1. DarkWoods

    DarkWoods Active Member

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    What scare, disturb or disgust you?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by DarkWoods, Sep 30, 2022.

    Hi everyone. I want to write my first horror short stories. I’m always searching for new creepy and scary subjects to explore. It can be related to true crimes, paranormal, the unexplained and real stories that happened to you or to someone you know.

    For example, in the victorian era, it was common for a family to be photographed with their loved ones after they die. This was called; memento mori.

    It can be a sound, a smell, places, buildings, people or creatures that scares or disgust you. It can be a feeling like being lost in the woods, dark waters from a lake, being alone, the silence, the darkness … It can also be a scene from a movie or a novel.

    I am waiting to know more about your fears :)
     
  2. ps102

    ps102 Active Member

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    One late night when I was a kid, I was returning from the upper part of my village with a pan of omelette in my hand. I was bringing it over to a friend's house located in the deeper ends of the village, and to do so, I had to navigate the dark roads all on my own.

    As I was making my way, I was following a very dark downhill fading into the darkness. And since I was a scaredy cat, the atmosphere started getting to me. The windy hum from the surrounding mountains became really audible, the summer crickets grew louder, I was suddenly feeling very cold, and my heart was racing with the thoughts that anything could pop out, from anywhere, at any time.

    I started to run just so I could reach my friend's house faster. And the moment that I did, I heard it — very loud footsteps chasing me from behind. At first I thought that maybe it was my imagination, but it was indisputably loud for that to be the case, so I accepted that this was really happening. I was really being chased by something. Could have been a dog, could have been a human, could have been a wolf.

    For the next few seconds, I just ran and and ran not knowing what to do. I was too afraid to turn over my shoulder to see what was on my tail, I was honest to God terrified that I would see a demon or something equally horrifying. But the steps were growing louder and louder until I decided to just turn around in order to fight that thing with my omelette pan.

    My heart almost exploded out of my chest when I turned.

    Nothing was there.

    Literally, nothing was there.

    The only thing that was behind was the road, and the mountains, and the blinking red lights from the wind turbines. So... because I had decided to start running like an idiot... my own footsteps were echoing so loudly it sounded as if something was chasing me.

    This is the definition of being scared of my own shadow.
     
  3. DarkWoods

    DarkWoods Active Member

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    Thank you for your story. I really appreciate.
     
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  4. SapereAude

    SapereAude Contributor Contributor

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    Spiders and snakes ...

    Not necessarily in that order.
     
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  5. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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  6. Suzuzu

    Suzuzu Member

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    This has made me want to write down every scary thing or concept I can think of. Might be too much, but here you go:

    Inanimate objects moving when you're not looking.
    Loss of things that shouldn't be lose-able, like losing your hand or half of your face. Not having it removed, but not being able to find it.
    Events in history changing.
    People I once knew disappearing completely from reality, past and present and future.
    Losing your memories.
    Family and friends being 'altered' but everyone acting like nothing has changed.
    The way your vision disappears off the sides of your eyes, in your periphery.
    The sound of children playing in the distance.
    Finding out that your 'reality' is false, and literally everything has been fabricated.
    Hearing voices in fans.
    Strange people. When I was 18 I was a server and at the restaurant I worked at these two people sat down, a guy and a women who looked like hikers sort of ( they were wearing beanies ). I walked by them and they interrupted me because they wanted to talk. They both had piercing eyes ( I don't recall them blinking ), and they kept giggling to themselves, like there was something funny. And then they started to try and talk to me about sex. I think I told them my age and they said, "Now that you're 18 you can have sex with anybody you want." And then giggled to themselves, and then they tried to push for more information. It was so fucking creepy. It was the middle of the day, like 2PM. I imagined that they were a traveling duo of psychopath killers trying to lure me out so they could rape and murder me. Everyone else there was also unnerved by them.
    Looking in the mirror and seeing someone else's face.
    Waking up at a strange time, and not remembering when you went to bed.
    Getting lost in an enormous building, like a hospital or a mall, especially when it's getting late.
    Lost time.
    Being used for experiments, like Unit 731.
    Being accused of something you didn't do, especially when you're a child.
    Swimming at night, especially when it's raining. There are things in the water, like snapping turtles, but also maybe demons, or Old Greg.
    Repeated dreams.
    Inexplicable events experienced with others, afterwards being forgotten by everybody but you. I have this memory of being with my cousin, and it was night time. In the sky there were these what-I-would-describe-as flood lights that were coming down through the clouds. They were in a massive circle that was slowly rotating. Me and my cousin sat on the wall and talked about them, and I remember it being a bonding experience. I don't recall exactly what else we talked about but I know they were deep topics like life and the universe. Anyways, he has no recollection of this, so it was probably just a dream, but maybe it wasn't.
    Tapping in the walls. Like, what if something is tapping, and it's not just a mouse or a pipe.
    Seeing something bad happen, and not doing anything about it, like a murder or a child abduction.
    That feeling you get sometimes when you are walking in the woods that you shouldn't be there, and that there is something near-by.
    All right. This list is too long. I'm finished.
     
