>My Scariest Reads, Ever…..
> In honor of the upcoming holiday (is Halloween a holiday?), I thought I’d do a post about the scariest and/or most disturbing books I’ve ever read. Here they are in reverse order. Ready?
Cujo. It terrified me and broke my heart. I was blown away by how real this was and it bothered me to think how easily any animal, even a beloved one, could become a nightmare from hell. It broke my heart because ordinarily, Cujo was a regular, lovable dog who wouldn’t hurt anyone. I got lost in imagining how horrible it must be to become trapped inside your own body while some virus or parasite caused you to become a monster. I imagined the horror and sorrow, the pain and rage, and the helplessness someone (Cujo) would feel and became overwhelmed. I only read this once and intend to never read it again. I couldn’t bear it.
Way back in the early days of Sally Jesse Raphael, I happened to catch a show with Trudi Chase as the featured guest. I had no idea who she was, but the topic interested me. Multiple Personality Disorder (it’s called something different now). Intrigued, I sat down and watched the interview. I listened, enraptured, as the woman on stage talked-in different voices with different mannerisms. Her face would change and she would look significantly different. She actually frightened me. But I was fascinated. As soon as I could find it, I bought her book and read it. Disturbing. Horrifying. Stunning. Educational. If you ever wanted to read a story about MPD, whether you believe it’s real or not, this is the one to get. Critics suggest that to have as many personalities as Truddi claims exists within her is unrealistic. I’m not a doctor or a psychiatrist. But I do believe the mind is an amazing organ that we still know relatively little about. I believe it is capable of going to incredible lengths in order to protect and survive. I have many of my own self defense mechanisms, so I’m not too quick to cast doubt. I want to get a new copy of this and read it again.
I used to read lots of John Saul books. This one, though, disturbed me so much that, after finishing it, I never picked up another one of his books. I couldn’t. It bothered me so much that my mind has blocked nearly any recollection about the plot or storyline. I just remember it was about children dying. Horribly. And a sadistic, menacing….something. This is the second most disturbing thing I’ve ever read. I was haunted for weeks after and didn’t feel safe or clean or free for a long time. I dreamed about it. Shudder.
I cannot honestly say I’ve read this book. I tried. I tried more than once. It scared the absolute crap out of me. I used to hide it under the sofa. I hid it between the cushions of the chair. As I write this, it occurs to me that I would always put it at the furtherest points away from me in the house. The darkness in it consumed me. The threat spoke to me. The unknown stuck its icy fingers of suggestion into my innermost being and twitched. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t sleep. I won’t ever try again.
So, what books have scared the crap out of you? Are you reading any scary ones in honor of the season?