The Ghosts of Old Finch Road

If you were ever to run into a ghost, which story would you tell them? Would you give them a ghost story? Today’s prompt is by Camilla @ Reader in the Attic and asks us to tell a local urban legend.

Everywhere has its own urban legends and stories, but when I was trying to think of what would count as a Toronto urban legend, I came up short. Casa Loma should have had something creepy happen in it. It’s begging for a ghost, but nothing. Just a guy who built a house. For books there’s always Ghosts of the Bay and all the shipwrecks that happen out on Georgian Bay, but I don’t know if that counts as local. It’s more than a couple hours drive from me.

So instead, I’m going to tell you the story of the Ghost of Old Finch Bridge.

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Battle Royale: The Book that Launched a Thousand Copies

Battle Royale
Koushun Takami
Horror, Fiction
Battle Royale
Buy now on Amazon

I don’t really need to tell anyone what a Battle Royale is. Thanks to Fortnite and before that, the Hunger Games, everyone knows what it is. People are dropped into a death map. They need to kill each other. The last person standing wins.

Simple, right?

Only kind of. Battle Royale is a Japanese novel from the nineties written by Koushun Takami. It was groundbreaking in its time not just for the writing, but the shock factor of it. The book was criticized by some for its violence. Where the Hunger Games feels futuristic enough to give us some distance, Battle Royale doesn’t allow it. This isn’t meant to be a comfortable topic that’s made into PG-13 movies. Even in movie form, Battle Royale doesn’t shy away from its horror.

Each year, a single class participates in a Battle Royale. It’s a shock tactic to control the children who are growing too wild for their parents. The class is picked from a lottery and there’s no guarantee that any child will be safe as they grow up. Therefore, everyone’s at risk.

The kids we follow this year? They’re in 9th grade. To put that into perspective, they would be around 12 to 13 years old when they were brought to the island.

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The Top 6 Horror Movies Adapted from Books

I don’t think I need to explain to anyone who’s reading this that movies can suck at adapting books. Sometimes the movie can add to a story like the first Bourne Identity movie. It can bring a world to life like it did in the Lord of the Rings. But other times, it can feel like it’s completely trashing the source material. (Watch out, Ella Enchanted. I’m coming for you.) As much as I want to bash some terrible Fantasy movies, it’s October, so I want to stick with the season. There are plenty of horror movies based on books to choose from.

So, when it comes to Horror movies, how do they stack up?

Don’t get me wrong, there are some terrible horror adaptations out there. I’ll be making a post about those later in the month. For now though, I’d like to focus on the positives and talk about the movies that were fantastic.

These are in no particular order, but hopefully they inspire you to check out some different movies.

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The Scariest Ghost Story I’ve Ever Read

I love a good ghost story. In fact, I love most ghost stories. There’s something so satisfying about that chill running down your spine. I go back and forth on whether or not I actually believe in ghosts, but there’s no doubt I love the stories.

Most ghost stories I’ve read are enough to give a bit of a chill. There’s the sound of something in an attic, or a house which is creepy, but… I can’t relate to. I, like most people my age who are living in a city, live in an apartment. That means there’s not that much room for hauntings at all. It’s hard to be a scary ghost when I can see everything at all times.

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The Monster Mash-Up! My Top 5 Monsters in Literature

Monsters are the lifeblood of stories. Monstrous people, beasts, or actions are generally added to give a story that added burst of terror. I love a good monster and the chills that they send down my spine. Although my favourite monster of all time is the Tyrannosaurus Rex from Jurassic Park, I decided that for this challenge, I could only use fictional monsters. Since the T-rex is a real dinosaur, it doesn’t count.

We all know that monsters can be sympathetic, otherworldly, or both. I’ve tried to avoid the sympathetic monster as well, so Frankenstein won’t make it on this list. Books I haven’t read also won’t be featured here which disqualifies Frankenstein again. Sorry! I’ll get to you, I promise.

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Dracula's digs

Dracula is the Classic Horror Story Everyone Should Read

Dracula
Bram Stoker
Horror, Fiction
Dracula
Buy now on Amazon

I used to have a lot of wacky ideas about Dracula. I knew vaguely that it was an older novel (written in 1897 by Bram Stoker). In my imagination Dracula skulked in the shadows and said “I vant to suck your blahd” in a cartoonish accent.

To me, Dracula was about as frightening as the Count from Sesame Street. I always ignored the novel because I thought it would be boring. And that just goes to show how badly I underestimated the Gothic Novel.

Classics are classics for a reason and Dracula surprised me from the very beginning by not being a straight-forward vampire narrative.

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4 Strange Books from Canada that You Need to Read

It’s Canada’s birthday! Happy Birthday to you, Canada, even if you’re looking a little bit worse for wear.

Canada is 150 years old this year and the celebrations are bound to be fierce, but what matters the most is how odd we Canadians are. Yes, the stereotype is that we’re polite and all we write about is farming, but scratch under the surface and you’ll see that’s dead wrong. Not only are some of the quirkiest novels I’ve ever read written by Canadian authors, but the wide range of subjects is incredible.

I know you’ve got fireworks to see and two-fours to drink, so I’ll keep this brief. If you’re looking for an interesting read that will haunt the edges of your mind long after you’re done, you should check out the books below.

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The Only Child by Andrew Pyper – Review

Holy hell, what a ride.

I don’t remember where I first heard about The Only Child or how it ended up in my Overdrive account, but I went into the novel blind. I didn’t know anything about it. Would it be a family drama? A murder mystery?

After a couple pages, I was sure I knew what was going to come of this. It would be a murder mystery and our main character, Lily would find love or something along the way. I should have learned my lesson from underestimating The Girl On The Train last summer. Instead of the competent, but unmemorable novel I was expecting, I was blown away by how deep this rabbit hole went.

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