Here’s a little known fact about me: I LOVE to read scary stories. My favorite turn-on-all-the-lights-in-the-house-while-you-read author is Stephen King. He’s THE master of suspense and horror.
As a college freshman, I had the honor of meeting him. He spoke at the University of Georgia two months after I moved into my dorm. I queued up at the student center an hour before his presentation. No one stood in front of or behind me—he was such an unknown. Once inside, I sat halfway back on the aisle of a half-filled auditorium. I didn’t have the guts to sit on the front row. He spoke about all his rejections, the books he’d published to date, and his writing style. Then, he read a passage from The Shining. I don’t think I blinked the entire time he spoke.
Afterward, I stood in a short autograph line. He sipped on a beer as he scrawled his name, thanking each person and encouraging them to write. Very personable. When my turn came, I plopped five of his books on the table.
He looked up and grinned. “So, you like horror.”
“I do,” I returned. “And I like the way you write. You really get into a character’s head.”
He seemed pleased with that answer because he spent quite a bit of time personalizing the inside front page of each of my books. After he finished, he wished me luck in my writing career, as if he knew the direction of my heart. I left, bolstered with hope.
So, my top five spooky book picks for teens are:
Carrie by Stephen King. If parents had passed down what they’d learned from this book when they read it in their teens, there would be no bullies today. The accompanying movie launched Sissy Spacek’s career.
Veritas Project two-book series (Hangman’s Curse and Nightmare Academy) by Frank Peretti. A deadly mystery that involves a ghost of a boy who hanged himself, three popular athletes stricken with a mysterious ailment, and a family that investigates strange phenomena for the U.S. president.
The three-book Delusion series (The Delusion, The Deception, The Defiance) by Laura Gallier. A nail-biter of spiritual warfare. The main character is given the gift of seeing demons and must rescue those he loves.
Trinity Row by Kelly Martin. For older teens, this super creepy haunted house tale features a 16-year-old and her mom who are forced to fight the evil that lives in their new home.
Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt. A cross between a dark fantasy and a romance, the story follows a young girl lost in the forest. She must weave a charming tale for Lord Death to save her life.
What are your favorite spooky stories?