A Love for Horror Began with “The Green Ribbon”
by Cherie Reich
“If you’re finished early, then you can go into the reading loft and read.” Mrs. Holt, my third grade teacher, said the magic words.
I turned in my test, shuffled through my desk, and clutched a library book to my chest. My prized possession. I climbed the ladder into the reading loft and sat in the corner. The well-loved library book had seen better days. I carefully found my page and prepared to read my favorite horror story again, “The Green Ribbon” from Alvin Schwartz’s In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories.
Until “The Green Ribbon,” I read a lot of mysteries, particularly Nancy Drew. Horror had elements of mystery within it, so perhaps it was a natural progression. Instead of discovering who committed the crime, I was delving into the depths of unnatural creatures and twists that could send any kid to the light switch at night.
I devoured what R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books I could find. My favorites involved the mummy ones, A Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb and Return of the Mummy. I remember watching the Goosebumps show on Saturday mornings as well as Tales from the Crypt.
By high school, I had graduated to Stephen King and eventually wrote horror stories of my own, including my collection Once upon a Nightmare, but I will never forget the woman with the green ribbon around her neck and how that story started my spiral into the dark realms of what goes bump in the night.
Do you have a favorite childhood horror book/story?
A monster hunts us. After hibernating for a decade, it’s ravenous. We long to stop this nightmare, but the end of the road is far. There is no waking up once a legend sets its sights on you.
Purchase Once upon a Nightmare: A Collection by Cherie Reich at Amazon. From June 22-28, the collection is a Countdown Deal for only $0.99!
Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction author and library assistant living in Virginia. Visit her website and blog for more information.