?


poltergeist_1024x1024I have to come right out and admit that there was a time when I didn’t actually know that there was a book. I’d seen the movie multiple times and loved it, but it wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I actually found out that there was a book written by James Kahn, and until the writing of this post I thought the movie was based on the book, but it turns out it’s actually the other way around. The novelization was adapted from the film’s original screenplay and both expands on scenes and adds new ones. Personally I probably love the movie and the book equally, but I also really love some of the added scenes that are in the book. A few of them gave me some good old fashioned chills, and I feel that Kahn expanded on a lot of stuff that made the book feel more adequately fleshed out than the film.


CoralineNo, I’m not joking, and yes, this is a novel that is technically aimed at a younger audience. Neil Gaimen’s tale of the little girl who traverses to another world has a lot of the qualities of a book written for pre-teens, but it’s also exceptionally terrifying. Some of the things that occur in that other world (I don’t want to ruin anything because it is seriously, genuinely an excellent story) are downright horrifying and will give even grown adults nightmares. I’ve personally never been able to look at old-style buttons the same way after reading this novelette. Just trust me on this one, and although the movie is also excellent in its own right, take my advice and read the story first.

Pet Sematary


Oh hell, did I pick another one that had a movie? Is that telling? Never mind, it’s unimportant. The point is that this Stephen King story is just as freaky and terrifying in literary form as it is in visual, maybe even more-so. Some of the more horrifying scenes from the movie are actually made more heart-wrenching and nightmare-inducing by the fact that the novel version really gets into the main character’s head and gets us involved in exactly how he is feeling and reacting. My only complaint? Sometimes King jumps between reality and fantasy (dreams and the like) so often that it’s difficult to keep track of what is or isn’t really happening.

Each of these novels has warranted multiple readings for me, especially during the creepiest time of the year, but they’re far from the only chilling tales I’ve enjoyed, and I’m definitely always open to suggestions, so give me what you’ve got! What are some of your favorite scary stories? What gives you the biggest chill? Which ones gave you nightmares? Please share!

Horror Block Unboxing and Review for November and December

I’ve had a busy month, but the business actually started all the way back in November, and that’s why I didn’t so much as glance at November’s Horror Block until I got home for Christmas break in December. But we can’t just skip one – that would be insanity! So today I’m going to do a double review of the Horror Blocks from November and December. First let’s check out the unboxing video for November:

And now let’s take a look at the breakdown:

“Hannibal” t-shirt: If I’m being completely honest, this may be the worst shirt I’ve gotten in a subscription box yet, not because it’s necessarily a bad shirt, but because it doesn’t appeal to either my husband or I at all. We haven’t watched Hannibal, so this one is a definite miss. That said, it’s still a shirt, so it gets the default value of $15.
“Godzilla” Scaler: These little Scaler dudes are actually adorable (we’ve got three now, since the hubby and I both bought each other one for Christmas) and it’s awesome that it’s Godzilla. These little dudes usually go for approximately $8, but this one is actually pretty hard to find and is therefore closer to $15.
Heart-shaped stress-ball: Dollar-Store fare right here. Kinda cute, but worth $1 at most.
“A Nightmare on Elm Street” movie cell: This is pretty neat right here, and an interesting collectible to have. I’m assuming that it’s a Loot Crate exclusive because I can’t find anything like it online, but I did find a movie cell sheet with multiple cells and framed and everything, so based on that I’m assigning this a value of about $15.
“Tales from the Cryptkeeper” dvd: This is cute and nostalgic, but is also a dvd in a bluray world, and it’s worth approximately $10.
“Cthulhu on Board” sign: Funny, for sure, but certainly not something that I would personally use. Also, I can’t for the life of me find it online, so someone let me know if you know what the value is of it. Since I have to give it something for this post, we’ll say $5.
“Fangoria” magazine: As always, I’m not actually a huge fan of these magazines, but they make a bit jump in the value of the box, since they’re worth approximately $11.

Total approximate value of box: $72
Total cost to me: $33

Strangely enough, this box has a higher overall value than any of the Horror Blocks I’ve opened so far, and yet it wasn’t a huge hit with me. Mostly I just like the Godzilla Scaler and the Nightmare on Elm Street film cell. Everything else definitely bumped up the value, but it’s all stuff that is more or less useless to me.

So what about December’s box? Well check out that unboxing video:

Awesome, right? Let’s look at the breakdown:

“Dracula” Funko Pop figure: I love this little dude, I really do, and amazingly he’s a Funko that I don’t have (just wait…there’s another video coming on that topic). Funko Pop figs are a huge deal to get in a box for me, and this little guy is worth approximately $13.
“Overlook Hotel” t-shirt: Definitely a better t-shirt than November; at least it’s of something that is relevant to my husband and I. As usual, a value of about $15 goes to this item.
“Zomb-Ease” Antiseptic Hand Cleanser: This was a cute idea, and useful, technically, but this stuff also goes for about $2 at any Dollar Store or Walmart.
“Maggot-Eye Skeleton”: The grossest stress-ball I’ve ever seen right here. It’s kind of amusing and definitely different, but not a big hit with me. I can’t find it for sale online anyway, so I’m assuming that it’s worth about $5 max.
“Poltergeist” mousepad: Okay, first, I’ve gotta say…a mousepad? Seriously? Does anyone really use mousepads anymore? The fact that it has a Poltergeist picture on it doesn’t really save the fact that it’s an item that probably very few people would get any use out of these days. I’m not even going to look it up. I’m going to assign it a value of $2.
“Rue Morgue” magazine: And, as with the Fangoria mag above, this goes for about $11.

Total approximate value of box: $48
Total cost to me: $33

So as you can see, December’s box was actually way down on the value, but strangely I was happier with it. I guess that’s the power of a Funko Pop. But to be honest, now that I’m looking at them, neither of them was really that great. I think that if you combine the two, they’re pretty awesome, but all in all the big items were the Funko and the Scaler.

Do me better next month, Horror Block!