The First Horror Books I ever read – what’s yours?

The First Horror Books I ever read – what’s yours?

I traced my memory back to the first ghost story/horror book I had ever purchased and read by myself. I got it at my grammar school’s Scholastic Book Fair in 4th grade.

Arrow Book of Ghost Stories Arrow book of ghost stories back cover

I recently repurchased this book, found it used on Amazon and I just had to have it.

I bought another one in 5th grade:

Arrow Book of Spooky Stories

Shortly after, I went on to more serious reading (age 11) with this gem, 50 Great Ghost Stories – edited by John Canning. It was my Mom’s book but I took it and read it front to back. It was not standard fiction, it was more like a recounting of urban legends and rumored ‘true’ ghost tales. I followed that with 50 Great Horror Stories.

50 great ghost stories 50great

The next book I read was also my Mom’s. ‘Interrupted Journey’ was ‘a real life acount’ about Bettie and Barney Hill who were abducted by aliens during a long road trip.

inerrupedjourney1 the hobbit 1

When I was in High School, The Hobbit was very popular. They had just released the 1978 English edition. I remember buying it but don’t think I finished reading it.

By the time I was 14, I had discovered Stephen King and read all the books he had published up until that date but one, starting with these three. The Shining was first, followed by Night Shift and The Stand. I didn’t read Carrie (his 1st published book) until many years later.

the shining Stephen-King-Night-Shift stand-cover

The next wave of books included Barker, Anson, and several others.

Clive Barker books of blood in the flesh amityville horror - jay anson
Jay Anson - 666 the_keep Wheatly

So, what were the first few horror books you had purchased and read?

25 thoughts on “The First Horror Books I ever read – what’s yours?

  1. I think the first books I read that had anything to do with horror was the Three Investigators Series. It was an older Mystery series similar to the Hardy Boys but with the Alfred Hitchcock name tagged onto it. Jupiter “Jupe” Jones, Peter “Pete” Crenshaw and Robert “Bob” Andrews. Pretty cool stuff and a little scary at the time.

  2. I didn’t read ‘proper’ horror novels until quite recently, I have a pretty big collection of Stephen King books (which I’ve not got around to reading yet) when I was a kid I used to read the Goosebumps books all the time haha xD not that they can really be called horror!

  3. Never was a horror book fan. I think I read a few Goosebumps novels then it was the classics, Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Those peaked my interest a bit more and I think what pulled me into horror was a the Chinese horror thrillers by Taiwanese author Giddens Ko. It was just so sick and twisted…

      • Agreed. However, the movie has gained a pretty big cult following. I think stylistically and aesthetically it is nice to look at but it had more problems than it had good things going for it. I admire Mann’s vision but it did fall very short. The novel is just so much more dynamic and profound. I did enjoy Tangerine Dream’s score even though it didn’t always seem to fit the movie.

      • Yeah, I’ve been trying to get the movie but can’t find it at a decent price – you nailed it on the head, its not as dynamic. I think Tangerine Dream scored a few films around that time. I forgot all about them 🙂

      • “The Keep” was on Netflix Streaming for a while but I’m not sure if it is still available. Many fans of the movie are hoping to see a director’s cut but I don’t think it will happen. Mann really dislikes the film. But who knows? Never say never. TD had scored “Firestarter” and “Legend” around that time I believe.

  4. I think I read some Alfred Hitchcock collection books when I was 10-11 and I remember the book cover being cooler than the stories. I eventually read Poe, King and others. I’ve always read more sci-fi though for books I think it general I am able to to picture sci-fi better than horror.

    • A lot of people read those Alfred Hitchcock collections when they were young. As far as Sci-fi, I remember reading quite a few Ray Bradbury short stories but don’t remember from what book.

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