  7. DarkWoods

    DarkWoods Active Member

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    Thanks for your great list. I really appreciate it. I especially love those items you mentionned;

    - Family and friends being 'altered' but everyone acting like nothing has changed.
    - Getting lost in an enormous building, like a hospital or a mall, especially when it's getting late.
    - Inexplicable events experienced with others, afterwards being forgotten by everybody but you.
    - That feeling you get sometimes when you are walking in the woods that you shouldn't be there, and that there is something near-by.
     
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  8. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    Hi @DarkWoods,

    I don't mean to be unkind, but you asked more or less the same question 4 years ago.
    https://www.writingforums.org/threads/inspiration-for-writing-horror-what-scares-you.159284/

    Have you done any writing since then? If not, then before you start getting onto writing a novel, I would suggest you start writing - it doesn't have to be horror, but write anything at all. You need to hone and practise your skills, learn the art of storytelling.

    And others are right - short stories are not necessarily easier to write than novels. You have a limited amount of space to develop your story and your characters. Read some of Stephen King's short stories and compare them to his novels, and see how he does it.
     
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  9. Keongxi

    Keongxi Member

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    How about combining true crimes AND the paranormal? What if a serial killer (for example) Jack the Ripper became immortal? But please don't use that plot. :) A Highlander comic book already used it . Perhaps you can create your own serial killer who gained immortality.

    As to my fear, one of it was when I got "ambushed" when reading a kid's scary story compilation book. When I got to the end, the narrator said he was making spelling mistakes because of his long fingernails and stated that this book was to distract me so I(the reader) would not know he was coming for me. They even put a printed picture of a reader and two hands with long fingernails reaching out for the reader from behind. If they tried to frighten a kid, they succeeded.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2022
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  10. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Currently Reading::
    "Chronic City" by Jonathan Lethem
    I heard this story from an old professor of this guy who traveled to the tropics. I don't remember which tropics. Lets just assume it's the Amazon. He's warned about the insects but doesn't take proper precautions. He wakes up one morning in his tent and he can't move his leg. When he manages to pull himself upright and get a look at his foot, it's being eaten by a nest of long-legged watchamacallits. Apparently their bite has an anesthetic in it and allows them to feast on sleeping victims.

    Thanks, prof. I've never forgotten that.

    I think it may be a metaphorical fear of cancer or some other slow-moving disease. You don't notice it until the damage is done.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2022
  11. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    This is true for a lot of horror tropes that really freak people out—they play on some of our deeper fears in a disguised way. Zombie movies for instance (from before the fast sprinters) represent the fear of disease, old age and death. Certain kinds of vampires respreset the danger of seductive strangers who might lull you into a deathlike state of subservience and corrupt your moral compass, kill off evertyhing essentially human in you. Werewolves are the beast within, lurking beneath the surface, waiting to turn you into a carnivorous monster with no human agency. These things are a lot easier and more fun to think about in disguised form.
     
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  12. DarkWoods

    DarkWoods Active Member

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    You are exactly right. Here is why I posted almost the same question. I subscribed to this forum a few years ago and really like it but, at some point, lost motivation to write while I was diagnosed with a major depression. Then, a few days ago, I tried to reconnect to my old account but could’t remember with which email I have subscribed because I have deleted a few emails in the past. So I created a new account but the admins told me I couldn’t have two or more accounts here, which I completely understand. So they merge my accounts into the same. That’s why you see my older posts with almost the same question.

    To answer your question; I have written only the first scenes of my first short story. My goal was to write short stories first so I can learn and improve my skills before trying to write a bigger novel.

    I thought about this. I made a list of things I see in the news and on blogs. Things that creep me and that I could use eventually in one of my writings.

    I have searched on google with watchamacallits and it doesn’t exist. I think it was a prank.

