H.P. Lovecraft's most famous quotes about the horror genre is that: "The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
The Waste Land, T.S.Eliot I. The Burial of the Dead
As a child I was never fearful.
Not of the dark, spiders or ghosts.
In fact I was wilful.
Hard hearted, cold.
I liked that about me, it was a barrier to the outside world.
I was the loner, the malcontent, the strange spooky one.
I loved it more as a teen, embraced the Gothic, elevated the bizarre.
I smoked, it was cool, I drank, it was cool, I was nihilistic, it was cool.
Popular meant conforming, how that repulsed me.
Why? Because conformity meant no individuality, no soul.
My Grandmother said once "be careful what you read, it becomes you"
Yeah right, look I'm Pennywise the clown!
But she was right in a way.
I became repulsed by myself.
I had no compassion.
No true love to call my own.
I was alone with my fear, my fear of loneliness. Irony.
I had no true identity, I hid in horror, then became horrified.
I didn't know what was coming, where I was going, who I was.
I was afraid. Truly afraid for the first time.
Afraid of my shadow, of not knowing, of returning to the grave.
Fear is a loathsome creature, devouring love and hope.
Yet, know this, we are born to die, the clock runs down, no appeals.
So fill up on love, fill up on warmth, for Hell maybe hot, but alone,
Literary historian J. A. Cuddon has defined the horror story as "a piece of fiction in prose of variable length... which shocks or even frightens the reader, or perhaps induces a feeling of repulsion or loathing."