Scare Me

I’m currently writing a semi-scary short involving ghosts and seances and all around creepiness, and I have more frightful works planned for later this month (stay tuned!).

‘Tis the season, after all.

Halloween

And it occurs to me, now that I’ve started my ghosty short story, that I know not the first thing about writing horror or ghost stories or scary works generally. I don’t watch many horror films, I’ve read maybe three horror books in my life. I just don’t go there very often.

If I stretch, I can say it’s because horror movies and books upset me more than they do others. I stayed awake nearly all night after watching The Ring. I saw The Shining as a semi-youngster, and it didn’t bother me, but when I saw it again in college, it troubled me so much I turned it off. I still get a little weirded out if I see a random pile of rocks in the woods, and I’d never laugh at a myth of a creepy New England murderer-witch.

It’s definitely something that came with age. I liked being frightened by Scary Stories to Read in the Dark as a kid, but it was fun-fright, not genuine. Eventually, I grew out of those, and as a teenager, I fell asleep in horror movies. Something about the long silences and dark scenes: they just knocked me unconscious. But for some reason I got jumpier as I got older, and I haven’t seen a new horror movie in ages.

I did see The Grudge last year, and it didn’t frighten me.

I have no idea: my fright-factor is completely hit or miss.

And since I have no idea how to frighten myself, I don’t know how to frighten others, either. So tell me: what makes a story or a movie scary to you? What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever read or seen? Do you have any good horror-writing tips?