Ghosts, ghouls and growing up

If, like me, your childhood bookshelves were studded with Dean Koontz and Stephen King, you might enjoy this article from the Guardian. It explores why we, as children and adults, are drawn to the things that scare us.

I can definitely remember one particularly wet British holiday with my parents, made bleaker by my brand new – and rather massive – copy of Stephen King’s It. I read the iconic opening sequence in the back of my parents’ car, and the rest of the book in our rain-rattled caravan. Being, I suspect, much too young for the book at the time, I’d never read anything like it – I was captivated, by how the horrors of childhood might stalk you into adult life, and how your greatest friends might stay with you too. I’d certainly never look at a drain the same way again. But despite the fact that the book gave me endless sleepless nights, I was thrilled to read it – and hugely disappointed when the saga was over.

If only I’d known that I could have made a career in horror, by becoming a parapsychologist… Not sure my nerves would have stood for it, though. Safer to be here with a book, on the sofa, as the rain comes down…


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