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Is it a good idea to read scary things?

I spotted Fast-Walking Couple again today after MONTHS of no sightings. There is a picture on twitter, because I refuse to keep that from their loyal fans. If I'm not invited to their wedding, I will be seriously displeased. And the wedding invitation shall be addressed to "That Creepy Girl Who's Blogged About Us for Over a Year and Is Much Too Invested in Our Relationship."

Now that it's nigh on Halloween, I've been thinking about scary books. Mostly because I almost never read them. And here's the thing. I obviously have one particular worldview. Everyone has a worldview. Mine has been heavily influenced by Christianity, because I became a Christian when I was 13 and, in case you were unaware, I tend to throw myself into things. So couple the boundless free time and energy of a 13-year-old with a new religion and BAM. Still trying to sort out the wheat from the chaff there (ahahahaha and that is a biblical reference in case you did not know, behold my scholarliness).

So the Bible (more particularly, probably Paul) says "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." So we've got that verse. And then there's the idea of purposely putting horror/terror in front of you. And I just don't know. I feel like there's enough in this world that's awful without purposely exposing yourself to more of it. BUT I also understand that when it's in the secure, closed environment of the novel, it can be a way to process the feelings that those awful things give you.

unlike the horrifying reality Ariel
had to face this week

There's also the question of if scary novels are just not your cup of tea. I got scared by Zombieland. Which was a comedy. I also have some issues with Shaun of the Dead. I couldn't read The Historian at night because of that rat-faced librarian vampire (btdubs, I don't care if it an unpopular opinion: I loved 80% of The Historian MUCHLY). I'm also unreasonably impressionable, so if I read something like Hell House by Richard Matheson, I will get depressed because of the overpowering influence of demonic forces and humanity's helplessness in the face of them. Because of this, I'm unsure as to the benefit of them, beyond the aforementioned control over what is by definition not in our control ("Oh, don't worry, the killer has to go away in an hour and a half").

Which is actually the main issue I have with frightening fictional things. They don't go away when the fictional thing has ended. I can't be alone in my apartment when it's over. I have to check every corner and call people and turn on all the lights. These things stay at the forefront of my brain. They very much enjoy their time there, as I find it impossible to think about anything else. Which means that when given the choice between a Patrick Dennis novel or Stephen King (whom I WILL read someday), I'm going to choose to read about the madcap adventures of Auntie Mame. Which is so not seasonal, but does save you all from getting 11 PM phone calls from me.


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