Happy “Eat ALLLL the Candy” Day!



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!

~ Noel


9 thoughts on “Happy “Eat ALLLL the Candy” Day!

  1. For me, I think the appetite for horror is kind of the same as a taste for rollercoasters and whatever, it’s a safe kind of thrill. In terms of writing it, I really don’t know, maybe I want to try to create that thrill for other people.

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  2. As a child I was plagued by nightmares and as I got older I found that reading horror stories took some of the fear away and replaced it with adrenaline and excitement (I realise that sounds a bit weird but there you go!). Several recurring dreams I’ve had over the years have cropped up in stories and I think since becoming a parent the nature of things that terrify me has altered – essentially now something happening to my kids is my biggest fear and I’ve tried to deal with that terror by writing stories about fictional “what if” events. There is definitely a mix of fear, excitement and morbid curiosity in most of us!

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    • Same here – I had nightmares a lot as a kid too. I was quite the scaredy-cat, always had to check under the bed, used a night-light, etc… Yet I still flocked to scary stories. (Gee, I wonder if that’s what fueled the nightmares! Haha.) A bit later I started avoiding horror, it stuck in my brain too well. Now I’ve come back around to enjoying it for the adrenaline as you said. And ya know, the more exposure I get, the less it sticks in my mind, which is nice. I can see how something happening to your kids would be your biggest terror; I’m glad that writing has been cathartic in that regard. It’s amazing how helpful writing can be. Man, what would we do without this handy-dandy therapy just a pen away??

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  3. Hmm. When I was just old enough start kindergarten, I remember being irrationally afraid of motorcycles. They were absolutely terrifying. The sounds they made, the people on them, and where I imagined they came from (some place like hell.) Euuugh, I can feel the shivers. I’d write a story about it, but it would probably mostly just turn into something like Ghost Rider anyway.

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