So you can read my books

Thursday, October 22, 2015


Why are we drawn to horror? Why are good girls drawn to bad boys?


1.) The allure of the forbidden.

That is one of the reasons horror beckons to us from out of the shadows.

Why is that boy, that deserted mansion, forbidden?

It is as old as the blood which pulsed cold and tingling through Eve's veins as she reached for that forbidden fruit on that hauntingly lovely tree.


2.) Curiosity.

It is human nature to want to know what lies over the horizon. It's what drove the pioneers across wild, hostile lands.

What does that locked door conceal? That chained chest. Why those heavy links, that rusted lock?

Is this all there is? Or is there more beyond mere line of sight? We know there is more.

Science tells of us of dark matter piercing the cosmos with light-years long strands of matter invisible to the human eye. 

We are likewise blind to the world of germs. What other worlds are we blind to?

Give a nugget of uranium, a tiny stone really, to an aborigine. Tell him it is a good luck charm. Tell him to drop it in the village well.

What harm could one tiny stone do? 

Visit his village two months later. View the many corpses laying strewn like dead dreams all across the ground.

3.) Identification.

We watch and imagine what we would do in like situations. 

The world dissolves into chaos as random individuals descend slowly into madness.

You are picked up by the local sheriff as you are doing your morning walk with your dog. 

He orders you and your dog into the back of the car. 

He presses his gun to your dog's head and rambles on about brains looking like wet oysters. Do you want to see?

What would you do? What could you do?

Life is frightening: 

Global warming. Diseases that eat the very flesh of your body. 

We watch horor on the screen to encapsulate the horror of real life. It is not us up there.

We would be smarter, faster, more in control of our emotions.

We like the adrenaline rush sudden scares give us. 

Safer than driving fast, dating inappropriate guys or gals, and with the thrill of saying mentally, "It's not real; I'm still safe."


4.) The Darkness Within.

Terror versus Horror. 

Is one more physical; the other more mental? 

Does revulsion and squriming terror pierce through our mental barriers to stab deep into our unconscious fears ... and desires?

(Take the public fascination with the trilogy of the girl with the dragon tattoo:

she is repeatedly brutalized, raped, shot, and beaten. 

The books and movies are bestsellers. 

Is there a darkness in us that wants to roll around in sadism like a cat does catnip?)

You are horrified by the news of the floods in Pakistan. 

You are terrorized when you wake up one New Orleans morning to the news that the dams have burst, 

and you look out your front door to see rushing waters swallow your neighbor's home ... then your very own.  
Horror is realizing the monsters are real and are out there to get you. 

Terror is looking into the mirror, seeing yourself becoming one -- but still enough you to scream silently at the sight.

Stephen King said horror literature is a means for us to take out the monster, play with it for a while, and put it back.

But who is the monster?

Is he some squirming presence waiting on the other side of the dimensional wall waiting for a crack to appear? 

Is he the beloved president whose wife is slowly going insane at the awful reality of who he truly is?

Or does his/her eyes stare back at you from the mirror?

Carl Jung:
"Everyone carries a shadow, 

and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. 

At all counts, it forms an unconscious snag, thwarting our most well-meant intentions."

Why do you think we read horror? 

Why are we so drawn to dressing up as monsters or as our secret identities? 

Why do you write the genres you do? 

And what role does "control" or "lack of control" play in horror/scary movies and literature?


  1. I really like the quote from Jung.

    For me it seems we like horror or spooky stuff because fears are normal; from childhood through adulthood, we have to learn to face our fears, and storytelling is one way to explore them and maybe reach a catharsis.

    Interesting point about the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books: the author wanted to make a point about how badly women can be treated in society, and he was also a firm believer in revenge. So he created a character who in a way becomes the extreme avatar for people's revenge fantasies.

    1. I've always been fond of Jung's writings. I even had his ghost visit my blog once or twice. :-)

      Yes, horror I believe is a form of catharsis. We must face our fears in a non-threatening way or go insane in this crazy world of ours.

      I didn't know the Dragon author was a firm believer in revenge. As Luke found out in the tale in my prior post, revenge never turns out like you plan. Thanks for visiting and chatting awhile.

  2. I don't like horror per se, as I had too much of it when younger. I'm the type that then dreams about it at my own demise. I suppose it is an escapism from reality but never considered it therapy

    1. I need a hero or heroine in my horror tales that somehow makes it through -- depressed I can get all on my own! Horror is something I only visit during October ... or in my own life! May your weekend be easier on you. My heart is with those in Mexico facing Hurricane Patricia with 200 miles per hr winds!

  3. Maybe it is seeing the darkness that helps us to deal with our own.

    1. That's what Jung and Stephen King postulates, so we are in good company thinking that, right? :-)

  4. Having been afraid for most of my life, I think it helps me to handle all that, emotions long suppressed are released via the writing. But graphic horror I can not take, it actually affects me physically. Big wimp!

    1. I really don't generally read or write horror -- my prose is mostly fantasy with deadly challenges but overcome with humor and heart -- much as I did in those six weeks on the hard streets of Detroit as a six year old. May fear recede further and further in your life until it is only a dim outline on the horizon of a beautiful life. :-)

  5. Horror, in a way, is cathartic. Mostly talking about revenge bits and such. Though, I read this story where the main character was a serial killer that killed other monsters (like Dexter, but it wasn't Dexter). I like that sorta thing too.

    There's just something about facing those fears through fiction. I don't know. Your post was really great!

    1. Thank you, Madilyn. :-) Been at work all day and much of the night. Whew!! In fiction, we can imagine ourselves overcoming what we fear we might not in reality!!

  6. I am not a horror fan. Horror is big for breaking into the film industry because it is not so culturally exclusive. Hence so many save the world plot lines.
    I think the millennial and gen x have a more jaded appreciation. Students have told me how hard they laughed at points because of the surreal moments. I would be having nightmares.

    1. Many horror movies are very inexpensive to make so it is much easier to make good profits! Students are jaded by the news and what goes on in their everyday lives sadly. :-)

      Horror is only for me during October (sort of a personal tradition) -- the rest of the year I am into fantasy, science fiction, mysteries, and non-fiction. :-)