Horror is a genre of fiction, of which, the defining trait is to provoke a response; either emotional, psychological or physical, within readers that causes them to react with fear, dread, disgust, or is frightfully shocking, terrifying, or revolting and even startles it’s readers with the text.
Horror: Ancient Greece and Rome
This genre has ancient origins with roots in folklore and religious traditions, which focused on death, the afterlife, evil, the demonic and also a ‘thing’ embodied in the person. This manifested as stories of witchcraft, vampires, werewolves, and ghosts.
Horror: Medieval Era
Much of horror fiction derived itself from the cruelest faces in world history, particularly those who lived in the fifteenth-century. “Dracula” can be traced to the Prince of Wallachia Vlad III, whose alleged war crimes were published in German pamphlets in the late Fifteenth Century and resulted in stories of horrifying detail.
Gothic horror: 18th century
Slowly the horror genre became traditional Gothic literature. 18th century Gothic horror drew on sources of seminal and controversial elements of the supernatural instead of pure realism.
Horror: 19th century
After the Gothic tradition blossomed the genre became the horror literature we now know in the 19th century. Influential works and characters still continue to resonate, such as Brother’s Grimm and Hansel & Gretel (1812) and of course Frankenstein (1818) and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. (1820)
Cheap periodicals became prolific at the turn of the century, leading to a boom in horror writing. Horror writers of the time included H.P. Lovecraft pioneering cosmic horror and M.R. James redefining the ghost story. Also the serial murderer became a recurring theme.
Contemporary horror fiction
As most of you know Stephen King is my hero and it is the best-known contemporary horror writer. His stories have delighted and frightened many of us for decades, from Carrie to Sleeping Beauties and all those tales in-between.
I have to admit as a prolific reader of Mr. King, I am wary of ever writing a horror story because I don’t think I can measure up to his expertise.
Do you write horror? What theme do you favor?
What horror writers/books have you read and ‘enjoyed’?
I just had to share this link – original here: http://www.ranker.com/list/creepy-night-shift-stories/rosa-pasquarella?&var=12 – the stories are so deliciously creepy.
1. Night nurses get phantom call from empty room with no phone
“I work as a transporter in a hospital. About two years ago we moved from the old city hospital into a new state of the art facility. The old hospital was built in the 1930s and was showing its age. At night was just plain creepy. Each floor had an east and west wing. The east wing of the fourth floor was the first wing to be shut down about two weeks before the move. One night at around 9:30, I’m up on the floor to get a patient from the west wing. I see a small group of nurses and aids who all used to work on the now closed east wing. They looked visibly shaken. I walked over to see if everything was OK. They told me that they had decided to walk through their old wing for nostalgia’s sake. When they were over there, the phone at the nurses station started ringing. The computers and phones had not yet been moved. Not sure what to do, one of the nurses reached over the counter and answered the phone. The nurse told me there was a woman’s voice on the other end and that she sounded confused. This is the conversation as best I can remember it.
‘This is ______. How can I help you?’ asked the nurse.
‘Hello? Who is this?’
‘I’m a nurse. Is there anything I can help you with?’
‘Where I am I?’
‘This is (hospital name). Are you patient here?’
Then the line went dead. That’s when the nurse finally looked at the screen on the phone to see where the call was coming from. The phone gave the room number directly next to the nurses station. The rooms by this point had all been cleared out and the phones removed. They could see directly into the room and see that there was nobody in there. That’s when they bolted towards the west wing where I was getting off the elevator. I avoided that wing for the rest of my time there.”
2. Spirit of abused child haunts child welfare center; wakes children up to play in the middle of …
“I work at a crisis nursery, which is a childcare facility that provides emergency and respite care for children under the age of seven. I used to work graveyards all the time. I have to say first that I am absolutely a non-believer in paranormal stuff. That being said, at two in the morning in a dark room when you and two or three other girls in their twenties are the only adults in the building, sh*t gets creepy sometimes.
The facility I work in was named for a child who was beaten to death by one of their parents. The nursery was started in their name as a way to hopefully prevent another child dying a violent death at the hands of a stressed-out caregiver.
So the story that goes around is that this kid’s spirit haunts the nursery and is mostly active at night. They tell me that one of the reasons that everyone thinks this place is haunted is that many different people have reported different children asking about ‘that kid’ as in, ‘why doesn’t that kid have to go to bed?’ while pointing at nothing. I brush it off, basically forget about it.