    Thanks. For me, I am really not frightened and interested to write about vampires and werewolves. I am searching for something way more disturbing, scarier and creepier. Something new.
     
  13. making tracks

    making tracks Active Member

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    For me it's uncanny valley which really creeps me out. That instinctive feeling that something is just off even if you can't pinpoint what.

    I also remember a story (not sure if it was true or not) about a woman who dreamt she was a stone angel in a cemetery and couldn't move, then when she woke up she was paralysed (not sleep paralysis, it was a result of an injury or disease, it was very sad). I find the idea of that moment of relief that it was just a dream being ripped away when you realise it's real being terrifying.
     
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  14. DarkWoods

    DarkWoods Active Member

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    What do you mean exactly by uncanny valley? Sorry but my first language is french and I have never seen this expression before.
     
  15. making tracks

    making tracks Active Member

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    It's when things look almost human but there's something just slightly off. Wiki page here. So for example a dog walking around on their back legs, or someone sitting unnaturally still and you realise they are actually dead, or robots which are made to look as realistic as possible but you can still tell they aren't real, or wax work models! All sorts of variations. There are some great YouTube videos about it if you are interested.
     
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  16. Azuresun

    Azuresun Senior Member

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    Caving. Some of the pictures of cavers squeezing through very tight passages (so tight they have to breathe out before they can move) just trigger an instinctive NOPE NOPE NOPE reaction.
     
  17. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin My get up and go must have got up and went... Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, fuck nope is right.

    How about the dingdongs working on construction scaffolding 60 floors above the street. No harness, no railing, just going about their day hauling heavy things across plank wood boards. I trip enough on flat ground.
     
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  18. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody The Ole Frazzle-Dazzle Contributor

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    people touching their eyeballs.... or things touching your eyeballs.

    basically... anything involving eyeballs.

    Eyeballs themselves dont freak me out. but when they get manipulated in anyway, beit someone putting in contacts, eyedrops, or doing that weird gradeschool trick with you flip your eyelids and poke the whites of your eyes until it pulsates.... yeah, thats a no for me
     
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  19. Mogador

    Mogador Senior Member

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    Those socks with individual toe tubes built in, like tight fitting foot gloves.
     
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  20. ps102

    ps102 Active Member

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    Is that really a thing? I have genuinely never seen it.
     
  21. DarkWoods

    DarkWoods Active Member

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    Come on. My question is serious. Stay on target.
     
  22. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody The Ole Frazzle-Dazzle Contributor

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    I dont know Mogador, but i do know some people find exactly wht he said disturbing.
    Some of it is a sensory thing (the feel of material between you toes, for example), and some is a visual thing (like how some people feel disturbed by looking at honeycombs).

    A sensory thing that i find really disturbing is chalk on chalkboards, and i cant stand when my nails scrape paper :blech:
     
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  23. Mogador

    Mogador Senior Member

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    Firstly, like @J.T. Woody said, I really do find them creepy. I'm not actually frightened of them, but they are distractingly unpleasant.

    Secondly, you have had some good and thorough responses so far. A little levity isn't going to spoil your party. Sombre isn't the same as serious, as John Cleese said.

    Thirdly, behind any such levity there is always something hidden, which you will miss if you tell people off for not treating your question seriously enough. In this case it is the horror of something mundane being slightly wrong, or really wrong. There's a perfectly normally dressed, smiling man, in business blazer and chinos. You glance down and his toes are all facing upwards, like he was assembled wrong. Or they are three times as long as they should be. Or where his feet should be there are bloody stumps. Or black and matted paws that *almost* look like feet. Socks with toes in them are pretty mild but you should get the idea of an incongruous, creepy double take. Like a tarantula on a slice of angel food.*

    Humour helps imagination.

    ________
    * That one's Philip Marlowe
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2022
  24. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody The Ole Frazzle-Dazzle Contributor

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    Theres a horror story I read in the New Uncanny about one if those automatic foot massagers you find at the mall and in airports.
    The feel of it squeezing your foot, manipulating your ankle, the big chair like a medieval torture device. It was so random, but it proves that you can turn anything into a horror.
     
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  25. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    There's a story by Edogawa Rampo (the Japanese version of Edgar Allen Poe, as in "Edoga Aram Po") called "The Human Chair". If chairs creep you out, this story will:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Human_Chair

    It's not a horror story per se, but it's creepy.
     
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