What scares you?

Spiders? A haunted house? Being stuck in an elevator with Carrot Top and a full bag of props?

How about getting trapped in a big-box store that's teeming with evil?

Manhattan author Grady Hendrix takes the idea of the usual haunted house story and puts it into the furniture superstore Orsk, a fictional stand-in for Ikea in his new novel, "Horrorstör."

In the book, a handful of employees spend a night in a Cleveland Orsk where some unexplained occurrences are happening. The night turns vicious with a little bit of "Office" laughs.

amNewYork spoke with Hendrix, 41, about the book.

 

What inspired the book?

I had worked for a really long time for a group in New York called The American Society for Psychical Research, which has been around since 1885. They have an archive and a library and do a lot of investigations of paranormal and psychic phenomenon. So I'd been exposed to all these accounts of haunted houses, apparitions and things, and I always wanted to do an updated haunted house book.

 

What is scary about a big-box retail store like Ikea?

As I was doing research on Ikea, I realized the only place in modern life that's designed to disorient you and make you lost is Ikea. It lent itself to a haunting that way.

 

Do you believe in the occult?

It's funny. I hate to pull a Bill Clinton, but define what you mean by believe and supernatural. ... It's a really human experience to feel like you've seen something supernatural or uncanny or a ghost or something like that, and it's something that happens to so many people.

 

What scares you?

People always ask horror writers, 'What scares you?' and the answer is kind of everything. ... From the moment you wake up in the morning until the time you go to bed, and then you have dreams, you are living a life of complete and utter peril. ... Every second of our lives we're in complete and utter mortal peril and I think horror writers are just different because we actually notice it.

 

If you go: Grady Hendrix is at Strand Bookstore with JT Petty, Ellen Datlow, John Langan, Sarah Langan, and Laird Barron Monday night at 7 p.m., 828 Broadway, 212-473-1452, must buy Horrorstör or $15 gift card.