I wrote this for my night school class last week and it earned me a 100. (Which actually wasn’t very hard to do in that class.) I thought I would post it here for your amusement. Or education. Let me know if it teaches you anything.
Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places.
H. P. Lovecraft
I am a fan of horror. There really is no logical, rational reason why I seek out the unknown, the strange, the terrifying in life. Definitely no answer that is satisfying. It could be that I seek horror because I have terrible bad dreams, nightmares of the worst caliber, regularly when I’m not writing or creating a masterpiece of terror. They could drive a weaker person insane. (Just ask me about the green candy canes some time.)
Or perhaps I enjoy the thrill of riding on fear; I must love the adrenaline rush I get when watching a scary (an actually scary and not lame B-rate horror that makes you laugh, but never on purpose) flick that makes me jump ten feet out of my chair. But that cannot be true. I detest thrill rides at amusement parts (you have to drag me forcibly on to a roller coaster) and I never push myself to be afraid. For example, I am terrified of heights. (Not a big stretch for someone under five feet tall, right?) But when in a building two or more stories tall, I don’t stand next to windows or the edge of balconies. If I’m even on the balcony.
So obviously I don’t seek out the thrills and chills associated with horror — with facing your fears.
A woman asked me once, in a religious context, if I could see the dark things in life. I answered that yes, I could.
I would lay money down that my love for the horror genre has more to do with this ability to see the dark in everyday than any other superfluous reason. (Which is what they are. Window dressing and partial truths to hide the truth from everyone. And myself.)
What is so disturbing, I ask myself, about being able to see the dark?
But that’s an easy answer.
The dark is but a reflection of the monsters hidden within — so how dark must my monster be that I can see others? After all, as Dr. Smith from Lost in Space said, “Evil knows evil.”
Then I remind myself that there are no monsters lurking in my ribcage. No trolls scampering over my spine. Not even a small vampire bat in my skull.
But I can still see the dark threaded through the light in each day, spreading misery and fear. I can still see the demons that pursue others. The gorilla sized fears they carry on their backs. And I feel for them, those plagued by fear, by the dark. I promise those victims, some of their own cruel hands, relief, escape from their problems, within my stories.
Hence why I love horror. How else to better under stand the dark, my enemy?
(Or is it?)
As an after remark, all of the above makes for fun reading and cool quotes, but really, I like horror for the same reason anyone else might.
Horror is the only real genre to grapple, face to face, with the unknown. You can never be too sure of what you’re getting when you pick a book or movie off the horror shelves.
That’s what makes it fun.
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I hope you’ve enjoyed my essay. It was delightful to write and the teacher seemed to enjoy it.
Alas, today I have other writings to attend to, if I could just get the proper software downloaded. At the moment I am denied accessibility to almost every story on my hard drive simply because of the computer change. Awfully aggravating. If I can’t get it working on my computer, I will voyage elsewhere to retrieve my stories.
In the meantime, I suppose I’ll begin work on something new if the old is still . . . unavailable.
Til the Veil is at its thinnest,