Every Day Fiction recently popped out a new horror story of mine, and I’ve got a few other horror pieces already out there. Some of my sword & sorcery tales have strong horror elements, too.
So, I’m asking: What scares you?
A lot of my horror tales, published or not, depend on plausibility. I don’t often go for the straight-out supernatural thing, at least when writing present-day stuff. I’ll hint at otherworldliness, but usually I’ll leave room for the reader to wonder while I go for the scare with something entirely plausible. Indeed, it’s the plausible thing that scares me. Ghosts and goblins I know aren’t real, but a crazed killer or ensuing madness … those I worry about.
I suppose it’s a bit like H.P. Lovecraft’s position, although this isn’t something I necessarily intended to stake out when writing these stories. Lovecraft, convinced that vampires and such could no longer provide true chills in a world where science was pushing such things to the margin of human memory, decided to mine the vast cosmos and find his horrors across the void or in the depths of time. Not that his stuff was particularly plausible, but it was more plausible than say, “Dracula,” and it seemed more plausible because he leaned on science and archeology and history. Don’t get me wrong; “Dracula” is one of my favorite books — but it hasn’t scared me since I was, like 8 or 9.
I like horror stories that make the reader say, “Oh, crap. This could happen.” That’s usually the case even if I’ve tried to immerse the reader into a mood of spectral suspense along the way. Indeed, the supernatural vibe provides the hook and misdirection that makes the whammy work, in my opinion.
What’s your opinion?