Very Afraid... And Enjoying It!

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Very Afraid.. And Enjoying It!

 
Something strange and wonderful happens to people when they read horror stories; a series of conflicting emotions and responses occur that makes the reader want to shut the page immediately from terror, and, at the same time, suck up every word from the page. The fact that the reader is actually in control of his own fear— because he has the power to put the book down at any time if it becomes overwhelming— impels him to trudge further into the darkness of the novel. 
 
All good horror stories reflect some aspect of human nature on a fundamental level. The dangerous sexuality involved in the Vampire legends, questions about the amount of control we actually have over our minds and bodies in possession stories like The Stepford Wives and The Exorcist, and the psychological insights into the motivators of a murderer in the Silence of the Lambs and Psycho are all examples of this. We live vicariously through the characters of horror stories as they endure through our deepest fears of isolation and loss of control; the mental and emotional dislocation of one’s self from other people; and from the universally established notions of morality. 
 
Horror stories are about ‘What ifs’:
 
What if someone was born without the basic perception of ethics and they were let loose on the world to hunt and consume?
What if your body or your mind was taken out of your control by something dark and wicked?
What if you let those secret, sinister thoughts that you have from time to time actually materialise into action?
The Horror story genre satisfies these malevolent questions. The barriers of self-control, the foundations of societal conventions, the simple physics of the universe—how easy is it for it all to fall apart?
 
 
 
 
 

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