Six For Sunday | Scary Characters

Six for Sunday is a weekly book meme run by Steph at A Little but a Lot, and this week we’re doing scary characters! Here are six characters who give me the heebies.

Jack Torrance – The Shining

The character of Jack Torrance is one of the main reasons I couldn’t enjoy watching the movie adaptation of The Shining. He’s a weird sinister dude in the movie from the start, but the book is much more focused on his descent into madness and it’s SO unsettling.

Craddock James McDermott – Heart-Shaped Box

The beauty of Heart-Shaped Box is that it taps into the most relatable scare of all and uses it to great effect: the horrible, sick feeling that you’re going to walk into a dark room in your house and encounter something malevolent and horrifying.

In this case Joe Hill has created a genuinely creepy ghost to fill that role, so every time I went downstairs to check the heating after reading at night I had to sing “If You’re Happy and You Know It” to ward off my terror.

Cujo – Cujo

Cujo is scary for one main reason: he’s a horror character that you could conceivably meet. Ghosts and zombies and vampires are far-fetched enough to be scary but “safe”, in a way, but Cujo is a rabid dog trapping a family in their car, and the everyday realness of the character – if not the situation – is what makes it so terrifying.

Mrs. Danvers – Rebecca

Rebecca technically isn’t a horror novel, but Mrs. Danvers gives me the fear, the creepy Rebecca-stan that she is. There’s something uniquely unnerving about an obsessed housekeeper who tries to convince people to jump out of windows.

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille – Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Grenouille is creepy rather than outright scary, but he still makes me feel incredibly uneasy when I read about him. Now that I’ve got a baby the idea of one having absolutely no inherent scene whatsoever makes me skin crawl a bit.

And that’s not even starting on the murder and making perfume out of virgins.

Whatever The Fuck Is Going On In The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty

Okay I haven’t read this book, but the film traumatised me so much at the age of fourteen (why was I watching it at the age of fourteen?!) that it’s only recently I’ve been able to actually say the name of it without breaking into a sweat. I had panic attacks when I heard Tubular Bells. I don’t even know what sort of nasty is floating around in Regan MacNeill’s head, but I’m never going to find out because I’m not touching this book. Ever.


What characters creep you out? Have you read the ones I’ve mentioned? Let me know!

Classic Horror Books I’ve Never Read

For someone who’s into books and did an undergraduate degree where there was an entire module on gothic literature (I was a terrible student) I’ve read a frighteningly low (hah) number of classics when it comes to horror. Here’s a list of spooky stories I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t picked up.

Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

I’m actually embarrassed to admit I’ve never read Frankenstein. Goth queen Mary Shelley, feminist icon, creator of science-fiction.

I think I actually OWN a copy of this book somewhere and I’ve never read it. I am mortified.

The Turn of the Screw – Henry James

Aside from having the coolest name for a novel that I can think of, this contains one of my major creepy-no-nos: freaky little children. I can’t wait to read this and spend the whole thing whispering “absolutely not, you creepy little bastards”.

The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson

Pretty much THE seminal “haunted house” story, and nothing simultaneously thrills me and makes me rack up a huge electricity bill from turning lights on like a haunted house story.

The Fall Of The House of Usher – Edgar Allan Poe

Okay, I actually read a bit of this in uni – enough for me to know it’s really cool and spooky – but I’ve never gone back to it even though I know I enjoyed the bit I read. Bumping up my TBR in an attempt to rectify this.

Literally anything by HP Lovecraft

HP Lovecraft is a horrible racist, but before I discovered he was a horrible racist I bought an enormous shiny hardback collection of his work (pictured) purely because I liked the front cover. (It is a really nice cover, in fairness.) I have never opened it.

And yes, I KNOW what his cat’s called. I DIDN’T WHEN I BOUGHT THE BOOK.

The Monkey’s Paw – W.W. Jacobs

I keep seeing memes about the monkey’s paw curling a single finger and every time it reminds me that I haven’t read this book yet. Honestly I think I might just to fully appreciate them.


Have you read these? Are they good? Which should I read first? Are you as mortified for me as I am for myself? Chuck me a comment and let me know/berate me.