Hearing from Readers of “Christian Horror”

Since I published Christian Horror: On the Compatibility of a Biblical Worldview and the Horror Genre, I’ve heard from a good number of believers who enjoy the horror genre, but think it’s either incongruous with their beliefs or are simply concerned with its perception among their evangelical friends. For example, I received this nice message from a Facebook friend:

Hey Mike! I know you don’t know me, but thanks for accepting me as a friend a few months ago. I don’t remember now how I came across you – it was one of your blog posts, I believe. Anyways, I’m a A pastor who (horrors) loves reading Stephen King. I wanted to thank you for writing your Christian Horror book. I really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it – you made me think about some things I had never considered before. I’ve always felt kind of guilty over enjoying horror, but I’ve also wondered at how much horror there actually is in real life and in Scripture. Anyways, I just wanted to say thanks for a well-thought-out and well-written book. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog posts, and now I’m looking forward to reading your fiction! So thanks and keep on keeping on. Blessings! 

Another reviewer/author wrote this:

I have always loved scary books and movies. When I finally got the courage to publish some of my writing, I felt the need to do so “in the closet” and with a pen name because, naturally, my stories tend to involve supernatural elements and aren’t evangelical. I grew up in a church and around people who viewed authors like Stephen King as instruments of the devil (really!). I never believed it and appreciated the theme of good versus evil that runs through many horror stories.  

The church and crowd I associate with as an adult aren’t as legalistic as that, but there’s still that fear of what people will think. So when I stumbled upon this book and saw what it was about, I had to read it. I’m glad I did! 

Really, it makes me wonder how much stigma evangelicals and religious folks impose upon fellow believers who happen to enjoy the horror genre. I too would look aslant at a Christian who enjoys watching gore for the sake of gore. However, that’s exactly part of the horror stereotype. There’s plenty of horror that is not gory. And there’s also good arguments to be made even when it does contain non-gratuitous gore, that it could be justified. In either case, it’s apparent that evangelicals need good arguments for the creation of and enjoyment of speculative art in general, the horror genre in


MIKE DURAN is a novelist, blogger, and
speaker, whose short stories, essays, and commentary have appeared in Relief
Journal, Relevant Online, Novel Rocket, Rue Morgue, Zombies magazine, and other
print and digital outlets. He is the author of THE
(Blue Crescent Press, 2014), a Publishers Weekly starred review
item and first in a paranoir series, a short story anthology SUBTERRANEA
(Blue Crescent Press, 2013), the supernatural thrillers THE
(Realms May 2012) and THE
(Realms, 2011), an e-book fantasy novella entitled WINTERLAND
(Amazon digital, Oct. 2011), and a non-fiction exploration on the intersection
between the horror genre and evangelical fiction entitled CHRISTIAN
(Blue Crescent Press May 2015). You can learn more about Mike Duran,
his writing projects, cultural commentary, philosophical musings, and arcane
interests, at www.mikeduran.com.