If you missed last week’s prompt , you can check it out here – “YA“.
“Oh God, Mother!” was one of those that stumped me, personally. It took several tries for me to come up with anything remotely usable. (But I did end up being really proud of what I came up with!)
Our own barksbooks gave us Womb: Eight Tales of Maternal Mayhem by Megan Hart. I have to admit that stories like this really freak me out! Something as natural as bearing a child and then turning it into something horrific and twisted? *shudders*
“The bond between mother and child is supposed to be sacred, but what happens when it becomes something else? Some mothers will do anything to for their children…even give (or take) their lives. “
We love that some actual LOHF participated in the Instagram photo challenge! Dawnkurtagich shared with us the first installment in the famed Dollanganger series, Flowers In The Attic by Virginia Cleo Andrews.
“Such wonderful children. Such a beautiful mother. Such a lovely house. Such endless terror!
It wasn’t that she didn’t love her children. She did. But there was a fortune at stake—a fortune that would assure their later happiness if she could keep the children a secret from her dying father.
So she and her mother hid her darlings away in an unused attic.
Just for a little while.
But the brutal days swelled into agonizing years. Now Cathy, Chris, and the twins wait in their cramped and helpless world, stirred by adult dreams, adult desires, served a meager sustenance by an angry, superstitious grandmother who knows that the Devil works in dark and devious ways. Sometimes he sends children to do his work—children who—one by one—must be destroyed….
‘Way upstairs there are four secrets hidden. Blond, beautiful, innocent struggling to stay alive…. “
Shriekingviolets428 delivered a nice stack topped with one of our favorite skulls! Notice Flowers In The Attic again? It may be a sign that this is a popular book and series that we should all read! The stack also contains Brother by Ania Ahlborn and Sybil Exposed by Debbie Nathan.
Brother by Ania Ahlborn
“Deep in the heart of Appalachia stands a crooked farmhouse miles from any road. The Morrows keep to themselves, and it’s served them well so far. When girls go missing off the side of the highway, the cops don’t knock on their door. Which is a good thing, seeing as to what’s buried in the Morrows’ backyard.
But nineteen-year-old Michael Morrow isn’t like the rest of his family. He doesn’t take pleasure in the screams that echo through the trees. Michael pines for normalcy, and he’s sure that someday he’ll see the world beyond West Virginia. When he meets Alice, a pretty girl working at a record shop in the small nearby town of Dahlia, he’s immediately smitten. For a moment, he nearly forgets about the monster he’s become. But his brother, Rebel, is all too eager to remind Michael of his place…”
Sybil Exposed by Debbie Nathan
“Sybil: a name that conjures up enduring fascination for legions of obsessed fans who followed the nonfiction blockbuster from 1973 and the TV movie based on it—starring Sally Field and Joanne Woodward—about a woman named Sybil with sixteen different personalities. Sybil became both a pop phenomenon and a revolutionary force in the psychotherapy industry. The book rocketed multiple personality disorder (MPD) into public consciousness and played a major role in having the diagnosis added to the psychiatric bible, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
But what do we really know about how Sybil came to be? In her news-breaking book Sybil Exposed, journalist Debbie Nathan gives proof that the allegedly true story was largely fabricated. The actual identity of Sybil (Shirley Mason) has been available for some years, as has the idea that the book might have been exaggerated. But in Sybil Exposed, Nathan reveals what really powered the legend: a trio of women—the willing patient, her ambitious shrink, and the imaginative journalist who spun their story into bestseller gold.
From horrendously irresponsible therapeutic practices—Sybil’s psychiatrist often brought an electroshock machine to Sybil’s apartment and climbed into bed with her while administering the treatment— to calculated business decisions (under an entity they named Sybil, Inc., the women signed a contract designating a three-way split of profits from the book and its spin-offs, including board games, tee shirts, and dolls), the story Nathan unfurls is full of over-the-top behavior. Sybil’s psychiatrist, driven by undisciplined idealism and galloping professional ambition, subjected the young woman to years of antipsychotics, psychedelics, uppers, and downers, including an untold number of injections with Pentothal, once known as “truth serum” but now widely recognized to provoke fantasies. It was during these “treatments” that Sybil produced rambling, garbled, and probably “false-memory”–based narratives of the hideous child abuse that her psychiatrist said caused her MPD. Sybil Exposed uses investigative journalism to tell a fascinating tale that reads like fiction but is fact. Nathan has followed an enormous trail of papers, records, photos, and tapes to unearth the lives and passions of these three women. The Sybil archive became available to the public only recently, and Nathan examined all of it and provides proof that the story was an elaborate fraud—albeit one that the perpetrators may have half-believed.”
Crazykittehcat reminded us of the extremely terrifying and toxic mother/daughter/family relationship that exists within Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects.
“Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.”
And last on our highlights from the “Oh God, Mother!” prompt is from our own scifiandscary. Here we see Sarah Pinborough’s Breeding Ground. First off: that cover is terrifying! Secondly, as the title indicates, this book is filled with some creepy and unusual mother/children relationships that will surely irk you.
“Life was good for Matt and Chloe. They were in love and looking forward to their new baby. But what Chloe gave birth to isn’t a baby. It isn’t even human. It s an entirely new species that uses humans only for food and as hosts for their young.
As Matt soon learns, though, he is not alone in his terror. Women all over town have begun to give birth to these hideous creatures, spidery nightmares that live to kill and feed. As the infestation spreads and the countryside is reduced to a series of web-shrouded ghost towns, will the survivors find a way to fight back? Or is it only a matter of time before all of mankind is reduced to a Breeding Ground “
Sometimes the most horror comes from those we least expect – like mothers! Did any of your favorite cringe-worthy stories make this list of highlights? Let us know in the comments! And make sure to check back in next week as we share a recap for our prompt all about MURDER!