Horror and religion go together like peanut butter and jelly. They always have and they always will. But why is that? What innate qualities do the two possess to enable such a strong reaction when they are mixed together?
Religious texts are some of our most ancient and enduring works. Like horror stories, they have been passed on through the generations to warn people of the evils of this world and the corruption that lies in our own hearts.
2) Classic Good VS Evil
In many religions and horror stories, there are absolutes on both sides of the spectrum in regards to Good and Evil. Humanity exists somewhere in between the two and when those absolutes interject themselves into our day to day lives, the chaos begins.
3)The Corruption of Purity
It is not uncommon in horror movies for religious iconography to be corrupted and used against the forces of good. We view people who have committed their lives to the service of others and their faith in a certain light. They are chaste role models and leaders who aspire to be the best they can be.
We look to these people for council and healing when we are at our lowest. When malevolence is thrust into such an individual, it can wound us spiritually. Such a betrayal can be traumatic. Last month, a movie came out about a demonic nun and debuted at number one at the box office.
An equally distressing corruption of purity is when evil is visited upon the most vulnerable amongst us, our children. To this day, The Exorcist remains one of the most terrifying movies ever because absolute evil is visited upon an innocent little girl.
4) Explaining Things We Don’t understand
We have no idea what truly awaits us on the other side. Horror stories and religion are ways we try to hypothesize about the unknown. It’s a way for us to explore those things that make us uncomfortable in as much comfort as possible. You always fear what you don’t know.