A few weeks later, I was in the sleep room (the bedroom where all the kids sleep. There must always be an adult in the room with the children) by myself. I’m just chilling, reading a book with a booklight. The rest of the room is pitch black and silent.
All of a sudden, this kid (probably four or five) sits bolt upright in bed and says, ‘Hey, how come they aren’t asleep? Why do they get to play? I want to play too!’ all while pointing at a wall with no kids anywhere in the vicinity.
Instant crazy shivers all over me. I was so scared I almost screamed. I refused to be alone in there from that moment on.”
3. Hospital orderly sees woman who had just recently passed away
“I work at a hospital overnight. By far the creepiest thing happened while I was cleaning two rooms after the patients left. The rooms were connected, with one exit. I cleaned the first room, left for 10 minutes, got my supplies and went back to the other. I saw a little old lady in a chair, hunched over. I stared at her for a few seconds. I thought it was odd they put a patient in that room already. I begin cleaning, and look back at the other room – it’s empty. She disappeared. I would have seen if she walked passed me. Creepy. No one on the floor fit the description I gave of her – except the lady who died in that room four hours before my shift.”
“Insidious” starts playing by itself as movie theater closes down
“I was a shutting down projectors and closing down the movie theater around two in the morning. I shut off the one projector and turn around to see one theater starting to play Insidious from the beginning without previews. It was extremely out of place considering the projectors are programmed for the movies to start automatically with the 20-minute previews built in. No show was scheduled in the computer and I still don’t know how it started. But I locked myself in the office for the rest of the night.”
4. Lights go haywire and cell doors slam in abandoned jail set up in city hall basement
“I used to work at city hall a few years ago as a security guard. There were abandoned jail cells in the basement that haven’t been used in years and part of my duty was to patrol them for any squatters. It was probably my second time patrolling alone and things started to get really weird. I went down to the old prison/holding cells. It’s a long, narrow hallway with cells on both sides. The hallway was lit by light bulbs hanging from the ceiling. I was walking past the fourth column of cells when the lights went out. I turned my flashlight on and walked back towards the light switch. Right when I was about to turn them back on, the lights flickered on again. I started walking fast past the cells while quickly checking them. I was about halfway through when the lights went off again. I heard two cells slam. I ran with my flashlight on straight toward the other end of the hallway and up to my workstation. I then called my supervisor and asked him if there were any electrical issues that have been reported. He said no. I had two hours left on my shift, and couldn’t leave. I was at my workstation paranoid as fuck.”
5. Polite ghost holds elevator for coworkers
“Two different times I saw someone get on an elevator as I came around a corner. I said, ‘Hold the door!’ As the door started to close, it opened back like someone had hit the button. When I got into the elevator there was no one in it. After that, many times just as I came around that corner, the elevator door would open, and no one was in the elevator. I had not pushed a call button or anything. I would always say ‘thanks’ when I got on the empty elevator.”
Closed hotel sounds like it has visitors; security guard can’t find the source of the …
“I worked a security gig in an abandoned hotel, which sat directly on the river. When the rooms had balconies, they would hang out over the water. The hotel had closed down and had been stripped bare by the owners. I’m sitting in the office, and I hear a creak… creak… creak… from left to right on the floor above me. The hotel was wood-frame and creaked like a house when someone walked around. This sounded exactly like someone walking the hall on the floor directly above the office.I go up to the next level and into the hall. The hotel itself was only four floors high, but very long. The hall walls were bare, rooms had no doors, and only a single dim light bulb hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the hall gave any light. I have seen my share of horror movies, and know this can only be trouble, but I start walking down the hall anyway. After all, it’s my job to keep people out. I get about quarter way down the hall, and I hear rustling coming from a room. I draw my Mag-Lite (one of the three c-cell types) and get ready to use it. I slowly peek into the room and discover that it’s the wind blowing in from the river and moving a curtain. Now freaked, I start checking the other floors and find nothing, but I KNOW someone is in the building. I make my way back down to the ground floor, still finding nothing and go into the old ballroom. It’s a wide open space, and I start walking through it. Out of the corner of my eye, I see someone moving, so I turn and shine my light on them, ready to defend myself. That’s when I realize that it was my reflection in a broken mirror on the wall. After that, I got the hell out of there and spent the rest of the night in my car in the parking lot. About two weeks after that, the place burned down.
