Maybe if I gave it some salted nuts it would return to its home.

34. Prom Dress – Lael Littke

I sometimes enjoy reading about cursed objects. When I was younger and read The Restless Dead by Daniel Cohen the story about the evil chair freaked me right out. As did the story about Esther and her poltergeist. I was legitimately terrified of acquiring a poltergeist throughout my adolescence (because that’s apparently when they’re most attracted to you and willing to exacerbate your angst with shit you can’t prove you didn’t do). I’m pretty sure both those stories are in The Restless Dead, I had this habit of reading and being utterly wigged out by ghost stories in elementary school, so it could have been another book by Daniel Cohen, but I’m sure it was one of his…they seemed innocuous because they weren’t absolutely terrifyingly illustrated by Stephen Gammell. I have shaken my fist at the sky out of frustration over how scary Stephen Gammell’s illustrations are! Super scary.The least scary way I have seen cursed objects discussed was on the show Haunted Collector. That was relatively useless watching for me and I enjoy objects and paranormal wackiness. I sometimes worry that one of the antiques I purchase regularly will end up being haunted. I don’t want to be haunted by a chalkware cow or a Big Boy bank, but there’s a possibility that I will be. It is unlikely that I will be haunted by clothing, well, unless some cowboy farmer ghost gets pissed about me wearing his shirt…

Anyway, this Point Thriller about an actual cursed dress: Prom Dress by Lael Littke, was very engrossing. The story starts with one girl who makes a bad decision – taking the cursed dress from its home in a lady’s attic – and it wrecks her dancing skills. And then it moves on to another girl…and then another…before everything comes full circle and the dress’s original owner is insane. The most fun parts of the book were the moves from person to person, the way the dress lures them in using its girly mind games and making each girl think they’d look really awesome in it or that it’s just right for some upcoming occasion and then – it causes different horrible things to happen. It’s like the dress knows their insecurities. Just like my chalkware cows know when I’m vulnerable. Good luck getting off the fridge! As young adult stories go, it’s not that deep but it moves and doesn’t feel like it’s missing something. Sometimes, these thrillers could use some character infusion; Prom Dress has some well fleshed out narrators, despite covering so many different perspectives.

The episodes of Supernatural that deal with cursed objects are definitely some of my favorites. Especially Bad Day at Black Rock, but the one from season seven was one of the more enjoyable pieces of season seven.

Duncan and Murderface maintain vigilance against curses, wherever they may come from. Or they could be collecting them- it’s hard to tell with these girls.

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