The editorial in this linked article really resonated with me. In many ways it is my story. I, as was the author, was raised in a fundamentalist Christian environment, although mercifully my mother wasn’t controlling and domineering the way his parents seem to have been. She never really knew what to make of my passion for Horror and she did bristle at the R-rated movies I was always renting, not because of the violence or the gore but because of the language and nudity. (I remember once renting SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT and she saw the disclaimer on the VHS box “For Mature Viewers Only” and inferred from that that the movie was a porno. And then she walked into the room when I was watching it during a scene where a girl was topless and was convinced of it. My mother, bless her sweet little Southern Baptist backwoods heart, had no clue what a porno actually was. At that age neither did I, truthfully, but I knew it wasn’t SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT.)
Like the author of the editorial, I too struggled with the guilt I experienced as a Christian child with a ravenous hunger for Horror. And like him, watching Horror movies helped me to discover and grow into my own personal spirituality. For me it actually reinforced the core of my beliefs.
The years passed and my passion for the macabre remained. In fact it strengthened. The dogma of my childhood instruction peeled away like dead skin after a sunburn. What remained was a purer, stronger, cleaner faith unencumbered by rigidity and legalism. I am today quite comfortable being a Christian (although about as far from a fundamentalist viewpoint as it’s possible to get) and a lover of Horror. I think I maintain the balance rather well. If you’ve been reading the weekly excerpts of my novel THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF then you have, whether you realized it or not, been imbibing my personal theology. The werewolf’s faith in the story is my faith, sometimes infirm, sometimes imperceptible, sometimes hearty, but never absent. Would you have even known if I hadn’t told you?