Monday, October 16, 2017

The Uncanny That Instills A Lingering Horror - Passing Strange: The Well by P.W. Creighton

When was the last time you encountered a piece of horror that just stuck with you? One that really struck a chord or made you pause before you turned off the lights at night? Whether it was a novel, a movie, a show or even a game, what was it about that one piece that really stayed with you?

On a larger scale, most of the horror media that we encounter today isn’t actually designed to stay with you. From the latest torture horror gore-fest at the movies to that zombie survival-horror game, even the strongest horror properties have fallen into a jump-scare territory of late. These takes on modern horror are not meant to stay with you, but rather reaffirm that YOUR world is safe. 

They may throw a jump-scare your way or some gruesome imagery, but they are meant to fill us with disgust in the moment, not stay with you. You are meant to leave the theater, put down the game or the book, and laugh at how silly it was for you to jump. You’re meant to feel empowered for overcoming that fear, or joke about how not-scared you were. In truth, you’re meant to leave the experience knowing just how comfortable and safe your world is.
This is why the Uncanny is often left behind in modern adaptations of horror. The Uncanny is that sickly creeping sense that something is wrong. It’s that flickering light in a well-lit hallway. That one detail that tells you on some level that there is something off. It shouldn’t be there. Like that nagging thought that makes you wonder if you turned off the oven last night. Did you?

The uncanny is that sub-conscious flag that brings that fiction back with you. 

It’s that mark on a bright sunny day, or that change to the dynamic for the characters. Did they defeat the machete wielding killer? Maybe stop the zombie horde or mutant-monsters? Or was it simply enough that they survived the ordeal? That everything they endured- that you witnessed- still exists in the world. In YOUR world.

So, did you check the oven?

Passing Strange: The Well
Passing Strange
Book One
P.W. Creighton

Genre: YA, Mystery-Horror-Suspense

Date of Publication: Sept 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1522029151

Number of pages: 220 Digital/ 303 Print

Word Count: 54730

Cover Artist: For The Muse Designs

Tagline: Parrish Cove Secrets Run Deep...

Book Description:

For Fourteen-year-old Aidan Reynolds, the archaeological dig at the Parrish Cove historical society is the only thing making the summer interesting.

That is until he meets Maddie, an unusual girl who has just moved to town and is convinced that there is more to the local legends surrounding the historical society than even he knows.  

While Aidan may not believe her, the strange artifacts that are recovered from the dig force them into exploring the dark, twisted history of Parrish Cove and its strange doctor...a man who vanished over a century ago.

Together, they uncover a town secret that has been forgotten for centuries, and discover that there are some things that should stay buried.


…The officer started us back into the plaza at a rapid walk. His clomping steps on the brick walkway, and the heavy jingling of his belt gave an air of strength. Although Maddie was glued to my side, I could feel her gaining confidence with each step. We were probably running from a dog again.
“Here,” I said, and started us back down the alley past the Custom House.
“Did you see the animal?” The officer asked.
“Yeah,” Maddie responded.
“No,” I corrected with glance at her. “It was fast.”
The officer clicked on his huge flashlight, casting a blinding light down the alley ahead of us. He quickly turned the light down the side alleys as we passed them to check for motion. It only lasted a moment before he swept the back ahead of us over the dumpsters and piles of cardboard lining the alley. The beam was so bright that it was possible to illuminate the brick walls on both sides.
Everything changed the moment we emerged into the park.

About the Author:

Born in California, he has spent most of his life traveling throughout the US. Drawing inspiration from his many adventures, turning that strange reality into fiction.

Over the years, he has found himself in many unusual situations, ranging from hanging off an 80 foot cliff-face in New York, to sailing off the coast of Salem, Massachusetts. He has hosted archaeological excavations, and have even reported from the middle of a police stand-off.

When a teacher asked him in the second grade what he wanted to be when he grew up, he didn't have an answer. To be honest, he still doesn't know. He just lets his characters make that decision.

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1 comment:

PW Creighton said...

Thanks for having me over!