by Kristin Holt
I freely admit I'm not a huge fan of horror, though I Am Legend (2007) rates in my top [out-of-my-typical-favorite-genres] movies of all time. Scared the living daylights out of me. I saw it at least eight years ago, yet I still find myself thinking about powerful scenes, nuances, and the premise.
|Poster Design by Crew Creative Advertising. [Source]|
Another movie that scared me--and I loved it!--was The Sixth Sense (1999). I don't know that I've ever been so spooked. What a thrill! Remember how YOU reacted upon discovering the shocking twist?
|The Sixth Sense, Theatrical Release Poster [Source]|
Don't we read to experience everything?...all from the safety of an armchair (or commuter train seat or hammock)? Powerful fiction transports the reader to another place, another life, another set of circumstances. I think people read scary stories and watch scary movies to safely experience the thrill-ride of spine-tingling fear.
I can't say I read horror (or scary stories) on a regular basis, though I have read some. Far more often, I come across horrific (and probably true) incidents in my constant research of Victorian-American history.
True (at least as far as the viewpoint of the then-current news reporter) history can be every bit as scary, disturbing, nightmare-inducing...and heartbreaking.
The following newspaper clipping, published in Shelby County Herald of Shelbyville, Missouri on October 1, 1890. Yes, some newspaper 'articles' in the late nineteenth century were fictionalized, but this one doesn't seem to be anything but the sad truth--mental illness likely brought on by grief and heartache.
Horrible and sad all at the same time. I think every parent everywhere can imagine the agony experienced by this mother, can identify with her loss...and realize the slip into insanity could happen to any one of us. Isn't that what makes some stories (whether factual or fictional) so scary?
Why do you read scary stories?
Hi! I'm Kristin Holt.
I write frequent articles (or view recent posts easily on my Home Page, scroll down) about the nineteenth century American west–every subject of possible interest to readers, amateur historians, authors…as all of these tidbits surfaced while researching for my books. I also blog monthly at Sweet Americana Sweethearts (first Friday of each month) and Romancing the Genres (third Tuesday of each Month).