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What was the scariest/most chilling book you read as a child?

(209 Posts)
VintageGardenia Tue 08-Sep-09 19:42:18

And did you love it or hate it?

My ds is 11 and doesn't like reading scary books one bit - I hated them too when I was a child, I still do really. But the book that scared me most as a child was called Marianne Dreams by Catherine Storr, I can remember every bit of it and it still gives me the creeps to pass a tall boulder.

Just wondering what other chilling books there were.

mollymawk Tue 08-Sep-09 19:45:47

I was scared by a book called (I think) Charlotte Sometimes. Can't really remember why, or what it was about though! And was terrifed by the Iron Man (Ted Hughes?). Didn't like being scared at all!

janeite Tue 08-Sep-09 19:46:46

I first read Marianne Dreams after a rec on here and thought it was fantastic but very creepy.

I read a Pan Children's Horror book about a doll that absolutely terrified me. Can't remember what happened though but can still see the horrible front cover picture if I think about it.

But then I moved happily onto Steven King as a young teenager!

janeite Tue 08-Sep-09 19:47:44

Charlotte Sometimes is about a girl at boarding school who keeps switching in time with a girl who was at the school in the past. It's brilliant but quite haunting.

CybilLiberty Tue 08-Sep-09 19:47:45

The Ghost Of Thomas Kempe by Penelope Lively is a fabulously scary book for older readers, about a boy who moves into a house with a poltergeist in it.

VintageGardenia Tue 08-Sep-09 19:47:59

Oh God I think Pet Semetary or however it was spelt was the second scariest.

EccentricaGallumbits Tue 08-Sep-09 19:49:15

some ancient story about a man buried alive. I think perhaps by edgar allen poe.
moved on to clive barker by early teens.
now i'm old and a wuss.

janeite Tue 08-Sep-09 19:53:29

Oh yes the Poe one. Is it called 'Premuture Burial' or something? It's horrible!

VintageGardenia Tue 08-Sep-09 19:53:43

I couldn't do buried alive shock splinters under the nails etc nope nope nope.

I googled Marianne Dreams and there is a sequel I never knew about but I won't be able to read it.

EccentricaGallumbits Tue 08-Sep-09 19:55:40

Tales of mystery. read them one year while staying with mad old grandmother.
And i wonder why i'm slightly insomniac.

mollymawk Tue 08-Sep-09 19:55:41

Ah, yes janeite, it is coming back to me now. Still not sure why I found it so disturbing though...

MovingOutOfBlighty Tue 08-Sep-09 19:57:34

Debbie comic used to have a spooky part. (how 80s am I?)
They used to freak me out quite a bit. Especially the one where the ballerina wished to relive the past hour of her triumphant performance and the wish was granted. But of course the past hour included the wish so she relived that hour...forever...! shock

janeite Tue 08-Sep-09 19:58:14

Molly - have just had a quick google and I don't think "Premature Burial' is the one I'm thinking of. I think he did several with that theme. I feel a re-read coming on!

LadyGlencoraPalliser Tue 08-Sep-09 20:01:13

The Day of the Triffids. I read it when I was about nine. I really wouldn't recommend giving it to your average nine-year-old.

CybilLiberty Tue 08-Sep-09 20:03:21

As a young teen I read James Herbert's The Rats. It was scary and rude, so just about perfect

VintageGardenia Tue 08-Sep-09 20:04:12

Blighty that also reminds me of something else, The Red Shoes. Horror.

kathyis6incheshigh Tue 08-Sep-09 20:05:22

me too with The Rats. It was passed around the class at school.

janeite Tue 08-Sep-09 20:05:44

Oh God- The red Shoes. i read it when I was about seven and it STILL makes me feel ill, whenever I remember it.

I read The Rats and The Fog aged about 13. They were much thumbed in my circle of friends!

TwentiethCenturyHeffa Tue 08-Sep-09 20:06:18

Ooh, I remember Marianne Dreams and Charlotte Sometimes, I loved them both and had completely forgotten! Marianne Dreams did scare me. I read loads of Agatha Christie from quite young as well, but only two scared me (Towards Zero and Murder in Mesopotamia).

There was a great book about a girl who goes to stay in Cornwall on holiday with her family and starts seeing ghosts of witches. That was quite scary as well. I can't remember it's title though

TheWorstWitch Tue 08-Sep-09 20:06:22

Tale of Two Cities.
When the woman in the end is about to be executed. For some reason, really brought home the idea of death as a reality for me

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Tue 08-Sep-09 20:06:26

I read a book called "after the fallout' once when I was about 9. We had a supply teacher who gave us a big box of books and told us pick one and read quietly, so I picked this book for some reason.

And it horrified me. It actually gave me nightmares. It told in graphic detail about what would happen if there was a nuclear explosion, and gave examples, drawings of what it would look like, and examples of the perimeters of the fire ball, fallout etc on certain cities in UK, including London. I lived just out the 'fireball zone' in Greenwich and I feared we would either not have enough time to get out of the area so we did not die slowly, or into the fire zone so we could all die quickly.

It then talked about how we would die slowly, the likelhood of survivers and what to do to survive such as put pets outside the shelters as they took up valuable food and supplies. I was so sad at that as my dog was my world.

Even today I recall the fear of nuclear war that stayed with me for a long time after this.

VintageGardenia Tue 08-Sep-09 20:09:19

Oh Pavlov sad I remember watching some programme about an Arctic explorer or something tramping for days in hip-deep snow and he decided eventually he would have to kill his dog shock sad and when he tried to catch the dog, the dog thought he was playing and bounced around merriy. I sobbed into our dog's side the whole night.

(sentimental young fool)

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Tue 08-Sep-09 20:10:40

vintage for some reason, I was more upset at the thought that my dog would die than the fact that should I be in that position i the first place it meant probably millions of people would have died!

thegrowlygus Tue 08-Sep-09 20:11:35

That reminds me of a book I read aged about 13 about nuclear war, but it was divided into 3 parts - the first being when the bomb went off, the second about a family living in a 'compound' who were descended from the part one family's father (who had a free pass into the shelter) and the final part further in the future where they had adapted to life outside again (everyone had a slight hairiness to them to protect their skin against the sun iirc).

No clue what it was called now but has clearly stayed with me. And the part that really struck a nerve - the dog thing - the family in the first part had to put their dog outside.

EccentricaGallumbits Tue 08-Sep-09 20:11:41

The Tripods
Th Day of the triffids

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