Writing Horror Stories

Hello everyone!

I was wondering if there is anything morally wrong with writing horror stories. Not graphic bloody ones, but more creepy psychological ones. Thank you!

Have a blessed day! :curtsey:

Hmm.
[1] Is there anything wrong with writing about American History?
[2] How about making up a fictional account of American History?

[3] And, what about writing a fictional account about Vampires in American History?

The first is non-fiction. it seems OK to me
The second is inventing History and historical events. it seems OK to me.
The third is inventing History of non-existant people. it seems OK to me too.

So, if these are all OK, I imagine that inventing psychologically-Charged events in History is ALSO OK.

Let me provide a slightly long answer:

Horror stories often deal with demons - either literal or metaphorical ones. Of course, nowadays many such stories deal with the “psycho killer” or some variation thereof.

But even if literal demons are involved, the story is not necessarily sinful. William Peter Blatty, author of “The Exorcist”, is a Catholic in good standing.

However - and here cometh my warning - it is quite possible to be “fascinated” with the occult or the demonic, and to have it become a preoccupation or an obsession. Such fascination can easily lead to sin and endanger one’s soul. Therefore, even if it’s fiction, I’d recommend extreme circumspection in dwelling too much on the demonic.

As a general rule, I’d state that as long as evil is not exalted, glorified, or presented in an attractive manner - and as long as the intent of the story is to edify or teach a truth, rather than titillate - there’s nothing wrong with a horror story. But hey, I only write fantasy, so I can’t claim to be an expert. :slight_smile:

Religion provides the framework for most horror.

If religion tells us the right way to live, then the logical question is always “What happens if I don’t live this way?”

Enter the horror genre.

Revelation is horror story where evil men rule and the dead walk the Earth - like any zombie story.

Vampires sustain themselves by drinking the dead blood of living people. Good Christians will live forever by drinking the living blood of Jesus Christ - the exact opposite of the vampire.

Ghosts are souls of people who aren’t good enough to get to Heaven.

Witches conjure Demonic powers to manipulate the world to their own ends.

The mad scientist ditches morality to pursue his own attempts to control God’s creation.

And so on.

In and of itself, no. Tolkien was a Catholic in good standing and wrote about magic (even referring to it as “devilry” when used by the defensive forces at Helm’s Deep).

A while back, I tried writing a short horror story (if you have any there’s a website called Creepypasta that you can submit it to and they may post it, though they’re very selective).
I, however, just couldn’t find something scary to write.

Not at all. Unfortunately most of the horror genre, in books and films, is not clever at all and is increasingly what humor is - crude and “shock” value. But clever horror can speak to our human experience and tell us something of ourselves and our world. Also, much horror is simply antithetical to a Christian understanding of man, the soul, Church teaching, etc. So if you’re going to write horror, be respectful of reality and Church teaching. Just a suggestion.

John Paul II said, and I can’t quote him exactly, that even very seemingly “dark” art can have a great benefit to society because it opens the door to the Redemption.

Horror often involves a creature (vampire, werewolf) or a possessed person, common thing or unusual object. It is often set in certain places where darkness literally sets the mood. I’m talking about dimly lit rooms, basements, cellars, woods or castles. It can also include caves or other places where “it” hides. But there may be more than one.

The basic formula is that whatever “it” is may be someone you know or some supernatural being or possessed object. Generally, there are a few strange things or events that are brushed off as imagination or someone is found dead. Law enforcement gets involved and little by little, “it” is identified. Or, it lives in your home. It could some strange carving you found in an antique shop that comes alive and attacks you and/or your family, or a character becomes mentally imbalanced and ‘the voices’ tell him to do bad things. Hopefully, the police and/or his family, realize this before he strikes again and is killed.

Generally, tension is created by having things that attack a town raising the fear factor for everyone. Time is of the essence to stop “it/them” from attacking again. This is contrasted by more level-headed people who prepare to defend themselves or join search parties.

For situations that are in-home, a victim might not be believed at first, especially if they claim a thing came to life and hurt them. This will create anxiety in the victim and concern from the family members who fear for the victim’s sanity. That is, until the attacks continue. Or the family finally gets a look at “it.”

Timing, pacing, a range of emotional reactions, fear, determination. But definitely no buckets of blood, gore or graphic detail. Overcoming and defeating evil is one story. Saving a person who has gone off the deep end is another, even though he has done horrible things.

Peace,
Ed

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