Last month I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
Since it's Halloween, and I'm about to start writing a new horror pitch after the holidays, I'm rereading some of my favorite scary stories for "inspiration." Here are my two favorites...Visit Gretchen McNeil's website.
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. I love a good ghost story (even though James himself insisted this novella isn't actually about ghosts...whatever), and this turn of the century tale of a governess with possibly supernatural charges is one of the best. Kids can be creepy, and Miles and Flora take that to a whole new level. You've got possession, murder, lust, revenge - all tied up in two very disturbed children. This novella is drippingly gothic, and James spins the setting and tension so tightly, the reader is practically in a frenzy to find out what happens.
Hell House by Richard Matheson. Haunted house books are, by far, my favorite scary read. And Matheson, better known for another horror classic I am Legend, delivers the best, scariest, freakiest, creepiest, down right horrifying haunted house novel ever. Belasco House is the epitome of a haunted house, what all others should aspire to, as much of a character as the four fools who have to spend the night there. It's simultaneously scream-inducing and gory, page-turning and horrid. Like watching a train wreck - you literally cannot put this book down, even though you'll want to.