One source of inspiration for writing horror is to explore your own personal fears or dread. It’s not the only motive behind writing horror, there are others ones for another time, but I think most writers delve into their own fears/dreads when writing. I know that I do. One of my biggest dreads is anything involving eyeballs, whether it be them being punctured/popped out or something peculiar about them such their color or shape or etc. I find it unsettling when watching or reading something involving the eyes. I suppose it is mainly because from personal experience I already know that even getting a speck of dust in my eyes is painful, let alone something more sadistic. So in that regard I think I can relate on a certain level to a fictional account of something worse being done to the eyes. I think those are the best scenes in horror, things the reader can relate to directly.
I have other things that make my skin crawl or I dread. Drowning is another big one that I’ll eventually work into my fiction. That comes from childhood experience at a water park and also not being able to swim. I’ve never felt too comfortable in water. Its something I wish to overcome some day. Water, especially being underwater, is alien. I think its probably on par with being claustrophobic, being stuck in a tiny space or buried underground. That sense of being trapped in something foreign and knowing no way out. Your heart seizing up, you’re gasping for air, your head spinning and sweat soaking your clothes as you struggle for release that’s so near…yet just out of reach…
Bugs are another one, not scream like a girl and leap atop a chair type of scared. But bugs crawling over your skin, into your ears, nose, and others…orifices. Being unable to remove them, too many of them…everywhere…in the dark…damp…smelling of dirt.
Its primordial fear that drives horror fiction, that keeps us on the edge of our seats. Not the end of the world or the invasion of alien forces. Its that personal dread, that keeps us reading and writing.
Things that I dread personally are both cringe worthy and fascinating. I think all horror writers have this duality with their own dreads. Perhaps it is a release to write about them, rather then chase our proverbial tails. Perhaps it is also a release for the readers. Without the release of fiction, who knows what our minds would do.