This season puts me in the mood for some Gothic fiction. Some of you may prefer true horror stories–and indeed, I will post a list of your most chilling favorites in the coming days–but as for me, I’ll take a sweeping, gloomy story with just a hint of terror in it.
As it is the witching hour, it seems appropriate to share some Halloween story history with you, dear readers. I found this reflection on horror stories from Flavorwire fascinating. It’s amazing how the grotesque stories were a commentary on how hidden evils/transgressions in society will emerge, no matter how people try to bury them. One tidbit I learned:
The end of the 18th century led to a mini-boom in Gothic novels, which were divided by critics into two categories: horror, which is fear of gore you see; and terror, which is fear caused by the suggestion of something sinister. As a wise professor once explained to me, behind the curtain in horror is a decaying body. Behind the curtain in terror is another curtain.
Isn’t that interesting? I guess that makes me a fan of terror stories, rather than horror. My friend Alex offered to wear a rain coat when seeing horror movies with me at the theater, just in case I lose my mind or other things. (That sounds like a horror story, itself–let’s keep those thoughts away before bed.)
But because it is Halloween week, and because spooky dreams are the most intriguing kind anyway, I suggest you read this list from Flavorwire about 13 (I see what you did there, Flavorwire) influential horror/terror stories and how they both reflected society and advanced the genre. Who doesn’t like to wake up bolt upright in bed, in a clammy sweat, anyway?
Flavorwire’s List: Great Moments in Gothic Fiction: A History in 13 Books
What did you learn? Did you see any of your favorites on this list?
I hope you are having a fun, festive, and frightening (in a good way) Halloween season, dear readers. I’ve been diving into the more innocent side, with pumpkin everything (food, attire, crafts, decorations); but these stories are getting me into that perfectly haunted mood, too. <|🙂
Join me later this week for more Halloween fun!