Stitch @ Teen Vogue: Why Horror Fans Love Being Scared

However, the majority of horror media does not inspire violence. Fans of graphic violence and gore aren’t generally driven to commit harm on any level, much less the racist violence that The Birth of a Nation committed. Liking horror at any level doesn’t automatically mean that you’re a bad person or that you secretly want to make your own Human Centipede to see if it’ll work for you. It simply means that you probably just enjoy the thrill of being scared senseless and witnessing fictional extremes of human behavior.

Why else do horror fans enjoy paying to be frightened? Horror legend Junji Ito, creator of long lasting horror manga staples like Tomie and the recently released Sensor, explains that the phrase “forbidden fruit is the sweetest” comes to mind.

Why Horror Fans Love Being Scared

I love horror even though I am one of the biggest weenies out there. I love it so much that from day one I was like “okay so if Fan Service makes it to October, we’re doing a Halloween column”… and here we are.

Across October, BTS Nieceling and I were supposed to watch at least one horror movie a day. I think we did… six. While I’m a faithful livetweeter of AMC’s History of Horror and get that in every week so far, the niece and I quickly realized that we want vastly different things from horror… and that we really are too chicken to watch these movies together.

However, I really freaking love scary things. I love gore, I love mess, I love madness – especially when reclaimed and reinvented by people who have that thrust upon them because of mental illness. I love being scared by things that probably can’t hurt me.

I’ve talked regularly about my interests in horror. I’ve done rec lists, explored what it means to be a “monstrous” POC and talked about the impact Candyman had on me (short answer… it was thrilling and traumatizing), and I keep trying to get spooky in my own writing.

I studied romanticism and gothic horror in college (and for fun, as I am a nerd) and of course, if you remember my Crimson Peak thing… well I had a Crimson Peak thing. (I own literally every published piece of material for that film actually. I’m obsessed. It’s brilliant!)

Horror is so cool and has so much value. I also love (more hardcore) horror fans! They’re some of the coolest people out there and they seem to have nerves and stomachs of steel!! Shout out to my sister for absolutely traumatizing me that time we watched Dog Soldiers together when I was a tadpole!

Anyway, keep an eye out for a special bonus for this column going out later today… the full, unedited interview with legendary creator Junji Ito. It’s going to be amazing!

About Stitch

Stitch writes about what needs to be written.
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