Day 19 – A book that scared me


As a teenager I loved scary books and films etc. Then I turned into a wimp.

Now I am on a quest to find the ultimate scary read again (especially now the nights are drawing in and it’s getting colder – the perfect time to snuggle up on the sofa with a book that creeps and chills). Last year I did a “Dare You Read It?” series in an attempt to find that special spine-tingling book and, while I did read some great books, none of them scared me to death. And that is because…..

I already know which book will do that as I attempted to read it about 2/3 years ago and it scare the bejeesus out of me so much that I had to put it down less than half way through. That book is The Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill. If you’re not aware of Joe Hill, he is the son of Stephen King (let’s face it, if you grow up with King for your Dad then you’re gonna know how to tell a spooky yarn!). The Heart Shaped Box starts with a man – Jude – who likes to collect macabre things and when he spots an add on ebay from a woman selling the ghost of her step-father, he presses “buy now”. By the time Jude has taken receipt of the suit that the old man used to wear (that comes complete with said ghost), things start to get really chilling. His dogs start barking and going mental and he sees the old man sitting on a chair outside his bedroom and tries to sneak past. I think that’s pretty much where I left it…

Now, since then I have read Hill’s other book Horns which isn’t scary in the same way at all. I have also met the man himself at a book signing of Horns in Waterstones in Leeds and he was very nice, but The Heart Shaped Box still remains firmly shut and at the back of my shelf!

As it’s Autumn and as I am also doing the RIP Challenge again this year, I am contemplating giving it another go. However, I am too chicken to try it on my own (just incase that man is still sat on the chair where I last left him!) so are there any volunteers to read along with me?



What is the scariest book you have ever read and why?


24 thoughts on “Day 19 – A book that scared me

  1. bag of bones by stephen king….i remember crawling on the floor past an open window that
    didn’t have curtains at night…..i have a copy of the book ; i should try rereading it and see if i get the same response


  2. I love scary things, movies etc, but I just haven’t been scared by a book :-(… I really want to be though. I do have Heart Shaped Boz on my tbr, think I’ll read that next month around Halloween.


  3. “Heart Shaped Box” is a good book but not nearly as scary as “Salem’s Lot” or “Pet Sematary”, both by Stephen King. The latter creeped me out because of the way he described people coming back from the dead.
    I would have loved to read it again with you, unfortunately my copy is back home on another continent so that makes it kinda difficult. Try reading it in daylight, maybe it won’t seem so scary. 🙂


  4. I found The Passage by Justin Cronin quite scary with vampires on the prowl. Brr!

    I haven’t read Heart Shaped Box although I hope to some time (not this month or the next, though). I read Horns last year and quite enjoyed it.


  5. I would have to say Stephen King writes the scariest books, and “Pet Sematary” scared me the most because I am an animal lover and pet parent, and “It” because my kids are afraid of clowns and I guess that rubbed off on me. I couldn’t finish “Dreamcatcher” because I saw the movie and it grossed me out with buckets of blood all over.
    Funny, I started Heart Shaped Box from library, read one chapter, lost interest and no longer have it. Maybe I will be more in a frame of mind to read further and get spooked by it… Rae


  6. I could never get to the end of “Pet Semetary” by Stephen King.I tried to read it when I was invited by a friend of mine who lives south in the mountains near Spain, her house was quite isolated and I got to sleep in the attic which was being refurbished as a guest room.
    Reading this book in a dark attic bedroom in a very silent (except for the usual but scary house noises like the rafter’s wood creaking or the wooden steps leading to my room)and snowy environment was too creepy an experience for me and I had to quit …This story is terrifying and I am a pet lover as well !
    I am looking forward to reading “The Heart Shaped Box”, it is waiting on my night stand but I am now feeling quite apprehensive !


  7. I read this earlier this year. Yes, the man sitting in the chair spooked me out big time too and there are plenty more thrills and chills throughout the book. I’m fine with reading ‘scary’ books… until I wake up in the night and need to go to the toilet and them I’m TOTALLY freaked having to walk to and from bed in the dark…

    Currently re-reading Pet Semetary, as per your Blog posting. I’m actually finding it scarier the second time round and think it’s because I have 2 cats of my own now and as much as I love them, they freak me out when I wake up and one of them is on top of me!


  8. I’m totally game, all for finding the book to scare me/us lol. Here is Paula’s review, she was scared and loved it.

    Uggh can’t paste, I’m on iPad, I’m dying without my computer.


  9. A book that really spooked me as well was “Thunderhead” by Preston and Child, I was so immersed into it, it was such an atmospheric read that I was scared to go to the toilet at night too, same thing with “Cabinet of Curiosities”, I was spooked but gosh… I loved it ! “The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson was not bad either …
    I just love to be spooked by books.


  10. Definitely The Shining!, it was scary and brilliant, is one of my all time favs.

    I confess I didn’t like The heart shaped box very much; I agree it was scary at some points, but I didn’t like the story behind it :o(


  11. I read this last year expecting it to be macabre but not expecting it to be THAT scary! This has to be one of the scariest books I’ve read too but it’s brilliant, so you’ve got to give this one another go, Boof!


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