A Mind For Horror

Posted: June 8, 2014 in astrology, horror, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

“How is it that two of the sweetest women I know, write horror?” A great friend sputtered not so long ago to me.
“And we’re both vegetarians, to boot!” I joked back.

Though my friend was teasing (a writer, herself, she’s well-aware of such fallacies), the stereotypes of writers of certain genres certainly does exist amongst some, perhaps even much, of the general population. No doubt that many who read my stories would envision a female- Carmilla-pale, sheathed in black, dark and broody by nature.

So what did drive me towards horror? Is it the sign of Scorpio placed in the North Node of my chart? The North Node indicating a soul’s purpose in this incarnation? It is said of such people that we are the “truth tellers”. We see through the superficialities of societal masks, and dive deep into the murkiest swamps to discover the hidden treasures beneath. We hear the beauty in Discordia. With the ability to see the wounded child behind the adult’s coldened eyes, it might be little wonder that those with such a placement in our charts are often drawn to becoming healers in the psychiatric fields.

Is it Lilith placed in the fifth house of my chart? Lilith, the first woman, who positioned there, inspires one to create authentically, without self-censorship.

For horror writers must often venture into those uncultivated forests of the mind, those same wilding paths that most avoid. Yet, to explore darkness, to have a love of the fallen and forbidden, does not equate to possessing a gloomy and depressed psyche. Rather, it is the ability and desire to understand, even if not necessarily condoning certain actions.

It is ability to find beauty in the most unexpected of ruins.

While a lot of horror stories deal with twisted, even disturbing subjects, they often are the least cynical or nihilistic. More often than not, good triumphs over evil. And even those with tragic endings often also leave glimmers of hope and of newfound understandings. Who did not pity Frankenstein’s monster- despised and abused from birth- until he allowed himself to be swept away by those waves?

Robert McCammon said in an interview, “There are scenes in all of my books which are over the top in terms of violence, of gore. But that is not the core and crux of the work. The core of the book will always be the human element. I want to tell a human story about a person’s journey through a forbidding or threatening world.”

  1. One of the best things about horror, for me, is that it takes something we might never have noticed or thought about, or that we took for granted, and turns it completely upside down. Like “The Shrinking Man” – what if you shrank a fraction of an inch every day?

    I once wrote a horror short about the Ark, just because I was thinking about an animated film I saw as a kid, which showed all the people and animals on the Ark happy and singing songs. I thought no, conditions on a wooden ship surrounded by constant rain and rising water had to be terrible. We’re kind of realistic people that way, us horror writers. 🙂

  2. Hi Marian!

    I love what you said about taking things we took for granted and turning them upside down. And what you said about being realistic made me thing about the description of “truth seekers”.

  3. I can’t read or watch horror. My mind doesn’t turn off and I end up having nightmares for weeks on end. I had them reading Stephen King’s “The Fog” for which others have made fun of me, calling it tame. The first “Friday the 13th” was the wrong thing for me to see. I still can’t sit back in the backseat of a car, or sleep on the top bunk. And I should never have seen “Silence of the Lambs.” I’m a lily-livered pantywaist. 🙂

  4. …But a totally cool and fun lily-livered pantywaist. 😉

    And if it’s any consolation, I *still* get chilled if I see Betsy Palmer in anything. My poor mind always flashes back to Jason’s mother… She terrified me as a kid, I tell ya!

  5. I love it when a person can write horror. Yes at time it is a bit twisted but also deep. Deep to me mean it has an underlying story ready to pop up eventually that tell the tale of the reason why. People who can write horror in my opinion are very creative. They must be.

  6. Thanks so much, Lora! I do think everyone is creative in different ways, whether it be writing, painting, photography, gardening, etc 🙂

  7. D. D. Syrdal says:

    I’m with Lis’Anne, I don’t have much stomach for horror. The first “Alien” movie had me kicking doors open before I’d enter a room because I was SURE that creature was in there waiting for me…Halloween, Friday the 13th… absolutely traumatized me.

  8. Hey DD!

    I don’t like slasher films unless they also have a good whodunnit mystery. On that regard, I’ve become a fan of some of the Italian giallos. And the first Scream was rather fun and clever. But just having some masked person going around chopping up clueless teens just to have gore (sans any real plot or characterization) isn’t my thing at all.

    Kid-me definitely regretted watching Friday the 13th and Halloween! Adult me doesn’t have any desire to rewatch.

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