Halloween is on the horizon, and for many of us that means binge watching and reading all the scary stories that we can get our hands on! To help you get in the spirit we asked young adult thriller and horror authors Rin Chupeco, Natalie Richards, Patty Blount, and Allan Stratton to share their biggest childhood fears. Prepare for spine tingles!
Rin Chupeco (The Suffering)
I absolutely hate cockroaches. I have an illogical fear of them. I have stampeded over people in my bid to get away from them. Even the tiniest ones send me fleeing, and I can never stay in the room when they’re around, much less muster up the nerve to kill them. (I slew one once by lobbing a really thick encyclopedia on top of it, and then getting my dad to take it away and clean the book cover. Said dad is also a prankster, and has been known to lob a fake toy roach at me on occasion, which has done nothing to curb my phobia.)
Let’s not even talk about the lengths I do to avoid the flying ones.
Natalie Richards (My Secret to Tell):
I had a lot of childhood fears and some of them I had for very good reason. I wasn’t crazy about the dark. I didn’t like being alone. I had nightmares. Blah, blah, blah. Everyone has one of those stories. What we should talk about is my really weird fear.
I was terrified of being aware in the middle of a dream and not being able to wake up.
I slept like absolute crap as a kid, always up late, staring at the ceiling wondering if sleep would ever come. When I did sleep, I generally made a terrible show of it, tossing and turning and waking up a lot.
Sometimes I’d be half-awake in the middle of a dream. Usually it would be a scary one with some faceless, dark thing chasing me—and of course, I wouldn’t be able to wake up. On the worst occasion, I remember distinctly being asleep and totally aware that I was asleep—I could feel my body, yo. CREEPY. I was convinced that someone was in my room, near my window, but I couldn’t wake up.
There’s actually a term for it—sleep paralysis, I think. But it scared me so much, sometimes I’d be like those teens in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, desperate to stay awake no matter what. To be perfectly honest, this is a fear that haunts me to this day. I might even wind up writing a little something about it. 😉
Patty Blount (Nothing Left to Burn)
I was terrified of fire. Ironic I’d write a novel about firefighting, right? I’d seen a movie called The Towering Inferno when I was about 12 that completely wrecked me.
Allan Stratton (The Dogs)
My biggest childhood fear was being buried alive.
When I was young, car trunks could only be opened from the outside. Sometimes kids would play in one, it would shut, and they’d die. Our parents had to warn us about it, like not running into traffic.
Well, one day, my friends and I had the brilliant idea to take turns getting locked inside. We would run around the house and come back and let each other out.
My turn came. The trunk closed shut. I was trapped in the dark. The laughter faded as my friends ran off. Where were they? Why weren’t they back? Had they forgotten about me?
I banged and shouted. Nothing. It was hot. I couldn’t breathe. It was like being in a metal coffin. And then I heard their laughter and they opened the trunk and let me out.
Ever since, I’ve had that fear. It’s why I’ve decided to be cremated. Only my new fear is: What if I’m not really dead? What if I’ve had a stroke and can’t move or communicate? What if I’m in the box, trying to scream, and nothing comes out, and they flick the switch, and I’m burned alive!
RAFFLECOPTER LINK TO #THRILLS&CHILLS Prize Pack featuring titles from Rin Chupeco, Natalie Richards, Patty Blount, and Allan Stratton: