It’s September, and what better way to kick off the month than discussing the origins of my love of horror, either in print or film? Like my friend Michael Louis Dixon (whose Facebook postings are OG for this particular series), I’m a horror obsessive; unlike Michael, my relationship with horror was an evolution. Regardless, for the curious, here are my firsts.
I read Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles when I was eight years old. No, technically it isn’t a horror novel, but it contains elements of Gothic horror alongside its detective story; there’s decrepit family mansion, a desolate moor, and a spectral black dog believed to be a portent of death.
Like I said, it’s not exactly horror. The mystery surround the tale is solvable without resorting to supernatural explanations. But to my young brain, it served closely enough.
What was your first exposure to horror? More specifically, what was your first horror/detective story hybrid? Let me know in the comments.
Derek Austin Johnson has lived most of his life in the Lone Star State. His work has appeared in The Horror Zine, Rayguns Over Texas!, Horror U.S.A.: Texas, Campfire Macabre, The Dread Machine, and Generation X-ed.
He lives in Central Texas.