Oh Vanessa, what are you asking of me today? My favourite "scary" book...
I was scared of a lot of things as a child. A psychiatrist would probably have a field day if I started.
I think the explanation for many of my fears is probably very simple but I can only remember one book that really frightened me. It was a picture book. It had some sort of animal on the front - not exactly a teddy bear but something rather more sinister - and the animal had eyes that glowed in the dark.
I did not see those eyes as friendly. They terrified me. The book must have been given to me by my maternal grandparents. I say this because it is the sort of thing that would have appealed to my maternal grandmother. She would have thought the eyes were fun and that I would like them. I cannot remember what the book was called but I know I eventually sat on my father's lap and watched the book burn. It is the one and only time I have seen my father deliberately destroy a book. It solved my fear of the book. My maternal grandmother was not pleased.
My paternal grandparents gave me books like Peter Rabbit - which is just the tiniest bit scary. Would he escape from Mr McGregor? The Story About Ping was a little bit scary too - would he find his way back to the boat?
As I got older I think any book where a child was abandoned, left behind, lost or otherwise found themselves alone bothered me a bit. I wonder now how I would have coped with something like Colin Thiele's "February Dragon" or Jill Paton Walsh's "The Dolphin Crossing". I read "The Diary of Anne Frank" and Morris West's "Children of the Sun" when I was about ten - and found them deeply disturbing. I suppose they "scared" me.
But I don't read horror stories. I can't be bothered. I don't want to be "scared" like that. What was the name of that story by Ray Bradbury with the evil child in it? Was it "The Small Assassin"?
I don't think I want to remember.