Types of Terror

I wanted to pose a question today: What is your favorite way to be afraid? However, I realized I was going to have to give you some examples to answer the question easily, which brought me back to the famous words of Stephen King (you’ve probably heard of him, he’s kind of a thing).

“The 3 types of terror: The Gross-out: the sight of a severed head tumbling down a flight of stairs, it’s when the lights go out and something green and slimy splatters against your arm. The Horror: the unnatural, spiders the size of bears, the dead waking up and walking around, it’s when the lights go out and something with claws grabs you by the arm. And the last and worse one: Terror, when you come home and notice everything you own had been taken away and replaced by an exact substitute. It’s when the lights go out and you feel something behind you, you hear it, you feel its breath against your ear, but when you turn around, there’s nothing there…”

― Stephen King

So what say you, Midnighters? Do you prefer the gross-out, the horror, or the terror? Do you think there’s another type of terror not covered here?

Faith - Midnight Society Signatures

  • Kathy Palm
    April 16, 2014

    Number one … horror. I love when the unknown comes out to play. A close second would be terror, the thing in the shadow you think is there … imagination can be the scariest thing ever. I’m not big on gross-out, bloody, slasher stuff. Meh.

  • Jennifer Brinkmeyer
    April 16, 2014

    My favorite way to be afraid is terror, because I love speculating. While reading a horror text, I most often think things like “What would I do if…” or “What would happen if…” However, that is not the same as what makes me most scared. The imagery of horror is what sticks behind my eyelids, makes me afraid to open my eyes or keep them closed.

  • Cait Stuff
    April 19, 2014

    I appreciate the gross-out, when it is well done. When it is not well done, it makes me angry and I feel manipulated. This is why I tend not to like most horror movies– I have a hard time suspending my disbelief because I am hyper-sensitive to the special effects, the deceptive camera angles, the creepy music… Was I like these before I started hanging out with professional stunt doubles and working at haunted houses? Hard to say. But regardless, it’s been ruined for me for too long where most of the time the gross-out just makes me laugh.

    I love the horror, I live for the horror. Creepy dolls and ghosts all day every day. I would like to step out of this reality, and step into a world created by the Quay Brothers. Give me witches and bats and a beautiful gothic castle in the rain.

    Terror is an old friend, and I will find terror in things that are “not scary” all the time. The nice thing about terror is it’s everywhere. All around you. At every moment. And it’s nothing.

    So I can’t pick a favorite. I love them all.

    • Faith McKay
      Cait Stuff
      April 21, 2014

      😀 I can’t pick a favorite, either. I love a good gross-out, and can also be pretty picky about it. I don’t believe I think about the technical side so much as I simply roll my eyes…but when I like it, I really like it, and creep people out with my clapping excitement over something so creepy.

      We should do a writing retreat in a gothic castle 🙂

  • Amy Giuffrida
    April 22, 2014

    Such an unfair question! I like gross-out when it’s scary, not cheesy. Horror can be fun, as well as scary…like Zombieland. And terror can really get the blood pumping. I guess I just like it all. Anything that sticks in my mind is the best:)

    • Faith McKay
      Amy Giuffrida
      April 23, 2014

      I have watched Zombieland so many times! I LOVE that movie!

      ” Anything that sticks in my mind is the best:)”

      Nailed it. Truth.

  • Dwarf + Giant
    May 18, 2015

    […] House of Small Shadows, Adam Nevill – Sometimes called the British Stephen King, this is modern gothic with manimal taxidermy. It sounds like Knott’s Scary Farm.   He maybe hits all three of Mr. King’s “types of terror”. […]

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