Ever since I was a kid, the joy of Halloween centered around scary books. I loved ’em. As a kid, I devoured (with my eyes, I’m not a literal bibliophagist, no matter what you may have read on the restroom wall of the Conoco off Sherman Ave. in Coeur d’Alene) every scary book I could get my hands on.
I remember reading Dracula in elementary school. Frankly, it was fairly hard to follow what with all the Victorian references and mannerisms for which I, as an average fifth grader, had absolutely no understanding.
Still, it was DRACULA!!! So that thrill alone got me through the story. It paid off in the end. That last chapter detailing the confrontation at the steps of Dracula’s castle was worth the slog through all those peculiar Victorian feelings.
As a grown up (physically at least), I still enjoy a good scare now and then, but not really in books. Horror stories don’t particularly frighten me anymore. The things that scare me now are a bit more mundane…
Finishing my business in the bathroom only to discover, “There’s no toilet paper!”
“Oh, look! Another letter from the IRS.”
Clients who say “I’ll know it when I see it.”
This illustration celebrates my love for scary books as a child, when the world was big and mysterious and, occasionally terrifying.
I look back at those years with fondness, remembering the fun of being scared out of my mind, but knowing it was all in fun.
Or was it?
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