Top 5 Wednesday was created by gingerreadslainey and hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes – details about this group can be found on Goodreads. Getting into that Halloween spirit, this week’s topic is favourite spooky settings. I think my choices are more sinister/scary as opposed to spooky but nevermind.. Lets go!
1. Oceania Society – 1984 by George Orwell
“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”
I think everyone would agree that this totalitarian society is plain terrifying – with the overwhelming amount of oppression and brainwashing and zero amount of freedom. It’s beyond bleak and it’s definitely scary. Big Brother is always watching!
I also wanted to add that the Senate House building that was Orwell’s inspiration for the Ministry of Truth is also very creepy. I went to visit it during a trip to London last year and it’s equal parts impressive and imposing and I love it. I wasn’t allowed in though…
2. The Silent City – The Mortal Instruments by Cassie Clare
“Those who die in battle are burned, their ashes used to make the marble arches that you see here. [..] Even in death, the Clave serves the cause.”
The Silent City is made out of dead shadowhunter bones. When I read this, I couldn’t help but think of my fave The Infernal Devices characters (which is basically all of them) being inside the walls.. WHY.
So the Silent City is quite spooky but also pretty cool, if not, absolutely completely morbid. There’s also shady goings-on there – it’s all very secretive.
3. The Re-Education Centre – Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
“Re-education centers. They were the stuff of nightmares for young Alchemists like me […] what exactly went on there was a secret, one I never wanted to find out. I was pretty sure “re-education” was a nice way of saying “brainwashing.””
The re-education centre Sydney Sage is held in in Silver Shadows is scary! The things she experiences in there were pretty hard to read. It reminded me a lot of conversion therapy, and that sort of practice is so disturbing and wrong. All this because Sydney fell in love with a vampire! This place is definitely creepy, but it’s the real-life parallels that add that extra layer of creep.
4. Ghoul Society – Tokyo Ghoul by Sui Ishida
“If an angelic being fell from the sky and tried to live in this world of ours, I think even they would commit many wrongs.”
Imagine being a human living within this ghoul society, with the constant fear of being eaten? But then also imagine being a ghoul, having no option but to consume human meat (or coffee) to survive? I think this society is definitely spooky, but also really sad. And seeing this world through a protagonist such as Kaneki really brings to light just how bleak it is. My poor Kaneki.
5. The Nursery – The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
“It was nursery first and then playroom and gymnasium, I should judge; for the windows are barred for little children, and there are rings and things in the walls. […] It is stripped off–the paper–in great patches all around the head of my bed, […] I never saw a worse paper in my life.”
So the narrator’s doctor-husband John locks her in this spooky nursery to try and cure her illness (it’s suspected post-partum depression, John isn’t that smart), and the nursery is eerie with these fixtures and the barred windows. And that’s not even mentioning the smelly, disgusting yellow wallpaper that has the narrator going crazy!
What are your favourite spooky settings? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time!