When writing horror, one thing that can make a story really scary is making it believable. For a lot of writers that means scouring the internet, books, historical records and more to find equivalents to the situations we are writing about. I was on just such an information hunt when I stumbled upon Lore, and I knew from the off that I would be back.
Lore is the brainchild of supernatural thriller author Aaron Mahnke. Starting out as a podcast more than two years ago, the objective of Lore was to tell the true-to-life stories of strange, creepy events from all over the globe. Mahnke narrates and produces the podcast himself, with ambient music in the background as he tells the latest tale. The topics covered in the time I’ve been listening have ranged from the reign of terror of Matthew Hopkins, the self-proclaimed ‘witchfinder general,’ to an exposé of a veritable plague of wolf attacks in pre-revolutionary France that was believed by locals to be caused by Satan himself and ended up with one of the earliest references to silver bullets.
The thing that’s so useful about Lore, from a writing perspective is that, though the stories are clearly told with more than a little artistic flair, Mahnke’s approach means that we see all sides of the story. This lends us a more rounded understanding of the events covered, and allows us to look at the story through the eyes of the victim, the perpetrator and witnesses, too.
After being sucked in by the podcast so completely, I recently picked up the first volume of The Book of Lore series, titled Monstrous Creatures. Here we find a variety of the stories from the podcast with a few new ones added to the mix and each one is beautifully illustrated. Flicking through the book, it feels almost like it was designed as a set of story prompts. For those with subscriptions to Amazon Video, there is even a series available now.
Whether you choose the podcast, the books or the series, one thing is for certain, you will find the original story that inspired the spooky tale your grandpa used to tell about your town, or the inspiration for that horror novel that you just can’t get out of your head before you go to sleep every night.
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