Hi there. If you know me at all, you know that I likes me some horror stories. It’s pretty much all that I write, if you head over to Adventure Worlds (http://adventureworldsblog.com/), you can see for yourself. It’s not that I don’t like other genres, I dabble in sci-fi (though I usually leave that stuff to Ben) and occasional try my hand at crime stories, but my bread and butter is horror. So the question that is being asked by no one is, why? Why do I love writing horror so dang much? Well, for the answer to that, we have to do some travelling. Don’t worry, I’ll keep my hands to myself—for the most part. We’re heading to a crazy little place called the 1980’s.
In case you’re unaware of this period in time, let me refresh your memory. New Coke swept the nation, Pogo Balls were awesome and the best show on television (in my child sized brain) was Double Dare.
Picture me, floating somewhere in the 6 – 8 years of age range. Go ahead, take your time, I can wait. Okay, can you see me, I’m the one with the florescent headband and slap-bracelet. I was an impressionable young chap with an already over-active imagination. Now picture me sleeping over my dad’s house on the weekends (as my mom was given a much deserved break). Picture my brother, he’s five years older than me and probably already grooming his hair to one day emerge as a glorious mullet. Picture my dad taking me and my brother to the movie store (if I remember correctly the options were, Eye on Video, Reruns or, later, Jumbo video) and picture my brother—remember, he’s in his teens—wanting to rent the newest horror movie.
Before I continue, I have to give you a bit of history on my relationship with my brother (his names Michael, in case you’re wondering). Since my mom was a single parent with two boys, she had to work a lot. This meant that my brother often babysat me. I pretty much thought he was about as radical as people came and wanted to do whatever he did.
So, my brother would grab something like, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, or Critters, or Sleepaway Camp, or C.H.U.D. My dad would take a look at the box before asking if I could handle it. I, of course, always said yes.
Back at my dad’s place, we’d make some popcorn, turn off all the lights and pop that sucker into the VCR.
Side note number 2. My Dad was the only person I knew who had a Betamax player. As I said above, he also had a VCR, but still, an effing Betamax!
Anyways, back to what I was saying. For the next 90mins or so, I was transfixed. Something about the monsters on screen made me want to keep watching. It didn’t hurt that these movies usually came with a healthy dose of naked camp counsellors/cheerleaders/nurses/co-eds etc. The entire time I watched I knew that I shouldn’t. It was like my little kid brain understood on some level that it was being warped by the things enfolding in 4:3 ratio before my eyes. But it didn’t matter, I was hooked. Besides, it wasn’t like I was watching them alone, I had my brother nearby.
Needless to say, I suffered from some really horrific nightmares as a child (now a days, these would have been labelled “night terrors”). But that’s neither here nor there. The point of all this is that those bits of B-movie history had caused a seed to form in my mind (it may be a tumor).
Follow me now to the mid 2000’s. I was in school for animation (or as I liked to call it, the how to waste 30 grand and three years of your life certificate programme). And that seed had grown into a sapling. I found myself leaning more and more towards the macabre. My DVD collection, which was pretty even in terms of genre was becoming more horror centric.
Now, here I am, a father of two, and a writer to boot and my precious little horror sapling is now a large, dark maple tree which leaves bloody sap all over anybody who touches it (no, that was not a penis joke…or was it?).
Ahem…uh…anyways, where was I? Oh yeah, horror stories. These days I pretty much live and breathe the scary stuff. I can’t help but go through the day without immediately start building a scary story in my head. You may see an ice cream truck. I see a man who freezes children and then processes them into ice cream flavours and then gives them somewhat obvious names like: Cookies and Screams or Ginger Delight (made entirely from red headed kids). Visiting Grandpa at the nursing home? Don’t look in the supply closet. That’s where they insert ants under the loose skin of those golden agers jowls. Flying on a plane? While you better look out because there are mother fucking snakes on that mother fucking plane. Wait…forget that last one. But you get the point.
Yep, basically what I’m saying is that misguided trust in my brother and negligence (probably unintentional) from my dad have made me the man I am today. I’m not complaining though, if not for those poor decisions back in the day, I feel like I would be a rather boring fellow. And besides, I haven’t had a nightmare in a long time, hopefully I can make a few though.
So there you have, the answer to the question which has been burning the internet up. Join me next time when I reveal the reasons behind why I only wearing boxer-briefs. The truth is goddamn fascinating.