#CoffinHop2014: The Definition of Horror

This one will either prove that horror is similar, or that we all have something different that speaks to us about the genre.

What does the word ‘horror’ mean to you?

Julianne Snow

It’s a darkness that lives in the world using its power to scare, and to titillate.

Brent Abell

Horror to me is the darkness that resides in the things we do and see each day of our lives.  The old man who gave you the crooked smile on the train?  He killed his wife last night by placing a pillow over her sleeping face.  The broken chair you glimpsed in the dumpster of your apartment complex?  It was used to beat a man to death in a drug deal gone wrong.  We never know when something bad will strike and never knowing when that something is going to happen is what horror is about to me.  I want to make the usual seem dark and foreboding.  I want to take the common person and make the world around them take an evil twist.  Once the world goes wrong around them, we watch how regular people react in horrible situations.  From this, we see our own fears and how we would face them.

Linda LaForge

Fun. Often funny. I tend to like the surreal horror, rather than the very realistic scenarios. My favourites are still the old classics, like Hitchcock.

James Garcia Jr.

Great question. I can do without the gratuitous gore and shock for shock’s sake. What I love are the dark and disturbing moments. The Silence of the Lambs is a great horror film. The Amityville Horror is a great horror book – whether true or a hoax. The Exorcist stays with me for two days after I watch it. Films like The Omen, Sinister, The Woman in Black. John Carpenter’s The Thing has some gore in it, but it’s necessary. I’m not interested in madmen armed with chainsaws or low budget shockers. Horror should attack all of your senses and pull you along; not just lazily shock your eyes.

Alexander Ward

For me, horror as a genre is about reflecting the darker parts of our world, our humanity. Exploring it in the safe environment of make-believe and doing it in such a way that it’s fun and thrilling, sometimes even challenging. As an emotion, I think of horror as a deep feeling of dread and solemn ache in the face of some terrible act or occurrence.

A.F. Stewart

To me, horror means hiding under the covers, hoping I don’t get nightmares. Seriously, though, it’s a visceral adrenaline rush and vicarious thrills delivered through an exploration of the darker side of human nature.

Anne Michaud

To me, horror means a situation, a person, a place or a story that truly terrifies someone, because of the feelings and emotions it explore – and mostly what scares someone might not be the same for everyone.

Doug Rinaldi

Why does even the word horror get a bad rap outside of the genre and its fans?  It’s a shame really.  To me, horror is a lifestyle, a choice, a label for anything that makes people uncomfortable, yet excitable.  Horror doesn’t necessarily mean gross-outs and jump-scares.  Those things are just some of the by-products of horror.  Horror, real horror, is meant to titillate and illicit a genuine response to one’s surroundings.  When done right, horror wants you to feel terror and fear, experience uncertainty mixed with a childlike curiosity.  It makes the things that stand out on the fringes of what’s acceptable grab you and challenge you to question the darker side of human nature and your cherished beliefs.  That’s what horror means to me.

Richard Shiver

The anticipation of the act, the not knowing what is going to happen as the scene slowly unfolds and the suspense builds.

Don’t forget to catch up with the other Coffin Hoppers at CoffinHop.com!


Now let’s talk about this giveaway!

There are 9 authors featured during the Coffin Hop and they’ve agreed to provide digital copies of their works to random winners as determined by Rafflecopter!

So what could you win?

  • 9 winners will receive 1 of the titles featured in a digital format by random draw (each winner will receive a different title – some authors may throw in other titles as well if they’re feeling generous!) NOTE: Authors are responsible for sending out the prizes and will be given your email address.
  • 1 winner will receive a Print version of Glimpses of the Undead by Julianne Snow



6 thoughts on “#CoffinHop2014: The Definition of Horror

  1. I think you just pinpointed one of the many reasons why I love horror so much: It represents so many different things to each one of us. It is universal and, at the same time, uniquely personal. Great post!

  2. Brilliant definitions.
    I have participated in a “define horror” challenge before.
    It always interests me how individual each author’s take on horror is.
    Great challenge Julianne!
    Happy CoffinHopping! 🙂
    – Kim

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