Let’s Talk Bookish – Can Books be Effective Horror?

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books & Dani @ Literary Lion, where they discuss certain topics, share their opinions, and spread the love by visiting each others’ posts.


Prompts: Some people love to be scared – others not so much. When it comes to reading do you think books can be scary? Are you less scared because there are no pictures? Do you feel other mediums such as film are more effective for horror? Have you ever been kept up at night by a book? 

Welcome everyone to another Let’s Talk Bookish, a meme here at DTRH hosted by Rukky and Dani (linked above!). Please follow them over on their blogs if you enjoy their content. Without further ado, let’s begin.

Horror books. Hmmm. While I love my thrillers and mysteries, I have to say I don’t generally consider myself to be a fan of horror, there are obviously unavoidable horror elements in these dark genres. I definitely think books can be scary, very scary. Although usually in thrillers, the emotional suspense is what makes it exciting, not necessarily horror components. That being said I have read some very dark and graphic thrillers that I wasn’t the biggest fan of.

It is arguable that books aren’t as scary because if you do get scared you could always just close and put down the book and look away, unlike a horror movie. On the other hand, the imagination is a very powerful thing, and even after I have put a book down, I can often feel the lingering emotions of imagining and visualizing what I have just read.

I think film does lend itself to very graphic and intense imagery, as that is literally what the medium was designed for. However, that isn’t to take away from the power of effective writing. The way a book can take me through an emotional rollercoaster page after page is honestly something far more impressive than any movie has reached before. Let me know in the comments below if you feel the same way about books vs. movies.

In the past when I was younger I have definitely been spooked by books. Not even really that scary of a book too. It was one of the Goosebumps series in which there is a haunted house I believe, and for some reason that really gave me a fright when I was younger. I think it was called Welcome to the Dead House. I don’t even want to look it up haha! But ever since becoming an adult and enjoying thrillers and mysteries, I’ve never been kept up at night or spooked by a book. I have read some books that made me cringe in disgust though – but I try to avoid those.

What do you all think about horror in books? Never as heavy as a movie? Or perhaps your own imagination in scarier than any CGI reality a movie could make?

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