Sunday, October 30, 2011

Scary Stories

It's that haunting time of the year again -- Halloween.

On the various cable TV channels you'll find an assortment of horror films designed to make it difficult to sleep at time. I have my favorites, such as "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," "Nightmare on Elm Street," "Frankenstein," "Dracula" "An American Werewolf in London," "Race with the Devil" "Night of the Living Dead" and "Poltergeist." 

But it doesn't have to be Halloween to conjure up those kinds of scary stories.
While interviewing Frankfort, Ky., author Jerry Deaton on a cable TV program about his book, "Appalachian Ghost Stories: Tales from Bloody Breathitt," we agreed that scary stories can be told any time of the year. Some of the stories in his collection are ones he heard while growing up in Breathitt County, Ky. He'll be a the Kentucky Book Fair on Nov. 12.

I remember sitting around the campfire during my Boy Scout days listening to tales that would have you trying to sleep with one eye open. I believe most folks have some kind of scary tale from their past.

Needing a ghost story? How about ghosts, how about Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol" to keep you on edge? Stephen King's "Carrie," certainly wasn't a sweet story about a prom queen. And Grimm brothers' fairy tales could be quite, well, grim!

And, sadly, we only have to pick up newspapers or watch the nightly news on TV to learn about true-life horror all around the world. And it's just not in the Middle East; we have our share of it in the United States. Norwegians can attest to horror by the massacre this past summer by an alleged lone gunman that claimed more than 75 lives.

Truman Copote mined real life with "In Cold Blood." Norman Mailer did the same with "The Executioner's Song." And a friend of mine, Rena Vicini, wrote about a gruesome murder in Lexington, Ky., called "Fatal Seduction." You don't have to look very far to get inspired to write true-crime stories, if that's something that interests you.

Until the next time...

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