Horror is often about how we live in the liminal, whether we want to or not.
What I like about horror is that, I think of all the genres, all the modes of writing, horror is the one that can evoke or elicit a response from the reader that the reader doesn’t want to give.
— Stephen Graham Jones in “A Career In Keeping You Scared of the Dark”
The macabre often hinges on the darkly humorous, a fact that becomes clearer after spending time with so many uncanny tales. You become acclimated to the darkness there, finding in it a kind of kinship, even, for a time, a level of comfort.
— Jeff Vandermeer in “The Uncanny Power of Weird Fiction”
My stories have always been more about the humans and the mistakes that they’ve made and the zombies are just sort of out there … They’re the disaster that everyone is facing, but my stories are more about the humans.
— George Romero in interview for NPR
Horror is an emotion very closely connected to empathy. Horror doesn’t work until you have characters that you love, and feel emotionally invested in, and then you see them suffer the worst. You’re flinching from it, but you want with all your heart to see them survive, and get out.
— Joe Hill in interview republished in Nightmare Magazine
The thing horror offers is the frisson that comes with fear and dread and visceral shock; frightful imagery appeals to our lizard brain in a way that is profound and immediate. Horror is an important and vital art form — it’s rooted in primitive emotions, the animal self that resists sublimation. We’ve not evolved sufficiently as a species to turn our backs on the lizard, the wolf, the ape. Our ineluctable fascination with the gruesome, the violent, the macabre, is a gentle reminder of that.
— Laird Barron in interview for Books Are My Only Friends
The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.
— H.P. Lovecraft in Supernatural Horror in Literature
I can’t say I read horror in order to be frightened. I did once when much younger, and it could transfix me with terror, but not now. I read horror for all the same reasons I read darker literary fiction – insights into the inner life, a desire to understand these times and what they do to us, fine writing, enigma, and to be transported by a writer’s imagination, and to be disturbed.
— Adam Nevill in interview for The Arkham Digest
“Everything I Know About America I Learned from Stephen King” by Lydia Kiesling at The Millions