I’ve never been one to enjoy being scared on purpose. I don’t watch horror movies, relish psychological thrillers, or visit haunted houses.
Occasionally, however, on a long fall evening, I will curl up with a book that matches the season; or while out on a late-evening walk, I will listen to something that will creep me out–but only a little.
If you like to cover similar emotional territory, you’ve come to the right place.
I’ve been keeping a list for people like us.
Here’s the update.
Bird Box, by Josh Malerman
The author had me right where he wanted me, held captive with nothing but my fear of the unknown propelling me forward. I think I read it in a day, finishing during dinner just before it got dark.
Wildfell, by London Clarke
Creepy Gothic suspense with a modern twist. Romance, travel feels, and things that go bump in the night. Yes, please.
11/22/63, by Stephen King
This isn’t the only Stephen King book I’ve read (his book On Writing is excellent) but it was the first, largely because I was told it “wasn’t too scary.” And it really wasn’t. Just super intense and psychologically twisty. Because…Stephen King.
The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova
This is not only a vampire book for people who aren’t into vampire books, but it’s also a creepy book for people who can’t handle creepy books. If that sounds like you, go for it.
Lore, hosted by Aaron Mahnke
I actually gave this one up recently because it started scaring me too badly when I was out running in the early morning or late evening. If I only listened to podcasts from the safety of my home, though, I’d probably still be hooked.
Dr. Death, reported by Laura Beil
Fair warning: this is real life. You may find yourself avoiding medical care after listening to this one.
Happy Face, produced by HowStuffWorks with Melissa Moore
In 1995, Melissa Moore learned that her father was the Happy Face Killer. In this podcast, she reviews her childhood and adolescence, analyzing her life through the lens of this knowledge, understanding her past in a new way. It’s early days still (I’ve only listened up through Episode 3) but can already attest that it’s gripping.
Individual Podcast Episodes
From Stuff You Missed in History: “The Hagley Woods Murder”
Truth is always creepier than fiction. I mean…who did put Bella in the witch elm?
From This American Life: “House on Loon Lake”
Enjoy shivering your way through this account of one man’s lifelong obsession with an abandoned house. I first listened while road-tripping home in the middle of the night during a thunderstorm. Perfectly creepy conditions.
From Criminal: “A Bump in the Night”
What would you do if you realized someone was living in the crawl space above your bedroom…and that he might be in the house right now…? As a single woman who lives mostly alone, I found this true story almost too much to handle.
From Fictional: “Give Him a Hand”
A creeptastic modern retelling of the classic short story “The Monkey’s Paw.” I first listened one blustery night as I walked through my neighborhood at dusk. Palm branches flailed against low clouds and raindrops dribbled down the back of my neck as I shivered my way through this. I was never happier to get back to the house.
Are you the type who can only handle being moderately creeped out? If so, and you give any of these recommendations a try, do let me know how everything works out. I want all the shivery details.
Also, let me know what my lists are missing! I look forward to hearing your suggestions in the comments below. Remember, only medium creepy suggestions.
Happy October! While the majority of North Americans are enjoying sweaters, scarves, and pumpkin spice coffees, we here in Florida are still just sweating it out, dealing with soaring temperatures and tropical storms.
Whatever the weather, the days are getting shorter, both in terms of daylight and the number of squares left on the calendar in 2018.
Two important notes:
- This week my debut novel Collapsible is enjoying a publisher’s discount on all major e-book distribution channels, including Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and Kobo. From now until October 17, 2018, the e-book is just $.99–spread the word and snap it up!
- Very soon, I’ll be sending out my fall update. It will include news about my writing life, publication updates, planned appearances, and some personal stuff. Be sure you’re signed up so that you don’t miss out.
Happy Monday, everyone! May all your sweaters be cozy, your apple-picking delightful, and your favorite seasonal blend brewed to perfection.
5 thoughts on “For Those Who Can Only Handle Being Moderately Creeped Out (2018 Update)”
I agree with 11/22/63. Most of King’s books I’ve read fall in the “too creepy” category. Although his Dark Tower series isn’t bad.
I’ll have to check these other things out, particularly the podcasts. Thanks!
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I’ve gotten lots of recommendations for the Dark Tower series. I’m thinking about checking it out! The last King I read was The Stand, and I didn’t like it AT ALL.
You know I agree with Bird Box! As someone who can only handle scary to a certain, lowish level, that book took me right to the edge and really, it was my brain that took me there, that book just pointed me down the right path.
I LOVE this list because I do like the moderately scary but that’s SO hard to find out there in Internetville without being inundated with gore and top level heart attacks-inducing haunts. Thank you!
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LOL, if you listen to any of these podcasts, please send me your reactions in real time. I’m chuckling with anticipation.
Ha! Okay, I will! I’ve got a big project today through Wednesday and so I’ve planned no work for Thursday or Friday, so I plan on it then!