Fear of the Unknown

I woke up grumpy today so today’s authorial inspiration comes from H.P. Lovecraft, one of the great masters of scary fiction:

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and
the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.
H.P. Lovecraft

I think there is a lot of truth to this statement but I’m not yet a complete disciple of this principle.  The more I think about it, scary things are scariest when they are both unknown and yet close enough to something that you are familiar with to invoke the instinct of fear.  The dragon in the picture above wouldn’t look so scary if it was some nondescript creature – even if it was super fast, spit poison, emitted deafening shrieks, and inflicted crushing blows before slowly munching its victim feet first – because it would be completely unknown to the viewer.  Perhaps the strongest kind of fear is therefore fear of the unknown when it somehow resembles something we already fear…

The story-invoking image comes from Kosa Zsolt on DeviantArt.

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