Point Horror – Looking Back At Fear
I was just a child when the creepy novel series Point Horror hit the world, and it was my first introduction to dark fiction. I remember browsing a local book store (somewhere around the age of 9 or 10) and finding a copy of The Babysitter, by R.L Stine. Initially, I pulled it off the shelf thinking I could give it to a friend as a gift for her upcoming birthday, but I flipped through the opening pages out of curiosity and decided then and there to keep the book for myself. It was dark, it was fascinating, and it was addictive. I read the entire novel in a few short days and from then on, I went to the same store every week with my pocket money to pick up a new title.
It wasn’t long before I had amassed a large collection. I counted down the days to buy the next frightening read and would devour it before waiting patiently for the next. I immediately felt drawn to the unsettling and creepy stories, enjoying the sensation of fear from the safety of my bedroom. It became not only my first foray into horror but to reading in general. It set the foundation of what was to be a lifelong passion – here I am today still reading, collecting and enjoying horror.
It was only recently that I decided to try to relive that magic. I wanted to taste again the early buds of horror that had influenced my taste as a child, and so I began to look in second-hand stores, eBay and Amazon to buy bundles of the Point Horror books. I began this project only recently, however, I have already built a solid little collection of the titles in the series.
I am slowly making my way through each novel, and I began by reading The Babysitter, revisiting that first swim into the dark waters of horror. R.L Stine is a famous name in children’s fiction, having penned the Goosebumps series and several stand-alone novels – today he still releases books that ensnare a new generation to the dark side. I was curious to find out how I would find it, reading a book aimed at a young audience. In all honesty, I enjoyed it! Of course, the fear-factor was several notches down from the books I have read since (for obvious reasons!) but I still had a good time immersing myself in that world. I then went onto April Fools, by Richie Tankersley Cusick and Teacher’s Pet – also by Cusick, who penned several Point Horror titles in the 90s and who is one of my favourite YA writers. Soon, I will be reading the others I have purchased.
I have found myself enjoying the retro visitation to my younger years every bit as much as the stories themselves though, to be honest. When something is so entrenched in your memory and so influential to who you are as a person, it feels like a magical step back to something sacred. The nearest to time-travel I will ever get!
Holding the Point Horror books in my hands, looking at the cool, vintage book covers and looking at scary events through the eyes of the child/teen I once was, I remember what it felt like as a youngster to discover these mysterious worlds. I don’t think as an adult we can ever truly get the same horror-thrill from what we enjoyed when we were young – not least because the target audience is a lot less mature and thus the stories need to be less explicit, gory or violent – but I do think there is a kind of beauty in going back and experiencing something again that means a lot to us.
Now in my 30s, I shall continue to tear through the worlds my literary idols built when I was much younger. I will never again be that ten year old hungry to buy the next book with my pocket money, but I can still enjoy visiting, for brief periods, that time in my life when it was all so new to me.
Fiona Dodwell is a published horror author and freelance writer for several websites and magazines. She has had articles published with Haunted Magazine, Made in Shoreditch Magazine and many more. She has studied Theology, Film Studies and psychology.
Fiona runs a blog which features author/actor interviews, as well as reviews over on Fiona-Dodwell
Follow Fiona on Twitter @Angel_Devil982
Madison Walter thought she had everything.
A good job. A perfect husband. A baby on the way.
When a terrible tragedy turns her life upside down, Madison knows things will never be the same again.
Intent on saving her marriage, she joins her husband on a luxury trip abroad. However, a week in the sun turns into an abyss of despair and horror.
Can Madison save her life, her sanity and her family before it’s too late?