Thursday, October 23, 2008

Who's Afraid of the Dark? By Morgan Mandel

I don't like coming home to a dark house. I don't like going into the yard when it's dark. I don't like walking the dog when it's dark.

When it's time to go to sleep, there's no way the house will be completely without light. Nightlights are posted in strategic areas like by the kitchen counter, the hallway, the bedroom, even the room where the dog sleeps because Rascal's afraid of the dark also. Why she's afraid is another story which I'll share elsewhere.

For some reason light has magical powers of reducing fear.

I know I'm not the only one who's afraid of the dark. Other mystery authors also know that. It's not surprising that many scary scenes are played out on a dark landscape. Also, the reverse can be true. Witnessing evil in broad daylight can have a chilling effect, since it's so unexpected.

What about you? Are you afraid of the dark? I wonder how many of you use nightlights?
I've put up a quiz here for you to 'fess up.

Also, please leave a comment about what works better for you in your mystery or someone else's - a scary scene played out in the dark or in the light.

Morgan Mandel


Marilyn said...

No, I'm not afraid of the dark so I didn't do the poll. I wander around in the dark a lot--though it's seldom totally dark.

Moonlight comes in our bedroom window at night.

We have a few really dark places, but I just saunter on through--I guess I'm like those dumb heroines that go fearlessly into the dark basement where we all know the killer is hiding out. Just kidding, I'd never do such a stupid thing.

If I thought someone was in the house who shouldn't be, I'd probably turn on all the lights.

Vivian Zabel said...

The only fear I have of the dark is not being able to see. Otherwise the dark doesn't bother me.

However, that doesn't keep me from being able to use fear of the dark to enhance the fear and suspense in my writing. It's just a matter of taking my fear of something else and transferring it to the dark.


Morgan Mandel said...

Not being able to see plays a large component in fearing the dark.

So far, I have two brave ladies. Is there no one who'll admit to being afraid of the dark?
Morgan Mandel

Kim Smith said...

Love the new blog!I am linking to ya!

Morgan Mandel said...

Thanks, Kim,
Glad you like the new blog. When I get this finished, I'm going to tackle changing my main website page. Oh, and do the NaNoWriMo thing in November. I've got to get going in that direction again also.
I need 48 hour days.
Morgan Mandel

Mark said...

I don't like entering a dark house, so I have some lights set on a timer. I also have carport lights with motion detectors for when my wife or I pull into the driveway late. The motion detector doesn't work consistently, however. Often we'll pull in and the light won't go on. The problem is that the carport light shines into our bedroom and now and then it will go off at night and wake us up. THAT is really scary because it seems that something larger than a Honda Accord is sneaking around the house.

zhadi said...

I've actually learned to not be afraid of the dark via having such crappy vision most of my life and havng to learn to feel my way around the house with the lights out. I used to be very afraid of the dark when I was a kid - always got the feeling something was lurking. After seeing THE GRUDGE, I admit to having some vivid flashback to childhood night terrors...

I've read scary scenes written in both day and night, so no preference. Writing? I think it's easier for me to write a good scary scene set at night because I can relate to the terror.