1) IT - Stephen King
This absolutely had to be #1 on my list. I read this book over 20 years ago while in high school, and I have never looked at a clown the same since. I couldn't watch the movie because the book was scary enough on its own. Even though the shape-shifting "IT" could turn into any form that would induce fear into its victim, IT preferred to be Pennywise the Clown. Thanks Stephen King, you ruined all future birthdays for my children. In fact, when my grandma brought a clown cake to my daughter's first birthday, well, let's just say that thing never saw the light of day!!
"Talking Tina" is the reason I hate dolls. You will NOT find a doll in my house. (Of course, my kids are teens now) But, even when my girls were younger, "baby dolls" were meticulously picked out by little ol' me. I don't need some creepy doll saying, "My name is Talking Tina and I'm going to kill you." No thanks!
As you have probably noticed, most of my list is old, lots of stuff from the 70's and 80's. I guess that shows my age too. Those were very formidable years for me and most of these TV/movies/books have had some influence on my adult life. This is no exception. Yes, even Santa Clause can traumatize us. When a woman kills her husband on Christmas Eve--in order to get the insurance money--a killer dressed in a Santa suit makes his way to her house. At the very end, her daughter is holding "Santa's" hand and says, "Look mommy, Santa's here!" The door was locked, so I let him in." Then it cuts to black. Nice, huh?
4) The Tale-Tell Heart - Edgar Allan Poe
Okay, first off, I LOVE Edgar Allan Poe. He's one of my fav's. Anything eerie is right up my alley, so of course, so is Poe. In this story, a man says he's NOT crazy, but has a perfect plan to kill an old man. Sure, you're not crazy at all. So, he stalks this old man for days and then finally decides to do it. He kills the man and cuts off all his limbs and buries him beneath the floor boards of his own home. Eww! Well, the police come and the man convinces them everything is okay. That is, until the man starts hearing a loud pounding. A low thump, thump, thump. He says, "I admit the deed!--tear up the planks! here, here!--It is the beating of his hideous heart!"
Now, I never read Stephen King's paranormal horror book, only saw the movie. And boy, after seeing the movie version I'm pretty sure I could never read the book. Shy Carrie is tormented by her classmates, but is somehow voted as Prom queen. When she goes up to get her crown, a bucket of pig's blood is dump all over her. Gross! Carrie loses it and uses her "powers" to burn the place down. When she goes home, her mother stabs her to death thinking she is possessed by the devil. Later, as Sue, the only survivor of the Prom places a flower on Carrie's grave, a bloody hand grabs her wrist. Let me tell you something, you can never get that visual out of your head.