I thought I'd put up a photo of Albert Fish, a sexual predator who happened to be a cannibal. He preyed on children and killed them horrifically. See, there's that word again: horror. He was a monster from hell in human form. Google Grace Budd and find out about the real bogey-man who murdered her. He's just one of many. Too many! Isn't that horrible?
I always say, how can I not write horror? It’s on the news. Acts of terror and murder are global; they happen across the world and very possibly in our own towns and neighborhoods. There are serial killers all over the place: child killers, team killers (those working together to cause murder and mayhem) there are loan killers, stalkers, hot heads that descend into road rage and become violent lunatics. Often the target of their rage is murdered or maimed. Many parents have set up nanny cams so they can monitor the baby sitter who might be okay but might not be okay. Pennywise, move over! We have real killers of children and toddlers.
To those people who ‘cannot understand, fathom or reason’ why on earth any ‘normal person’ would write horror…I say, open a history book. Begin with the savagery of mankind going back to ancient times and continue on with The Inquisition, the genocide of indigenous peoples in the Americas and elsewhere and be sure to consider slavery (whenever it happened or wherever it happened)..
The Holocaust, all holocausts, genocides, ethnic cleansing—I mean it’s there. It’s documented.
There are also horrors we all may face at one time or another. We have personal demons that cause us anguish and pain. That’s pretty horrible. We can all pretend we don’t see these things or know about them. But we have to at least admit they are there. We must, admit that horror exists in the world and it always has existed. Sadly it probably always will.
An outlet for us, for our fear of death (read about Ebola lately?), could be to write a horror story about zombies or vampires. Fantasizing about immortality can’t be that bad.
We owe the undead a lot! Writers give us sexy vampires, monstrous ones and cute ones we can date in high school. Nothing wrong with fantasy, are you kidding? It’s better than thinking about what happened to Ted Bundy’s victims or Jack the Ripper’s.
So there you have it. Whatever draws you to horror, if in fact you are a fan. If you are, you have a huge choice of horror fiction to pick from (yes and films too) you can watch or read slasher stuff or not. You can giggle about zombies breaking your door down, or you can wonder what it would be like if a vampire approached you, maybe you’d like it?
We have horror because it’s there. Google the news and see what horror story is the big one today. Is it a missing teen’s body that was found or is it something else?
It’s out there. I know it is, you know it is—no point in denying it. Maybe horror fiction and film is our defense against what frightens us! On the other hand it could be an embodiment of all that frightens us.
If the world were a utopia, there would be no horror. I’d bet Dracula’s immortality on it.