Hello, horror fans.
Reading and watching horror films are two of my favourite things. But as an adult, I have rarely picked up a horror novel. I enjoy the ghost stories of man-of-mystery Ambrose Bierce and am still haunted by the psychological tales of the wonderful Shirley Jackson, but I’m ambivalent about more modern offerings from undoubtedly excellent writers such as Stephen King or Clive Barker. I was pondering this anomaly last year when I started to think about how much I adored Point Horror books as a pre-teen. In the school holidays I would borrow a stack from the library every Tuesday and power through them, sometimes in a single sitting, and revel in 90’s Americana and tweenie-friendly violence. But at some point (probably around 1998 when I saw Scream for the first time) I abandoned the franchise for bigger thrills and never looked back. Until now.
Having a sudden, nostalgic longing to read a Point Horror again, I ordered a battered, second hand copy of The Cheerleader by Caroline B. Cooney. It was the first Point Horror I remember reading and one of my favourites back then. Even the blood-stained sneaker and pompom on the front cover gave me a pleasant tingle of remembrance. The pages smelled the same as those old library copies. Actually, the same as all Point Horrors – a heady, slightly smoky perfume which evoked happy memories of being curled up in bed, not wanting to stop reading, and nodding off with my face in the book keeping my page.
I was hooked. Since then, I have been on a mission to read all of the Point Horror books published in the UK. A few months ago, I started to review them and you can read my reviews on the Blog page. You may not have the time, or the inclination, to rediscover these books by reading them, but perhaps my notes can help you to remember your old favourites, and recall whatever pleasure they brought you too.