I am Mr. Welldone.
No, just kidding, it’s Kris, the author of Ichor Falls and Candle Cove, the reason why you found me. I know the site’s been dead quiet for a long while now, and I’ve been wanting to write more horror, but I have a problem. I can’t. I’m so meta about everything nothing scares me lately. No ghost, no unseen stalking spirit, no lumbering, stitched nightmare. I feel like I understand every trope.
As you may know, traditional horror/suspense/thrillers don’t do a lot for me — for example, the Scream movies or any of their ilk. I can’t get worked up about a guy with a bladed weapon, and the reason is, I know their motive. They want to hurt me, they want me to know fear as I die. I get that, I get all of it. So when he puts the sword through the door and it startles me, now I have to fight him, and it’s just brains vs. brawn, or brawn vs. brawn, and I’m gonna lose, and he’s gonna get me. The end. It just doesn’t inspire the same feeling of dread that an alien entity does, a completely foreign state of existence like something unknown from the depths of the sea, or a haunting. That’s why they scare me so much — because to deal with something, you have to be able to form a pattern. You have to be able to begin to understand them.
I understand a serial killer. He has to conform to the laws of physics; he probably can’t break in without making a lot of noise. And if he gets me, I guess he gets me. I die. Or I get tortured and then die. Misery is terrible, but it doesn’t frighten me; the unknown frightens me. The appropriation of innocence frightens me, like you see in Candle Cove. (If you want to read what I have to say about why I did Candle Cove and its meta legacy, here’s a blog post about it.)
And attempts to frighten me, other stories — there’s a lot of good creepypasta out there that does get me, but it’s also very formulaic. The ritual ones I never understood! How can anyone be expected to remember all that stuff? Who would even bother? And usually the reward is to be cursed and miserable forever. What? Really?
Anyone here watch Suicide Mouse? That meme? I haven’t heard the audio. I just watched the first five seconds and shut it off. Why, because it was frightening? No, because it was supposedly made in the 1930s, but the animation looks like it was done in Mario Paint. Have some pride for God’s sake. Do your job, scare people. Force them to imagine a little more, don’t lay it all out on a plate. People don’t stagger out of a screening of something and raise a gun to their temples. If they do, there’s a much longer buildup. Make me think about it! Haunt me with it, haunt the reader with it after the story’s over.
Anyway. My point is, I don’t know what to get scared by. Who’s seen something in the vein of horror I’m describing? Anyone? If I can’t… get creeped out, I don’t know how I can write more. I know it’s out there. Marble Hornets is excellent… I was a big fan of the Josef K Stories… I just need that consistency. That slow burn. Can you help me find it?