Are you ready?
It’s Horror week.
Yes, it’s time for my current obsession: Horror. According to Wikipedia, Horror is “a genre of fiction which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten, scare, disgust, or startle their readers or viewers by inducing feelings of horror and terror.” So, basically, anything you find scary. Which, if you’re me, is a very long list.
Okay, I’m scared of everything.
So grab your flashlight, gather your most attractive friends, and let’s explore
that weird abandoned house in the woods the alluring world of the Horror genre!
What could possibly go wrong?
So, let’s theorize what keeps chasing you and leaving threatening messages:
- Gothic Horror—a.k.a. ye olde scares. Manners and murderers. Society and sociopaths and Scotland Yard. People, it’s a classic for a reason. (Notable examples: Dracula, Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Haunting of Hill House)
- Ghost Stories—a.k.a. I see dead people. What ingredients do you need for a ghost story? Couple living people, at least one dead person, and some creepy shenanigans. Simple. (Notable examples: Anna Dressed in Blood, The Woman in Black, The Turn of the Screw, Wait Till Helen Comes)
- Zombie Fic—a.k.a. I see more dead people. C’mon…you know what zombies are. Do I really need to break this one down? (Notable examples: World War Z, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Warm Bodies, The Forest of Hands and Teeth)
- Monster Fic—
- Slasher—a.k.a. you call that a knife? Basically, someone has taken the concept of “big game hunting” a little too far. Also, avoid all woods, basements, attics, dark roads, suspicious vans, abandoned theme parks, newly re-opened summer camps, or lake houses of any sort. Trust me. (Notable examples: Psycho, American Psycho, Killer Instinct, The Silence of the Lambs)
- Lovecraftian—a.k.a. that monster you can’t spell. Also known as “cosmic horror,” it’s usually chock-full of the occult. Which is easier to spell. (Notable examples: At the Mountains of Madness, The Atrocity Archives, Maplecroft, Annihilation)
- Splatterpunk—a.k.a. kind of looks like a Pollack painting. Honestly, I think the name says it all. (Notable examples: The Autopsy, Off Season, The Woods Are Dark, The Light at the End)
So, on that uplifting note…
Do you ever get that unsettling feeling that the same things are happening over and over, that you’re trapped in the same thing and can’t escape? Do you see that same things over and over, until you start to fear it?
Those are called tropes. Avoid them:
- Having sex? You’re dying first—because not only is that a horrible message, but disgustingly predictable. So please, for the love of god, NO.
- Creepy children—they’re horrifying, and frequent star of my nightmares. *shudder*
- “Sarah’s been dead for twenty years…”—a.k.a. phrases I like to insert into totally mundane conversations. Usually in a weird, old lady voice. You should try it.
- The Basement—seriously, don’t go into it. Never go into the basement. Why do you even have a basement? Nothing good ever happens there.
- Let’s Split Up—NO! Shut up. Fred, I know you want to check out that attic with Daphne, but no. Stop. Don’t even.
Horror is a collection of bad things. Terrible things. It’s 350 pages of awful things happening to people who, usually, do not deserve it.
So why do I love it?
Maybe it’s the weird, dark part of my personality. The part that got me sorted into Slytherin. But what I love about Horror is how uncomfortable it makes me feel: the chill up my back, the sweat on my neck, the fear that someone is right behind me. It’s controlled terror, a fear injection that can give myself whenever I need a hit.
Time to get sciencey: fear produces adrenaline, and adrenaline is addictive. Therefore, fear is addictive. You lose yourself in good horror, getting completely swept up in the hunt, running high on adrenaline. And, when you close the final page—heart pounding, palms sweaty—your body craves more.
It is the definition of delicious and dangerous.
Horror is addicting, as long as it’s not happening to you.
Looking for more scares? Check out these random faves:
- House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
- A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
- The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey
- Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
- Bird Box by Josh Malerman
- Misery by Stephen King
- The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
- Asylum by Madeleine Roux
- Night Film by Marisha Pessl
- Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
- The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle
- The Fever by Megan Abbot
- The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
- Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
- The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd
- Rooms by Lauren Oliver
- Let the Right One in by John Ajvide Lindqvist
- Coraline by Neil Gaiman