Top Ten Tuesday - Halloween Edition

In case you've seen the posts that LJ Idol is starting soon and were wondering, this is just to let you know that I won't be participating this year. It becomes more and more popular every year which is great! but the more contestants, the more time-consuming it is, so I'm bowing out this year. I might still play the home game, but it all depends on whether or not the prompts inspire me. I definitely won't promise anything.

But on to something else.

Top Ten Tuesday - Halloween Edition

In honour of Halloween, this week's Top Ten Tuesday has a spooky theme. Originally it was supposed to be ten books that scared/spooked/creeped you out, but I don't scare very easily by books (or movies), so I think I'm going to have to supply the few movies that did scare me, in order to make it to the full ten.

In no particular order...

Under the Dome - Stephen King
Just finished this yesterday, and thought it awfully appropriate to read at this time of year, considering it takes place around Halloween! From October 22nd to October 28th to be exact. It is without a doubt the best Stephen King book I have ever read, and is quite different from most of his other books. While not really scary in itself, it did frighten me a bit to see what extreme circumstances can do to the power-hungry, and how mob-mentality tends to win over simple logic.

The Oath - Frank E. Peretti
I probably read this at a too young age, but I always did like to pick up grown-up books ;) It held me absolutely captivated with suspense. I read it during a Christmas vacation, and still associate it with it being dark outside, which definitely adds to the spookiness of the book. However, it was also the book used to thoroughly introduce me to the delights of just curling up in a chair all day with a good book ;)

The Shining - Stephen King
Most of the book I didn't find scary at all. Suspenseful, yes, but not really scary. However, I have to admit that I did not like it one bit, when I put it down for the night one evening, went to use the bathroom, and discovered that Lars had left the shower curtain drawn...

Those of you who've read it will know why that gave me the creeps, and why I really had to talk sternly to myself to convince myself to draw it back.

(I saw the movie earlier this year, and was completely baffled as to why I'd been warned so severly about it. A great movie, but scary? Not at all.)

Ammie, Come Home - Barbara Michaels
It's been 11 years since I last read this one, and I honestly don't remember much of the plot at all. What I do remember, however, is that this is one of the very few books that honestly and truly scared me - heartbeat racing, breath staggered and everything.

... that's actually one of the reasons why I'm loathe to reread it - I fear that it won't be able to stand the test of time and/or that my expectations will be waaaaay too high.

The Book With No Name - Anonymous
If Tarantino ever wrote a book, this would be it. Imagine "From Dusk till Dawn" in book form, and you'd be surprisingly close. Delightfully spooky. A bit too much gore for my tastes (especially in the sequel), but described in a cartoon fashion that made me mind it less than I would normally. Definitely not my typical book, but I was utterly captivated.

Escape From the Island of Aquarius - Frank E. Peretti
A children's book, and probably wouldn't scare me now, but I was absolutely TERRIFIED the first time I read it.

Gone - Michael Grant
Michael Grant writes the atmosphere really well, and it's only too easy to imagine being trapped in the "Gone" novels. People's reactions to being trapped and out of the reach of adults add to the scariness, as do the descriptions of the mutating animals.

... Hmmm... can't think of any more books to add to this list. There are definitely books that are dark and creepy ("Dracula", "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", "Frankenstein"), but none of those are really scary - just Halloween'ish ;) This is where I wish I'd started listing books I read earlier than 7 years ago, because I KNOW I've been scared by books in the past, but for the life of me can't remember which ones!

I'll end up with the three scariest movies I've ever seen.

The Ring
The original Japanese version. I haven't seen the US version and don't want to. Carina dared me to watch it one evening it was on TV, and while I was kinda surprised by how un-scary I found it, it still gave me the creeps. It was more the fault of the atmosphere than the plot though.

From Dusk Till Dawn
Since I mentioned The Book With No Name above, I guess I should list this as well. It's creepy without being terrifying, and though a tad more gory than I would like, not disgustingly so. I'd expected to hate it, and surprised myself by being rather entertained by it.

I know, I know. It's not even supposed to be scary, but I freaked out the first time I saw it, and consider it the most scary movie I've ever seen. I still jump half a mile the first time the aliens turn up, and get goosebumps when they walk around the house. It only works if I watch it after dark though - bright daylight is a clear detriment to spookiness!


I am so with you on Signs! I find the aliens incredibly scary. I hated the ending, though - made me want to throw the [imagined] cassette/disk against a wall. Ugh. (Not talking about the faith thing, just about the water thing, to be precise.)
But I always, always had a thing about aliens. Comes from watching too many scary scifi movies when I was way too little for them *g* but the whole thing was cinematographically very much like my nightmares from that time!

If you liked Ringu, you should try the Japanese version of The Grudge (Ju-on). It's really, really, really creepy.

Oh, totally agree with you on the water thing! My response to that was, "Really? Oh come one! They would have done more research than THAT!"

Even the end of "War of the Worlds" is more realistic.

