Fear of the Supernatural: The thrill of it all
So I was having a conversation with a Luciferian psychic the other day (best opening to a post EVER!) and he asked me a very pointed question. “You seem a little more squeamish than I expected. Why are you so interested in the paranormal when you scare so easily?”
Perhaps I should quickly answer your question before I answer his. I was interviewing him for a forthcoming post.
Now, to really explore his question, I suppose I’ll just be direct. Some people who know me well already are aware of the answer here. I love being scared. I really do. And I scare easily, which makes it all the more fun. Some people hate it. Not me. There is a delicious adrenaline rush that comes with a good scare. And I revel in it. I love and fear darkness. I love mystery. But most of all, I love that torturous suspense that comes from the anticipation of an intentional detour into a fearful situation. Make sense?
site linkScary, Scary Night by Yello-w
I’m certain that this addiction to fear is what prompted me to become interested in ghosts and demons and things that go bump in the night. I remember as a kid wanting to be the first in line every Halloween at the Haunted Forest near where I lived. My folks were never into it, but luckily for me, my buddy’s parents were usually willing to take us. There were these woods across the river that some group would set up with open graves and chainsaw wielding maniacs and zombies and strobe lights. I would walk through in pure terror, my heart racing. I remember my friend would hold on to the back of her dad’s jacket, and I’d grip the back of hers, and we’d make our way through the dark forest, screaming and shaking all the way through. When it was over, I was ready to give it another go!
“Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places.” – H.P. Lovecraft from The Picture in the House
My biggest fear as a child was of vampires. Isn’t that funny? I was terrified that vampires were going to come to me when I was in my bed. I’d lay there and cover my head with my blankets, imagining that my comforter was covered in crucifixes, and occasionally peak out to make sure that I was alone. To be completely honest, I’m still afraid of the dark. As I am alone most nights, I do tend to sleep with the light on…. I know! I’m so weird!!
I’ve always wondered how people who do not at least on some level believe in the supernatural could ever really get a true scare from a good horror movie or book. I think my own spirituality and open-mindedness is what makes it that much easier for me to be sucked into that state of terror… I believe anything is possible, and therefore, horrific situations are always plausible in my mind.
Strangely, I do not get the same pleasure from real situations of peril. I hate heights. I have an irrational fear that I or someone close to me is going to fall off of a cliff. This is made all the more unrealistic given that I live in the flattest, most cliff-free region in the world. Doesn’t matter. Stay away from cliffs, people. I don’t want you to fall!
But, the thought of a face to face encounter with a ghost excites and terrifies me. I’m certain that if it were to ever happen, I’d probably drop dead of fright, but it’s the idea of it that gets me pumped! I love to imagine being in an abandoned sanitarium or mansion and seeing books flying off of the shelves and blood pouring down the walls… maybe I’m just a lunatic. Or, as my friend so kindly put it the other day, “You’re not right in the head, are you?” I take that as a compliment 🙂
Screen shot from http://www.slckeizerkarel.be/, the scariest video game ever made. I LOVE it!
One of the scariest books I recently read was dating rules when he doesn't call by William Peter Blatty, author of The Exorcist. Supposedly this is the book that the film The Exorcist 3 was based on, but really it bares little in common. The book is pure psychological horror, wrapped in a murder mystery. It toys with the reader as it delves into the history of the demonic. It is largely based on dialogue, but there is one scene featuring a tape recording of coma patients where voices can be heard in the room… try getting a good night’s sleep after reading that! It is better than The Exorcist, in my opinion. “I am Legion, for we are many”. Ohhhh, scary! It’s out of print now, so you’ll have to find it used. Well worth the hunt, in my opinion.
For the best scare on T.V., I recommend the show A Haunting that airs on The Discovery Channel. This program explores real alleged encounters with the paranormal, and it successfully creates and atmosphere of dread as you watch families being tortured by poltergeists and demons and ghosts. I was far more disturbed by their telling of the family tormented by ghosts in their home in Connecticut than I was from the film based on their ordeal, A Haunting in Connecticut. Scroll to the bottom of the post to enjoy a clip from an episode of A Haunting.
So, my quest for a good scare is always at the forefront of my brain. I’ll never tire of that twisted pleasure that comes from the unknown and the horrific. To my new friend, the Luciferian, I hope you now understand why it is that I seek out the strange and scary darkness that comes from places unknown. I guess I’m into self torture. Don’t take that the wrong way 😉