A Horror Book That Scared The Socks Off Ya

Cat's Cradle

Time, now, to read...
Supporter
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Messages
3,278
Thank you, Toby! I'm really looking forward to this. My wife and I have read a few of King's books out loud, to each other, and we'll be reading/acting out this one too starting in the next few days. I first heard about this in Danse Macabre too, CC
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
23,361
Thank you, Toby! I'm really looking forward to this. My wife and I have read a few of King's books out loud, to each other, and we'll be reading/acting out this one too starting in the next few days. I first heard about this in Danse Macabre too, CC

Two to consider

Burn't Offerings by Robert Marasco A great horror novel
Fallen Angel by William Hjortsberg
Donvan's Brain by Curt Siodmak
Some of Your Blood by Theodore Sturgeon
Night Has a Thousand Eyes by Cornell Woolrich
Nightshade and Damnations by Gerald Kersh
Deathbird Stories by Harlan Ellison
 

Randy M.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Messages
2,694
I can't believe I posted a list without Lovecraft.

The first collection I read was The Tomb, not one of his best, and it still sent chills through me as a teen. Enough so I went out and bought every other collection I could find at that time. Luckily, it was when Ballantine had issued the editions with the ugly heads.

Those were the days.

Randy M.
 

HalaxyGigh

Active Member
Joined
May 8, 2017
Messages
28
Only book that really disturbed me I recall was a single instance in the stephen King short story The Jaunt. The story itself was a good horror use of a familiar sci-fi trope, as a family are taking a trip via teleportation to Mars, and the father tells the youngest son about the discovery of teleportation technology, omitting bits that he doesn't want him to hear. Without spoilers, the father recalls as he tells the story that at a midway point in development of the technology, a drunk and troubled scientist ties up his cheating ex-wife and forces her into the teleporter, screaming at what she knows is going to happen.
He then sabotages the device's process and teleports her. What happens to her is maybe not what you'd expect. The story is not exactly hard sci-fi in tone, and I have no idea as a layman in theoretical quantum physics whether something like the result is possible, but physics is a pretty abstract field, for all I know it could be. And the very idea of what happens I found pretty horrifying, not least as it is just a background detail in the story, and is not dwelled upon, but in the story would be continuously ongoing, indefinitely.
I don't generally find supernatural stuff scary, even in movies, but that really did it for me, and I thought of what H.P. Lovecraft apparently said in a letter, that he wrote intending to create fiction that would frighten people of scientific perspective (as opposed to traditional horror based upon superstition or the supernatural).
 

Phyrebrat

www.beanwriting.com
Supporter
Joined
Feb 13, 2011
Messages
5,942
Location
In your bedroom wardrobe...
Only book that really disturbed me I recall was a single instance in the stephen King short story The Jaunt.

You know, it's funny you mention this story because as a huge SK fan, I often think - well always - of his stories as 'cool' and such. I've never really been scared by them - and I read Salem's Lot when I was eleven.

However, I had forgotten about The Jaunt, and you are spot on. I was truly distured by that short. I must have been, say, fourteen, fifteen when I read Skeleton Crew and I thought it wonderful, but that one stays with me. It is a horrible, horrible story.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
23,361
Only book that really disturbed me I recall was a single instance in the stephen King short story The Jaunt. The story itself was a good horror use of a familiar sci-fi trope, as a family are taking a trip via teleportation to Mars, and the father tells the youngest son about the discovery of teleportation technology, omitting bits that he doesn't want him to hear. Without spoilers, the father recalls as he tells the story that at a midway point in development of the technology, a drunk and troubled scientist ties up his cheating ex-wife and forces her into the teleporter, screaming at what she knows is going to happen.
He then sabotages the device's process and teleports her. What happens to her is maybe not what you'd expect. The story is not exactly hard sci-fi in tone, and I have no idea as a layman in theoretical quantum physics whether something like the result is possible, but physics is a pretty abstract field, for all I know it could be. And the very idea of what happens I found pretty horrifying, not least as it is just a background detail in the story, and is not dwelled upon, but in the story would be continuously ongoing, indefinitely.
I don't generally find supernatural stuff scary, even in movies, but that really did it for me, and I thought of what H.P. Lovecraft apparently said in a letter, that he wrote intending to create fiction that would frighten people of scientific perspective (as opposed to traditional horror based upon superstition or the supernatural).

I read the Jaunt quite some time ago. Terrific story and quite nasty.
 

Avelino de Castro

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2020
Messages
79
What was a book that scared ya. Made you either turn on the lights, put it down or cross yourself just to be on the safe side?