Nah, that's okay. I didn't care much for Ringu. I'm not really into that genre of movies. Thanks anyway :)
Totally understood. :) I don't get horror movies all that much myself, really - but that was one movie that really seriously freaked me out to the extent that I don't really want to watch it again. Most American horror movies just make me go "That's supposed to be scary? Meh."

Neither do I. I like them in theory, but in practise it seems that many people tend to equate "horror" with "gross", and most horror movies end up being really gory and disgusting.

Horror books are better, but it's still difficult to find some that are any good.

Most American horror movies just make me go "That's supposed to be scary? Meh."
Yes! That's exactly how I've felt many times too!
I thought briefly about doing LJ Idol - like, for ten seconds. And then I remembered all the ways in which I don't like popularity contests.
Yeah. It was lots of fun the first year, less fun the second year, so I figured I'd just not sign up the third year, before it got to the "not fun" year.
Signs scared me completely out of my mind. LOL

I saw it in the theater and was fine. Then I went back with Nina and Jonathan and saw it again, and for some odd reason, I got so freaked out after watching it the second time. I mean, it was ridiculous how scared I got. It was so bad that Mom made me a foil hat as a joke. LOL And although I hate to admit this, I went through a time right after seeing it the second time where I absolutely, positively would not go to the bathroom in the middle of the night unless I took a full glass of water with me. LOL
LOL! Awww, that's cute :o)

Generally people tend to look at me as if I have two heads when I tell them how bad Signs freaked me out*, so I'm glad to know I'm not alone!

* But funnily enough, I still LOVE it! Possibly because it freaks me out without being gory or violent.
So true! It's a great movie! Just scares me like nothing else. LOL
I wonder what it is about us that make us enjoy being scared.... within reason of course! LOL.
The funny thing, I don't enjoy being scared. Necessarily. LOL

But the movie is like...great in spite of the fact that it terrifies me, not because of it.
Ah, ok. I think for me the movie would have been good even if it didn't scare me, but it's better because it scares me - but only because of the way that it scares me... not sure I can really explain it though.
I haven't seen that second movie, but the other two rank on my list of all-time scariest too!!
Did you see the US or the Japanese version of The Ring? I've only seen the Japanese version, but apparently that's the scariest one anyway ;)

I don't think I could really picture you liking From Dusk Till Dawn much... but then, until I saw it, I couldn't picture myself liking it much either, so who knows - I might be mistaken ;)
I saw the US version and that was scary enough for me!!
I am unashamed to admit that the night I saw "Signs" I slept with the hall and living room lights on. FREAKED ME OUT!!!!!
Oh, I'm glad I'm not alone! I don't blame you - I sat hugging either a pillow or Lars' arm during almost the entire movie, and afterwards insisted on a chuckling Lars going out and checking whether or not the door was locked - I was NOT going out there!

I have never before nor after been that deliciously scared!
Excellent post! :) I'd love to show you some of my favorite scary movies (and am glad you liked The Shining). It's interesting that the fear of isolation/being cut off from the world seems to be your most potent fear. I get far more freaked out by supernatural stuff- the scariest movies in recent memory were The Eye (Korean), and Room 1412 or whatever it was... another Stephen King special ;)
I think I mostly get scared by things I could feasibly see happening. Werewolves and vampires? Don't exist so no reason to be scared of them. Aliens... On the fence. I don't believe they exist, but who knows?

As for fear of isolation/being cut of from the world... I'm intrigued that you'd say it sounds like it's my most potent fear, because I wasn't aware that it came across that way at all. Actually it's not the isolation itself that frightens me - that's just an inconvenience more than anything else - it's the way some people seem to react (at least as depicted by the two books I mentioned) when they're cut off from the rest of the world, and there are no consequences to their actions.

I'm very, very, very picky in what scary movies I watch. Scary for the sake of being scary annoy me (just like violence for the sake of violence), but if there is a good plot, then I'm all over it :)
I'm not much for scary books. The books that scare me mostly aren't horror.

Here's my list:
My favorite by Frank Peretti is still his first book: This Present Darkness. That sort of evil is totally possible, and frequently visible. Have you read it?
Yes, and was completely blown away by it. I think it's my favourite of his books too. I was very intrigued by his description of evil spirits and angels fighting them.

I really need to reread that actually.

I haven't been too impressed by his later books, unfortunately. Neither House nor Monster were as good as his earlier works.
I haven't been too impressed by his later books, unfortunately.

And that's a shame - but he wouldn't be the only author who had only ONE really good book in him, lol.
he wouldn't be the only author who had only ONE really good book in him
Oh, he isn't though! I've enjoyed a lot of his books. This Present Darkness is my favourite, like I said, but I also really liked The Oath, Prophet and The Visitation.

I have read Piercing the Darkness but don't remember much of it, other than I thought it was too much of a repetition of TPD, but that it still drew me in completely.
I read under the dome this month too, I loved it, very old school King