“Twelve-year-old Amy is having difficulties at home being responsible for her brain-damaged sister, Louann. While visiting her Aunt Clare at the old family home, she discovers an eerily-haunted dollhouse in the attic-an exact replica of the family home. Whenever she sees it, the dolls, representing her relatives, have moved. Her aunt won’t listen to Amy’s claims that the dolls are trying to tell her something. This leads Amy to research old news reports where she discovers a family secret-the murder of her grandparents. The two sisters unravel the mystery. Amy grows to accept her sister and to understand that Louann is more capable than she had first thought” – The Dollhouse Murders, Blurb from Goodreads
It was 1985 and nine year old Lindsay was curled up in her bed, reading a most terrifying, but wonderful book. It was The Dollhouse Murders, by Betty Ren Wright. Every creak of the house, every barbie doll staring blankly, every single sound in her room made the hair stand up on the back of her neck. And in that way that only horror books/films can do . . . Lindsay was scared. Scared in a deliciously safe way. For she was safe in her room, in her bed . . . right?
Reading the Dollhouse Murders was the first time I can recall being genuinely afraid and enjoying it. Not to sound like a sadist, but there’s something wonderful about the rush of adrenaline one can get when confronted by an idea that terrifies them – whether it be monsters, ghosts or simply the nameless, faceless fear that attaches itself to our brains when we let our guard down. Just like that afternoon I read The Dollhouse Murders beneath my blankets, provided that I experience fear in a safe, and controlled way, I still love it.
So for this, I thank you Betty Ren Wright for terrifying young Lindsay. You opened her mind to something other than her unicorn collection, rainbow sneakers and sticker books. You allowed her to feel fear, and survive it. You grew a lover of all things horror.
What about you? Do you love scary books/movies/television? If so, what got you #hookedonhorror and why?