1. hellwarrior
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    hellwarrior New Member

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    Inspiration for writing an horror novel: What scared you the most?

    Discussion in 'Insights & Inspiration' started by hellwarrior, Sep 23, 2014.

    Hi! I decided that my first novel will be an horror or fantastic drama. I want to write a novel to scare people so I would like to know what makes you scared when you watch a movie, walk in a city or in the woods? What sounds scare you? Are there any animal that scare you or any type of people or behavior that scare you? Do you have a few movies you watched and that scared you?

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. Jaro
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    Jaro Active Member

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    I used to do security at an old factory that was built in the 1920's. Very very creepy place to be alone on a windy night!
     
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  3. Swiveltaffy
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    Swiveltaffy Contributing Member Contributor

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    Self-awareness is pretty damn terrifying.
     
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  4. hellwarrior
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    hellwarrior New Member

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    Jaro, what exactly about the old factory scared you the most?

    Swiveltaffy, what do you mean exactly by self-awareness and how is it terrifying?
     
  5. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I grew up way out in the sticks. A windy night, surrounded by blackness and creaking trees? I wouldn't be able to hear a cougar, bear or dog creeping up on me until it's too late. Yikes!

    It's our imagination that scares us the most. That's why they don't show us the monster until the beginning of the third act;).
     
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  6. Swiveltaffy
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    Swiveltaffy Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's just bullshit. It isn't terrifying in a horror sort-a way.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014
  7. Jaro
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    Jaro Active Member

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    The building was very noisy. The big bay doors hung on rollers from the top, so when the wind blew they swung in and out freely. In a job where you need to pay utmost attention to your surroundings, the constant movement and noise when you are the only one there is pretty creepy.
     
  8. bakinpowder
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    bakinpowder Member

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  9. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    I lived in a new build house when I was a teenager, those years I never slept. That house was a magnet for creep factor. The kitchen cupboards would slam open and shut at night on their own. A dark shadowy figure could be seen in your peripheral vision walking down the hallway. Animals died in freak accidents at an alarming rate on that property, we lost 4 household pets and a horse in 2yrs. My mothers partner started to stand in the bedroom doorways and just watch us sleep, he died (heart attack) very shortly after leaving that house. The house itself was vandalised in a seemingly random attack but there was no sign of forced entry or any clues as to whom would have done it. The front bedroom had constant problems with rising damp.

    In my adult life I've lived in several city apartments with weird phenomena. My last apartment my cat would never allow me to be in the shower alone, under any circumstances. That bathroom had a sliding door and if I tried to lock him out of there he would push the door off the track in order to get in. He has never exhibited this behaviour in any other house. Strangely I adopted the habit of sleeping always facing that door and never closing it at night (it was an ensuite bathroom) I just had this compulsion of wrongness about having that bathroom door closed while I slept.

    Another apartment I would constantly argue in my sleep with a man. In that zone between wakefulness and sleep I would have these arguments with an unknown person. I wouldn't even hear voices or dream of this person, it was just like white noise in my head but I would know that we argued about something I couldn't clearly remember. Then one day I heard the words out loud you win, it woke me up and I never experienced that again.[/QUOTE]
     
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  10. mom42terrificgirls
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    mom42terrificgirls Member

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    Shower scenes, torture, bugs
     
  11. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Real things scared me more than unreal things. My best friend and I used to go to her grandparents cottage every summer when we were kids. Zero supervision super fun. Their cottage was lakeside and we swam everyday and were pretty good swimmers. One Saturday we bought those inflated floats for two dollars and lounged on them in the lake. We started talking, fell asleep and woke up to the feeling of water. Our crummy floats were leaking and we were in the middle of the lake. We tried not to panic. It was the longest swim of our life. But I kept thinking what if my friend couldn't make it? Could I save her, or would I have to watch her drown. It was scary.

    Also same cottage. We kept hearing the snap of twigs outside our window at night and this weird shuffle step noise just before a sweepy sound like a body being dragged across the cedar siding. We kept scaring ourselves with guessing. A nearby pervert released from a mental institution for good behavior trying to peek in our window, a bear looking for a midnight snack, a loony raccon with rabies, the demented dog down the road.

