You don’t want Hannibal Lector in your head. The scene where he makes the man in the cell next to him swallow his tongue is one I’ll never forget.
As a lover/reader and writer of horror (dark fiction), I find psychological horror/torture the most intense, terrifying and yet, my favorite of all the sub-genres.
I’m fascinated that the human mind, while our greatest asset, can so easily turn against us and become our worst enemy. The fact that someone else can burrow so deep in our mind, turn it upside down until we second-guess our sanity and sometimes do things we wouldn’t ordinarily do, is mind-blowingly creepy. (Pardon the pun).
I tried my hand at psychological horror in a dark short fiction story in an anthology that I published last year:
Wayne is a serial killer. Then he takes Charlotte. She refuses to shed a tear or to beg and plead for mercy. Wayne will hit her, but when he inches close to her in a threatening manor, she head butts him. Determined to break her and near the end of his rope, Charlotte nestles her way into Wayne’s mind, sharing a grisly secret of her own.
What do you if your so-called victim is darker form of evil than you are?
The idea came when I was sent a link for a dark short story contest. The host (who was an avid horror lover and didn’t scare easy) wanted something so terrifying and unique that it would make her leave the lights on at night. She challenged us all to scare her like she’d never been scared before. The deadline loomed and I had nothing like that, so I declined. That night, Wayne and Charlotte visited me. Not in a dream, I was awake, but like so often is the case, ideas come when least expected. They were a disturbing couple and I wrote the story (not well, lots of editing followed) in two days because I wanted them out of my head and on the paper.
The cliché advice is “write what you know”. I don’t know about psychological horror first hand, but I do know that Wayne and Charlotte scared me. And that’s what I wrote about.
The feedback from this story has been good. The comments tend to lean toward “You seem so normal, what the hell’s wrong with you?”
I take that as a compliment.
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