In Honor of Halloween: What Scares You?
I'm not a fan of horror movies---you know the chase-em and chop-em up kind of scream/shock movies that are just violent for the sake of being violent. Hate em in fact. Boring, abusive, and I admit I've never seen a whole one.
I do, however, enjoy a good Gothic romance, with a big old haunted mansion and ghostly dead (or sometimes not so dead) first wife in the attic. I also like the spooky grave side scene in Wuthering Heights (poor, crazy Heathcliff), and I even quite enjoyed the oldie "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir." Truly, a love story like no other.
I am also always interested in the history, the ghostly history, of battlefields, old houses and castles, maybe because the ghosts are from long ago and there is a human element to the story I can relate to as a historical writer---great loves and losses, tragedy and triumph, with heroes and heroines who were real. Civil war ghost stories draw me in. Civil war and Victorian ghost and sightings are so sad (particularly of women and children), but often not scary.
So what does scare me? I think Stephen King said it best (paraphrased): To walk into an empty room and find a rocking chair rocking...
And I would add finding that rocking chair rocking when you assumed you were alone in the house...now THAT is scary. THAT is also why I don't read some of Stephen King's stuff. It keeps me up at night. But, damn he is good. I just wish he'd write a Gothic romance (keep wishing, Kathrynn).
How about you? What makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up? Ever read anything that scary? Do you have a favorite scary passage from a romance?