Defining ‘Quiet Horror’

Abandoned FarmhouseI was asked recently by Acep Hale, a contributor to Lovecraft eZine, to provide a definition of quiet horror. Here is what the ol’ brainpan came up with:

Quiet horror is that abandoned farm house at the end of the country road, the one you’ve returned to again and again, attracted by its grotesque beauty, its dilapidation, its mystery. It fills you with wonder, and most of the time you’re not entirely certain why. And that’s okay. The unknowns in life make things interesting, prod the imagination into fashioning the subtle horrors it so often seeks. You’ve snapped dozens of photos of the derelict structure, not only of its exterior but the interior as well, a select portion of which now reside along your apartment wall in sleek obsidian frames. The bustling metropolis outside your bay window is another kind of horror, more visceral, more in-your-face, brimming with not-always-wanted noise. But there is escape. You need only return to that spectral wall and gaze at the subtle, dreamlike images you have captured, experiencing that quiet and satisfying thrill yet again. The solitude of open space and the broken bit of mystery which lies upon it—a sensation and an image which linger long and challenge easy resolution.

Be sure to give the full article a look-see, as it contains four additional (and perhaps more illuminating) write-ups of quiet horror.

Datlow’s Eighth ‘Horror’

best-horror-2016Nightscript received a bit of praise recently from legendary editor Ellen Datlow in her long-running Best Horror of the Year series: “Nightscript I: An Anthology of Strange and Darksome Tales is a very promising anthology debut of what’s intended to be an annual, with content along the lines of New Genre and Supernatural Tales magazines. The first volume has twenty stories. There are notable ones by Patricia Lillie, Daniel Mills, David Surface, Charles Wilkinson, Clint Smith, Damien Angelica Walters, Ralph Robert Moore, and John Claude Smith.”