The second book I'm working on is a contemporary horror novel. There's a monster/crypto-creature at the bottom of it, with snakelike characteristics. As I'm writing my protagonist so far, she's not afraid of snakes and rather despises those who are. My idea is that my monster will leave signs of its increasing activity: trails in the mud and that sort of thing, which my MC will blow off as nothing but evidence of ordinary harmless garden creatures--- until Something Happens and she has to accept that something far worse is going on, and she can't really deal with it at all. This will undermine her concept of herself just when she needs all the self-confidence she can muster, and her pride will keep her from bringing in the help she needs. However, I was listening to one of the Writing Excuses podcasts the other day, a discussion of the Horror subgenre, and the panelists recommended that the Ordinary-Thing-That-Is-Kind-of-Like-the-Monster should be something the protag has never dealt with well, that she already has a deadly fear of, so that when she's confronted with the monster she's likely to make some gosh-awful decisions and make her situation even worse. What do you think? Which works better in horror and suspense? Please comment, and just for fun, I'm going to generate a poll.