In honor of Halloween and all things sugary– I mean, spooky– I’ve decided to do a little horror-themed post. 🙂 When I was a very wee kid, I wrote a bunch of scary stories. I’ve forgotten most of them now, but I distinctly remember one that I wrote while my family and I were staying in a hotel.
The hotel pool had this giant spikey/flowery type design printed on the bottom, and in my wee mind it looked like a hand. I decided, with perfect logic of course, that it would probably come to life and pull me down into the underworld if I touched it (duh, obviously). This scared the arm-floaties right offa me, and I refused to swim anywhere near it. I mean, I knew the hand would only snatch me if I touched it, but you can’t be too careful when underworlds are involved.
It’s funny now, but back then, wee me was legitimately terrified. Like, I believed in the guts of my guts that this would really happen. Yet as terrified as I was, that fear also gave me a surge of creativity, so I quickly ran off to– erp, sorry Mom, I WALKED VERY CAREFULLY–to a poolside chair and scribbled a story down.
I find this transferal of fear into inspiration rather fascinating. Maybe it reflects the psychology of WHY many of us are drawn to horror in our narratives but not in reality. Maybe it’s because stories give us the safe distance to explore and understand our fears, without any real-life consequences. It’s not fearlessness that draws me to horror. Wee me was scared of the hand, but also curious, and writing that story let me get close enough to wrap my brain around it without getting pulled into the underworld. (Always a good day when that doesn’t happen!)
Those of you who like horror, do you relate to this? Or does your interest come from something else? I’d love to hear your thoughts!