Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Guest Blog: Keta Diablo on the Scariest Books Ever

As a special treat (or trick!) guest author Keta Diablo will be taking over today with her guest blog on the Scariest Books Ever.  As part of our Halloween Giveaways at From the Shadows, Keta will be giving away two ebook copies of her m/m paranormal thriller novella Crossroads.  Giveaway details at the end of her post. 

A Mixed Trick or Treat Bag of the SCARIEST Books Ever . . . .

With Halloween soon approaching again, I headed to the Internet to find the "scariest" books ever written. What I discovered was a mixed bag of opiionions, but several of the books below appeared on all the lists: King's "It", Anson's "The Amityville Horror" and Blatty's "The Exorcist".

Let's take a look at the list again. Notice something? The authors are male, every single one. I don't know if that says our most talented horror authors are men or rather men have the weirdest minds. I'll leave that answer up to you.

Hope you enjoy the list!

It, Stephen King
The amazingly prolific King returns to pure horror, pitting good against evil as in The Stand and The Shining. Moving back and forth between 1958 and 1985, the story tells of seven children in a small Maine town who discover the source of a series of horrifying murders. Having conquered the evil force once, they are summoned together 27 years later when the cycle begins again.

Ghost Story, Peter Straub
For four aging men in the terror-stricken town of Milburn, New York, an act inadvertently carried out in their youth has come back to haunt them. Now they are about to learn what happens to those who believe they can bury the past -- and get away with murder. Peter Straub's classic bestseller is a work of "superb horror" (The Washington Post Book World) that, like any good ghost story, stands the test of time -- and conjures our darkest fears and nightmares.

Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury
A masterpiece of modern Gothic literature, Something Wicked This Way Comes is the memorable story of two boys, James Nightshade and William Halloway, and the evil that grips their small Midwestern town with the arrival of a "dark carnival" one Autumn midnight. How these two innocents, both age 13, save the souls of the town (as well as their own), makes for compelling reading on timeless themes.

The Amityville Horror, Jay Anson
George and Kathleen Lutz were aware that the house had been the scene of a mass murder -- Ronnie DeFeo, 23, was convicted of shooting his parents, brothers, and sisters. But it seemed an ideal home for them and their three children, and the price was right. On the day they moved in, a priest invited to bless the house was told by an unseen voice to "Get out!" At his rectory, he began to suffer a series of inexplicable afflictions. Meanwhile, alone in their new home, the Lutz family were embarking on the most terrifying experience of their lives. It began when their five-year-old daughter boasted of her new playmate, someone -- or something -- named "Jodie."

Skull Session, Daniel Hecht
A stunning psychological thriller from the bestselling author of PUPPETS When Paul Skogland, who suffers from the mental disorder Tourette's syndrome, agrees to take on the repairs of the magnificent hunting lodge owned by his wealthy, eccentric aunt, little does he realise exactly what he's taken on. Inside the lodge lies a scene of almost superhuman destruction: a violence mirrored by a series of disappearances and grisly deaths haunting the region. As Paul delves into the wreckage, he can't help but wonder what dark passion - and what strength - could cause such chaos. Escalating events lead Paul deeper into his family's past, and as Paul faces the darker aspects of his own nature, he must brave the possibility that in saving those he loves, he might well destroy himself.

Salem's Lot, Stephen King
Stephen King's second book, 'Salem's Lot (1975)--about the slow takeover of an insular hamlet called Jerusalem's Lot by a vampire patterned after Bram Stoker's Dracula--has two elements that he also uses to good effect in later novels: a small American town, usually in Maine, where people are disconnected from each other, quietly nursing their potential for evil; and a mixed bag of rational, goodhearted people, including a writer, who band together to fight that evil.

Swamp Thing: Love and Death by Alan Moore
Don't let the mediocre Swamp Thing movies fool you, this book is filled with sophisticated suspense and terror. Created out of the swamp through a freak accident, Swamp Thing is an elemental creature who uses the forces of nature and the wisdom of the plant kingdom to fight the polluted world's self-destruction. Swamp Thing . . . the only one who can save mankind.

The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty
Blatty fictionalized the true story of a child's demonic possession in the 1940s. The deceptively simple story focuses on Regan, the 11-year-old daughter of a movie actress residing in Washington, D.C.; the child apparently is possessed by an ancient demon. It's up to a small group of overwhelmed yet determined humans to somehow rescue Regan from this unspeakable fate. Purposefully raw and profane, this novel still has the extraordinary ability to literally shock us into forgetting that it is "just a story." The Exorcist remains a truly unforgettable reading experience.

Red Dragon, Thomas Harris
Lying on a cot in his cell with Alexandre Dumas's Le Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine open on his chest, Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter makes his debut in this legendary horror novel, which is even better than its sequel, The Silence of the Lambs. As in Silence, the pulse-pounding suspense plot involves a hypersensitive FBI sleuth who consults psycho psychiatrist Lecter for clues to catching a killer on the loose.

Books of Blood, 1-3, Clive Barker
Barker's first hardcover appearance in America, gathers together 16 stories in one volume as the author originally intended and contains eerily effective illustrations by fantasy artists J. K. Potter and Harry O. Morris. The tales are of varying quality and will please mostly readers who like their horror bloody and graphic. An occasional reliance on hokey set-ups and deus ex machinas, and the frequent shifting of intention in mid-story are jarring qualities, however. Further, a pervasive misanthropy colors the narratives and makes them unpleasant in a way the author probably didn't intend.