(And none of the Garfield collections count!)
Clive Barkers Books of Blood. That made me a Clive Barker fan and I found fullfillment in his stunning two volume fantasy Imagica Also Salem's Lot, and the Stand by Stephen King
 

Adeptus

Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2023
Messages
9
I am remember being genuinely scared by "Haunter in the Dark" by Lovecraft (I was a kid/young teen). Going to the bathroom at night were difficult after reading it.
 

paranoid marvin

Run VT Erroll!
Supporter
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
Messages
5,722
You know, it's funny you mention this story because as a huge SK fan, I often think - well always - of his stories as 'cool' and such. I've never really been scared by them - and I read Salem's Lot when I was eleven.

However, I had forgotten about The Jaunt, and you are spot on. I was truly distured by that short. I must have been, say, fourteen, fifteen when I read Skeleton Crew and I thought it wonderful, but that one stays with me. It is a horrible, horrible story.


I love many SK stories, but most of them just aren't 'horror' in the way that many of his contemporaries are (or were). He writes some good long stories, and many ramp up the tension quite satisfyingly, but they're - by and large - thrillers more than they are horror.

His short stories are an entirely different kettle of fish, and some are very accomplished horror stories. 'The Sun Dog' (as I think I have mentioned previously) is up there with the very best, and is quite horrific in its simplicity. But then ago, all the best horror stories are short ones, and most are uncomplicated in their premise.

The best ones also tend to avoid attempting to outright horrify the reader, and simply tell a story, allowing the reader to be 'horrified' by it - or not.

I haven't read 'The Jaunt', but I will enjoy listening to the audiobook on Youtube when I go to bed tonight, so thanks for the recommendation.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
23,361
I love many SK stories, but most of them just aren't 'horror' in the way that many of his contemporaries are (or were). He writes some good long stories, and many ramp up the tension quite satisfyingly, but they're - by and large - thrillers more than they are horror.

His short stories are an entirely different kettle of fish, and some are very accomplished horror stories. 'The Sun Dog' (as I think I have mentioned previously) is up there with the very best, and is quite horrific in its simplicity. But then ago, all the best horror stories are short ones, and most are uncomplicated in their premise.

I haven't read 'The Jaunt', but I will enjoy listening to the audiobook on Youtube when I go to bed tonight, so thanks for the recommendation.

I found The Jaunt to be a pretty good read . it would have made a great Twilight Zone episode.:cool:
 

paranoid marvin

Run VT Erroll!
Supporter
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
Messages
5,722
Only book that really disturbed me I recall was a single instance in the stephen King short story The Jaunt. The story itself was a good horror use of a familiar sci-fi trope, as a family are taking a trip via teleportation to Mars, and the father tells the youngest son about the discovery of teleportation technology, omitting bits that he doesn't want him to hear. Without spoilers, the father recalls as he tells the story that at a midway point in development of the technology, a drunk and troubled scientist ties up his cheating ex-wife and forces her into the teleporter, screaming at what she knows is going to happen.
He then sabotages the device's process and teleports her. What happens to her is maybe not what you'd expect. The story is not exactly hard sci-fi in tone, and I have no idea as a layman in theoretical quantum physics whether something like the result is possible, but physics is a pretty abstract field, for all I know it could be. And the very idea of what happens I found pretty horrifying, not least as it is just a background detail in the story, and is not dwelled upon, but in the story would be continuously ongoing, indefinitely.
I don't generally find supernatural stuff scary, even in movies, but that really did it for me, and I thought of what H.P. Lovecraft apparently said in a letter, that he wrote intending to create fiction that would frighten people of scientific perspective (as opposed to traditional horror based upon superstition or the supernatural).


Yes. The author relates a story - in much the same way that we may tell a friend about something that happened to us - then depending upon their understanding or outlook on life, they may be amused, horrified, disturbed or non-plussed. 'The Nine Billion Names of God' by Arthur C. Clarke was not written (I don't think) as a scary story, but as a work of science fiction. I won't spoil the ending for anyone, but I did find the ending very scary, and there have been times when I have looked up at the stars in the sky thinking of that ending. M R James was very good at this too.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
23,361
Yes. The author relates a story - in much the same way that we may tell a friend about something that happened to us - then depending upon their understanding or outlook on life, they may be amused, horrified, disturbed or non-plussed. 'The Nine Billion Names of God' by Arthur C. Clarke was not written (I don't think) as a scary story, but as a work of science fiction. I won't spoil the ending for anyone, but I did find the ending very scary, and there have been times when I have looked up at the stars in the sky thinking of that ending. M R James was very good at this too.

The Nine Billion Names of God was probably one the first stories I ever read by Clarke. I won't spoil it either but for the record , I absolutely loved that ending , it's brilliant . :)
 
Last edited:

Top