The thrill of horror novels | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 14, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:45 AM, November 14, 2017


The thrill of horror novels

There are two kinds of people in this world — one who will give a limb to avoid accidentally watching or reading anything related to the horror genre; they do not care if friends and family tease them about lacking a brave heart because they have come to terms with reality.

The other kind of people are those who live off this thrill; adrenaline pumping through their veins and making their pulse throb in their wrists and heart pound in their chest. These are the people who profess that the best genre till date is horror.

Even among horror lovers, there lies a distinction — those who prefer reading a horror novel than to watching a horror movie.

A horror novel can claim success when the supernatural beings make the audience paranoid for days and sometimes, in extreme cases, weeks. The meticulous details make it almost impossible to fall asleep at night, and it is this factor that makes the package feel so wholesome. Icing on the cake would be if the book gave the readers a taste of classic '80s setting with its small town, young curious nerds who know that trusting instinct is more important than obeying rules when it comes to saving one of the crew. 

Horror novels paint a picture so vivid that not only do the readers see the scene in their mind's eye, but actually believe that they are there with the helpless people in a terrifying supernatural situation. This rush that is felt so deeply by readers almost feeds their growing fascination with a world that they know is not real. The tight grasp that novels tend to have over the reader’s mind is unique only to this genre and this is what keeps the fan following increasing.

The words on the pages give the mind a power to imagine the unimaginable. This excites both adolescents as well as adults. Reading along the lines tend to heighten the senses; enables readers to see the silhouette, listen to sound of nails on a board, and taste the tang in blood. 

The tense atmosphere sends chills down the reader's spine and the gruesome details repel as well as intrigue, at the same time. This paradox is one that is hard to fathom, and just adds to the reason why horror as a genre is perceived as charming by most people.

Most classic horror novels are major page-turners that do a great job of keeping the readers engrossed while simultaneously making them want to be away from the book and surrounded by people at all times. Readers also believe that the back and forth adds to the thrill of horror. 

Book lovers argue that these experiences make them feel alive. But that is not all. Reading about the protagonist's helplessness can also teach the readers more about empathy. Dealing with loss is often done with great finesse in these novels.  Among other reasons, learning more about the full spectrum of human emotions is also why readers get hooked on these novels. 

In most cases, fans religiously follow all the book franchises just because their love for the first one in the series is real and they want to stay loyal to that. It is irrefutable that the experience that horror as a genre provides cannot be matched.  

Photo: Collected

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