Point Horror: Happy Childhood Memories

It might strike some as odd that I associate happy memories from childhood with horror stories, but that’s me for you. I grew up on The X-Files, was glued to the TV screen for Are You Afraid of the Dark, and I spent a lot of time with my head in a book, usually a Sweet Valley novel or something from the Point Horror series.

From the age of ten or so, I devoured every book in the Point Horror young adult series I could get my hands on. A few years ago, I wrote a short post on my Point Horror obsession and my last blog post was a review of Trick Or Treat.

My mom was a primary school teacher. She worked in the boys’ school near my own, and almost every day at half past two, I’d hurry to the library at her workplace to see what gems awaited me.

The colourful artwork and fun stories inside were perfect bizesize reads. I couldn’t make do with simply borrowing library books. I made it my mission to collect as many Point Horror books as I could.  For birthdays and Christmases my parents and relatives would give me book shop vouchers, allowing me to build my own collection, and I saved my pocket money and hunted down used copies in secondhand bookshops.

Even through my teens and twenties, I’d take a stroll to the young adult section of any secondhand book store I came across, just in case there was a Point Horror book I hadn’t read or didn’t have in my collection.

In case you never read Point Horror or have forgotten the series, I’ve chosen a selection of books below that may jog your memory.

accident

The Accident by Diane Hoh.

I actually read this one pretty recently and twenty years later, still enjoyed it. The Accident is a unique ghost story that manages to be pretty terrifying. What if you swapped places with a dead girl so she could experience a couple of brief weeks in your body as a normal teenager, but she refused to trade back?

 

roommateNightmare Hall: The Roommate by Diane Hoh

College dormitory life, psychotic roommates and murder. What more do you need in a good thriller? I’m struggling to remember the full storyline for this one, but I must have enjoyed it as I went on to pick up others in the Nightmare Hall series.

 

mummyThe Mummy by Barbara Steiner

Lana works part-time in a museum. A lover of all things Ancient Egypt, nobody is more excited than she is when her museum holds an exhibition from Cairo, which includes the mummy of a legendary Egyptian prince. It isn’t too long before Lana hears a man calling out to her in the dark corners of the museum. Everyone tells her she looks like the murdered princess, the prince’s tragic lover, but it’s just a coincidence, of course. Then why does she feel like she knows and loves someone who died thousands of years before? With a handsome Egyptian prince, a museum setting, the mingling of magic and romance, and reincarnation, it’s no wonder I loved this one.

forbiddenThe Forbidden Game trilogy by L.J. Smith

L.J. Smith wrote a fantastic story in The Forbidden Game. At her boyfriend’s 17th birthday party, Jenny and her pals end up playing a game. They build a paper Victorian house and put paper cutouts of themselves inside. The game states they’ll each have to face their worst nightmare. They don’t bargain for the house coming alive around them and trapping them inside. Fantasy, horror, sexual tension, a female protagonist with agency! How this book hasn’t been made into a TV show or movie, I don’t know. It’s probably only a matter of time.

vaThe Vampire’s Promise by Caroline B. Cooney

A group of high schoolers find themselves trapped in a vampire’s lair. This vampire doesn’t just want to suck their blood, he wants them to choose his victim. His bite won’t kill, but it will leave the victim sluggish, zombie-like and devoid of personality. The vampire in this one is a sadistic bastard, taking great pleasure in the terrible decision he forces these kids to make. The author, Cooney, never includes blood or gore in her books, but she is skilled at creating psychological terror.

babysitterThe Baby-Sitter by R.L. Stine

While I can vividly recall the cover for this one, I can’t remember reading it.

 

invitationThe Invitation by Diane Hoh

When a group of kids generally viewed as losers by the elite of their high school get invited to a party by one of the popular students, that should immediately get their warning bells sounding. They attend only to find themselves key players in a nightmarish game they never signed up for.

 

strangerThe Stranger by Caroline B. Cooney

Unusual, beautiful and sad. This story tugged at my heartstrings. Caroline B. Cooney is a terrific writer. She is one of the most gifted writers of horror in the young adult genre. I reviewed her novel The Fog earlier in the year.

 

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Have you come across any Point Horror books? What books from childhood do you remember with fondness?

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About Emma

Buffy fan, avid reader, writer.
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9 Responses to Point Horror: Happy Childhood Memories

  1. Mae Clair says:

    I wouldn’t mind checking out The Invitation and The Forbidden Game. I read a lot of Ray Bradbury as a teen and Something Wicked This Way Comes is still one of my favorite reads. I also remember some Gothics like Moorhaven, The Golden Unicorn, and a series of historical novels called The Lymond Chronicles (although I think I must have been in my earlier 20s when I read Chronicles).

    • Emma says:

      I’ve been waiting years for someone to make a movie or mini-series out of The Forbidden Game. I really hope it happens.
      I’ve never read Something Wicked This Way Comes but I love the sound of it. I must put it on my ever growing to-be-read list.

  2. Damn it I wish you were my childhood friend. Sweet Valley, V.C. Andrews, Goosebumps, Shivers, Point Horror, Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew, Poetry and etc. Oh and of course Harry Potter around my teens. Books have been a big part of my life from a young age.

    Blog: http://queendsheena.blogspot.com/

    • Emma says:

      Me too, Sheena. 🙂 I love Virginia Andrews’s Flowers in the Attic and Dark Angel series. I had so many hardback copies of Enid Blyton but they’ve all disappeared.
      I think my younger sister read Goosebumps. They seemed to replace Point Horror.

  3. Some great looking books. I want them all.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  4. Emma says:

    Ha ha. So many books, Sherry, so little time to read everything we want!

  5. C. Michael Hubbard says:

    I never got much into the Horror series books. I mostly read Stephen King, Robert Mccammon, and Dean Koontz. But my initial journey into reading was fantasy novels through out middle school: Lord of the Rings, Thomas Covenant Trilogy, and Dragon Lance Trilogy. Then in High School I got into the horror genre.
    And, Something Wicked this way Comes, is one of my all time favourites. We watched the Disney movie with Jason Robards and Jonathon Pryce in school and I couldn’t wait to dive into that book. Now I have to go find that movie and watch it again.

  6. Did you hear they’re remaking X Files?

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