There is nothing so cathartic as a good scream. If you don’t believe me, Google Primal Scream Therapy. You just might be surprised. Here at THE DARK SIRE, when we present you with a horror story, poem, or artwork, we want the hair to stand up on the back of your neck. We literally want chills to run up and down your spine. We want you to be scared.
Horror has been part of our folk heritage for centuries. The fear of the supernatural, not just ghosts and witches, frightens us to the core. And with the advent of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, horror encompassed pseudoscience into the things that go bump in the night. Authors like Shelley, Stephen King, and William Blatty not only fill their stories with psychological symbolism but also give their tales a haunting credibility. Their stories owe their power to well-developed characters that develop in realistic social environments to the exclusion of the Gothic mysterious atmosphere.
An extension of this “real meets horrific” is the iconic vampire. The vampire has horrified generations from the 17th-Century to the present, as a creature of the night that preys upon the living. Early vampire literature made for great horror movies in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, especially in black and white. Anne Rice comes to mind when thinking of fine vampire literature with her Vampire Chronicles series, as does Stephens King when he combined his talent for horror with the fiendish lore of the vampire in 'Salem's Lot. But it’s Bram Stoker's Dracula that forever holds the model for the vampire fiend that creeps in the night – the being you don’t want to fall in love with.
The vampire as fiend, a creature steeped in a brew of dark and exciting complexity, is of special interest to TDS. The creepy, twisted, blood-sucker that could rival that of Dracula and become his nightmares are what we look for in a vampire story, one that is non-romantic and uses the older idea of a preying creature that’s menacing to the living.
At TDS, after you read one of our horror stories, we WANT you to check under your bed before you go to sleep. A true horror story requires the reader to be menaced by the evil described. It’s related to man’s elementary fight or flight reaction. A good horror story makes you feel the excitement of living life on the edge. Your heart pounds with those of the fictional heroes or heroines. If his or her cage is rattled, your cage is rattled. A good horror story will fill you with fear and take you on an emotional roller coaster ride; and a good vampire story will give you nightmares when the lights go out. Some of the best of both worlds can be found in these novels:
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Dracula by Bram Stalker
‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
The Exorcist by William Blatty
The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
Psycho by Robert Bloch
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