I wanted some scary stories to read back in October, so I picked up, Nightshift, by Stephen King and read some of my favorite horror stories. Then I downloaded David Mitchell’s Slade House. I had never read any of his work before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Slouching on my couch one cozy evening, I begin my journey through a multitude of horrific stories. Right away, I am swept into another world of different characters and their predicaments surrounding the Slade mansion. What I find most impressive, is that the setting, though the same in each story, is also distinct from each character’s experience. Though each short story involves a different character, each person has a uniquely sinister experience with the haunted mansion that is hidden behind the black, metal door in the wall on Slade Street.
With so many horror stories on bookshelves and in movies, it is hard to develop an original horror story that will make the audience cringe, leave light on at night, make their hearts race, and make their palms sweat … This might be the case for the reader as it is for me, but that did not stop me from sliding to the next page, then to the next story. Mitchell manages to add some traditional spooks while creating originality through unique characters and story-telling. He uses first person narrative (POV) to bring readers into the character’s thoughts and emotions. I think this writing style helps make the character in each story special. In return, each story is special. Dialogue brings the supporting characters to life, including the ghostly ones.
Since I can remember, I have been a fan of scary stories. Is it the rush I enjoy from being scared? Why do I and others find it intriguing to watch and read, characters, experience fear and pain? For me, it is the rush from putting myself in each character’s position, and then seeing from their perspective, how to escape, and make the right decisions. Mitchell makes this option possible with his characters in Slade House.