Reverbs from the ECHO Chamber — a Q & A with Mrs. Betsy Darby

Thad Jones '20, Staff Reporter

Trinity teacher and English Department co-chair Mrs. Betsy Darby                    Signature Studio

Another in a continuing series of Q & A interviews with Trinity faculty, staff and administrators.

Timothy was sitting on the couch reading a book by Stephen King when he heard footsteps from above. He told himself it was just the wind — or was it?

Trinity teacher Mrs. Betsy Darby loves the feeling of suspense that comes from reading a good book. One of the electives she teaches is Gothic Literature. Just why does she enjoy “scary” literature?

Question: What made you move into Gothic literature?

Answer: I started reading Stephen King when I was eight years old, probably because it was on the bookshelf, and I had no idea what it was. But I loved it. It was terrifying, and I started watching scary movies at the age of nine. I was hooked. I loved that feeling of being terrified.

Question: How has reading Gothic works changed your life?

Answer: Reading, in general, is something I have always loved — obviously, since it is what I do for a living. Gothic fiction is something you cannot normally do in a class. That is why I developed that (elective), so I could share these stories that I have loved forever. It has been something I have had a passion for all my life.

Question: What is your all-time favorite book?

Answer: I would problem say Stephen King’s “The Stand.” It is Gothic fiction, but it is also interesting on multiple levels. I read it when I was an older adult, and I was a slow reader. But this took longer because it was more than 800 pages. Stephen King (makes you) involved with his characters. You know them like they are your friends. I remember one of the characters — he makes this statement, and that was the last time they saw him again. I put (the book) down, and I could not finish it because I was so mad. That was a life-changing moment. 

That is why I developed that (elective), so I could share these stories that I have loved forever.”

Question: Do you read a lot of books in your free time?

Answer: Yes, right now I am reading “The Twisted Ones” (by T. Kingfisher). I usually read a lot of adult fiction and for the summer reading list, to keep the curriculum fresh with new authors.

Question: Do you like a certain type of Gothic fiction?

Answer: I usually like ghost stories because of Waverly (Hills Sanitarium), typically stories that have to do with the paranormal and ghost hauntings.

Question: Do you like watching the movies after you read the books?

Answer: Yes, I do. Even though I have read the book — even though they are different and leave stuff out  —  I still enjoy them.

Question: What other titles would you recommend, not necessarily Gothic works?

Answer: Right before school started, I was reading books called “Mosquitoland” (by David Arnold) and “The Cabin at the End of the World” (by Paul Tremblay) for my freshman class.