I am not a horror story or movie aficionado. They never turned me on especially the movies, since for the most part they telegraph their gotcha moments way to much. In addition, many seem to equate gore and violence with terror. For me terror is much deeper than that. One of the few books I have read that managed to creep me out a bit was “Mythago Woods” by Robert Holdstock and only at the beginning. It had to do with the separation of the protagonist from any kind of help when strange things are happening, the loss control over your fate. Having no way of seeking help when you are faced with something outside your abilities is unnerving.
Think of it this way; pretend you are on vacation with your beloved mate far from civilization and they are attacked by a wild cat at night. You have no weapon, no medical supplies or training, and no way to signal for help. You have to fight off the cat then find a way to save your loved one by getting them to help, all while the big cat stalks you. Worse yet, it is just you and a single-minded big cat miles from help. That is what gets me; however, conveying that on paper is difficult because a lot of the feeling rides on tension. The tension of the protagonist’s fear. The adrenaline surge that you have to create within your audience.
So far, this is an area of writing I have not tried tackling. Mainly because I don’t feel I have the ability to convey the emotion as I have with other areas. If you read my stories you will find a lot of sadness, some hope, humor, and thinking but only mild horror. I do have an idea bouncing around my head that I might share with you when I manage to tinker with it. I will use you as guinea pigs for my scary learning. Buahhhhhh, ha, ha.