Thursday, October 27, 2011

Scared and Loving It

Have you ever stopped to think-really think about-what you're scared of? I'm not talking about any deep soul searching (unless you're up for it). Just name the first thing you can think of.

Me? I'm afraid of forgetting to turn something in on time in my classes. I'm afraid of messing up so I usually talk myself out of trying new things. I'm afraid of responsibility and, as strange as it sounds, of greatness.

I'm also afraid of zombies and anything headless, but that's another story.

It's important to understand what you're afraid of? Why? I honestly believe that you can not know yourself until you know what you're afraid of and understand why you're afraid. This isn't philosophical. It's coming from someone who appreciates good, old fashioned horror.

You cringed, didn't you? Most people do. Or they look at me like something weird just crawled out of my mouth and onto my shoulder. Horror, as I see it, enjoy it, and write it, can be defined...well, I'll let the Horror Writers Association describe it for you: GO HERE. Don't worry, it's not a long read. I think you'll find it enlightening. Go on. I'll wait...


There. Now you know. I don't dig pointless gore and disgusting mess that modern America has dubbed "horror". For me, horror is more about the human condition, about people facing their fears and discovering what they're made of (or, on some occasions, what they're not made of). Once you've faced your fears, you feel invincible. You feel a lightness, an odd sense of being, as if you can do anything.

Until you come up against another fear. And then you have to go through the stages all over again. It's all about conquering self. Not the ghost, goblin, traffic cop or mother-in-law.

So. What ARE you afraid of?

Go on. Scare me.


  1. My fears are tied up with the very real events--death of a child or grandchild, losing my husband, dementia, or having a stroke.
    The super-natural I have seen over the years. My faith keeps me sane.

  2. You have nailed it.
    If the gore fits, I'm all right with it, but the gore just for the sake of gore is a waste. So is the torture porn. Give me something that will disturb and scare me in a deep-rooted fashion.

  3. Inadequacy.

    Also, anything flying that's got a stinger. :P

  4. Oooh, conquering yourself. I like that definition a lot! I can definitely relate to being afraid to try new things--that's something I've been working on.

  5. Great post! I agree - I don't find that blood and gore at all scary - it's the personal, very human stuff that gets me. I think I'm most afraid of letting people I love down.

  6. That is a great article. I like how horror is described as an emotion, not a literary or film genre. It's true that it changes and is different for everyone. I was afraid of reaching out to others and trying new things, but I'm starting to conquer that one!
    Write on!

  7. So good! I needed to read this today. You are so right & until we define our fears, we cannot conquer them. I am running a 10k on Thanksgiving and am scared to death - but I will face and I will do it...even if I walk. Thank you for this post!

  8. I don't like to be scared. Especially now that I'm an adult and I know how scary life can be sometimes--I don't find it entertaining. I don't like being surprised and I certainly don't like gore for the sake of gore.

    I sound like an old poop, don't I??? :)


Well, hello! I'm so glad you made it. Come inside and sit by the hearth. I'll take your coat and hat. The kettle is singing and there's cake and candles and good conversation. Settle in and make yourself at home. Don't mind the wolfhounds; they're friendly if you give them a bit of lemon curd.