Where to start? Maybe the best place to start is with a little history.
I have a memory, its a couple of images, that may or may not be true, but they serve as a reminder of how my love of horror began. The first is full of sunshine, I’m walking along the road leading from my childhood home, to another house. I’m holding someones hand, and although I cant see her, I know its the hand of my babysitter, I am 4, maybe 5 years old. The second memory is standing in her living room, she is off to my left somewhere, I think in the kitchen, and I am standing in the living room looking at a dark cabinet with a glass front. Inside the cabinet is a selection of VHS (this would have been 1991 or 1992, she’s not a hipster, hipster hasnt even been invened yet), I spy with my childs eye, a VHS with a red haired clown on it. The title just says ‘IT’ and it has a red 18 certificate. My memory images end there, but I know after some begging and promising that I wouldnt be scared, my babysitter let me watch ‘IT’.
I was terrified, and I’m not sure I made it through the movie, I’m also pretty sure that I had to have an adult nearby whenever I used the toilet from fear that Pennywise would reach up through the pipes and grab me.
The terror eventually subsided, and I wanted to watch ‘IT’ again, and any other horror movie I could get my little chubby hands on. Luckily my parents were pretty liberal, and seeing that I enjoyed the films, I was given freedom to choose what I wanted from Blockbusters (retro!).
That love of horror translated in to the films I watched, the books I read (the first book I bought with my pocket money was Clive Barker’s ‘Books of Blood’), the art I created. It also crept in to a game I’ve been playing for the past 18 years, Dungeons and Dragons.
I am the Dungeon Master of a game I run with seven guys, and each week they plunge headfirst in to my imagination. They are routinely horrified by the things they encounter, and these are usually the cleaned up, and wiped down versions of whats lurking in my head.
This is going to be a place where I talk about my weekly prep, my ideas and thoughts of how I take horror aspects from film, book, folklore, and myth and bring it alive at the table.