Monday, June 11, 2012

Revisiting childhood- the scariest story

I will freely admit to being a complete chicken as a kid.  Everything made me anxious, so I rarely watched movies that were the least bit scary or read books that creeped me out.  "Gremlins" made permanent mark on my psyche- I'm still afraid to step on manhole covers.  "Labyrinth" gave me nightmares, and I still remember the two scariest books I read in elementary school: Bunnicula and Wait Till Helen Comes.

I've been revisiting the books of my childhood now that my son is old enough to read on his own. He likes to discuss books that we've both read, and so my husband and I try to read at least a few of his choices.  As a result, I've read a few kids' book this year (How to Train Your Dragon, The Chronicles of Prydain, Ghosts I've Been, and Number the Stars).  Saturday, at the library, I picked up Wait Till Helen Comes to read with my son.  It scared me to death as a kid, and I'm curious about whether or not it can still make my skin crawl.  I also think my son might like it. From what I remember, it's a more modern Gothic ghost story focused on a family living in an old church.  It also includes a blended family, which when I was growing up, wasn't a typical family portrayal (I had a blended family and it was sometimes frustrating to read so many books with loving, "normal" families).

Have you revisited any of the things that scared you as a child?  Do you find that these things still shape you, or can you laugh at your childish fear?  When you read or watch things from your childhood, does it awaken nostalgia, or do you see the layers of meanings that you missed as a kid?  I'd love to know what books really affected your childhood, good or bad.

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