    New places, darkness, sounds - seems like key ingredients.
     
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  12. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @peachalulu - that does sound freaky. My husband did something similar. I am of the opinion that the people most likely to drown is actually the good swimmers. I dunno about you, but fuck, my husband is so damn careless when it comes to water and it's all because he's a good swimmer. There was once he went on a hike in HK with my brother-in-law, a friend of mine and his brother. My friend was leading - they took the bus to the last stop, then took the taxi to the furthest point it could go, and then hiked it up the mountains for something like 3-4 hours in scorching heat. They came across several beaches, but the last one, that one was called "Big Wave Beach", literally, in Chinese. Because well, it's known for its deadly undercurrents, and swimming is forbidden. My friend told them all this, and he was the only one to stay on dry land. Everyone else went swimming.

    My brother-in-law is nearly 2 metres tall but he didn't go out very far, so at least he was careful. My husband and this guy's brother, on the other hand - they're only of average height and they went really far. My husband said he turned back and saw they'd gone way too far, thanks to the waves, they hadn't noticed. So they started swimming back - now swimming directly against the current. This is the recipe for frigging suicide. And then mid-swim my husband realised he couldn't even see the other guy anymore.

    Thankfully they both made it to shore. My husband said he tried to lift his body as high up as possible to avoid the undercurrent and eventually when his feet touched sand, he would stand every time the current moved out and swim when it moved in. Guess he was at least smart about it. The other guy made it back and the moment he came on land, both his legs started cramping severely, alternately.

    *shudder*

    And then another time my husband went diving and promptly got a leg cramp when he hit bottom. Good swimmer that he is, he managed to get himself to the surface and apparently the lifeguard had stood up waiting. I asked my husband why he was still swimming - surely a cramp doesn't just hit like that. You tend to feel the tension before. And he confessed he did feel it, he just thought he was such a good swimmer nothing would ever happen. That he would cope.

    I'm just glad he rarely goes swimming...

    @PensiveQuill - your house sounds scary. It reminds me of a mattress we got. Strange link there, but hear me out. We once bought a single mattress second-hand. It was stained and lumpy and old, but very cheap, and at the time we'd just moved countries and furnished a flat, so we couldn't be picky. Anyway, I never slept on it, so I can't say. But my husband did, and he tells me every single night he slept on it, he had severe nightmares. Every night. Until he stopped sleeping on it altogether. We later sold this mattress to someone who needed it, and that person reported the same thing - constant nightmares whenever he slept on it.

    Sometimes I think these things are haunted by evil spirits. We just don't see them, that's all.
     
  13. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The unknown, the unseen, the unascertainable thing down there, back there, behind there. A shadow within the shadows. This is why I won't go in the ocean any deeper than touching bottom and feet clearly visible in clear water. :wtf:

    The original ALIEN film got this soooo perfect that it remains one of the best sci-fi horror movies to this day more than 30 years later. The original The Fog also got this right. The scary was in the not knowing, in the apprehension, in the unseen. The remake of The Fog completely forgot what made the original so good and went for CGI and special effects. FAIL.
     
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  14. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Totally agree. Lynch actually used this theme in Twin Peaks twice where Laura's things contaminate Donna's behavior. It's kinda the flip slide to Elijah's mantle.

    That spooky mattress would make a good story.
    I think it's misjudging the water. I swam in a public pool and at a local lake that was very mild. Hardly any currents, sandbars. Then I get to that lake and there is a swifter current, and all this damn clingy kelp. My friend and I had to regularly detangle each other's legs. And instead of trying to kick free we just made a signal/sign that we needed help pronto.

    Those stories sound scary, Mcck. I'm surprised you haven't thrown out his swim trunks!
     
