Category Archives: Books

TFO’s Top 3 Favorite Supernatural Series

Do you love to read?  I do.  I love curling up with a good book, a nice cup of tea, and a blanket and just getting lost in my imagination.  And, of course, being who I am, my favorite books are scary or related to the supernatural.  Also, I really enjoy getting to know certain characters and revisiting my “friends” from time to time, so finding a good series is very important to me.

Here are my top 3 favorite supernatural series

3.  Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series

You might already be pretty familiar with this series from its TV adaptation, True Blood, starring Anna Paquin.  The show is good, but it really strayed from the source material.  So if you have already seen the show, don’t worry.  You can still enjoy the books.

They’re so much fun, and Sookie is such an endearing heroine.  Vampires take center stage in this series, and her interactions with the various vampires around her, as well as with other supernatural creatures, are sexy, harrowing, and sometimes hilarious.

2. Kim Harrison’s Hollows series

Rachel Morgan is the star of this series.  She’s a sassy witch in the post-Turn U.S. where vampires, werewolves, witches, demons, fairies, and other supernatural creatures have come out of hiding after a semi-apocalyptic event takes out much of the human race.

Rachel and her partners Ivy (a vampire) and Jenks (a pixy) tackle many obstacles in their quest to make their own place in the world.

1. Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series

Anita Blake is a badass.  I met her in high school after stumbling upon “The Laughing Corpse,” the second book of the series, in the public library.  After wearing out the library’s copy, I found out that the series was still going on, and that’s all she wrote (except obviously not).

Anita is an animator, or zombie raiser, that interacts frequently with other supernatural creatures, including vampires and werewolves.  I say “interacts,” but it’s so much more than that.  Just read them. You’ll be glad you did.

Throwback: R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps

What kid didn’t love the Goosebumps series as a kid?  I was 8 years old when the first book in the series, Welcome to Dead House, was released in 1992, so I was a prime target for these things.  Scary but not too scary, funny, and thrilling, these books had it all for a young kid with a love of the creepy.


20160618_133809_HDRMy favorites were Return of the Mummy, Say Cheese and Die!, One Day at Horrorland, The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, and – of course – Night of the Living Dummy.


Every time I think of Goosebumps, I think of the cover with the creepy ventriloquist dummy.  Not the one pictured above, but the original.  I wanted a dummy so badly after I read that story.  Sadly, I never got one, but it’s okay.  I don’t know what I would have done if it had come to life anyway.

After reading a little bit about the newer parts of the series, I realize I grew out of them way earlier than I thought.  I guess I transitioned to Stine’s Fear Street series and forgot about good ol’ Goosebumps.  I feel like I need to go back and read some more.  I hear the Goosebumps movie was really fun, but I haven’t been able to watch it yet.  It’s on my list of things to do.

It’s amazing how many different versions of Goosebumps there are now.  I was surprised to see the variety after I took a quick peek at the selection of our local bookstore.  Just look at these:



They’ve got the HorrorLand series, Goosebumps Gold, Goosebumps Most Wanted, Goosebumps, Hall of Horrors, and the classic Goosebumps books.  Of course, there are also movie tie-in books, but since I haven’t seen the movie, I’m not sure how cool they’d be.

If you have children of your own that are in the right age range for these, I’d recommend getting them to read these books now.  Reading is important for any age, and I think these books are fun enough to get any kid interested.

Frightmaster Lovecraft, Spinnin’ Terror

It’s Friday again, and if you’re looking for a way to start your weekend off with a fright, then I suggest you look into the works of H.P. Lovecraft.


Even if you haven’t read any of Lovecraft’s stories, you are still sure to have read, heard, or watched something that was influenced by him.  Multiple musicians, directors, comic book artists, and authors (including the master of horror himself, Stephen King) have cited Lovecraft as a huge inspiration in their work.

And for all you Evil Dead fans (myself included), you know the Necronomicon?  Yeah.  He invented that.  Respect.

Now, if you’re looking for light reading, this ain’t it.  His stories boast some of the heaviest content I have ever read.  Thinking about the size of the universe and your place in it can make you feel small, but Lovecraft’s descriptions of our place in the galaxy, the origins of our ancestors, and ancient inhabitants of our planet make you feel positively microscopic.


It’s not feel-good material is what I’m saying.  It’s just good.  Really good.

My favorites of his stories are “At the Mountains of Madness,” “Dreams in the Witch House,” “The Dunwich Horror,” “The Shunned House,” and, of course, “The Call of Cthulhu.”


It’s about this guy, but scarier.

I suggest you start with all of those and keep going.

