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standard literary and psychological concept applied especially to Gothic literature and film
(Redirected from Horrors)
Figure 21 from Charles Darwin's The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. Caption reads "FIG. 21.—Horror and Agony, copied from a photograph by Dr. Duchenne."

Horror is the feeling of revulsion that usually follows a frightening sight, sound, or otherwise experience. It is the feeling one gets after coming to an awful realization or experiencing a deeply unpleasant occurrence. In other words, horror is more related to being shocked or scared (being horrified), while terror is more related to being anxious or fearful.


  • I will make this city an object of horror and something to whistle at. Every last one passing by it will stare in horror and whistle over all its plagues.
  • I look before me at my lighted candles,
    I don’t want to turn around and see with horror
    How quickly the dark line is lengthening,
    How quickly the candles multiply that have been put out.
    • Constantine P. Cavafy, Candles (Κεριά), as translated by Manolis, in Constantine P. Cavafy: Poems (2008) edited by George Amabile.
  • When I finally took my husband to see Pet Sematary a few months ago, I looked over during the film, and my husband had his hands over his was too funny.
    Women are wired to give birth, so maybe there's something in us that makes us more immune to horror, films with girls in bikinis getting raped and killed make me angry, but a really chilling horror film where it really gets under your skin and like it really could happen, those are the ones I like.
  • What was the whole literature of supernatural horror but an essay to make death itself exciting?—wonder and strangeness to life’s very end.
  • ...murder, mayhem, robbery, rape, cannibalism, carnage, necrophilia, sex, sadism, masochism ... and virtually every other form of crime, degeneracy, bestiality and horror.
  • What is almost universally true of horror is that it’s been used as a tool to express social and political discontent for the marginalized since its creation. It’s a kind of popcorn propaganda that’s allowed writers and filmmakers to voice their anxieties while couching them in titillating narratives that would fly below any political censors.
  • As far back as 1794, for instance, women like Ann Radcliffe were writing the original Final Girls, like the character of Emily in the Mysteries of Udolpho, who escapes vengeful, domineering men in a creepy old castle to become an autonomous woman. Radcliffe paved the way for Edgar Allan Poe (“The Tell-Tale Heart"), Robert Louis Stevenson (Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray) and, of course, Mary Shelley (Frankenstein). These authors were popular in their time, but they’ve remained a collective compass for much of the horror to follow, and what they all have in common are concerns with ethics. Horror stories are, at their hearts, morality tales.
  • Horror is barely ever on the side of the powerful or the mean. The good writers and filmmakers of the genre can tap into our very real fears and follow them to their logical conclusions.

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