Ok, we all know the old saying never judge a book by its cover, however, in horror fiction, a genre which initial shock is greatly valued, that it is safe to say that maybe we can toss that saying aside. I know, at least in my opinion, a cover can make or break the decision to pick up a book or to leave it on the library shelf for the next potential borrower. But what does it take to get the attention of someone looking for a little more shivers while they read? Use these covers as examples and I’m sure you’ll figure it out.
It’s a given that children can be terrifying. It is something we have seen many times before and yet we can never get enough of it. On Yovanoff’s cover, this is used to grab our attention and revel at the oddity of the situation on the print in front of us. What the hell is going on with that baby?!?!
You know what is more horrifying than children? Fake children. Dolls freak out even the toughest of the tough (even if they won’t admit it) and when you hang one from a noose and throw it over a black background, you’re just begging to give your reader goosebumps…which leads us to number three!
I was, along with many other kids in the 90’s, a huge Goosebumps junkie. In fact, when thinking of what to write as a next article, this cover is the first that came to mind. That smile that is simply too large for his face can make your stomach turn and leave you just knowing that anyone at Jellyjam will not be a ‘happy camper’.
Speaking of books we obsessed with as kids, this classic collection is forever branded in our brains – at least Stephen Gammell’s absolutely spine-chilling illustrations are!
I will admit, I have never read this book. In fact, and you may call me a bad horror fan here, but I actually had never heard of it until I was researching for this article, but my goodness did this picture make me cringe…and just enough so to add it to my reading list (and #1 on this post!).