Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tales from Books that Scare

Tip of the Day: make sure to take a break from all the scary books to enjoy some scary movies for Halloween. And if you don't know what to watch, try some of my favorites ones from High School: Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer. Watching scary movies from high school always reminds me of the first time I saw the movie and I instantly get in the YA mood.

I have to agree with Kate. In that, one person's scary book is another's "meh, I wasn't scared." When thinking about scary books to post for this week, several crossed my mind: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (real life murderers, what's more scary than that?), Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (because looking at how our society could kill itself off is super scary), and Life As We Knew It (because reading it was scary for me during a blackout).

But those aren't as even remotely scary to me as the topic of the book I chose.


And not the friendly white variety.

I've been scared by ghost stories for as long as I can remember. Nothing scares me more than the unknown. And walking around, living your life, unsure if a ghost is watching you, is pretty freakin' scary.

In high school one of my teachers took a day where people shared real life ghost stories, and I almost had to leave the classroom. Tales of people awaking at night to find a shadow at the foot of the bed, being held down by some force not letting them get up, or hearing rocking noises from the attic and then finding an old woman in the chair.

Seriously, if that happened to you, how would you defend yourself? Especially if it was holding you down? Would you throw something at it? Or kick it? Only to have your foot move through air, not making contact.

Most of the people didn't believe many of the stories. But I didn't even want to think about the stories in my own home town long enough to debate whether they were true or not. That's how much thinking about ghosts scares me.

Which is why I don't watch ghost movies and why I refuse to watch Sylvia Browne when she's on Montel.

And it's why initially I didn't want to read The Mediator series by Meg Cabot. Despite the fact some blog readers might remember Meg is one of my favorite authors.

For those of you that have read The Mediator series or those who know Meg's work you might be saying: "it's Meg Cabot she does fun and funny, that's not remotely scary?"

True. But it happens to be the only ghost book I've ever read (after months of deliberating whether to read it or not). So it's the only one I can recommend in this blog.

But I'm glad I gave in, because I have to tell you The Mediator is one of my favorite Cabot series. The book series (starting with Shadowland) centers around Suze, whose a mediator that helps ghosts cross over to the "other world." When Suze moves to California, she encounters several ghosts that need saving, including one that accupies her bedroom: Jesse.

Jesse almost made me give up my fear of ghosts, because he's one of my favorite book characters of all time.

However, the Mediator still remains the only ghost books I've ever read. But I am looking forward to finding more ghost stories in the future that are funny enough to make me read them and forget about the fact ghosts are between the pages.

Any suggestions?

--Emily, Miss Awaiting an Agent


Ghost Girl (aka, Mary Ann) said...

Geez, Emily...that could have been my classroom! I've done that with my students, share ghost stories. Afterall...I grew up in a haunted house.

**Squeal** My favorite kind of stories!

(And IN COLD BLOOD was truly terrifying!)

DeenaML said...

I really think you'd like the LILY DALE series by Wendy Corsi Straub -- ghosts, but cute ghosts like Jesse. :)

amuse me said...

Now I'm curious -- I may have to read Meg Cabot because I LOVE ghost stories.

Lisa Schroeder said...

And then there are those of us who want to believe ghosts are NICE and write a book with a fairly nice ghost.

My next book with a ghost in it, though? Uh, watch out!!

Emily Marshall said...

Yes, Lisa, your ghost was super nice, too. I like nice ghosts.

Ghost Girl (aka, Mary Ann) said...

Sorry, gals. Some of my ghosts aren't so nice (the ones I write about that is). Mwaaaaahaaaahaaa!