Halloween Haunts: Why Horror? by Cher Green
I’ve wanted to be a writer for as far back as I can remember. Emily Dickinson led me into poetry, and V.C. Andrews opened me up to fiction. My reading habits include poetry, short stories, long fiction and everything in between – romance to horror, sci-fi to suspense. If the words grab me, the story shall be read.
Yet, when writing, I stick close to my heart with paranormal and horror. Why, you may ask, would a nice girl like me want to write Horror?
I blame it on my fascination with fear and the authors who create it. These writers dig deep into their subconscious minds, pull out their biggest fears, and share them with the world. Expressing your fears on paper is by far the best therapy in the world.
Fear is an invigorating emotion, perhaps even an addiction on some level. There’s no better feeling than sitting in bed and reading a book when every noise in the house starts to take on a menacing quality.
As humans, we want to experience every emotion available. Fear, however, is a tricky one – a feeling best suited for vicarious participation. It’s such a strong desire among us that activities are created just for the thrill seekers – roller coaster rides, bungee jumping, and more.
In the comfort of your home, you can enjoy the rush of blood pumping through your veins. All you need is a good horror movie, novel, or short story. Fiction offers the fear seeker a safe haven to enjoy the thrill. Unless, of course, you are one of those people whose imagination has the ability to turn into the real deal.
As a writer, I find horror one of the most challenging genres. Everyone has different fears, and you do your best to touch as many as you can. Really, how many people are afraid of clowns? Such a notion never touched my mind until Stephen King pulled it off with such great talent.
Evil dolls and little children are my fear igniter, not to mention mirrors, ghosts, demons, and that dang thing under the bed. Child’s Play presented us with evil trapped in a plastic doll. Many movies include the evil child. I get shivers just thinking about the cold, hard stares – not to mention the child zombies. When you look in a mirror, and your reflection doesn’t mimic you – what could be scarier than that! Bloody Mary isn’t necessary for mirrors to spook me. Demons and Ghosts go hand in hand with terror. What would you do if you came face to face with either? Run! I say run! Don’t hide in the closet – no telling what you’ll discover there. And don’t play videos when you don’t know what’s on them – The Ring.
Halloween is a celebration of this fear and candy the icing on the cake. Haunted houses, one of my favorite aspects of the holiday, allow us to express the emotion in yet another safe environment.
Have a Happy “Safe” Halloween, Everyone!
TODAY’S GIVEAWAY: Cher Green is offering one digital copy each of her books Escape to Love and Seduced by Darkness. To enter post a comment in the section below or e-mail email@example.com and put HH CONTEST ENTRY in the header. Winners will be chosen at random and notified by e-mail.
Cher Green, born in Tennessee, lives in South Carolina with her significant other and her two feline companions. She writes in many genres, spanning from horror to romance, usually with a touch of paranormal. When she isn’t writing, she’s delivering mail for the United States Postal Service. Cher also works as an editor, both for various publishing companies and freelance. Her other interests include spiritual development, tarot cards, and reading. Her recent publications include short stories featured at Spinetinglers and Untied Shoelaces of the Mind, and two paranormal romance novellas at eTreasures Publishing. For more information on this author, visit: http://www.chergreen.com, http://www.chergreen.blogspot.com/
An excerpt from Escape to Love:
Four white candles in each corner, a small dish of water, a pinch of salt, and a bag of sage completed Constance Spenser’s ritual offering. She pulled the lilac scrunchie from her thick black hair. Heaving a breath, she tried to push aside her melancholy.
After five years with her ex, the recent breakup hadn’t improved her dismal outlook. Wading through each day, she tried to see the positive, to find a fresh beginning. She fingered the pentacle necklace, wondering if she’d ever see results.
Her Persian, Angelica, brushed against her bare leg before jumping into her lap. Constance ran a hand over the cat’s soft fur. “I know baby. You love me no matter how big of a failure I turn out to be.” The cat stretched toward her, placing a paw kiss upon her chin, like a friend’s kind hug.
Careful not to disturb the lounging pet, she withdrew a box of matches from the table’s drawer. Striking one, her voice eased over the darkness with each lit candle. “I give my body to the earth, my breath to the air, my tears to the water, my desire to the fire.” The heat from the match singed her thumb, causing her to drop it into the water dish. “I call upon the spirit world for guidance. Reveal to me my path. Set me on a journey.”
A soft breeze stirred the curtains. The tick-tock of the old grandfather clock magnified, building to a roar. Then, an eerie silence settled over the room, voiding Constance’s moment of anticipation. Dropping her shoulders, she blew out the candles and shuffled toward the kitchen.
Angelica hissed. Constance spun. The curtains whipped in the strong wind tearing through her house. Through the sheer drapery, moonlight pulsed, trespassing into her small living room. Hair on end, teeth bared, her cat arched. Constance’s heart echoed in her ears – it worked, her incantation had been a success.
Thunder rumbled, shaking the house, ravaging her senses. Soft rain fell, lulling her into a calm state. The smell of disturbed soil filled the room, like a peaceful cemetery burial. Lightning darted through the darkened clouds, slithered through the darkness, and forked across the purple sky. A haze settled as the soft rain turned into a full-fledged downpour.
Tiny goose bumps popped up all over her bare skin. She crossed her arms, but it didn’t do much for the chill rambling through her body. The thin fabric of her nightgown did nothing to stop the icy grip of the storm on her flesh. She started toward the bedroom to grab a robe, but a high pitched cry bounced off the walls, stopping in her tracks.
Constance rushed through the living room, onto the porch. She glanced back at the doorway, then to the raging storm. A tear ran down her cheek. She cringed at the thought of the possible dangers she’d brought upon them. Her poor cat hissed from the safety of the doorway.
“It’s okay,” she whispered, though who she sought to console was unclear. Angelica looked less than impressed, recoiling from her outstretched hand. Lightning shattered the sky. Constance jumped. Angelica bolted from the doorway. “Ooh, what have I done?”
The storm raged, venting its impressive force only to stop as suddenly as it began. The sky cleared, the room fell silent, leaving her to struggle with her racing heart. She eased back to the doorway, coaxed Angelica back into the opening. “See. Told ya. Everything’s fine. ” Angelica’s fur remained on end. The cat stared past her, hissing furiously.
Escape to Love – Blurb,excerpt, and reviews – http://www.chergreen.com/escape-to-love.html , Buy Link – http://www.etreasurespublishing.com/products/Escape-to-Love-by-Cher-Green.html
Seduced by Darkness – Blurb,excerpt, and reviews – http://www.chergreen.com/seduced-by-darkness.html, Buy Link – http://www.etreasurespublishing.com/products/Seduced-by-Darkness-by-Cher-Green.html
Hiya, reading this made me think of my scariest moment. I awoke from a deep sleep, suddenly running outside as fast as i could to the parking lot of where i was living. I dont know how i accomplished it, but i ran straight thru a pile of rubbish of bricks and stuff. I want to understand, like a lot of other things that have occured in my life better.
Michael, Sorry I didn’t see your comment. I will probably watch Sinister.
Bn100, Thanks. I enjoyed writing both of them.
Are you planning on seeing any scary movies? I’m trying to work up the courage to go and see “Sinister.” It looks really terrifying.
I enjoyed the excerpt. Sounds like a good book.
I guess it’s just a personality difference. We all vary on the types of horror we like also. Slash em and dash em verses the boogeyman in the closet. 🙂
I get the “nice girl like you” question quite a bit myself, and I think you’ve touched on several of the answers here. What’s interesting to me is why some people (like most of us here) do like to be scared in a safe environment while others don’t.