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Things Horror Taught Me Main

 things horror taught me large


Written by Gabino Iglesias

Horror books. Horror movies. Horror as a personal aesthetic. Halloween as a way of life. All these things together contributed to making me who I am today. I write horror, and that’s because I love it. I celebrate it with my work. I pay tribute to it by constantly consuming it, reviewing horror books as often as I can, and discussing horror movies whenever reading and writing and work allow it. In fact, horror has had such a huge influence in my life that I often joke about it being the one reason why I’m still alive. Allow me to elaborate. I think horror folks generally possess a bit more common sense than fans of other genres. Those of us who grew up immersed in horror narratives developed a unique set of views that help us cope with the world. Am I joking? Only partly. Hah. Anyway, here are some things horror narratives taught me that I’m sure have contributed to keeping me alive:

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1. Don’t trust anyone.

I’m serious. Don’t trust anyone. This goes all the way back to fucking Scooby-Doo. People tend to have two faces. They wear masks more often than not. If it looks to good to be true, it’s probably a lie. Horror lovers know this. That’s why I’m generally dissatisfied with art house horror movies that end with the same “humans are the real monsters” message. It’s a trope. I already know this.

Photo by Kyle Brinker on Unsplash

2. You should never touch the goo.

If it’s weird, sticky, slimy, or doesn’t look like any substance you’re familiar with, don’t touch it. Why would you touch it? You have to be an idiot to put yourself at risk like that. Don’t poke it either. Just leave the damn thing alone and move on. Or set it on fire if it makes you feel uncomfortable. The point is this: nothing good will ever come from you sticking your finger in a strange substance.

Photo by Aris Sfakianakis on Unsplash

3. Old ladies will fuck you up.

First of all, you deserve everything you get if you mess with an old lady. Second, old ladies have seen some shit and don’t need you messing with them at this point in their lives. Also, while Hollywood has us convinced there are plenty of young, attractive witches out there, classic literature has shown that old women are usually far more evil and powerful. It’s simple: mess with a grandma and you’re fucked. This is especially true if they are tiny or have some sort of eye condition.

Photo by Miriam Espacio on Unsplash

4. If you see an alien, kill it.

I’m not here to argue with you. If you see a grey or green humanoid thing in your backyard, blow its head off. This is how bad things start. Nip it at the bud. They want our water (except for Flint because the country is run by assholes). They want our flesh. They want out planet. If you don’t want to be annihilated, kill any alien you see. Also, stay vigilant because they can pretend to be human. Crap, hasn’t your neighbor been acting strange lately…?

Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

5. Never solve the puzzle.

You went down to the basement and found an old game. It’s a puzzle. You solve it. People die horribly.
You go to someone’s house. They have a cute wooden box sitting on the mantle. You grab it and realize it’s a type of puzzle so you start messing with it. Idiot. People die with hooks pulling at their flesh.
You find a…well, you get it. Don’t solve the puzzle. Ever.

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6. If someone died in your house, they're probably haunting it.

Stop pretending. You know it’s true. No one can help you. The only way to stay sane is packing your stuff and moving away.

Photo by Stefan Ringler on Unsplash

7. Ask developers about the land and check with historians before moving into a house.

Here’s an incomplete list of reasons to scream “Hell no I’m not moving there!”:

  • The place is built on top of a Native American burial site.
  • There is an old abandoned church at the end of the street.
  • A horrible murder took place in there a few years ago.
  • Every neighbor shuts their doors and windows when you come by to check the place.
  • There’s a damn cemetery in the yard.
  • The place used to be an insane asylum.
  • The address shows up in weird paranormal websites when you look it up online.

Here’s an incomplete list of reasons to pack your stuff, haul ass outta there, and never look back if none of the above reasons were present when you moved in:

  • The furniture moves by itself.
  • Blood comes out the walls.
  • The same weird stain reappears after you paint over it once (ONCE, okay? Don’t be the idiot who paints over it seventeen times).
  • Your pets start talking or go berserk on a daily basis staring at the same empty spot.
  • You clean out the basement or the attic and find human remains.

Photo by Adolfo Félix on Unsplash

8. If you don’t have cell phone coverage, drive somewhere else.

You should have coverage in 99% of the places you go. If you don’t, change your cell phone service provider. Something awful will happen to you if you stick around places where your phone doesn’t work.

Photo by Charl Folscher on Unsplash

9. You should learn to identify languages.

Go on YouTube and listen to videos of scholars reading/speaking in Latin, Aramaic, and Sanskrit. If your friend suddenly starts talking like that, kill them or run away.

Photo by Johannes Plenio from Pexels

10. Work hard and only have sex indoors, even if you’re a teenager.

Don’t bump uglies in the woods. Ever. There are too many serial killers obsessed with murdering teenagers in the woods, especially if they have sex. Go to a motel. Sure, it’s not free, but at least you can have sex without fear of watching your unspooled intestines at your feet before the end of the event.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors on Pixabay

11. Nazis are bad.

Always. There are no “But I know this one guy…” arguments. Nazis = bad. I know this shouldn’t need to be said, but these are strange times. Just…punch everyone rocking a swastika on sight. Preferably in the face and with a bat.

Photo by Rob Potter on Unsplash

12. If you go looking for trouble, you’ll find it.

Witches. Demons. Haunted houses. Dangerous caves. Creepy basements. If you grab a camera and three idiotic friends and go to these places looking for an “experience,” you’ll find one, and then you’ll find yourself running around like a maniac while death breathes down your neck. Go to the movies. Grab a slice. Stay home and read a good book. Leave the silly adventures to all those folks on TV who travel the world looking for ghosts and find dead people who speak perfect English no matter what country they go to or how many centuries the ghost has been around.

Image by WikimediaImages on Pixabay

13. Don’t make friends with folks who work or collect dioramas.

Fuck dioramas. If you see a diorama, bad stuff is about to happen. Get out. Don’t talk to people who keep those creepy things around.

Photo by Gregory Pappas on Unsplash

14. Never leave the house if there is an attractive woman planning to take a bath or shower in a white bathroom.

If you leave that woman alone, something horrendous will ensue. Stick around until they’re done showering. Be considerate, even if means getting late to work or an appointment. Nothing triggers evil/ghosts/demons/killers like an attractive woman showering in a white bathroom with her eyes closed.

Photo by Francesco Paggiaro from Pexels


Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

16. Carrying a camera increases your chances of death by 63%.

Leave the camera at home. Take short videos and pics on your phone when travelling. If you bring a camera to the woods, eleven ghosts, four zombies, a demon, two witches, the Chupacabra, an alien, a creepy kid, two cannibals, and a horny Bigfoot will show up wanting to party. Guaranteed.

This is not a complete list. There are many more things horror has taught me. There also things I know horror will teach me in the future, which is just one more reason to keep reading and watching. Anyway, long live horror because the more horror lives, the more we live, and that’s a good thing.

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