I've written before about how much I enjoy horror movies - I was raised on them. My sister and I were loaded into the back of the car in our pyjamas and driven by our parents to the drive in movies where, more often than not, there was a double-horror-something.
And, as you can see in the ad opposite, my parents were probably attracted by the $1/carload 'family night'. Nothing better for us kids than a night on 'Hell's Island' and getting to know the 'Creature with the Atom Brain.'
If you're wanting to write in the genre, 'read lots of it' and get a feel for how these stories are put together and what makes a good one great. And there are so many classics you can read, apart from Stephen King - take the tales of H.P. Lovecraft, Joyce Carol Oates, and 'The Monkey's Paw' an 18th century gem from William Wymark Jacobs (I saw an old black and white movie of this as a child and it scared me so badly I still remember it).
How do you come up with ideas?
Make a list of what scares you. Objects? Animals? Places? And remember, we are hard-wired to fear the dark, an instinct that goes back to our caveman days when a campfire at night was light and safety. Anything outside of the realm of firelight was too dangerous and frightening to contemplate.
So what scares me? Crickets. Not the little ones but those large black shiny ones that can leap and scuttle and seem to be able to fly. So, OK, if I was locked into a dark room full of black crickets, that to me is a horror show. This is a very simplistic example but it's taking an ordinary person (me), confronted with her worst fear (crickets) in a situation where every instinct is on high alert (darkness).
Then throw in a 'what if?' What if, while I'm battling crickets in the dark, I sense that there is something else in there with me .... what if I hear shuffling in the corner of the dark room, a hissing or heavy breathing ...
OK - you get the picture. Have a go. Scare me.