Queen of the Banned

Happy All Hallow’s Eve, folks. To some this is a night to wander the neighborhood with a candy-filled swagbag and scare the crap out of your friends, to others it’s a chance to find the sexual potential in even the most mundane professions and objects, and to others still it is a night when the spirits walk among us as the veil between our world and the world beyond blurs. Whatever it is to you, monsters in the closet, creatures that go bump in the night, and primal fears that still make your hair stand up on the back of your neck likely play some kind of factor (be it in earnest, nostalgia, or mere party theme).

Horror, paranormal, and supernatural elements are a frequent cause for book challenges, whether they ruffle religious feathers, are deemed too frightening for children, or their sexual/violent content is deemed too frightening for parents. Thus, I’d like to take a moment to celebrate horror in all its forms.

For starters, check out the Tumblr IF IT WERE STINE, which reimagines horror movie classics as Goosebumps books, complete with iconic covers and a side of camp. You can find the Carrie one here, but check out the archive to see everything from Fright Night to The Shining to Let the Right One In to American Horror Story. They even have Tremors, in case the actual Tremors wasn’t campy enough for you.

This week also marks the 75th anniversary of the infamous 1938 radio broadcast of H. G. Wells’s War of the Worlds that caused a mass panic and actually led to some listeners committing suicide. For an excellent explanation of what happened, I recommend the episode of Days That Shook the World about it or the surprisingly intelligent Hey Arnold! Halloween special spoofing it. A special anniversary event introduced by George Takei also aired on certain radio stations yesterday so you could track that down if you have half a mind to.

In case neither of those quench your hunger for the harrowing, here’s a round-up of Bound and Gagged’s best horror, paranormal, and occult-related reviews and posts. And, as always, your thoughts are welcome. Have any thoughts on banned horror classics, favorite horror movies, or even a ghost story you want to share?

Enjoy your revels tonight, my friends. Happy Samhain.


Further Reading:

Banned Books to Read in the Dark – Review of Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories series

Parents, You Choose the Scare – Review of R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps series

Wolf In Book’s Clothing – Bram Stoker, Dracula, and why horror frightens us (and the censors)

Feared Legacy, Legacy of Fear – J. K. Rowling, Maurice Sendak, and why fear writes the best children’s books

Ixnay on the Atinlay – Exorcism, Harry Potter, and Bridge to Terabithia

Banned Books Week – A history of the Comics Code Authority and its crackdown on horror

Monsters in the Closet – The Carrie remake and bullying

Snow White, Rose Red – Review of Stephen King’s Carrie

Which is Sweeter? Blood or Chocolate? – Review of Annette Curtis Klause’s Blood and Chocolate

Chronicle of Days of High School Past – Review of the 1976 Carrie film adaptation


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About boundandgaggedbooks

Shannon is a freelance writer and folklore buff. She has a degree from Hampshire College in Creative Writing/Mythology & Religion, with an emphasis on epic/oral traditions, their anthropological implications, and their modern counterparts. Her work can be found in Fabulously Feminist, Wolf Wariors: The National Wolfwatcher Coalition Anthology, The Concord Monitor, Redhead Magazine, and The Climax.

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