The Classics Club: Gothic Book Tag

I don’t really do horror being a big scaredy-cat at heart, but I couldn’t resist giving this all new scary book tag ago, from The Classics Club in honour of their Gothic month #CCdare. Which contains thirteen questions to creep you out and send shivers up your spine!

If you’re interested in joining in too, here are the easy rules:

  • Answer the 13 questions with classic books in mind.
  • How you define ‘classic’ is up to you.
  • How you define ‘scary’ is up to you (content, size of book, genre etc).
  • Add your link back here when you’re done.
  • If you’re feeling social, visit other blogs and leave a comment or share your thoughts on twitter, fb, instagram or goodreads using #CCgothicbooktag
  • Join in if you dare.

1) Which classic book has scared you the most?

That would probably have to be Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw. I was so gripped I read it in one sitting, and completely spooked myself as I started reading in the light of day and when I resurfaced from this spooky tale, night had crept in completely unobserved by me!

2) Scariest moment in a book?

One of the most spine-chilling moments for me is in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, where a ghostly ship comes out of the fog and runs aground on the shores of Whitby. The captain is found dead and lashed to the helm, whilst his entire crew have disappeared!

3) Classic villain that you love to hate?

You just have to love to hate Charles Dickens’ infamously, wicked and miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, the antagonist of the ghostly tale of redemption, A Christmas Carol.

4) Creepiest setting in a book?

I don’t think anything could be creepier than a carnival at night! Like in Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, where two boys discover the evil that lurks at a sinister carnival that silently rolls into their small town one, chill October eve.

5) Best scary cover ever?

This cover on my edition of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles is pretty darn scary to me:






6) Book you’re too scared to read?

Great Russian classics, like Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace and Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, really scare me! With their epic length; depressing story lines and large sections of philosophical discussion, I doubt I will ever be brave enough to pick them up!

7) Spookiest creature in a book?

That would have to be the tragic creature of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, who having been cruelly abandoned, relentlessly chases down his creator, with chilling intelligence and inhuman strength and speed.

8) Classic book that haunts you to this day?

It has been many years since I read Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle, but its quiet, creeping, sinister nature still haunts me! I think it is high time for a re-read!

9) Favourite cliff-hanger or unexpected twist?

My favourite unexpected twist comes at the end of Daphne du Maurier’s modern Gothic classic, Rebecca, but I can’t say anymore or it will spoil it!

10) Classic book you really, really disliked?

I can’t think of a classic I ‘really, really disliked’, however I really struggled with Robert Louis Stevenson’ Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

11) Character death that disturbed/upset you the most?

The death of the shy, gentle and kind Beth March, in Louisa May Alcott’s children’s classic, Little Women, left her family and me utterly heartbroken.

12) List your top 5 Gothic/scary/horror classic reads.

  1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  2. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  3. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  4. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  5. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

13) Share your scariest/creepiest quote, poem or meme.

“If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear!” ― Mary Shelley, Frankenstein.

What do you think of my choices? What are your top Gothic/scary/horror classic reads? Also, if you have taken part in this tag please share your link in the comments below, so we can check out your answers.

16 thoughts on “The Classics Club: Gothic Book Tag

  1. I enjoyed reading your answers and agree with you on the ones I have read. I think I am getting braver as I age, in terms of reading, but I still don’t always enjoy being scared!

    1. Judy, I am so pleased you enjoyed and agree with many of my answers 🙂 I’m afraid I think I am the opposite: the older I get the less brave I become with my reading and watching lol 😀

  2. I’m glad you had time to do this tag! I really need to read The Turn of the Screw. The twist in Rebecca is one of my favourites too – I forgot about it when I answered that question. And yes, Beth’s death was completely heartbreaking!

    1. Thank you Helen – I am really pleased I squeezed out some time for this too! Great that we agree on the awesome twist in Rebecca and the death of poor Beth! And I hope you enjoy The Turn of the Screw when you have a chance to read it. 🙂

  3. Ooh, I wish I’d remembered The Hound of the Baskervilles when I was doing this – how could I have missed it out?? I really must re-read Dracula – I’ve only got the haziest memory of it now and had totally forgotten that scene. Great choices! I too love that Frankenstein quote and actually used it as the title for my review. 🙂

    1. FF, yes, how could you forget The Hound of the Baskervilles?! 😛 I am really pleased you enjoyed my choices and I hope you will enjoy your re-read of Dracula, when you find time for it. 🙂

  4. Love seeing all your answers! Did you read the 1818 version of Frankenstein or her revised 1831 edition? I’ve not read either and have been trying to decide which route to go (for Halloween next year since I read Dracula this year).

    I can remember having a paperback of a “true” story by Whitley Strieber (Communion) with the creepiest alien photo on the cover. It was also on the spine of the book and I finally got rid of it without ever reading it since it spooked me so much!

    1. Thank you Kelly 🙂 I’m afraid I don’t know if I read the 1818 or the revised 1831 edition of Frankenstein. I’ve checked my dad’s 1993 Wordsworth Classics copy, which is the one I read, but it doesn’t seem to tell me! Sorry!

      I’ve never heard of Communion by Whitley Strieber, so I just Googled it and eurgh that is a really creepy cover! Not sure I’d be picking that up off the shelf either. 😀

  5. I really must read Dracula soon – there has been so much gothic love for it in this tag.
    I’m glad you mentioned Dr Jekyll has one of those books you didn’t rate, I had the same trouble with it.

    1. Brona, it is such relief to hear from other people that I am not the only one who struggled with Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde too! As for Dracula, it is not in my top 5 Gothic classics, but there are some great moments in it, so I hope you will enjoy it when you have chance to read it. 🙂

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