Why do we read scary books?
“We’re a peculiar lot, when you think about it: we work so hard to make our world, our environment safer… and then we actively seek out things that will make us afraid. Horror movies, urban legends, ghost stories. We hunt down the darkness and we revel in it. Why? Because, this way, we can control it.”— Lou Morgan
For your Halloween reading pleasure
An article about the recently released re-issue of the collection: “by NYRB Classics, with the same preface it was initially published with, and the same title, ‘Ghosts.’ Spanning the length of Wharton’s career.”
A collection of scary stories, including Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” published over time in The New Yorker. Unless you subscribe to the magazine, you will probably be limited in the number of stories you can access.
I got my love of horror from my late mother, Patricia Stephens Due, who was a civil rights activist who wore dark glasses most of the time after the age of 20 because a police officer in Tallahassee, Florida, threw a teargas canister in her face during a nonviolent protest. She raised us on classic horror movies on Saturday Creature Features and gave me my first Stephen King book at the age 16—and by then I was HOOKED. Unlike my mother, who I think used horror to blunt racial trauma, as a child I saw horror as more of a rollercoaster ride. But now that I’m older, I have a better understanding of how horror can help us process trauma and overcome our internal “monsters.”
A Wiccan, or pagan, look at calendars and fall/harvest festivals.
Molly Odintz, senior editor for CrimeReads, assembled “a whole bunch of authors with horror novels out in 2021 to join me for a roundtable discussion on the genre and its appeal to crime fans, and in which I could stealthily attempt to figure what exactly horror is—and why we’re all enjoying it so much during the pandemic.”
© 2021 by Mary Daniels Brown