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Mar. 9th, 2012

I was thinking about Mexico this evening, which meandered into thinking about Guanajuato. This leads me to tonight’s question:

What is the most horrific story that you’ve ever read? Something that really stuck with you. A story that is still wedged deep in your subconscious that still burbles up nightmares on occasion.

One of mine: the Next in Line by Ray Bradbury.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 10th, 2012 09:22 am (UTC)
For some reason "Something Wicked This Way Come" was deeply, skin-crawlingly disturbing to me, and I can't even fully explain why.
Mar. 10th, 2012 10:23 am (UTC)
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
Mar. 10th, 2012 11:33 am (UTC)
Oh, good gods.

"The Garden of Adompha" by Clark Ashton Smith. Am I the only one to have read this? It is the only story that has ever, EVER made me literally cry out in revulsion and horror. A lot of his stories are deeply disturbing, even though he is not known for being a horror writer, just a dark fantasist in the vein of Dunsany and Lovecraft's non-horror work. It's sad that he's not better-known than he is, because he is incredibly good.

"The Weasel Bride" by Tanith Lee is my husband's answer. I just get a laugh from what a perfectly-constructed little string of fireworks it is, and how beautifully it works, but it didn't bite me the same way it bit him.

Edited to add a link to That Story.

Edited at 2012-03-10 11:35 am (UTC)
Mar. 10th, 2012 08:17 pm (UTC)
Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" still creeps me out, and it's probably been...oh, fifteen years since I read it. Which isn't a terribly long time, given I'm 30 now, but to spend half my life haunted from time to time by a story I've only read once or twice is, I suppose, significant.
Mar. 11th, 2012 01:03 am (UTC)
To this day, Stephen King's "Pet Cemetery". Just for the passage of when he went to dig up his little boy's body. The vivid description of the moss, the sound when he took the cotton from his mouth...

I find that passages stay with me more than overall books. If the image the writer paints is vivid enough and hits the right chord, it will haunt you forever.
Mar. 11th, 2012 01:43 am (UTC)
All My Darling Daughters by Connie Willis. I threw the book across the room after I finished it. I still get ill thinking about it. And I LOVE Ms Willis. But still.

If you google it, there's a PDF, so you too can want to throw the book - or your computer - across the room.
Mar. 11th, 2012 05:54 am (UTC)
Wow, I'd almost forgotten that one... And yet, as soon as I saw the title here, it was there, standing out incredibly vividly in my mind, so I'm not sure it's astory anyone ever really forgets.

I think one of the things that made it so effective was that had such a flippant tone initially, and seemed like it was going to be at least somewhat humorous, but then instead veered into incredibly disturbing territory. So the contrast between where it seemed like it was going and where it did go was a big part of what made it so upsetting to read.
Mar. 11th, 2012 06:07 am (UTC)
When I was in my early teens, I read Stephen King's Night Shift anthology, which was probably a huge mistake, given that I had trouble with anxiety and panic attacks and such even before reading it. I remember several of the stories in it being spectacular nightmare fuel, at least for me at the time, but the one that got me the worst was definitely "The Boogeyman". I don't think I ever managed to get to sleep with the closet door open again until I was 40 or thereabouts.

Another one that really got me when I read it, even though it was much later, was Lovecraft's "The Rats in the Walls". It's strange, because most of his stuff I don't find all that horrifying, and I often tend to read it more for the camp value than anything. But that particular one - I think I nearly dropped the book in shock at one point, and I'm pretty sure I did swear aloud..
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )