I’m pleased to welcome author M.R. Cornelius to Fictitious Musings to talk about what really scares people. I don’t know about you but creepy crawly things and masks scare the crap out of me. I’m sure you’re all thinking what the heck is scary about a mask? Well it’s the fact that you have no idea what/who lurks behind it. Sometimes it is less about the mask and more about the individual behind it. It just creeps me out in a BIG way. I love Halloween but OMG the masks really freak me out. Am I alone here?
Hi Marsha! The Musers are all yours.
My son was recently hired by a local house of horrors to help come up with scary costumes for the Halloween season. The challenge will be to design newer, scarier versions of the usual shuffling zombies, lurking vampires, and drooling monsters.
Number one has to be the dark. Some people have a hard time sleeping in their own beds when it’s dark, but winding through the murky passageways of a house of horrors gets most peoples’ hearts pumping. It’s the fear of the unknown. A hand reaches out to touch you and you jump. Something brushes against your ankle and you scream. A sudden breeze whips through your hair. Was that a bat? Even a sudden step down can send chills up your spine.
The fear factor can be ramped up easily with sounds; rattling chains, scraping feet, a shrill scream in the distance. A costumed ghoul cackles maniacally as he holds a bloody organ in his hand, proving he just gutted the last guy who came through. A crazed woman dripping blood, her clothes in tatters, pleads for help from some unseen assailant just around the next bend. Eerie music raises hackles on the back of your neck.
And don’t discount the terror of touch. No chamber of horrors is complete without a rope or railing to guide you through the madness. It’s comforting. You feel secure because you have something to hold on to. That is until you touch something slimy or oozing. Ewww! What about cobwebs in the face? That soft lump you stumbled over—was that a body? The classic when I was a kid was the bowl of peeled grapes. They felt just like eyeballs!
Sure, costumes are fun. The missing arm, the decapitated head, the intestines dangling from the abdomen—these are the things that make us recoil. But isn’t it our own imagination that scares us the most?
You can check out my review of H10N1 here.
Ends on 10/31 @ midnight
Her first novel, H10N1, is a post-apocalyptic thriller about a flu pandemic that has already wiped out most of the world’s population. Coming up? A fifty-seven year-old man dying of cancer chooses cryonic preservation over death.Cornelius lives in the countryside north of Atlanta with her husband, Bill, and two molly-coddled cats. Her two college-aged sons visit regularly for food, clean laundry and cash.