Christian Horror. That’s what I write. Some publishers try to pretty it up by calling it Supernatural Suspense, and some readers feel better about buying/reading it if they dress it up a little. But it is what it is. And had folks in the advertising departments of some secular publishers not come up with the idea of breaking fiction into a lot of little niches in the late 70s-early 80s, it would just be fiction. Scary fiction.

Horror, at its core, is an emotion. Not a genre. The fiction I write contains elements of horror, romance, humor, suspense, wonder, sadness and happiness. The same can be said for any other author. So, technically I write Horror Romance Humor Suspense Wonder Sadness Happiness fiction (but try fitting that on a book’s spine).

Still, since we are stuck with labels/genres, why horror? Why not? Some Christian readers get their drawers all twisted up because they think horror novels are, on some emotional level, aligned with the dark forces in the world.

Nope. Granted, those things may be a little more undiluted in horror/supernatural suspense novels, but the proof, as “they” say, should be in the pudding. A Christian horror novel (movie, etc.) addresses the evil, its effects on those exposed to it, and the outcome of dealing with the evil. Unfortunately, some people can’t get beyond the word evil, and their thinking becomes derailed. For example, Mr. A. Nonny Mouse had this to say about the the Cloud Ten production of Dangerous Calling:

“The problem I’m having is not the film itself, but the dangerous territory we move into when we think it is okay to dabble in thrillers. Once people, and even the Christian community, get comfortable with it, then it’s horror. Once this happens Satan has won, he has successfully found a way into our hearts once again.

The point I want to illustrate is one thing leads to another and then another and it snowballs into something big. Before we know it, Christian Horrors will be on our doorstep. We don’t need this kind of programming in our brains and hearts. Again it is important to emphasize that the problem I’m having with Dangerous Calling is the potential of what it could encourage. It is too close to the occult.”

This argument is not unusual … flawed though it may be. How does the fact that something can be called horror give Satan a win and fling open the doors to our collective hearts? In my novel, Something Stirs, not only does the power of Christ prevail, but in the process, one character renews his faltering faith and two other main characters discover a deeper level of faith. Satan has a hard time flourishing in those sorts of conditions.

Second, what “Christian Horrors” are coming to our doorstep, and how does this particular production become “too close to the occult” when it does not have an occult theme? I think what we have here is a case of religious bias that overshadows logic.

Christian horror, on a basic level, deals with the ongoing battle between good and evil. And in my case (as is true for many others), there is always an element of redemption. The hard cold fact is, there is evil in the world and this is the way I choose to examine it.

Plus, if you skip to the last page, the good guys win. They may get a little beat up and battered on the way, but they will win. If you don’t believe it, flip to the end of God’s book. We’re all just cribbing from Him.

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