I'm an Editor in book publishing. All opinions are my own.
I love Halloween time -- the decorations, fall food, candy, and most of all, BEING SCARED. A longtime fan of horror movies, I'm always on the lookout for books that gives me the creeps.
It's a little tough. For one thing, part of why horror movies work on me is that I'm very easily startled. Even when I know the scare is coming. Even when I know it's just a cat rattling pottery, or the wind causing chimes to sound. IT STILL SCARES ME if the music and visuals are right.
This can't really happen in books. There's no rising crescendo to get the adrenaline pumping, no camera angle that carefully reveals the killer waiting in the shadows. The scares have got to rely on other things--eerie imagery; a sense that something is odd, or grotesque; the idea that what is happening is wrong or disturbing. And often, what works for one reader won't work for me. For instance, I've read two horror novels by Joe Hill -- HEART-SHAPED BOX and NOS4A2 -- and while I admired both very much, I just didn't find them scary. I seem to be in the minority.
Luckily for me, I recently picked up NIGHT FILM by Marisha Pessl from the library. I'd had it on hold for at least a month or so and it came in just in time for Halloween week. It is a perfect read for me, for this time of year. Eerie, creepy, mysterious, I can't wait to see where the story goes...