Writers of great horror don’t hold back when it comes to subject matter: nothing is off limits. Their stories go places that make readers shudder, sweat, squirm. Settings may be familiar, but somehow they are also warped. ‘Natural’ elements are inevitably of the ‘un’ or ‘super’ variety. Plots are designed to unnerve. In horror, the depths of the human psyche are dredged; dark secrets, dark fears, dark realities are unearthed, then strewn in black ink across paper. And when the tale is told, the last page turned, the best authors will leave us hoping never to meet anyone, in real life, as disturbed as the characters they’ve created. We like to pretend that such people live out there, somewhere else – that they’ll always be anonymous strangers.
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