The horror in my life

As I was reading one of the Blogs that is part of my "regular diet" - Stuff In My Brain - I started writing a comment to Dad Stuff's "Are you Scared" post.  After a short while I realized that my "comment" had grown long enough to be more of a posting for "FOF" rather than a comment for "Stuff".  So, I left him a comment about how he inspired this post on FOF that started out as a comment for him.  
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I too - truly enjoy (or enjoyed) horror films. 
I grew up watching "slasher movies" with my cousin Bob... Dawn of the DeadTexas Chainsaw Massacre
The Driller Killer, Motel Hell, Microwave Massacre, and Maniac were just a few of "highlights".
Although it was a lot of fun, I do not care so much for that genre any more.  (Although I do get a kick out of watching some of my old "Favs" for nostalgic purposes).  I too have zero interest in the "Saw" movie series... I'd rather watch the "Scary Movie" series, and get a chuckle!
But classic horror books ROCK!
A few years back, for Christmas the kids got me a huge gilded edge, faux leather covered copy of "The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe".  I love it, and have even started reading bits of prose to the kids.  Last Halloween, I read "The Raven" to them.  Just a couple of nights ago they asked me about "The Raven" which I read to them about a year ago, and asked if I knew about "the story where the one dude buried the other dude's heart under the house" - I know what I am going to read them this year!!!
Frankenstein, by Mary Shelly was without a doubt was my favorite story in high school.  I was a bit of a "slacker", and of the numerous books that were "assigned" and/or "required", I really only read 3 (that I can remember) - Julius Caesar, Flowers for Algernon (don't ask me why I read that one.. It just captured my interest at the time) and Frankenstein.
My english teacher was one of the few teachers who still taught Frankenstein (or - at least so she told us...).  I remember how delighted she was to (for once) see me motivated and actually read this book.  I came prepared EACH AND EVERY DAY.  I actively participated in class discussions and had NO difficulty with the quizzes and final test.  I loved that book!
I have yet to re-read Frankenstein... But, I have discovered another love.  Vampires.
Back many years ago, while working overnights, on a whim I read Bram Stoker's Dracula for the first time.  It was a book I could not put down.  I really was hooked.  It reminded me of the same feelings I had when I read Frankenstein. I have re-read it twice.
Since then, I have discovered a few more vampire novels that I really enjoyed!  There is a three book series called "Diaries of the Family Dracul" (Covenant with a Vampire, Children of the Vampire, and Lord of the Vampires) by Jeanne Kalogridis - if you are into vampires, these are great stories!  They are not long, and well worth the time needed to read them!  
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova - Is a long novel, very rich in detail and imagery - filled with history and geography.  I understand this novel will soon be made into a movie!  Looking forward to that one!
Although not about Vampires, Steven King's books have also been books that (from time to time) have frightened the beejeesus out of me.  Of all his works, IT was the most frightening.  (The book that is... The movie - eh, just did not do it justice).  There is just something scary about a clown... Then to make it evil....... 
So, Dad Stuff... Thanks for the inspiration!  I'm with you all the way!
If anyone has any suggestions on any good vampire or scary horror novels, be sure to let me know!


  1. I am so glad you are blogging about this. I too love the horror classics, as cheesy as they are, I could spend an entire day watching all 10 of the Friday the 13th movies. TRUE - my mom used to be a HUGE reader of dracula related material. When I was about 12, we all took a trip to Chicago for a family wedding, but my mom stayed at home. She was reading a dracula based book when she saw a movement in the curtains, YUP, it was a bat. She doesn't read that stuff anymore. Seriously, can't even talk about it. Anyway, I highly recommend Cujo (the great Stephen King) - like IT - the book is WAYYYYYYY better.

  2. Thanks for the compliment FOF. I wasn't sure if anyone would be interested. I think I have the same Poe book that you have and I love reading The Raven.
    I'm going to check out your suggestions too. I haven't read any new vampire novels for a while.
    Thanks again.

  3. I think I used Amazon for links to the "Diaries of the Family Dracul" series - and I think you can pick up used copies for next to nothing...

    That's how I got my copies...

    If you liked Dracula - I am pretty darn sure you will like the Diaries series!

  4. I totally forgot to tell you, The Simpsons (easily the best show on TV) has touched on Poe several times in their Treehouse of Horror episodes, including the one with the dude who put the other dude's heart in the floor.

  5. BAH HUMBUG! I hate Halloween and everything having to do with Halloween!

    I'm actually starting to come around now that I have a baby girl, but I still WILL NEVER attetnd an adult Halloween party!

    As far as movies go, I had the misfortune of watching a Rob Zombie movie that made me seriously wonder how screwed up a director can be to even think of such disturbing I gave up on horror movies too!

    I'm usually pretty easy going...but there is just something about Halloween! ...oh yeah, I forgot...I have issues with New Year's too! :)


  6. I love the gothic theme of Halloween.

    I would love to decorate with all the most frightening and disturbing Halloween decorations I can find, but alas, I have young children, and my young children have friends that are young children, and those young children friends have parents who (let's face it) would never let their children come back over again if I went all "depths of hell" on the Halloween decorating...

    That, and my wife hates scary Halloween, and loves "cute" Halloween... (yup, that's gagging noises you hear from me in the background....)

  7. 'Salems Lot by Stephen King is a great adaptation of Dracula.

    The Stand is yet another one of his classic books where the movie didn't do it justice.

    At one point I had read all of King's books and would gobble them out as they came... Not so much these days. Although I have watched some of his TV stuff and it has been terribly lame. I hate to say it but I liked him better when he was still drinking.

  8. I've never read a vampire book, but I've seen just about every vampire movie out there. I don't know why, I just love those suckers.

  9. Oh Terry... How could I have forgotten Salem's Lot?

    That was my first foray into vampire lore as a child.

    You see, it was on TV as a two part movie way back when I was about 10 years old...And my parents (who would have NEVER let us watch something like that) were going out and we had a baby sitter (who did let us watch it!).

    I was so dang scared... I watched half the movie through the cracks between my fingers with my hands covering my face.

    There were two scenes that still stick with me...

    A little boy vampire floating outside his sibling's bedroom window just scratching and tapping on the glass.. & Some gravedigger opened the casket of (I think) that same little boy and he sat up hissing... That was part 1's cliffhanger... and I never thought I would get to see the rest of the movie... Until I found out our parents were going out the next week too!!!!

    Thanks for bringing that one back to me Terry - I think that would be a GREAT re-read! It has been YEARS!

  10. 'Salem's lot the movie scared the crap out of me as a kid also. I grew up on the cheesy Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee-type vampires and when Tobe Hooper stuck that Nosferatu-looking creature into my face I nearly peed my pants.

    Years later when I read the book and realized how lobotomized the vampire in the movie was compared to the vampire in the book (Who was cunning, intelligent and completely evil), there was no doubt in my mind which vampire was scarier.

    They re-made the movie a couple of years ago, but there is just no way to recapture that terror I felt back when I was an 11-year-old kid, staying up late and watching a movie that I knew I shouldn't be watching.

    PS - The kid in the coffin freaked me out too. My grandmother had died the year before when I was still 9 years old and during her wake I had this crazy fear that she was going to open her eyes and look right at me, or suddenly grab my hand.

  11. Oooo, everything you just too. Although, I have to admit I do enjoy the "Saw" movies. King's "Pet Sematary" the book and the movie still freak me out! I stay under the covers for a week after one of those.



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