Not much of a reader?  No problem.  Check out the following movies and TV episodes based on or influenced by his work:

  • Re-Animator (1985): This horror-comedy based on Lovecraft’s story “Herbert West – Re-Animator” is gory, disturbing, and hilarious.
  • Masters of Horror – “Dreams in the Witch House” (2005):  The second episode of this awesome series (check it out if you haven’t already) is directly taken from the story of the same name.  It’s dark and creepy, and it’s one of my favorites.
  • South Park – “Coon 2: Hindsight,” “Mysterion Rises,” & “Coon vs. Coon & Friends” (2010): Trouble begins in the first episode of this trilogy when DP drills too deep into the ocean floor and releases Cthulhu from the watery depths.  Of course, Cartman is there to make friends.  If you love to laugh, this will not disappoint.
  • The Thing (1982): Although it isn’t actually based on the story, this movie is reminiscent of “At the Mountains of Madness,” one of my all-time favorite Lovecraft stories.  Antarctica? Check.  Doom? Check. Gloom? Check. Creepy Alien Lifeforms? Check.

I believe I’ll take my own advice and re-read some of my favorite stories over this long weekend.  What about you?  Do you have any favorites?  What Lovecraftian horrors give you the chills?

Throwback: Chilling Children’s Stories

Slumber parties. Sleepovers. Campouts. When a group of children gather, it’s just a matter of time before scary stories are told.

Some of my best memories are of ghost stories told in whispers at sleepovers after all the adults had gone to bed.   So for this Throwback Thursday post, let’s talk about the books and stories that fueled the fire.

In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories


This book was my first introduction to reading horror stories.  My mom would take my sister and me to the public library for their summer reading program, and we always wanted to check out this book.

Like most children’s books, the stories are short and simple.  But although it’s written for kids, the content is chilling even today.  It’s full of tales taken from folklore of various cultures.  The illustrations set the tone of the book with a little bit of humor and just the right amount of creepiness.

The story that stands out most to me is the one about the girl who wore a ribbon around her neck. Spoiler alert: her husband removes it on her deathbed, and her head falls off. As a kid, I loved that one.

The Scariest Stories You’ve Ever Heard


I snagged these at book fairs in elementary school and brought them with me to every sleepover.  My love of urban legends came from these books, which were directed at a younger audience but were still full of dark and scary content.

The call is coming from inside the house!” Yep. The first time I ever heard or read these words was from the first book in this series.  I remember the first time I read about the hook hand and the one about the boyfriend who is hung over his car while his girlfriend waits inside, listening to the scratch, scratch, scratch of his feet above.

Good times.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark


Oooooohhhhh, man.  Lets talk about the big daddy of them all.  If you’re in your mid-20s to mid-30s and had even a slight interest in scary stories as a kid, you KNOW these books.  They’re still favorites of mine today.  Quirky, creepy, gross, and sometimes funny – how could you not love this stuff?

And let’s talk about the thing that elevated this from just another scary book to an unforgettable experience – Stephen Gammell’s horrifying illustrations.  Even if you can’t remember a specific story, I know you can remember the pictures. The one with the rotting ghost woman is the lock screen on my phone.  If my husband wouldn’t object, I’d display his art in my house.  Just sayin’. I LOVE IT.   The books are still around today, but the drawings have been replaced by those that are considered “kid friendly” instead.  I feel sorry for children today that won’t have the opportunity to get freaked out by these things.

So what about you? Are there any creepy books from your childhood that you miss?

It Begins

I am a horror fan.  If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you are, too.

I started this blog because I love to write, and as the saying goes, write what you know.  I love scary movies, scary books, creepy history, horror survival video games, urban legends, cryptozoology, haunted houses, creepy crafts, and – most importantly (to me anyway) – Halloween.  I also collect anything with a skull on it and keep a skeleton in my backseat.  No, it’s not a statement on the importance of wearing seatbelts.  It just makes me smile.  And it gives me someone to talk to when I’m driving alone.

So, basically, I live and breathe horror. It’s what I love. It’s what I know.

I plan on posting at least twice a week to start. But who knows?  Mr. Muse could attack at any moment.  My topics will include:

Movie Reviews: Um, yeah.  It’s a horror blog.  What did you expect?

Halloween: So I’m a little obsessed with Halloween.  I plan for it all year long.  I’ll review local haunted houses, Halloween merchandise, special events, and any other Halloween-related topics that might pop up.

Lists: I’m pretty OCD (self-diagnosed), so lists are one of my favorite things. What kinds of lists, you may ask?  One day I might rank my favorite zombie movies and then post a list of my favorite creepy video game villains the next.

DIY Creepy Crafts:  I love being creative, and because my love of all things horror-related is pretty severe, I do a lot of creepy little crafts.  One of my biggest projects is a haunted dollhouse (that used to have its own blog – very short-lived).  I’ll post updates and pictures of the dollhouse as well as Halloween projects I’m working on.

Other Topics: I’ll also discuss creepy history, scary websites, video games, books, cryptozoology, urban legends, etc…  I get distracted easily, so I don’t want to limit myself to one subject.

I’m excited to get started.  I hope you enjoy my blog!