This cover creeps me out

I never thought I’d say this, but the cover of A Certain Slant of Light creeps me out. Another way of saying it is: this cover scares the crap out of me! Guys, I’m serious. I’m not even trying to be sarcastic.

I currently have this book faced down on my TBR stack, buried under harmless covers such as The Goose Girl. I’m even contemplating not reading it because a) I have a very active imagination b) do I really want some macabre image of a tripped-out Ophelia lurking around my head when I use the bathroom in the middle of the night and hear a drip in the bathtub?

The cover art seemed harmless enough when I checked it out. Just a girl taking a bath, right? Ironic this book is titled A Certain Slant of Light because if you look closely, it appears to be some girl with lackluster hair drowning herself in the bathtub. And let’s not mention that unsettling gauzy white nightgown in her hands. Oh yeah, and the chipped Victorian-era bathtub doesn’t help alleviate the chill factor.

A while back, I posted on how I use to be a big horror fiction fan. But I seemed to have forgotten that I’ll have these twisted, macabre images circulating in my head for years! Everything is fine during the day, but on nights when I have trouble sleeping, these images tend to seep out of my head like some ghostly smoke and merge with the shadows on my wall.

So to anyone who has read A Certain Slant of Light, please tell me that the content is not as creepy as the cover art. Should I give it a chance? Yea or Nay?

And while I’m on the topic of macabre subject matter, here are a list of things that also scare the living crap out of me.

Don’t get any ideas and send me the following in the mail!

  • Creepy Historical Eras.
    • Puritan Era, 17th century. I’ve always thought Puritans were scary. Their solemn clothes, fanatical beliefs, stockades, and witch hunts chill me to the bone. Imagine if you woke up and saw a Puritan looking down at you, tell me if you don’t pee your pants then!
    • Victorian Era, 19th century. I think a lot of the creep factor has to do with their dour clothing and solemn sepia portraits. Oh yeah, they also prop up the dead and dress them up for pictures in a freaky practice called Victorian post-mortem photography. An image search on Google produces some disturbing photos which, for your sake and more for my sake, I will not post up.
  • Glassy-eyed dolls and marionettes. Glassy-eyed dolls give the impression that they can come to life at any moment and call you “Mommy.” They are always watching! Marionettes dangle around like a hanged man. They also have that wide, grotesque painted mouth that looks like a smile, but is really a sneer. These toys just look evil.
  • Children singing demented nursery rhymes in the middle of the night. “Ring around the Rosy.” (Not that I’ve ever been scared witless by a demon child, but I’ve seen it in movies…)
  • Jack-in-the-box. Okay, what kind of sick sick sicko invented this toy? Do you think it’s funny to have some psycho clown jump out at you and take out an eye?
  • Clowns. I can’t get near clowns. I’ve always thought they were psycho killers in disguise. Their big red mouths remind me of the portal to hell! Get the <insert F word> away from me Bozo!
  • Historical houses. I always want to live in an old Victorian mansion or an English manor house. That’s my line of thinking during the day. Imagine the terror if you were to stay in one overnight, what with the stuffy old house smells and the ancestral portraits of unsmiling dead people…
  • Remarkably, only two movies scare me.
    • The Sixth Sense
    • The Others

I believe that’s all I can think of for now. I’m sure my next insomniac night will produce more bullet points. If I keep thinking along these lines, I may grow up to be the next Stephen King or Edgar Allen Poe…

Oh, one more bullet point: Edgar Allen Poe. Need I mention that the Travel Channel says he’s haunting some Baltimore hotel room. And just to let you know, Virginia Clemm, his thirteen year old child bride, fell victim to consumption. While singing at the piano for Edgar, a blood vessel burst in her throat and she started bleeding profusely during her song. But she kept singing for a few moments longer, unaware that she was bleeding through her mouth. Yeah, think about that…

I’m not posting Edgar Allen Poe’s daguerreotype up either because quite frankly, his picture scares me. We all know what he looks like.

Do the same things that scare me scare you? Or can you think of something creepier? Let me know; share with words, don’t send pictures. If I receive even one picture of a dead Victorian, so help me God…

16 thoughts on “This cover creeps me out”

  1. ACSOL has been on my TBR list for a while now but I’ve been avoiding it because of the weirdness factor I’ve read about in some reviews. Did you know the title comes from an interesting Dickinson poem about truth?

    As for what freaks me out from your list, it would definitely be glassy-eyed dolls and marionettes. Ugh, I’ve hated those ever since I watched the Chuckie series. It seems as if their eyes see right into you ::shudders::
    Beyond that, I am the ultimate chicken because my greatest fear is of the dark.

  2. I’ve read it! There are a few passages that are really creepy (but not in a suicide kind of way…it’s when the ghost thinks she’s in hell-at the beginning so I’m not giving a spoiler) and there are some suspense-raising parts, but it all ends well. And I was listening it on CD before bedtime and no nightmares! 😉
    And Mems points out the title is from a Dickinson poem; Emily Dickinson appears in the book! (If that’s not a reason to read it, I don’t what is!)

