I rent low-budget horror movies all the time, in the hopes that in the midst of all the bad acting and worse writing and cliche plots, I can find something better, something honestly creepy. Once in a great while, I do (example: Session 9. The setting alone is reason to rent it).
Go through the same thing with books. My dad got into his reading habit when he was a kid with sci-fi novels and comic books; mom with mystery and romance; mine with scary stories. I have several authors on my 'if they wrote it, buy it' list: Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum, Simon Clark.
And I just found someone else to add to that list.
From the back cover of David Morrell's "Creepers":
"On a cold October night, five people gather in a run-down motel on the Jersey shore and prepare to break into the Paragon Hotel. The once-magnificent structure is now boarded up and marked for demolition.
They are 'creepers': urban explorers with a passion for investigating abandoned buildings and their dying secrets. Reporter Frank Balenger joins them to profile this highly illegal activity for the New York Times. But he isn't looking for just another story, and soon after they enter the rat-infested tunnel leading to the hotel, he gets more than he bargained for."
(thanks to semiotic_pirate
for the link)
I had to pick this up, of course. I've always had a fascination with abandoned buildings . . . my friends and I made our way into an empty silo one Halloween, a jaunt which ended when we discovered some rats trying to get a closer look at our costumes (the sight of all four of us scrambling out of there in high heels must've been really funny). I'd like to get a look inside an abandoned house someday. And an abandoned hotel? Heaven. Since that's not possible, though, I'll settle for reading about it. It's a personal goal of mine to write a horror novel centered around a hotel somehow, though I don't know how in the world I can possibly compete knowing that this one and The Shining exist. Anyway.
Once in a while, I'll find a scary novel that actually does scare
me. After years of reading them, it's pretty rare. (lying awake at night and expanding on scenes in my own imagination doesn't really count) ;-) A scene that makes me look around the room I'm sitting in and fidget.
There's one of those scenes at the end of Chapter Twenty-Six. One sentence
, actually, which makes it even better, because it's one of those lines that you read and you feel like you just got punched in the stomach and your brain lets out this little 'eeeeeeeeeeee' and then you read it again just to make sure it says that and yes it certainly does, and are you very, very
sure that the front door did get locked?
I wonder if it's healthy to love moments like that quite so much.