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Classic Scary Tales

This was first posted on the Romancing the Genres blog (http://romancingthegenres.blogspot.com).

This month’s theme is “Why I read scary books/watch scary movies.” Personally, I am not into horror. I get enough adrenaline in my day-to-day life, thank you. But I do appreciate a good psychological mystery or thriller. Two of my favorite authors in this genre are Edgar Allan Poe and Henry James.

You probably read some Poe in school. I love how he creates narrators that are scary-crazy yet human enough to be believable. The main character in “The Cask of Amontillado,” for example, really expects you to admire his intelligence and appreciate how he walled up his enemy. And I love “The Raven” and how Poe’s word choice creates the perfect tone for that dark night.

Henry James is best known for his literary novels. He doesn’t have a lot of thrillers in his works, but James’ “The Turn of the Screw” is a great ghost story. He uses his keen understanding of the human mind to create a Gothic novella worth reading on Halloween night.

Some people prefer contemporary authors, but I find myself going back to the classics fairly often. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned—that would explain why I write historical fiction myself! 😉 But I also enjoy the way these authors write. They prove you don’t need blood and guts to scare a reader. I recommend you try one of these the next time you want something to give you the chills.

Enjoy the season, whether you’re into super-scary or something just a bit spooky!

I love to share my passion for Alaska and its history in my writing for young adults and their grown ups.

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