Cats are a friggin’ mystery, huh? The infinite rulers of the internet, cats have gone from pets to a pop culture icon in the last half decade or so. Why? Well, that is the mystery. Don’t get me wrong, cats are awesome. But in the same breath, we sort of worship them like we are ancient Egypt, and they often seem like they could give two shits about any of us. Don’t get me wrong, there are loving cats in the world, but for the most part, cats are fiercely independent and have a very ” take it or leave it” mentality. This is only further cemented by the fact that, if you die and your cat is stuck alone with you, it WILL eat you. Like I said, truly intriguing animals. Yet there is one huge aspect to cat life now that NO ONE talks about. F.I.V, or feline AIDS. No, seriously, cats can get AIDS. This needs to be discussed, people. Sweeping it under the rug wont make your cat NOT die of AIDS.
This is going to be hard to hear, and I am sorry I’m the one who’s saying it, but someone you care about WILL commit suicide at some point in your life. It hurts my heart to say it, but there is profound truth to it. Based on statistics alone, it is something most of us are not lucky enough to completely avoid. The real tragedy here is, most of you may not even know it when it happens. I have been affected deeply by suicide many times in my life, and can tell you, in even the most blatant of cases, it is always covered up. Sometimes for insurance reasons, sometimes for the sake of the family, but for the most part, even when it happens, people don’t want to talk about it. That, my friends, is why this epidemic will never go away. A huge step to facing a problem is admitting something is a problem, and that is a step we are all somehow still hung up on as a society. That is also why I am choosing to talk about it right now. It may break us to know someone we care for would choose life over death, but to not admit that is to pretend it’s not a problem, and honestly, it is a problem. It is BEYOND a problem. As I have said before and will say again, it is an epidemic. With that thinking in mind, I wanted to write an article for those still here after someone kills themselves. The family and friends of the fallen. I wanted to take a minute to offer some genuine advice to those left behind. Because, sometimes, truth be told, the people who commit suicide get off easy. It is those of us left behind who will be haunted and burdened by the loss. This article is a shoulder for THOSE people. In other words, all of us.
If you love the horror genre, but have never played a horror game, you are really missing out. What separates a great horror movie from a great horror game is that YOU are in control of the game. With a movie, you WATCH the horror. With a well made horror video game, you are IN the horror. Knee deep, actually. The best horror games know this, and use tropes and ideas from horror that translate incredibly well to the video game universe. Put it his way, you all know I know my shit when it comes to horror. I would be willing to go toe to toe with anyone to back that up. Yet, no horror movie has ever made me scream out loud, and yes, there are a few video games that actually have. It is THAT immersive of a medium. Now, for your consideration, the five scariest games I have ever played. Please note, there will be no Resident Evil games on this list. As much as I adored the series, and think it set the tone for many of these, it has just fallen too far from grace for me to be able to include it here in good standing. Also, there will be no Dead Space, not because the series isn’t scary, but because it is more action oriented, which takes away a big chunk of the fear factor.
Anyway, on to the good stuff.
In many ways, there is no medium that can deliver horror quite like a book can. Why? Because in a horror film or game, the vision of horror is designed for you. Yet in our heads when we read horror fiction, often what we imagine is way worse than what is imagined for us. Horror books leave that fear up to us. They may lead us in a direction with a visual description of a scene, but in everyone’s minds who read the book, I can promise you the scene has key differences. In other words, when it comes to reading horror, we are the director. The script may already be there for us, but we are the ones who bring it to life. The other beautiful thing about horror fiction is just how subjective it is. For example, you may think clowns are cute, but I think they are boorish demons summoned up from the very pits of Hell. For that reason alone, I may imagine some clown-like features when I imagine something creepy. It is subtle and subconscious, but it is just one of the ways our minds further amp up the scares when we read horror fiction. We personalize it. Having said all that, some books are just scary as fuck. These are the five books that had me making sure the door was locked and there was nothing hiding under my bed.
As adults, we rarely get picture books. Most authors would prefer to keep their books free of art in an attempt to keep each individual version of their vision alive in the minds of their fans. But comic books and graphic novels are the exception to this. Often written with very specific visions in mind, the main misinformation people seem to have about comics is that they’re for kids. I will tell you now, to think that is to undermine the impact of the medium. Also, in thinking that, you are denying yourself some truly amazing stories told in incredibly original ways. Take, for example, these five graphic novels I am about to tell you about. They present horror to you in a way in which you have never seen before. They pull you in to their horrors with each progressive frame. A world where the written word and the illustration go hand in hand to tell a cohesive, and often times nightmarish, story. Come with me, my REMlins, as I tell you about the five scariest, creepiest, and best horror graphic novels I have ever read.