The Horror Within

It’s Friday the 13th and fans of horror everywhere are geeking out…again.

But for some of us, Friday the 13th never really ends.

It’s inside of me always. Some phantom creature pumping through my bloodstream. A whisper of a thing, otherwise undetectable, except for the warning in my veins.

I grew up on Friday 13th and was raised by horror movies. In elementary school, while other kids were watching whatever the hell was popular for kids in the 80s, my older brothers and I stayed up late watching Jason Voorhees slash his way through the summer camp. Every VHS in the horror section of Action Video had been rented by us—the horror junkie kids—often multiple times. And I mean EVERY ONE. From the popular Nightmare on Elm Street, Poltergeist, and Halloween, to the obscure Sleepaway Camp and Basket Case. Excellent works of horror genius to B-movie guts and gore nonsense—we saw them all.

I learned at a young age to never trust the creak of a branch in the woods. I learned to never go check on that weird noise, to always watch over my shoulder, check behind the shower curtain, and to never NEVER walk over a sewage grate—thanks to C.H.U.D for that irrational paranoia that followed me to adulthood.

I know what lurks in the darkness, and what goes bump in the night. I’ve seen it. And now, I spend a good portion of my life creating my own horror stories. Ghosts and beasts and frightful things materialize on the page from the horror oozing through my own arteries. I was raised by horror, so it’s no surprise I was possessed by him to spread his fear mongering ways.

Horror lives inside me, between every cell. It is responsible for the hair on the back of my neck springing to attention when I get that feeling over my shoulder. It is the chill down my spine when the power goes out, or when the sounds of morning vanish with a fleeing flock of birds. It is the impulse to protect my neck from the machete-wielding slasher standing right behind me.

Here’s to Friday the 13th! Enjoy this day, horror fans. And may horror live inside us all.

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