Why Do We Love Horror So?
Horror as a genre is quite a fascinating one!
What is it about the “things that go bump” that sends a chill down our spine? Why do our hearts race when we read tales of werewolves, vampires, zombies, or demons? What makes us shiver and quake when we read stories about mind-stealing aliens, hordes of nightmarish creatures, and monsters from mythology and lore?
Fear is a pretty interesting emotion. There are two types of fear:
- Fear of something — Disease, death, theft, suffering, pain, dishonor, loss of money or status, etc.
- Fear for something — Fear for your family and loved ones.
Which one causes more terror? Neither trumps the other–both are equally terrifying!
When we experience these fears, our body does some interesting things:
- Our heart speeds up (by as much as 15 BPM faster than our resting heart rate)
- Our skin temperature drops
- Our palms begin to sweat
- Our muscles get all tense and knotted up
- Our blood pressure rises
What is causing all of these reactions? Why do our bodies act like this?
Simply put: it’s all about evolution.
Animals and humans have evolved over the years (centuries, millennia, etc.), adapting to their environment. Our brain and bodies have evolved slowly, and there are still certain aspects of our physiology and psychology that have not yet evolved. Look at the appendix and the last thoracic vertebra (the tail bone)–neither of these are strictly necessary, but we still have them.
Our psyche has changed a lot over time, but there are still things that remain unchanged. When we see something that is a threat (even if it’s just on a TV screen or in our minds), our bodies react out of instinct. The “animal” within us has that visceral gut reaction of fear and anxiety, and there is no control over it.
Psychologists aren’t quite sure what makes horror and action movies so appealing to us. Some believe that it has to do with the concept of “rites of passage”. Young males had to undergo certain physical and psychological tests and stressors to be considered “men”. Though many of those rites have disappeared from modern society, they’re not entirely gone.
Look at the “hazing” many college students endure. It’s all about “surviving” the torments–physical and mental. Horror movies and books have that same effect on us. They push our bodies to the limits of fear, and they give us a way to prove our courage. The “scarier” the movie or book, the “tougher” we are to survive it unscathed and unaffected by it.
Here’s an interesting thought: all of the physical effects of horror listed above (the increase in blood pressure, the racing heart, the sweaty palms, etc.) are the same effects caused by arousal and sex drive. Perhaps we “enjoy” horror so much not because of the actual horror itself, but because of the reaction it produces in our bodies. The flood of adrenaline, the surge of excitement, and the emotional “rush” caused by horror is a variety of the pleasure we feel when attracted to someone else.
Whatever the reason, horror is a genre that is here to stay! After all, what would we do without a good book or movie that gets our heart racing, sends chills down our spines, and gives us an excuse to cling to that handsome man or pretty woman beside us?
A faceless, nameless assassin. A forgotten past. The Hunter of Voramis–a killer devoid of morals, or something else altogether? (Blade of the Destroyer–dark fantasy with a look at the underside of human nature)
The Last Bucelarii (Book 1): Blade of the Destroyer
The Hunter of Voramis is the perfect assassin: ruthless, unrelenting, immortal. Yet he is haunted by lost memories, bonded to a cursed dagger that feeds him power yet denies him peace of mind. Within him rages an unquenchable need for blood and death.
When he accepts a contract to avenge the stolen innocence of a girl, the Hunter becomes the prey. The death of a seemingly random target sends him hurtling toward destruction, yet could his path also lead to the truth of his buried past?
Title: The Last Bucelarii (Book 1): Blade of the Destroyer
Author: Andy Peloquin
Official Launch Date: August 21st, 2015
Publication Date: July 11th, 2015
Paperback Price: $15.99
Digital Price: $3.99
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Blade-Destroyer-Last-Bucelarii-Book-ebook/dp/B012EI9M4A/
Amazon Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Blade-Destroyer-Last-Bucelarii-Book/dp/1515038955/
Book Launch Event:
Andy Peloquin: Lover of All Things Dark and Mysterious
Andy Peloquin–a third culture kid to the core–has loved to read since before he could remember. Sherlock Holmes, the Phantom of the Opera, and Father Brown are just a few of the books that ensnared his imagination as a child.
When he discovered science fiction and fantasy through the pages of writers like Edgar Rice Burroughs, J.R.R Tolkien, and Orson Scott Card, he was immediately hooked and hasn’t looked back since.
Andy’s first attempt at writing produced In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent. He has learned from the mistakes he made and used the experience to produce Blade of the Destroyer, a book of which he is very proud.
Reading—and now writing—is his favorite escape, and it provides him an outlet for his innate creativity. He is an artist; words are his palette.
His website (http://www.andypeloquin.com) is a second home for him, a place where he can post his thoughts and feelings–along with reviews of books he finds laying around the internet.
He can also be found on his social media pages, such as:
10 Things You Need to Know About Me:
- Hot wings, ALWAYS!
- I never forget a face, but rarely remember a name.
- I’m a head taller than the average person (I’m 6′ 6″)
- Marvel > DC
- I was born in Japan, and lived there until the age of 14.
- Selena Gomez and Five Finger Death Punch are both in my playlist.
- Aliens are real, but it’s self-centered of us to believe that they would come to visit Earth.
- Watching sports: suck. Playing sports: EPIC!
- I earned a purple belt in Karate/Hapkido/Taekwondo.
- I dislike most Christmas music, aside from Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
“Creative, gritty, and beautifully dark…fantasy addicts will love it!” — Peter Story, author of Things Grak Hates — http://peterjstory.com/
“The fantasy world has a compelling new antihero…the Hunter will terrify and captivate you.” – Eve A Floriste, author of Fresh Cut
“From the first words on the page this fantasy holds the reader spellbound even after the book is finished…his character is very well-defined even if his past is a mystery. Root for an assassin? Oh, yes, one must!” — Carol Conley, for InDTale Magazine