Sunday, November 2, 2014

Scary Stories

I'm late on this, but happy Halloween! I've spent the weekend reading Jezebel's scary story contest and getting chills. Our apartment windows rattle loudly in the wind and our radiators clank at random intervals, so I may not have picked the best environment in which to read these.

As a kid, I loved ghost stories. I figured out their spot in the Dewey decimal system so I could read the entire collection at my school library. Eric has pointed me in the direction of some good adult ghost fiction, and I continually search for new haunting novels. Here are a few from my past that you may feel like re-reading or recommending for your niece who is definitely brave enough to read ghost stories:

1. The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright

This was the first "scary" book I can remember reading, and I devoured everything our library had by Betty Ren Wright afterward. A girl finds an old dollhouse in her grandparents' attic and discovers that the dolls are reenacting her great-grandparents' murder. It was terrifying when I was ten and still a little creepy when I flipped through the book as an adult.

2. Ghost in the Big Brass Bed by Bruce Coville

During summer break, I would often check out books on tape to listen to while I knitted (I was obviously super cool). Possibly the only thing creepier than reading scary stories late at night was having them read to me. I couldn't skip ahead to find out what happened - I just had to deal with the suspense. The book was part of a series that followed a sixth grade girl and her best friend as they uncovered various historical ghosts. The one in this book was a Victorian-era young girl.

3. The Ghost of Fossil Glen by Cynthia DeFelice

I could only remember that this book surrounded fossil hunting, a little girl ghost, and a gorge, but that combination succeeded in Google. A sixth grade girl hears a voice as she almost falls during a fossil hunting expedition and then must solve the murder of another young girl decades earlier. I do remember staying up late in my canopy bed because I couldn't fall asleep without knowing what happened to the ghost.

Apparently there is a huge market for ghost stories with middle-school-aged female protagonists. If you have recommendations for great ghost stories for people who are no longer twelve, let me know!

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