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  15. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @peachalulu - Lol I'm tempted to throw them out, I gotta say! But the sport he regularly does is actually badminton - so no death risks there :D

    The clingy kelp sounds pretty freaky too - that would make a good old-fashioned horror. You're swimming and find this kelp's suddenly wrapping around you, and it starts off feeling natural and then you slowly realise it's intentional... eeek! I can't actually swim, so all this feels ever freakier to me. Btw, couldn't you disentangle yourself from the kelp?

    Spooky mattress story - never thought of it actually. Would it be a horror? You can write it if you like :D I don't write horror cus I'd just scare myself lol. My husband keeps wondering if maybe someone died on the mattress or maybe was abused, raped or something else horrific... I guess a nice twist for a story would be to play it like the mattress is haunted, and then actually, it turns out to be the MC who's going slowly insane and it's got nothing to do with the mattress at all.

    Oh speaking of scary, I'm reminded of a shot from Blue Planet, this British documentary on sealife. There was like a 5 second shot just before the title came up or something. The whole screen's just blue - this deep, slightly murky sea-blue. You're underwater, the light is good but not bright by any means. And there, far below you, is a single, beautiful grey shark.

    I always found that shot so freaky. Freaky because it's at the same time so, so majestic. It gave you this sense of being a small dot in the ocean and your own vulnerability in the face of that languid grey shark below you. Gave me a chill.

    Speaking of horror and water and sea monsters, here's something freaky: (ok my sentence looked like spam. I promise you it isn't lol)
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/watch-crocodile-chases-swimmer-shore-mexico-article-1.1904633
     
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  16. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    No, it was too thick. I think it was supposed to be cut back but the grandparents were a little old for that kind of maintenance.

    It might make an appearance in one of my opus'. :) I'm very patchwork with my ideas.


    Omigosh, that crocodile video. I doubt that tourist will ever go swimming again! Or maybe if he does, he should take this cat with him
     
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  17. Curupira22
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    Curupira22 Member

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    I'm not claustrophobic but I would hazard that everyone is a little afraid of being trapped/stuck in a small place with no way out. So here's a couple of stories that might help...

    If you've ever been deep underground then some of these things might ring home. If you've not, then this might be of interest. Or not.

    I guess I should add that if you don't know what you're doing or don't have an experienced guide, you shouldn't do this. It is incredibly dangerous. We always made appropriate provisions for these trips and planned for the worst.

    Here are a couple of notable trips underground that really stick out in my mind.

    [​IMG]

    This is a 19th century mine under the Eifel Mountains in Germany and that is a view of the way in/out. We were about 300m underground at this point and the roof had collapsed meaning we had to crawl through a 12" tall gap between the beams you can see. Now, I'm not a small chap which probably didn't help but I can assure you that the sensation of crawling through a gap like that and half way through, wondering if it was stable... well, it did make my heart flutter a bit. Of course in my panicked/ delirious/excited state I explained this to my guide/friend who casually explained that another 100 or so meters in a group had gotten trapped about 10 years ago. It Took 12 hours for anyone to raise the alarm and another 2 days to actually dig them out. And, weirdly, I couldn't help but think to myself... what did they do for the toilet? What happened when their batteries died? What did they eat/drink?

    Then there's this place in Belgium;

    [​IMG]

    This one is wierd. it's a lime stone quarry and has been around for nearly 800 years. The ceiling is... 10 meters, possibly more, and is supported by huge pillars of limestone. But the scale is what is truly breathtaking - if it isn't 500-800 meters deep and wide, then it's close. It is very easy to get lost (we got lost and my mate has been there lots of times) because after a while, every torch lit surface starts to look the same and people have gotten lost and even died in this one. Lots of people (Usually a couple of people every year, up until they concreted over the entrance). Here's the incredible thing, though; because it is so old, there is a huge amount of graffiti dating all the way back to the 14th century. here's some that I snapped;

    [​IMG]

    This one was drawn by a Napoleonic soldier (there was a date);
    [​IMG]

    This is my favourite. Ok, it's modern but quite cool;

    [​IMG]

    And here's so gratuitous photo's I've borrowed from elsewhere because it's such an incredible place;

    Modern graffiti/sculpting;
    [​IMG]

    This one gives you an idea of the scale;

    [​IMG]

    Again, this place is dark - don't let the lighting fool you. I really struggled to take a photo, even with a light gun.