After all this time, I’m still convinced that someone was in the building, but I never found any evidence that there was.”
Today I am reblogging an article by Judith Fein. She was kind enough to give me permission to do so.
My mother died two months ago. Before her passing, I asked her on three separate occasions to send me a sign in the form of white feathers. The first time she sneered. The second time she rolled her eyes. And the third time she didn’t answer. So I forgot about it.
Communicating with the dead has actually been a secret part of my life for many years. It began when my father died when I was in my senior year of college. I used to go to the cemetery to visit him, and one day, quite unexpectedly, he spoke to me. “Don’t give up your writing either,” he said.
“Either what?” I thought. Why did he talk about writing? I was going to be a college professor. As it turned out, he was right. I didn’t give up my writing and I became a writer.
It happened again when a teacher presented me with an owl feather in a large box at the end of a kundalini yoga class. I wasn’t quite sure how to respond to the gift. I lifted it up, and I saw dead people jumping up and down, wanting to speak.
Then it happened with my dear New Zealand friend when I met her in France. She was looking for the cemetery where her grandfather was buried. All she knew was that he died in the battle of the Somme. We chose one of the many military cemeteries in the area and drove there. When we arrived, feathers lined up in front of us, leading the way to an arch, which was flanked by two books bearing the names of the interred. Her grandfather’s name was among them.
Image: Upper Bucklebury graveyard (A favorite place for me – but that is another story!)
As promised I am sharing some personal encounters in regard to ghosts, reincarnation etc. This event happened when I was approximately 10 years old. We lived in a small village in England called Upper Bucklebury. There was only one store beside the gas station, it serviced the community and was a hub for meeting neighbors as well as providing essentials.
(***This village is now world famous due to Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge, once living here)
Like all of my friends at that time, we rode bicycles everywhere and the easiest way to find your child, as a parent, was to walk down the road and find the pile of bicycles on the lawn of a house. The housing estate was fairly new so the residents were mainly younger couples and their children and we became a firm community within the village as a whole. Clothing swaps, coffee mornings, and feeding and bathing whichever children were present at that time of day was usual. I’m sure now-a-days this practice would herald an immediate police presence! We did not think it strange to bathe with our friends in a row in the various baths and then go home for bedtime. Anyway I digress.
We had an elderly lady living in the older home beside our house. It was a run down property with a huge plot of land mainly filled with an old apple orchard and collapsing sheds at the back. The lady, Mrs. Vallece (unsure of the spelling) lived with a multitude of cats, her only companions. My mother would make extra food for our meals a couple of times a week and send myself or one of my siblings to deliver to her. We thought she mainly survived on cat food. She was a kindly lady and enjoyed the interaction with us. Her favorite spot was at the front window watching the world go by. So it was natural to wave to her if we rode past.
On this particular morning, my mother asked me to go to the store and buy something. I jumped onto my bicycle and set off. Mrs. Vallece was at her usual spot and I waved and she waved back. I did not think anything of this. With the item purchased I rode back home and glanced at the front window once again but Mrs. Vallece was not there. Again nothing unusual in that. Once in the kitchen I told my mother Mrs Vallece was waving and would we be taking a meal around for her. My mother looked at me with a strange look on her face.
“You waved to Mrs. Vallece? Are you sure?”
“Yes of course she was at the window like always.”
“Well, actually she couldn’t have been there sweetheart. She died five weeks ago.”
I cannot remember the rest of the conversation but I am sure my mother would have taken the time to explain what might have happened. To this day I am absolutely positive I saw Mrs. Vallece. Maybe it was her way of saying goodbye because I never saw her again.
Today I start the year’s second series on reincarnation to coincide with the revision of my romance, The Twesome Loop, which has several character’s meeting their soul mates. However, as my speculative fiction novel, Life in Slake Patch has just undergone a radical change of thought, I will be working on it for the month of June. Writers out there will understand this particular predicament only too well.
I have always been fascinated with reincarnation, life after death, ‘tunnel’ experiences and so on, since working as a nurse (many moons ago!). Geriatric wards at night are a plethora of sights and sounds relived by the patients. I even had an experience with my grandfather, which I will relay at some point. Some posts will be general, while others will be personal experiences.
There are many religions that believe in the return of souls so we will explore them together.