I happen to be quite fond of Halloween, and each year as October 31 approaches I try to single out a few appropriately spooky books, games, and movies to enjoy. This year I sort of missed the seasonal opportunity and didn’t settle on any truly good scary movies. No good terrifying game surfaced, despite my initial plans to revisit the very creepy Undying; and when Michele and I ventured out to rent a scary Halloween movie, even that went awry–the movie we chose was the unfortunate Dragonfly, which was about as scary as… uh… something that isn’t scary at all.
But I figure it’s never too late to try to get into the spirit of Halloween, even if the dread night of terror has technically passed me by. So I’ve started re-reading Peter Straub’s Ghost Story, which stands out as one of the few horror novels that has actually managed to creep me out fairly badly. I remember very few of the details from my initial reading of it years ago in college, but I vividly recall getting quite spooked reading it alone in the apartment late one night while my roommates were out on dates with girls or something.
The decision of which Halloween Book to read this year wasn’t easy. My initial instinct was to read some classic scary short stories (such beasts ranking among my favorite type of literature) but I was in the mood for something a bit more involved this time around. The choice boiled down to two books: Stephen King’s It or Straub’s Ghost Story. Both books are considered Andy Bookshelf Classics. But I opted to go with Straub, since his work gives off a somewhat classier Hawthorne-esque vibe that fits my mood at the moment. If I’m feeling ambitious after Ghost Story, I’ll take Mr. King up on those 1,000+ pages of It. We shall see.
I’m still a bit disappointed that I missed Halloween; reading an epic tale of terror and damnation as Thanksgiving and Christmas approach seems a little wrong somehow. At least Walpurgisnacht is only about a half-year away. I’ll be better prepared when it rolls around.by