Teach Yourself Terror!

A rhyme for Halloween…

Teach Yourself Terror! the book’s cover said:
“How to be frightened of things not-quite-dead!”
“How to be scared of the creatures of the night!”
“How to see things that aren’t there, and take fright!”
“How to imagine weird shapes in the dark!”
“How to hear werewolves at night in the park!”
“How to feel creepy things creep up your back!”
“How to know your mind is starting to crack!”
The table of contents was equally scary
With chapters on “Fear” and “Fright” and “Being Wary”
And “Tingling Sensations of the Lower Back and Spine”
And “Paranoid Psychosis — Know the First Signs!”
While one spoke of “How to be Mortified at a Glance”
Another was “Gut-Wrenching Terror (Advanced)”
The index alone could have given you chills
With its alphabetical listing of all sorts of thrills
From “Anxiety attacks” to “Zoomorphophobia”
Everything that was likely to shock, shake or scare ya!
The acknowledgements listed all the experts in fear
Most of whom, it turned out, had been dead many a year
While the author himself, to judge by his photo
Was a living wreck, and hadn’t much longer to go
What a book! What a fine work of scholarship it was!
Yet I left the shop without it, and did so because
A handsome, heavy volume, a deluxe slipcased edition —
The price alone was enough to scare me to perdition!

(And a previous one.)

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