    The evil children in movies always creep me out too!! Have you seen The Orphanage? (That new Spanish movie by Guillermo del Tormo) It was sooo creepy.

  3. I am scared of the dark. And ghosts. And lots of other stuff. In a moment of insanity I watched The Ring and couldn’t sleep for weeks after. I still have trouble falling asleep if I accidentally think of it (way to go, self, writing this comments just minutes before you’re supposed to go to bed and sleep).

    Clowns don’t scare me much. Maybe they would have more if the ending to It wasn’t so completely stupid and silly.

    When I was little, I was scared witless of witches. That was fun, especially for my parents when I woke up in the middle of the night, realised it was “the witching hour” and freaked out.

  4. Ok, I have to look for that book because I love creepy tales 🙂
    I was just about to say too, don’t watch The Others. I loved that movie but definitely made me jump. The last book that creeped me out must have been Come Closer by Sara Gran.

  5. mems:
    Wow! I like books with titles derived from poems. Thanks for letting me know. And yes, I agree with you, glassy-eye dolls do look like they can see into you, watching and judging your every move. Toys shouldn’t blink! It’s not right.
    That’s why the Sixth Sense was the ultimate scare-fest; it had dead people, hanging Puritans, marionettes,etc.. Shudder shiver shudder.

    I’m glad it’s not as creepy as the cover made it out to be. I saw Ebert & Roeper review The Orphange and it looks terrifying. They showed some clip with a demon child and a bathtub. Yikes! I wonder why evil children are so much scarier than evil adults…

    Witches. Okay, let me tell you about my experience with witches. When I was little, I never cleaned my plate after dinner. So my dad told me some story about three witches inhabiting the 3 palm trees outside my house (I live in Southern California, it would have been freakier had they been gnarled oaks, but you work with what you’ve got). These witches were always watching me, even when I’m sleeping. If I didn’t mind my parents and clean my plate, the meanest witch would sneak up to my room while I’m sleeping and eat me. She’s start with my foot, because witches love to eat children’s feet. Let’s just say I cleaned my plate that night.

    The Others still makes me jump when I think about it. That’s how I was first introduced to the post-mortem Victorian pictures. It was the only movie I’ve seen that I actually screamed and hid under my blanket (thank god I didn’t watch it in the movie theater or else I would have looked like a fool). I watched in near Halloween and in the dark……

    Attn all brave readers:
    Since I mentioned those creepy Victorian pictures, I would really like to know why Victorians took pictures of their deceased.
    But I’m too chicken to Wikipedia it because I don’t want to see the pictures. I’m afraid if I search for it and a big ole image pops up, I’ll freak! I have a thing where if I see a scary, disturbing picture, I’ll remember it FOREVER. It will be imprinted on my mind.
    So…if someone would be so kind as to Wikipedia “Victorian post-mortem” pictures and let me know why they practiced such a strange ritual, I will be ever so grateful.
    I know, I’m such a scardy cat.

  6. Well, I’m obviously not brave but I am curious (does that equal stupidity?) but I wiki-ed it and the major reason the Victorians did this was to have memorabilia of their loved ones, especially children becuase the mortality rates for them were high at that time.
    And the families actually went through all this trouble of dressing them up and all to make them appear more lifelike, having them hold flowers or toys etc. It gives me goosebumps just to imagine holding a lifeless, cold baby in your hands and all smiles for the camera….insanely creepy.
    Btw, the Wiki pictures are worse than the Google ones. You have been warned 🙂

  7. mems:
    Thank you so much for Wikipedia-ing it! I had a feeling there would be crazy freaky pictures up there so you saved me from giving myself nightmares. That is soooo morbid. How does anyone have the guts to dress up dead people, even if they are your loved ones? It’s the entire idea of propping them up in chairs and making sure they’re upright or standing when they’re dead that gives me the heebie jeebies.

    I read in an awesome nonfiction book entitled Manhunt: The 12 day Chase for Lincolns’s Killer that people in the 19th century love collecting macabre memorabilia. For instance, after Lincoln was shot, this actress at the Ford Theater held his head in her lap. There was blood and brain matter staining her dress but she kept the dress in her living room as a display.

  8. Victorian post-mortem photography really is creepy beyond belief (I almost called it Victorian post-modern photography there. Would be quite another thing, that!).

    Something kind of related, kind of not, I’ve been wondering about for a long time is whether it’s Edgar Allen Poe or Edgar Allan Poe? Because I see both spellings about equally, and I simply want to know.

    And you’ve been tagged.

  9. Oh man, have you ever seen Killer Klowns from Outer Space? Rent it – it’s one of the campiest B-movies ever!

    I can’t think of anything I’m afraid of, except for maybe Dick Cheney. He’s one scary dude!

  10. I used to enjoy horror films when I was a teenager – now I can barely sit through the commercials! I like happy movies instead!

  11. After hearing your view on the Victorian Era and the post-mortem photography, I thought of “The Others”. (AWESOME movie!) I burst out laughing when you mentioned it. And I didn’t realize how Poe’s wife died… *Shivers.*

    And yes, most of those things creep me out, too. But I LIKE being creeped out the Victorian era! Haha.

    PS – This is sfmdraw from polyvore

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