Just because Halloween is over doesn’t mean you have to forego ghost stories for another year. Our staff has compiled this list of the scariest stories ever written.
The scariest stories based on true events (assuming you believe these events happened) include Amityville Horror and The Exorcist (1971). The latter is the story of child’s demonic possession that occurred in 1940s and the bk was made into a movie that got ten academy awards and had crowds rioting all across America on premiere day trying to get into sold out theaters.
SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES (RAY BRADBURY): The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween a week early. But this isn’t like any carnival you’ve ever seen! Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, not to entertain but to take lives. Two boys discover its secret and must survive and figure out a way to save their town. Lots of imagery with smoke, mazes, and mirrors.
THE DOLL (J.C. Martin) The Island of the Dolls is a strange and eerie tourist destination in Mexico, where hundreds of decomposing dolls hang from trees like grisly Christmas ornaments. On a trip to the island, Joyce Parker’s daughter falls in love with a beautiful but sinister doll. Soon after, she starts developing strange mannerisms that concerns Joyce. Her research into the doll’s past reveals a dark history, and the curse of a lonely child spirit.
THE SHINING (STEPHEN KING) The Torrance family embarks on a months-long retreat into complete isolation when Jack Torrance signs on to be the winter custodian of the Overlook Hotel in Colorado. Jack is a recovering alcoholic who thinks the months alone with his wife and son will allow him to find peace – and to finally finish the play he has been working on. His long-suffering wife has some misgivings, but the only person really clued into the dreadful possibilities is his son Danny. Danny has “the shine,” a gift which allows him to see and know things he cannot possibly know; As the days pass, the Overlook exerts more and more of an influence on Jack and basically turning him into a murderous new tool at the hotel’s disposal. Danny sees what is happening, although he cannot really understand much of it given his very young age. Very exciting and scary climax!
(I noticed that one of the reviewers wrote that King wrote most of the book while staying at the Stanley Hotel. This is another one of those myths that circulate, as we discussed a couple of weeks ago, Sara. King got the inspiration to write the book after his stay at the Stanley but didn’t not write one word of it while there! However, he did have a weird experience that I chronicled in my latest book, A GHOST HUNTER’S GUIDE TO THE MOST
Best Scary Stories FOR KIDS…
The House with a Clock in Its Walls; The Figure in the Shadows; and The Letter, the Witch, and The Ring by John Bellairs are three magically eerie tales gathered in this one-volume edition. The series opens as Lewis Barnavelt, a newly orphaned ten-year-old, comes to live with his Uncle Johnathan. Little does Lewis know that Uncle Johnathan and his next-door neighbor, Mrs. Zimmerman are witches. Lewis finds that he himself owns magical powers, and soon is thrust in a supernatural battle between good and evil. The second tale focuses on Grampa Barnavelt’s old coin. Lewis thinks the coin is an amulet, but when he starts to wear it around his neck, bizarre things start to happen – and not all of them good. The last tale shifts the focus to thirteen-year-old Rose Rita, who is embittered because she cannot go to camp like Lewis. so Mrs. Zimmerman offers Rita an adventure of her own. But when a magical ring disappears, Rita gets more of an adventure than she bargained for. John Bellair’s vivid characterization and and excruciatingly suspenseful plots make this series a thrilling ride!
Mirror of Danger by Pamela Sykes: The mirror looked ordinary. It had a heavy gold frame and leaned against the wall in the attic. But when Lucy first looked into the mirror, a strange thing happened. Another girl’s face appeared beside hers, laughing. Whirling around in surprise and alarm, Lucy saw a girl wearing a long dress, a pinafore…and a sly triumphant look on her face. Also, the attic had disappeared and another room had taken its place – a room that belonged to the past. The girl in the mirror was Alice, and she had lived a hundred years ago. Lucy found she could visit her any time she looked into the mirror. At first, it was fun to enter the past and see how Alice had lived. But, gradually, the chill of terror took over. Alice’s friendliness turned into a sinister desire for power and control over Lucy. And Lucy found it harder and harder to resist being trapped in the past with Alice forever!
Halloween Tree: Ray Bradbury’s classic adventure of four youths who try to save the spirit of their friend Pip from the ghosts of Halloween past. The four encounter a mysterious and creepy character, Moundshroud who takes them on a magical journey that sweeps them back as far as 4,000 years and touches down in exotic places all over the world like Egypt, England, France and Mexico. Along the way they discover the magic and meaning of Halloween – and friendship.