Does horror encourage it?

I get paranoid sometimes that folks may think I encourage Robin’s episodes by exposing her to all the horror stuff I’m into.  Just for the record, I don’t.  I don’t even let her look at some of the Skullvines book covers.

But the thing is, she loves horror, too.  And when she’s feeling well, she likes to watch scary stuff.  She can distinguish between fiction and reality just fine.  When she’s having episodes, however, anything sets her off.  She could watch Powerpuff Girls and freak out.  She once walked into a church with my mother and began screaming that blood everywhere and people were trying to get out of car trunks outside.  So when the hallucinations kick in, it doesn’t matter what she’s being exposed to.

A few months back, she wanted to watch 1408 and The Mist.  She’d been doing really well, so I put them on and she loved them.  No nightmares afterward or anything out of the ordinary.  And one even had giant bugs!

We do have a few spooky posters up here and there, and they can come in handy.  When she was seeing zombies this month (or at least, she saw disfigured people and called them zombies), I pointed to a Tales from the Crypt poster and said, “Nah, that’s just the Crypt Keeper.  He tells cool stories and laughs a lot.  He’s cool!”  She hadn’t been looking at the poster before, but by pointing it out, her hallucinations was put in relation to something she was more comfortable with.  It helped.

Anyway, our love for horror is one of the many things in common that brought us together, and it attracted both of us to Buffy.  So it definitely does more good than harm.


2 Responses to “Does horror encourage it?”

  1. If you have any doubts about horror, Bruno Bettelheim’s “On the Uses of Enchantment” argues that even the horrific elements in fairy tales serve a good purpose for children — actually help them cope with their fears. Personally, I think it’s good to move the horrors out of one’s head and put them on the page or screen, where they have less power.

  2. That’s a great point, and it’s probably one of the reasons I love the Brother’s Grimm so much.

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