I find there is something magical about the world of horror fiction. The possibilities are endless in this greatest of all literary genres. I have a particular passion for writing supernatural tales. This stems from my childhood when I gained a fascination for ghosts which is something that has never left me.
I very much subscribe to the view of the great horror novelist Stephen King. When asked why he had such a passion for horror he replied “I was born with a love for the unquiet grave.” Some people might think this rather strange, even disturbing but I know what he meant.
In my own case I love to explore the idea that people can return in a ghostly guise. Whether this be for good or ill it always makes for an engaging experience to surround myself with these supernatural beings. In writing about them I feel I grow closer to the true meaning of life.
There is a truth to be found also when I go back in time to the historical era where the horror stems from. I generally like to open my books in the nineteenth century. I love this period of history, especially English history. The pace of life was so much slower then when compared to modern day living. One had time to stop and smell the roses so to speak, which allowed for moments of reflection.
In saying this life in this earlier epoch of time had its own challenges and difficulties. People would die from diseases which are easily treated now. This can certainly be seen as a noticeable drawback of living in that age. However, this does not change my opinion that I would have liked to have lived in the 19th century and to experience what folk experienced in their daily routine.
I have some special reasons for wishing I had lived in the 19th century. I have always admired the language that was used back then, especially the Victorian age. To my mind it was far more refined and sophisticated than in our time. The dress sense of the 1800s was very stylish, too. And who would not wish to be transported around the country in a horse drawn carriage?
One might wonder what this all has to do with horror but I am getting to that. I believe the 19th century lends itself to mystery and intrigue when one considers a horror tale which has value. There is a sense from our modern day perspective of stepping into the unknown when we traverse the streets of a 19th century town.
Of course when a writer like myself finds himself in a 19th century setting within his imagination he has a lot of work to do. There is much research needed to provide the right background to all that is going on inside the book’s pages. One cannot simply land in the 19th century with no prior planning and dive straight into the action. No, the author has to provide a measured approach to his task and do his homework so as to achieve a sense of believability to all the reader takes in.
However, I have always looked on research as a pleasure rather than a chore. It is fascinating to read about the trials and tribulations of those folk living in this epoch of time. It also gives you a sense of the mindset these people might have possessed which enables the writer to think of a suitable starting place for his horror.
This comes back to the interesting question as to where ghosts come from. There must be a reason why someone who died returns to his former locality. Why is he not able to rest in peace? There has to be a cause for his restless state. Was he the victim of a violent crime such as murder? Or did someone commit another terrible wrong against him? Or maybe he needs to seek someone out to uncover a secret. It could simply be he has some sort of unfinished business which he has to transact before he can move on to the hereafter.
This idea of a restless spirit is something which has fascinated writers and readers for centuries. It is certainly something which has always intrigued me. I have explored this tantalising question in many of my tales. I have also enjoyed reading on this subject which, in turn, has provided me with much food for thought when it has come down to writing my stories.
I will be touching on this question in a variety of ways throughout this website. It is a recurring question in my fiction and is a main driving force behind me as a writer.
I have written on many aspects of this question. Violent deaths, the separation of lovers, child sacrifices: these are just a few of the horror themes I have turned my attention to in my novels. I am sure I will look at many more in the future. This, to my mind is the magic of horror fiction: there are an endless array of topics a writer can turn his mind to. I look forward to sharing these ideas with you.
Categories:My Horror Blogs