Keta Diablo writes erotic romance and gay fiction for numerous publishers. You can find her on the web at the links below. Leave a comment here and you'll be eligible to win your choice of one of Keta's books (visit Keta's Haunt bookshelf to see what's available).

You can find Keta here on the Net at Keta's Haunt (Author Home), Keta's Keep (Erotic Romance Blog) , The Stuff of Myth and Men (Gay Fiction Blog), Keta on Twitter

** Crossroads International eBook Giveaway **

To Enter, tell us about the scariest book you've ever read and why it frightened the bejeezers out of you! Two winners will be selected to receive a PDF copy of the first novella in Keta's best-selling Crossroads series. (Think private investigators, ghosts and communing with the dead). Warning: this series has elements of intense and graphic man love.  This giveaway is international!  Giveaway ends October 20th midnight EST.


  1. the scariest book i ever read was Pet Cemetery by Stephen King. It was scary because I was pretty young when i read it (12 i think) and my pet cat had just died. I also had a bedroom that used to be a storage room off the garage and had to walk past the glass door that led to the forest outside and go through the dark garage every night to get to my room.

  2. my fav has always been Stephen Kings, Pet Cemetery...But lately I acme across Calvin Millers in the Undead Anthem Cold Blood-The End
    which brought the hair on the back of my neck up....

  3. Hi all,

    Wow, I just LURVE this blog! What a neat place to hang out. Thank you EJ for having me!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and telling us about the scariest book you ever read.

    If you win Crossroads, I hope you like it. Here's the blurb from the book below, AND the good news is that there are four novellas in the best-selling series.

    Please follow my blogs, I'd love to have you!
    Erotic Romance blog, Keta's Keep,

    The Stuff of Myth and Men, my GAY fiction blog (if you love hot, steamy man love)

    Good luck everyone in the contest.
    Namaste, Keta (kee-ta)

    Amazon Kindle:

    Handsome ex-cop Frank McGuire is on a quest to locate his dead partner's missing son. Rand Brennan has an identity issue, exacerbated due to the death of his father. Hoping to find himself, Rand drops out of college, takes to the streets, and doesn't realize he's embroiled in duplicity and murder. In order to save Rand, Frank must confront the nefarious killers and...confront his long-suppressed feelings for Rand. Elements: scenes of intense sexual activity

  4. Thanks for the awesome list! I love horror novels.

  5. Great list, Keta! I'm a huge Stephen King fan, but The Exorcist, hands down, wins the scariest for me. It terrified me first as a movie though, as I was only 9 when I saw it on TV the first time.
    Best with Crossroads and all your writing!

  6. That's a great list, but I don't read horror. I don't remember reading any scary books.

  7. I remember being absolutely terrified the first time I read VC Andrews' Flowers in the Attic. It's not supernatural-scary, but at the time that I read it, I was a very sheltered 14 year old, and the book both horrified and fascinated me at the same time, and I still remember the fear and despair I felt while reading it 30 years later. I tend not to read the really scary, make you scream and keep you up all night kinds of books, so this is the book I remembered best.

    Crazy Cat Lady

  8. I would have to say The Shining by Stephen King. It was just so eerie!! I then decided to watch the movie, which was even scarier, my hands were over my eyes most of the movie!!

    Judy Cox

  9. carrie and salem's lot were two of the scarier books i've read....and those scary stories to tell in the dark books from when i was a kid (though i think the illustrations were half the reason they scared me so!)

    k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

  10. honestly the scariest book I have ever read had to be IT that book scared the crappp out of me the movie not so much but the book i was terrified

  11. I think the scariest book I've ever read would have to be "Amityville". I was betweenthe age of 12 and 15 when I read it and was soo scared I could barely sleep for a month.

  12. I haven't really read a scary book yet, most I have read have been PNR books, but I would love to try some out and hope to get to!

    izzie0129 at yahoo dot com

  13. My first was the Shining by Steven King. He just knows how to really creep me out both in book and movie forms. He really does have a twisted imagination but that's why he's so well known.

  14. I must confess I haven't read any of those books.
    My scariest read has to be 'Out of Mind' by J. Bernlef. Not as much a horror story, but scary because it's about Alzheimer and slowly losing who you are.

    (don't have to enter me as I do not read m/m books)

  15. Keta, that's quite a list there. I saw all the movies and read only one of those books and it was The Shining. I no longer read Horror lol. I don't even watch Horror movies anymore. The scariest for me was a cross between It and The Exorcist. I hate that feeling when you see something horrible you then have to go home and think about all that horror lurking in the shadows :)
    Carol L.

  16. Hello, Keta.

    I see you listed a book that's my answer, Ghost Story, Peter Straub. This book really scared me. I just knew Fenny Bates would be looking through my bedroom window!

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  17. Hi the scariest book I think I've ever read was the Amittyville Horror. It just plain freaked me out but so did the real Exorcist story.


  18. Scariest book ever - IT by Stephen King. I hate clowns...

  19. The scariest book I ever read was A Turn of the Screw by Henry James. That book had me looking over my shoulder and afraid of ghosts for years!

  20. Great List--- I have to Agree that Stephan Kings Its was truely on e of the scariest things I have ever read! I have never read the Exercist Becasue I am already scared!
    I also thouth that Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill was a very creepy book! check it out!

  21. The one & only scariest book I've read was Rogue Male, by Geoffrey Household. I am claustrophobic & there was an episode that aroused claustrophobic feeling which I can very well relate. This was the only scary book I had ...was given to me as a gift. I couldn't afford to buy one.

  22. I'm going back a way but the scariest one i ever read was The exorcist. I remember my mom hiding the book under her bed cause she did not want me to read it. Of course that made me want to read it more.