Thursday 25 October 2012

Guest Post: Gretchen McNeil's Top Five Scariest Reads!

I have a great Spooky Special guest post to share with you today.  Gretchen McNeil (Possess, Ten) has stopped by to share her scariest reads of all time! I love this post and I will definitely be checking out some of Gretchen's picks!

In case you didn't know, Gretchen's recently released TEN is pretty scary too! I stayed up late to read it and it left me totally creeped out! Keep an eye out for my review of TEN tomorrow!

In the meantime, let me know what you think of Gretchen's choice of scary reads!


Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release date: September 18th 2012
Ages: 13+

Don't spread the word!
Three-day weekend. House party.
White Rock House on Henry Island.
You do NOT want to miss it.
It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

Guest Post: Gretchen McNeil's Top Five Scariest Reads! 


As a circus performer myself, there's something intriguing about an evil group of carnies rolling into your town.  Bradbury weaves a lyrical nightmare, descending on an unsuspecting American "every town" with the sinister seduction of wish fulfillment.  SOMETHING WICKED drips with the kind of gothic tone I've always loved, and this book is one of the creepiest reads in the genre.

4.  THE TURN OF THE SCREW by Henry James

I love a good ghost story (even though James himself insisted this isn't one), and this turn of the century tale of a governess with possibly supernatural charges is one of the best.  Kids can be creepy, and Miles and Flora take that to a whole new level.  Again, this novella is drippingly gothic, and James spins the setting and tension so tightly, the reader is practically in a frenzy to find out what happens.

3.  FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC by V. C. Andrews

How in the hell this became the book that everyone was reading in sixth grade is beyond me.  Andrews's bizarre, disturbing tale of imprisoned siblings who are literally driven out of their minds and into some twisted relationships scars me to this day.

2.  THE EXORCIST by William Blatty

I've said many times that The Exorcist is the scariest movie of all time.  So it makes sense that the book on which it was based made my list.  In many ways, the book is scarier than the movie, leaving more to the imagination than William Friedkin's masterpiece, and Regan is perhaps the scariest creepy kid ever written.

1.  HELL HOUSE by Richard Matheson

Haunted house books are, by far, my favorite scary read.  And Matheson, better known for another horror classic I AM LEGEND, delivers the best, scariest, freakiest, creepiest, down right horrifying haunted house novel ever.  Belasco House is the epitome of a haunted house, what all others should aspire to, as much of a character as the four poor souls who have to spend the night there.  If you've never read this book, fix that. Now.

But keep the lights on.

To find out more about Gretchen follow her on twitter: @GretchenMcNeil


  1. I haven't read a single one of these books! They sound super spooky! I will definitely have to try and check one of these out in time for Halloween! Thanks for sharing these great recs with us Gretchen! :)

  2. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on Ten.  I haven't read any of these spooky reads, but I've heard a lot about Flowers in the Attic and how creepy/disturbing it is!  The Exorcist movie still freaks me out, so I can only imagine the book would be equally freaky.  Great post, Leanna!

  3. I admit I haven't read ANY of those books except I think when I was a kid I did read Flowers in the Attic though I can hardly remember the story now. It was a long time ago. Anyway great post!

  4.  Yes, I think The Exorcist would freak me out too!!

  5.  Same here on Flowers in the Attic. Maybe I should re-read!


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