    The thing that really adds to this is the atmosphere in a place like this. The air is thick, almost soupy with moisture and dust. It's oppressive, the darkness absolute. Again, if you've ever been underground, the blackness is like nothing you'll ever experience. I get an adrenaline rush thinking about it but at the same time, I always wonder 'what if'....
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014
  18. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Love your pictures Curupira22 - What an amazing experience!
     
  19. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @peachalulu - that cat's fierce man!

    @Curupira22 - oh my word why would you DO that to yourself? I mean, amazing pictures, but you couldn't get me to come with you in a million years, hell no. I almost got a panic attack once all because I was stuck in a frigging long spiral staircase in the underground once! And by "stuck", I don't mean trapped - I was walking and there's nothing wrong with me or the stairs. It's just it felt never-ending to me and I'm already prone to being freaked out by the thought of being trapped that I just kinda flipped. Horrible horrible cycle - heart won't slow down so you can't catch your breath so you wouldn't be able to walk and get yourself out, which is the very thought that got the heart racing, of course. Utterly self-defeating. I had to force myself to slow down and talk some sense into myself, like, "These are stairs. As long as you keep walking, you'll certainly get out. Now, one step at a time. One step at a time." Lol. I got out and then sat on the curb of a street for 30min with my husband and I just wept, couldn't stop shaking. It was the deepest underground in London lol.
     
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  20. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    In my more depressed years I had a recurring nightmare, I was in a shipping container, trapped. Sometimes under the sea, sometimes under ground and then.....the walls suddenly moved in on me!The whole thing shrunk in an instant. I would wake up screaming every time. I haven't had that dream in a long while.
     
  21. Curupira22
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    Curupira22 Member

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    @Mckk all I can say is that it is a rush. Oh and that I'm really interested in geology/mineralogy.

    I was going to add something about the sound, too. In a dry mine like the Belgian one it is utterly silent. Deafening so. After a while you start hearing things. The really frightening thing is when you do actually hear something- usually it's a bad thing, like a roof collapse. All you can do is stay still and try and work out where it came from and hope it wasn't the way out :)

    To go one step further, here's a short video by a chap I know made in Morocco a few years ago. I was actually in the same place in 2012 doing the same thing although at the time I was too stressed to video anything and I freely admit that I reached my psychological limit doing this;



    This really was ass on the ceiling, chin on the floor! And yes, this one freaked me out a bit so I won't be doing it again...
     
  22. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    I can't watch that video, it's horrible.
     
  23. Swiveltaffy
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    Swiveltaffy Contributing Member Contributor

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    You don't realize you're claustrophobic until you don't have much-a choice otherwise.
     
  24. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am most scared when I am hiding from someone or something that is out to get me, or when I have a secret that someone is on the verge of discovering. As a child, I enjoyed hide and seek way more than anyone else enjoyed it because the adrenaline rush was addictive. I sometimes have nightmares in which I am engaged in some kind of illegal activity online and the FBI shows up at my door. I wake up from those nightmares more terrified than from almost any other experience.

    The strongest adrenaline rushes I get from awake experiences are generally from games. Two games in particular:
    • Mafia, when I am the mafia.
    • Team Fortress 2, when I am a spy.
    Both experiences have something in common: I wear a flimsy disguise in the presence of the enemy, one minor slip-up can make them suspicious of me, and once I am suspected, I am helpless from the inevitable chain reaction in which one suspicion confirms another and soon enough I am exposed. I cannot relax for one second. As a spy in particular, I sometimes get attacked out of the blue by an enemy who either sees through my disguise or just happens to be spy-checking (randomly attacking teammates -- players cannot hurt their teammates -- to make sure they are not spies). It is an inevitable part of the game, but I often jump in my seat when it happens.

    Infinitely scarier than games like Slender which are designed specifically to scare the player.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2014
  25. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    A restless mind is most scary. A dark forest is just a dark forest until you let your mind wander about it.
     
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