• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Certain criteria to meet an effective horror story.

Extracts from this document...


There are certain criteria to meet an effective horror story. You must find a way to make your readers pulse rate quicken and make then scan the room secretively just to satisfy their inner fears. A truly classic horror story would be "The Premature Burial" by Edgar Allan Poe as people can relate to such a terrifying event happening to them. It is every persons nightmare to be buried alive and Edgar's story most definitely fits the criteria of the classic horror story. It plays on the fact that everyone at one time in their life has thought about it. Poe's opening line was a gripping way to start the story and seems to capture the readers attention straight away as it puts across abject terror, "There are certain themes of which the interest is all absorbing, but which are too entirely horrible for the purpose of legitimate fiction," in saying this he means that some real things can be much more chilling than anything you can make up. Without the readers full attention there is a strong chance that they will not carry on reading. ...read more.


which is much more effective than describing him as a man with blood covered horns coming out of his head and a dark red menacing face. Both stories conform well to the criteria for a successful horror story "A Superstitious Mans Story" does not conform to the horror genre because it does not have the right setting or atmosphere. The only horror aspect is the miller moth, which symbolizes Williams's soul. "Night Fears" conforms much more to the horror genre because it has the coke - brazier which symbolizes the night watchman's will to live, the fact that it is dark and cold, the fact that the night watchman is on his own and the mysterious presence of the dark stranger. "A superstitious man's story" does contain many references to superstition and the supernatural, for example the miller moth coming out of Williams mouth, the bell feeling heavy in the sextons hand which symbolises a death in the parish, William's soul seen entering the church and William being spotted by the river before he died which is the exact place where his son died. In Thomas Hardy's day (born 1894) ...read more.


In my opinion the mysterious stranger is portrayed as the Devil. I assume this because he does not show his face, he seems to know much more about the night watchman than he has told him, he appears and disappears and he does not seem bothered or concerned about the night watchman's dead body. I think that "A Superstitious Man's Story" is not as effective simply because it is all based on far fetched superstitions which have now been proven by science as being completely wrong; for example the miller moth flying out of William's mouth symbolizes his soul leaving his body, although I think that it is well written and very mysterious I far prefer "Night Fears" as an effective horror story. The authors intention for writing "A Superstitious Man's Story" was for entertainment value intended to be used for fun while travelling, as it was published in a book named "Tales for Travellers." This type of story is typical of a travellers story as it is short, mysterious and easy to remember this type of story was usually passed on by word of mouth. L.P Hartley's intention was to scare people, but also it may be a portrayal of his emotions, which was also the case for Edgar Allan Poe who was a manic-depressive. What truly makes a Horror novel? 16/09/02 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Edgar Allan Poe section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Edgar Allan Poe essays

  1. Explore the techniques used by pre-twentieth century authors to build fear and tension for ...

    sudden, the "old man sprung up in bed, crying out - "Who's there?" This is slightly baffling, as the writer didn't make any sounds - he "could feel the extent of my powers - of my sagacity." Again, Edgar Allan Poe stands and waits for an hour.

  2. Through the character Hagar Currie Shipley from the novel "The Stone Angel" by Margaret ...

    better care, but how on earth was I to know you'd do a thing like that?" We see here the problems that Hagar has inflicted upon her son and his wife. We do not hear very often of an old lady of ninety two years old running away from home.

  1. Poe's intention when writing

    This time the fissure was widening, and the House of Usher was no more. It had crumbled to the ground, representing the no longer "human" existence of the Ushers. "While I gazed, this fissure rapidly widened-there came a fierce breath of the whirlwind-the entire orb of the satellite burst at

  2. 'How are nineteenth century short stories traditional short stories?'

    On top of the costume Hop Frog plastered a coating of flax upon a coating of tar. This is extremely flammable. This adds tension as well as suspense to the story, as the reader will be thinking what is he trying to do.

  1. By comparing‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ with ‘Hop Frog’ discuss the ways in which the writersportray ...

    The narrator describes how he is 'like john and my brother, only more so', showing her wish not to be sent to him. John also keeps the narrator away from human contact, starving her of any stimulation or interaction. Despite his obvious love for her he treats her like a

  2. Both authors have to convince the reader that the main character is mad. How ...

    He pulled out the overcoat pockets. No gloves." More of what is going on around Acton is made clear to the reader, and this makes it easier to see how mad this murder he has committed has sent him. To summarise, the effect of Poe's use of third person is

  1. The Horror Genre.

    At that same time Philip Hookhorn (a towns-man) was at Longpuddle Spring and saw William there, and this was peculiar because William never went there, on account that that was the place his only son drowned as a child. So it could be said that the miller-moth that came out

  2. Ninteenth Century horror.

    Had pierced so deep that they had locked in the bones of his skull.... And tore him out of his own prison" Edgar Allan Poe sends the horror genre in a new direction that is somewhat different to that of Stokers methods of writing horror.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work