Genre Station: Next Stop – Ghost Town

When you look back over your life, you might find that it’s pretty easy to understand why you’re drawn to the genres you like to write.

I distinctly remember a night when I was around five or so. My parents had friends over and they were watching “A Nightmare on Elm Street” – I think the first one. I remember sneaking downstairs, desperate to get a peek at Freddy. I don’t remember what I saw, I only remember climbing back into bed and staring at a sticker on my dresser of the Chuck E Cheese mouse and thinking it looked a lot like Freddy’s face in the dark. I was frightened and I loved it. I would sneak downstairs while everyone was asleep and play a record – a RECORD – of graveyard sounds that my parents would play on Halloween. My parents were fun. 🙂

Yep, I’m weird and I own it. ^_^ I would go out of my way to get scared. Not the kind of scared that comes with crazy rollercoasters, sky diving, and playing chicken on the interstate. I don’t like being terrified. Lol! I would ask everyone for recommendations of the scariest movies they’ve ever seen and then watch them and be disappointed. Most people are pretty easily frightened, it turns out.

“Final Destination” was something I got a lot. I thought it was brilliant, but it wasn’t scary at all. Speaking of Devon Sawa though (remember him?), “Idle Hands” scared the crap out of me. If you’re not familiar with it, and you’re probably not, it was about a lazy teenage boy whose’s left hand got possessed by the devil, and it would kill people while he was asleep. It would then write, “Don’t look under the bed” on his ceiling in glow in the dark ink. Then when he would, there would be another dead body under there! I slept with a light on a week. To this day I hesitate sometimes before looking under the bed. That was some good stuff. Lol! Unlike “The Exorcist” which was just weird and gross. It didn’t help that I watched it with my sister who laughed most of the way through it because she thought it was so bad. She’s afraid of bubbles in her water and giant squash, but she isn’t afraid of rollercoasters that flip her 100 feet into the air and demon possession. Go figure.

I read somewhere once that you know you really love someone when you can’t quite articulate why you love them. They just make you feel…you know? Sure, you can always point out qualities you love, like maybe they make you laugh. Maybe they’re considerate and awesome and warm and comfortable in a giant teddy bear kind of way – the best kind of way. But deep down, there’s just something about them. And that’s what this paranormal stuff is like for me. It’s not like I love using my iPad as a night light because I’m scared of the dark – there’s just something about being afraid of the the unknown that lurks in the dark that makes me feel…you know. There’s just something deeply intriguing about it.

I always loved telling stories – especially crazy ones! There were these ghost stories that I especially liked to preface with, “This is a true story that happened to my grandpa.” My dad was full of old, creepy stories that he got from grandpa. None of them are true, I don’t think, but there are still a couple that they swore were true! Of course, I was always saying things were true that I was making up, and then I’d scare myself with them later. Lol! My favorite was the neighborhood troll. I scared a cousin with it so bad one summer he started crying hysterical tears. Of course, I’m not a monster so to pacify him I “beat the troll up” and sent him packing to Hawaii because I knew it was pretty far away. I was eleven. I still think about it sometimes and get scared. The neighborhood troll was a demon that followed you around everywhere you went, waiting for you to get into a dark corner so it could drag you back to its lair. The only way to see him was to stand with your back against the wall in front of a mirror. ^_^

I think it’s obvious that we have more stories in us that we’ve told than the ones we’ve written down. It’s interesting to look at the genres that even these fall into. For me, it’s pretty much action thriller or supernatural in nature. I have a lot of Mortal Kombat screenplays in my head – that fits into both! Love Mortal Kombat. 🙂 Sometimes it’s fun to reflect on things past and see a connecting thread, from then to now. It’s like I’m living in my very own story! ^_^

12 Responses to Genre Station: Next Stop – Ghost Town

  1. I’m afraid I’m a big old scaredy-cat!!! Can’t watch horror, can’t read it. Nightmare on Elm St was on at a sleep over I was at when I was maybe 11 or 12 and I went and hid in another room! Never seen it, never will. Nope. Not me.

    Thankfully, no need for me to put any horror in my Women’s Fiction 🙂

    • I’m scared, too. Lol! I didn’t watch Nightmare on Elm Street until I was 20. It wasn’t as scary as I thought, but that is mostly due to the terrible 80s graphics and general cheesiness – which funny enough is exactly what makes the original Carrie so frightening.

  2. Mortal Kombat!!! That scream and following music is going to be stuck in my head all day, thanks to you 🙂
    I’ve always been the biggest chicken when it comes to horror. My girlfriends loved it and wanted to watch the scariest movies at slumber parties, and I’d always pretend I’d already fallen asleep, ignoring as much as I could.
    But I love thrillers and action and Mortal Kombat too!

    • Always happy to stick a song in someone’s head! Of course, now it’s stuck in my head. 😀 I was definitely one of the first people who wanted to watch a scary movie. I secretly hoped someone would fight me on it though. Lol!

    • Lol! Funny thing is, for a few years after college, I was too scared to watch anything scary, but a good friend got me back into it a few years ago. It’s definitely made my writing better.

    • YES! Especially stuff that makes me look under the bed! And things that make me want to cover my eyes! 😀

      • Yes! But don’t forget the stuff that just plain makes you uncomfortable. Horror and dark stuff in general pushes the boundaries of what’s acceptable in the most delicious ways. I love the Horror Romances and Erotic Horror genres especially because of this. They can make you root for a pair of serial killers, a serial killer and bloodthirsty vampire or other things that go bump in the night. They can make you think, “This shouldn’t be so hot! I would puke if I came across this type of thing in real life. Why is it so hot?! Stop trying to make this really gross and extreme thing sexually appealing or disturbingly sweet, writer person!!!”

        • It’s amazing how ripping a heart out can be a romantic gesture in the right context. One of the grossest things I’ve ever seen in a movie is still one my most favorite movie scenes of all time – the end of An American Werewolf in Paris. 🙂

    • Haha. ^_^ I don’t think anything I write is all that scary, but scary stuff certainly makes for some great inspiration for me.

Hi! ^_^