There are plenty of reasons for books to get censored, many of them political (it espouses an opinion considered objectionable by the powers that be) or moral (it advocates some sort of action or behaviour believed to be wrong, very often sexual). But since Hallowe’en is just around the corner, I figured it’s a good time to create a booklist of books that have been banned, challenged, or censored because they contain content that’s scary, violent, macabre, and horrifying. In other words, if they were made into movies, they’d probably get a pretty restrictive rating.
Interestingly, it’s actually better for the sensitive soul to read a scary book than to watch a scary movie. The reason? When you’re reading, you conjure the images in your mind. It’s still possible to get scared while you’re reading something spooky, but at least you control how frightening the projected images will be. If you don’t want to see anything too graphic, you can tone down your mental imagery and make it a gentler experience just by tweaking what’s in your brain. But in a movie, the images appear onscreen as-is, with no possibility for changing or toning down. However much blood and gore the killer splashes around, however many corners and closets he jumps out from behind, and however terrifying the demon-possessed child looks during that exorcism, you’re going to see it in all its exquisitely terrifying detail.
With that in mind, you might decide you’re interested to read some of the stories I’m offering here. But keep in mind, too, that not all of them are as terrifying as their censored-book status might lead you to believe. After all, terror is in the mind of the beholder . . .