I Heart Characters! is a weekly meme hosted by Dani @ Perspective of a Writer to showcase our book blogger lover for characters! Each week she’ll supply a topic and you’ll supply the character. Post on whatever day suits you, about characters from whatever media you love (books, movies, K-dramas, television, manga, anime, webtoons, whatever!) and link up on Thursday so YOU and others can blog hop and share the character love.
This week I will tweak Dani’s topic so far that you won’t even recognize it! Dani wanted us to speak about “a character from Stephen King’s creative mind that you love! It can be based upon ANY of his adaptions… Let’s prepare for the Halloween season!”
Well sorry but I am too chicken sh@t to read horror or spooky stories! And I was wondering why I stayed far away from such stories while others were such great fans! Does it take a blood thirsty person to love horror stories? Let’s push the reasoning further and enter reader’s psyche.
I am an Atticus fan versus Cujo any day of the week!
I am unable to read an horror story or a story about ghosts except the gentle kind. Why? Because I’ve been traumatized while young and innocent!
One day or rather one night when I was about ten years old I was reading late at night in my bed about a haunted castle.
It was late. Around midnight.
The night was black with no moon.
Everything was silent in the house as my parents went to bed hours ago.
I was reading about this haunted castle, the weird noises at night, blood trails left in the corridor. The killer ghost was roaming the house.
He floated silently to the door of the room where the main and foolish character was sleeping. One move further and he would enter the bedroom….
I was IN the story, holding my breath, a kinck in my neck as my shoulders were really tense, waiting, waiting….
And the door to my bedroom opened suddenly!
I screamed and screamed! So loud I must have awoken the neighbors!
It was just my dad checking why the light was still on ….and my heart beat like a wild horse!
Weeks even months after that read I checked below the bed, in the closet, behind the curtains and never dared sleeping without any kind of light.
Needless to say that I never finished that story and never attempted to read an horror movie again.
Mind you I was the kid who hid behind the couch, peering through a slit when the donkeys/kids were whipped in Pinocchio!
I was the one asking every two minutes behind my hands if “Is it over already?” each time a movie was too tense and had some creepy music. As soon as you hear some specific tunes play you just KNOW something bad will happen to the dumb/unsuspecting girl who insists on exploring the attic in that old mansion while girls are disappearing for months in that small isolated coastal village.
Seriously why would she want to check something so spooky right?
So that’s established that I have been traumatised and go for gentle jokester Atticus.
But then why do people read or watch Cujo? Or horror stories in general?
You know that sweet dog who’s been bittend by a rabid bat and gets rabbies, becoming a killer. Killer as in lots of blood and crunching bones and ….
Well we try hard to keep our environment safe and secure but reading horror stories is an outlet for our fears. We can explore them, analyse them yet keep them at a safe distance …or not.
As Stephen King himself said: “the great appeal of horror fiction through the ages is that it serves as a rehearsal for our own deaths.” If a collective anxiety is fear of death, then the ability to explore death in literature is cathartic. If you explore what you fear like death it will lose it’s frightening edge and stop causing such great anxiety. You become accustomed with the idea of death. Well that’s his theory as I don’t know if I ever would become accustomed to it!
We try to keep the bad guy at arm’s length in real life yet hunt it in books and movies because this way we can control it! He’ll never jump from a book to kill you *even if for me he feels too real*.
There is also the thrill, the adrenaline. Everyone who’s experienced a dangerous moment like avoiding a car crash knows we feel so alive after. When you read an horror story it gives you a kick. You feel alive blood rushing in your veins and heart pounding hard. Try to go to sleep after watching an horror movie or reading such book and you’ll never be able to rest your brain. You feel buzzed and charged like a power plant.
Maybe for some it is an easy mean to brag about your ability to withstand fear. “What? You never read spooky stories? You’re such a little girl!” It could also be like a rite of passage to become a member of the closed club of “The Dauntless”!
Well I prefer to be “such a little girl” and never explore my fears. Maybe I’ve been an ostrich in another life? Who knows 😀
Now do tell me all about your relationship with horror stories and King’s characters!
Thanks for reading.