I did a guest post for Becky Spratford on Why I Love Horror. This is part of a spotlight series highlighting Bloodshot Books’ authors. It posted today.
For those of us in the world of horror, autumn is a busy time of year. Fall and horror go hand in hand, and with good reason. They are both associated with death: the passing of summer and the approach of the cold dark months certainly mirrors the lifespan of a human being. Autumn is also a great time for telling—and reading—scary stories. The long, dark nights remind us of all the things that could be waiting in the shadows.
Humans tell stories because that is how we learn to understand the world around us. Many of the tales we hear as children have elements of horror: witches and goblins and dark magic certainly permeate quite a bit of children’s fiction. But why do we enjoy horror so much? Why do we watch movies that give us nightmares, or read books that make us squirm? Why on earth would we want to delve into the darkest corners of the universe? Isn’t it much more pleasant in the sunshine?
Because of fear.
A good scary book or movie has the power to invoke true fear, on a very visceral level. When horror does it right, we get goosebumps, we shiver, we get queasy, we jump. We get that sick feeling in the pit of our stomachs. Fear may not be the most pleasant emotion, but it is both powerful and necessary. Our strongest survival instincts are drenched in fear: fear of pain, fear of death, fear of loss. Horror allows us to experience those fears, and can terrify us on a level that most of us will—hopefully—never experience in reality, without exposing us to any danger.