Halloween Special

13:51, 30 October 2018

Halloween Special: Spooky tale and book recommendations by Andrey Vasilyev


Fear is the strongest drive for progress and the eternal companion of mankind.

are used to being afraid, this is their natural state. Before, a man was afraid of lightning, the wrath of the gods, and of looking at the waning moon over his left shoulder. Later, a man started fearing the crash of cars and airplanes. Now – he is afraid of getting into mortgages, of commitment and of losing internet connection.

Darkness is the ultimate enemy. In the dark, man feels weak and vulnerable.

Darkness was always feared by mankind. We changed our sheepskin coats into contemporary ones, but much has remained the same. A bunch of people still cannot sleep without light. And fear has been and is still skillfully exploited by multiple professions: doctors, teachers, military. And, of course, by writers. This is, by and large, their bread. Selling fear, or better said the illusion of fear, is a profitable profession.

As for me, lots of things scared me in life. I grew up in an era of change, which in itself is fear. However, I experienced real fear at the age of 15 when I read Robert Howard's story Pigeons from Hell; a short story in the style of the horrors of New England.

The atmosphere is Howard’s most remarkable talent. He creates atmospheres like no other. Reading this story, I could literally see those pines that surround the Blassenville Estate, smell the pine needles, and hear the creak of a door opening on the second floor of that old mansion. Howard’s formulations were so strong that I was literally there, inside the story.

Since then, when I seek something thrilling, for example, on the eve of Halloween, I take a tattered volume of Howard's stories from the bookshelf and read Pigeons from Hell. And this is the spooky read that I recommend to you! Cold feet guaranteed.