The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


October 22, 2012

Danya Walker: Halloween a good time for bone-chilling books

JOPLIN, Mo. — As the calendar moves closer and closer to Halloween, I always have a tendency to read some old favorites for scary thrills. So I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorite picks. These titles should be creepy enough to have you looking over your shoulder and jumping at every little noise.

One of my must reads is “It” by Stephen King. I was in high school the first time I read this book. I pretty much devoured it, and after finishing it late at night, I was nearly too scared to sleep. Pennywise is one of the most horrifying characters in literature. As if clowns aren’t scary enough, he is a near-immortal clown who likes to kill kids.

Members of my family say the quote, “We all float down here, Georgie,” at random times, including whenever we step over a storm drain. The first time my oldest daughter, Renee, fell into a storm drain partway (I say first time because she’s done it more than once), I can remember telling her to pull her leg out before the clown got her.

Renee had no idea what I was talking about. But when I told her about the book, she couldn’t wait to read it. I made her wait until her 13th birthday, when I gave her a copy of the book as a present.

It’s one of those books that will always have a place on my bookcase. It gets pulled out every year or so when I want a familiar, terrifying read. The movie is a treat as well, especially since I had a little bit of a crush on Richard Thomas from he was on “The Waltons,” and nobody portrays a horrifying clown better than Tim Curry.


“Seance for a Vampire” by Fred Saberhagen is another delightfully creepy read, which features not only Dracula, but also Sherlock Holmes. I am a big fan of both, so when you combine the two, it’s a book that I can’t miss out on.

Sherlock goes missing during a seance, and Dr. Watson calls on Dracula to help find him. Throwing in a pirate legend and buried treasure makes the book an entertaining read.

I’ve read a lot of the mashup books featuring these different characters, including one where Sherlock Holmes meets the Phantom of the Opera. These books can be a little hokey but are still fun reads, especially at this time of year.

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