As it’s the month of All Hallow’s Eve it only makes sense to blog about all things creepy. My favourite genre is horror and I have many scary books – most by Stephen King – but this month I want to write about another horror author; a Liverpudlian who introduced us to the Cenobite Pinhead.
Clive Barker has a vivid and twisted imagination. Hellraiser is one of the first scary movies I seen, at a very young age – thanks to my big cousins – and I remember posters of Pinhead plastered all over our local video shop. He’s an enigmatic force and the film stays with you long after the lights go out.
Barker wrote his Book of Blood volumes during the 80s. They are 6 books filled with short stories, stories written on the flesh of a man by the dead. Pretty grotesque, eh? Things only get weirder the further into the book you go.
One story In the Hills, The Cities a gay couple encounter utter horror when on holiday in Yugoslavia. Two opposing towns create giants as tall as skyscrapers by binding their townsfolk together. Yep, they make giants out of people. It’s completely fascinating and horrifying all at once.
In The Midnight Meat Train a man wakes up on an underground train to find slaughtered bodies hanging in the next carriage. He kills the murderer, only to discover that he must take his place. I won’t tell you why. This has also been made into a film starring Vinnie Jones and Bradley Cooper. It’s not too bad, go check it out.
Rawhead Rex is a 9ft humaniod monster who was imprisoned underground many years ago in a village in Kent. He is accidently released and causes devastating chaos, eating woman and children. Can anyone stop him? This was also made into a movie . . . a bad movie. Barker wants nothing to do with it, so maybe give this one a miss.
All the stories are enjoyable, but my favourite is The Yattering and Jack. A lower level demon, the Yattering, is ordered by Beelzebub to haunt a man called Jack, but the Yattering has a hard time of it. Jack seems totally oblivious to the haunting and whenever the Yattering kills Jack’s cat or terrorises his daughter, Jack simply shrugs his shoulders and says, “Che sera, sera.” This story is very funny and rather an unusual addition to a tome teeming with frightening monsters and murderers, but for me it’s the best story of them all.
If you’re looking for a scary book to read by candle light this Hallowe’en then pick up Clive Barker’s Book of Blood volumes 1-3, and enjoy your nightmares afterwards.
Keep smiling x