Why I Hate Horror But Love Halloween, a Guest Post by Jennifer from Girls Gone Reading

So far, all the Fright Fest guest posts have been from people who love the thriller/horror genres.  This post is different. Today’s guest poster is Jennifer from Girls Gone Reading. As you will see in her post, she hates horror, detests being scared.  But not to worry; there is hope!

Why I Hate Horror But Love Halloween

Everyone likes to get a little scared, right? Wrong. I hate it. I have hated horror since fifth grade slumber parties when Freddy Krueger tried to attack me in my dreams. I would “watch” Nightmare on Elm Street by focusing anywhere by the screen. Instead, I would stare at a spot just above the television-fooling all my best friends. I would shudder when they shuddered. Scream when they screamed. It was fool proof until the inevitable happened. Occasionally my eyes, filled with curiosity, would drift down the screen. Then there he would be, Freddy in all his glory: slimy, disfigured, clawed. My eyes would instantly slam shut with nightmares right around the corner.

My problem with horror has continued for the rest of my life. The Blair Witch Project made me think ghosts were real and in the woods. This was especially great because my parents live in the woods, the movie came out in the summer, and mis padres wouldn’t turn the air on. Every time the wind blew it was a reminder of a ghost coming to attack. And don’t even get me started about what Stephen King did to clowns and creepy parks.

Nothing about horror appeals to me. Nothing. Nothing that is except Halloween. I love Halloween not because it is scary. I love it because once you remove all the scary elements from the holiday Halloween allows you to be, to live as someone else. Halloween is a real life way to try on something new. To be something else. Reading, of course, does this for me the rest of the year, but I don’t usually read books in full costume and get to speak in accents. Halloween brings out the actress in me. Instead of scaring my friends, I make them admire my Brittney Spears imitation. Or at least I pretend they are impressed.

Being someone else might be scary, but for me it is liberating. I want to live lots of lives, but unfortunately I get just the one. I don’t want to be scared, but I do want to be adventurous. I do want to try something new. Halloween is the only holiday where I still get to play the part, and I love every minute of it.

One problem recently occurred to me though: Am I avoiding a lot of the fun life has to offer by doing nothing scary? Am I living life fully if I never get scared just for fun? I plan to change that this Halloween, with your help of course. As part of my twelve step rehabilitation into all things scary, this Halloween I am going to attempt to go back into the world of horror. I will read one horror book the week of Halloween. The only problem is I don’t know what to read. Got any suggestions?

To further aid my rehab program I will also go to one haunted house. Yes, I will pay people money to scare me in my own bed while I read, and I will also spend some cold cash to have strangers chase/scream/jump at me in the woods. Sounds horrible, right? Well what would good Halloween be, the best holiday of the year, without trying something new?

5 Comments to "Why I Hate Horror But Love Halloween, a Guest Post by Jennifer from Girls Gone Reading"

  1. Neal Hock's Gravatar Neal Hock
    Twitter: Dark_Intruder
    October 28, 2010 - 10:10 AM | Permalink

    My suggestion would be Scott Nicholson’s The Red Church. Good, creepy read.

  2. NovelWhore's Gravatar NovelWhore
    Twitter: novelwhore
    October 28, 2010 - 10:19 AM | Permalink

    Jennifer I am totally with you! My childhood friends still mock me to this day for the fear I felt during our Friday the 13th parties, and the way I would only peer at the screen through fingers that were also working to plug my ears. I commend you for facing your fear this Halloween! The thought of entering a haunted house made me shudder on your behalf. Since I’m already impressed by you undertaking this *scary* endeavor, I highly suggest a more moderate read: THE LITTLE STRANGER by Sarah Waters is creepy opposed to downright scary, and creates a great ambiance for the season and is a delightful story, even though it does make you peer around corners. It even has it’s own haunted-type house, but set in the English countryside adds charm to its creepiness.

  3. iubookgirl's Gravatar iubookgirl
    Twitter: iubookgirl
    October 28, 2010 - 1:03 PM | Permalink

    It does sound horrible!!! I see no fun in being scared out of my wits. I remember being forced into haunted house trips in my youth and completely hating it. I admire your bravery though, in going into horror rehab. :)

  4. Jennifer-Girls Gone Reading's Gravatar Jennifer-Girls Gone Reading
    Twitter: girlsgonereadin
    October 28, 2010 - 4:04 PM | Permalink

    I will try it…I am super nervous, but I am going to trust you both!

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