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Maybe that's the really scary part...that we can't change who we are...maybe the horror story is really our way of reassuring ourselves that the Universe DOESN'T care about us...because it did care, then why do we get cancer, lose our job and can't find a new one, have our children turn out to be egotistical actors who get high and act like Charlie Sheen...."You think you've got it bad? Well, at least you don't have a car that's come to life and likes to kill people coming after you."
Things don't realistically go bump in the night...99.999999% of the time, you hear a bump in the night and it's the dog walking into the coffee table. Ahhh, but that 0.000001% is what makes getting out of bed and investigating so scary. We like to scare ourselves....helps us put our lives in perspective.

It's like romance novels...the Hot person never talks to the Average person, has Hot Sex (every single time), falls in love with them and gets married...even the commitment-phobes get married...and usually in under 150 pages...

Nick Howe

I would say that the essence of horror is a sense of safety violated. The character must feel safe and begin to relax, whereupon the perceived safety then proves false. The key is that if done right, this makes the reader doubt his or her own sense of safety.

Winchell Chung

In his introduction to THE MIND PARASITES, Colin Wilson speaks at length about the problem of writing a horror story. You start your story in a creepy setting. The narrator goes to investigate. Then Something Awful Happens - a rotting corpse knocks on the front door, a monster with tentacles on its belly tears down the wall, etc.
The problem is that it is really hard to think up something that really terrifies you (the writer) enough to make you terrify the reader.

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