I know it seems out of character to bring up an author of kid's books, but he holds a place in my heart. As a young man I read Algernon Blackwood, and started my way through the schools gothic writings, finally hitting HP Lovecraft. After reading such things, the rest of Jr. High library seemed much less interesting, until I spotted a book by Pinkwater. (I think it was Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars.) Thinking it sounded interesting, I hit a reference to Miskatonic University. Just a throwaway line, but it let me know there were others out there.
Daniel Pinkwater's Website