Well, it’s Monday and those two days of freedom are but a distant memory to most of us. To those of you who downloaded my book for free over the weekend I want to say a big thank you and I hope that you are enjoying it (I have a cramp in my fingers and toes from keeping them crossed!)
Whatever you did this weekend I hope that you had a wonderful time. Unfortunately, my best laid plans went awry when I awoke on Saturday morning. Feeling somewhat ‘under the weather’ I resolved the best thing to do would be to stay in bed and spend the day watching old horror movies.
I have a confession. Despite my penchant for these films and the fact that I do resemble something that crawled out of a freshly dug hole most days, I am in fact a wimp. One of my friends fondly refers to me as a ‘Wimpy Goth’. I accept the mantle – because it’s true.
Last year that I was at a well-known theme park in the UK and ran off a ghost train ride half way through. Much to the dismay of my partner, my step son and his girlfriend, and much to the amusement of the other passengers who watched a grown woman visibly shaking and scurrying off down the back stairs. At the time I didn’t care – I needed to get off – I was petrified!
Now I feel I must exonerate myself. The ride was scary…but it wasn’t ‘that’ scary. It wasn’t the components of the ride that made me run up to an attendant and request a swift exit – it was my imagination. Rationally I knew it was just a ride. Rationally I knew that I wasn’t going to be harmed. Rationally I knew it was all make believe.
However my imagination successfully managed to wrestle my rationale out of the ring – and I legged it!
I have always been a wimp. I didn’t go on a ghost train until I was 14! I never watched a ‘horror’ film until I was at least 18 and when I studied Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein for ‘A Level’ I made my Dad take the book out of the house when he went away for the weekend. I have no idea what I thought was going to happen if I was alone in the house with the book, but it scared me.
Then I started to get into the ‘macabre’ and started to watch the old Hammer Horror films, and I realised they weren’t as bad as I had expected. In fact, I quite enjoyed them – they scared me but they gave me a ‘thrilling scare’. So I decided to try out some of the old Hollywood Horror films – like Frankenstein with Boris Karloff and The Wolfman with Lon Chaney Jr – and I became hooked!
I loved the acting, the music, the atmosphere, I loved the anticipation as I waited for the ‘aarrghh!’ moment, I loved the sinister settings – I loved everything. I was a horror convert.
I resolved that perhaps I was OK with them because they were from a different era. So I stuck with my ‘older’ horror films and began devouring anything with Vincent Price, Christopher Lee or Peter Cushing in it.
Then one day I faced a dilemma. I had no choice but to watch a scary ‘modern’ movie – I won’t go into details but I couldn’t form any excuse. I put on my big girl shoes and resolved that I could close my eyes if the worst came to the worst. I sat with baited breath and waited for the moment that was going to petrify me. I had visions of everyone switching the light on at the end and I would be sitting in the chair, frozen stiff, dead. Death by fear.
I waited, and I waited.
I cringed at the blood and gore scenes. And I waited.
I waited a little bit more and relaxed my grip on the cushion.
I cringed again at the blood and gore. And I waited again.
Then the ending credits rolled.
I had spent the whole film cringing as intestines and limbs flew across the screen but I didn’t feel ‘scared’. I just felt repulsed. If that wasn’t as bad as I thought perhaps I could watch other ‘modern’ horrors?
So I did (admittedly there are still a few I will steer clear of) and you know what? I wasn’t scared. At all. Everything was so graphic and clear – it left little to my imagination – and that was the problem.
It’s my imagination that has the power to make me run off a ghost train ride, it’s my imagination that made me force my Dad to remove the book from the house (which funnily enough is now one of my favourite books), it’s my imagination that sees figures flitting around in the garden in the darkness as I lock the back door each night. I need my imagination to develop ‘fear’ and if everything is so graphic then my imagination takes a well-earned break.
That is what I find so ‘delicious’ about the ‘old’ horror films. The crescendo of music that builds up to a lurking shadow, or a shot of an old house as a scream is heard – you can’t ‘see’ whats going on – so your imagination fills in the blanks! And my imagination is certifiable!
I am pleased to say that after my weekend binge watching Mssrs. Karloff, Lugosi, Price, and Co. I am feeling much better and suitably macabre! And speaking of macabre I have some exciting news about a Horror Anthology which is due to be published in September. If you like Horror then be sure to keep an eye out for The Corona Book of Horror Stories – you can use this link to visit the ‘countdown’ website http://www.coronabooks.com/corona-book-horror-stories/4593955189 and they also have a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CoronaBookofHorrors/
I was very honored to have a short story I wrote accepted into this anthology – so if you want to see how far I have come in my foray into the world of horror then this is for you!
Mwahahahahahahaha!!!!! Have a wonderful day!!!!!