GHB / reading / writing

I Heart Horror

It’s February and with Valentines Day on the horizon, I thought what better way to kick off my first Girls Heart Books post with a bit about a book series that I heart.

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In celebration of the release of The Goosebumps Movie tomorrow I wanted to write about the series that was my first taste of horror fiction and went on to foster a lifelong love of the genre. I happened upon the Goosebumps series when I was about 11 years old. My local library would display brand new books on a stand near the entrance and I remember thinking I’d found bonafide treasure as I grabbed it off the shelf before any other person could.

I had to be the first to read it.

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My mum hated horror books. She was convinced they would give me nightmares. So, ironically, I had to wait until the dead of night, when everyone was asleep, and under the tent of my duvet balancing on my head, I would slip the latest Goosebumps book out from under my pillow and read by torchlight. It was the complete horror reading experience.

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Have you ever stayed up late reading a scary book whilst everyone is asleep? You’ll never feel more awake than at that very moment. Every tiny sound triggers absolute panic, every creak of a floorboard sends your heart pulsing into overtime, and the sheer terror the moon causes, casting long shadows of creepy tree branches over your bedroom floor? It’s exhilarating and petrifying all at the same time.

It is the anarchy of horror writing that I love. You can never be one hundred percent sure who is standing behind that door and you can never be too sure who to trust. It’s the twists in the story you can’t predict and the unknown of the supernatural. And then there’s that feeling of reaching the end of the book and realising you’ve been holding your breath since then end of the first chapter.

I remember thinking that Welcome to the Dead House was one of the scariest of the Goosebumps series. It felt gorier and darker. Quite frankly for me, the gorier the better. Reading the Goosebumps series now it’s seems so much tamer than I remember back then, especially considering books like Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book and Coraline are out in the world. I mean is there anyone more chilling than Jack from the Graveyard Book? And don’t get me started on the button eyes in Coraline

But it will always be the nostalgia of this series as my first introduction to horror that will continue to draw me back to the Goosebumps series.

I can’t wait to relive the Goosebumps experience this weekend, starting with rereading Welcome to Dead House at the dead of night of course and by torchlight, followed by a much anticipated visit to the cinema to see The Goosebumps Movie.

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Over to you: do you have a favourite series that turned you on to a particular genre?

6 thoughts on “I Heart Horror

  1. Oh my goodness! I remember Goosebumps!! I think I was too young when I read them or something – I don’t go for the genre now at all…something about “Camp Jellyjam” or “the night of the living Dummy” I don’t know which but even the covers give me the heebie jeebies now! I liked Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella and now I read classics…but talking animals always get me too. I loved those sorts of stories!

    • I remember those two! And didn’t they have super creepy ventriloquist dummies on the covers? I’m not surprised you get the heebie jeebies! It’s so interesting to see how things we liked and disliked to read as children still play such a huge part in what we choose to read as adults.

      • I actually have a bit of a thing about ventriloquist dolls. It’s their permanent smiles and the way the jaw moves. It’s called automatonophiobia…which is defined as anything falsely representing a sentient being. I think it sounds like an intelligent thing to fear so I don’t mind it actually. Oh but the dolls. I have to stop talking about them!

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