There is a great Blogtober suggestion list over at Owl Book World, and I thought I’d stick with the suggestion for Day 8: Creepy Covers! Usually for covers I look through my read books, but for these I’m going to try and remember some of the covers over the years that have truly got under my skin.
Night of the Living Dummy by R.L. Stine
Starting here with a classic. I am pretty sure that whatever caused my deep seated fear of dolls and dummies stems from Slappy, because it’s the exact type of dummy in Slappy that sends chills down my spine, no matter the context. My brother was also big into Goosebumps – great for me once I started getting into them, not so great when you’re so young covers manage to really scare you! Slappy is terrifying, like all ventriloquist dummies and China dolls. I never actually read this one, but all the covers for it are terrifying.
Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews
There’s something truly under-the-skin creepy about the giant head peering out from the attic here. There was a huge selection of Andrews novels at the library near the teen section when I was younger, and most of them had creepy covers, but this one stands out, and that’s even before you realise what the novel is really about. (To be fair, I stopped reading it before even getting to the incest bit – I was just really bored! Way too young to have picked this up)
I admit, I haven’t actually read any Jack Ketchum, and I’m on the fence about whether I want to or not, but one thing is for sure – I don’t want that cover in my house! It’s just creepy enough to draw you in and possibly give you nightmares, in the way older books excel at. Seriously, why did we stop with the pulp covers? They’re terrifying! In the absolute best way!
Special mentions go to pretty much all 80s pulp horror covers, truly – but especially if they feature children or dolls. There’s a reason these covers tend to be so iconic and memorable, and most books which mimic them now tend to give you an instantly solid idea of what the books are about, and where the inspiration came from. Honestly, just look up 80s pulp horror novels on Google for a whole load more.
And of course – what’s your favourite creepy cover? Do you like creepy covers, or do you find them more off-putting than anything else?