Today we are delighted and thrilled to have fellow book blogger, presenter at multiple conferences, and author of several publications with us: Elizabeth Preston (ekpreston). Elizabeth’s blog contains a mixture of books, writing tips, reading commentaries, and how to get a great 4.0 GPA-it’s absolutely brilliant, please take a look. Personally I loved (see what I did there?) her post on how to write a kissing scene: pucker up…
Warning: Contains spoilers.
I’m a big believer in reading “classic” texts in order to become a well-rounded and educated individual. Also, I’m an English and literature nerd. However, some “classics” have utterly terrified me and have left scars on my literary soul. Here’s a list of ten creepy “classics.”
- The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe – The text is a combination of gruesome murder, a seemingly logical insane person, an evil eye, and auditory hallucinations. All of this translates to me never sleeping without the light on ever again.
- Dracula by Bram Stoker – Full disclosure: I only got about 60 pages into the book. Why? Because Stoker creeped me completely out. It was bad enough to read about the three vampires sucking the life out of a kid while wolves devoured the mother, but then Dracula walks sideways on the outside walls of his castle. He literally defies gravity! How can you not be freaked out by that? The mental image haunts me to this day, and I cannot finish the book.
- The Lord of the Flies by William Golding – I have no idea why this was assigned reading back in school. The disintegration into cruelty, insanity, and chaos by itself is disturbing. Then add in the fact that this was all with kids, not adults. That’s downright terrifying.
- 1984 by George Orwell – This is one of my favorite books, but it has also made me continually wary about our government turning into “Big Brother.” Thus far, I’m not liking what I see, and Orwell’s prophetic work of fiction makes me terrified for the future of our reality.
- The Pearl by John Steinbeck – My goodness, what a lesson in futility. Goodbye happy ending. Goodbye all’s well that ends well. Goodbye innocence.
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – Yes, Mr. Steinbeck, you’ve made it onto this list twice. Congratulations! Your lessons of the American dream’s impossibility and inability to obtain happiness and peace has scarred me for life. Also, I’m one of those people who can’t stand it when dogs die in books or movies, so that dead puppy didn’t exactly help. Thanks, Steinbeck.
- The Time Machine by H.G. Wells – The book is expertly written with images vivid to the point that I thought that the Morlocks were going to jump out of my closet. Cave-dwelling cannibals . . . I’ll just turn on an extra light in my house now.
- The Stranger by Albert Camus – This book was terrifying in that the protagonist truly cares about nothing because nothing matters. The universe is indifferent towards us, and life will march on with barely a nod to our demise. This concept mixed with a character who has little empathy or compassion towards anything or anyone (including himself) is utterly terrifying because nothing is more dangerous than someone who has nothing to lose.
- The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen – This is so not Disney’s Little Mermaid. I think that Andersen might have hated kids.
- A Separate Peace by John Knowles – Why did Finny have to die? He had recovered from his leg injury once, and then to have it again and die from it? Why couldn’t you have killed off Gene instead, John Knowles? I would have been okay with that. But, no, you had to kill of my favorite character and now I’m terrified of bone marrow killing me or a family member every time we think that someone has broken even the tiniest of bones. I needed that additional neurosis. Many thanks, Knowles.
What are some “classic” texts that have left you feeling creeped out?