Horror in Every Color
Fear is the great equalizer, the emotion that even the most stalwart cannot escape and in understanding the horrors that surround us, both physical and abstract, we can better understand ourselves. In this way Horror is the act producing that in which someone fears most, and by using the color pie we can uncover the truth of such darkness reflected in five forms of horror. In order to create such horror we must look deeper into the abstract concepts that each color would manifest, not just simply pick genres that align with the themes of a given color.
To truly find the horror of the color pie we must look to the representation of the combined fears of a given colors enemies. This is all well and good to say, but to truly understand how this works we must see it in action, face those fears head on. With that grab your flashlight, steady your breath and let's discuss horror in every color.
With discussions like these I find it very important to start out with White, especially when the topic goes against what we expect of White, for if there is horror in White there can very well be horror in every color, as darkness is always lurking in the shadows that light produces. In order to understand what this would look like we will then have to figure out where its enemies, Black and Red, shared fears would lie, and to me there is nothing that these two colors fear more than the loss of freedom or autonomy. This is something that White is all to capable of inflicting on others.
A monolithic system created to protect but rather is something that oppresses. The hand of a unfeeling brickwork laid before you, dictating your life. In some ways this fear is all to real in our own world, a fear of authority or that of being wrapped up into a situation against your will, with nothing you can do about it but scream out for no one to hear you. When white produces horror it is no one entity but rather a collection of beings, system and infrastructure that aims to squish you down. Picture this, you are taken into an institution, you are not ill or violent but rather are submitted due to some clerical error, some mistake of the system, or by someone who held power over you.
You plead your case, that you should be free but no one listens, a system deaf to your plight. They dope you up on medication to the point that you can't really do much more than stare out the window, a blank expression on your face as you watch people walk by. Freedom so close and yet the only thing holding you there is the institution itself. You feel yourself scream on the inside but nothing comes out.
You're trapped with no sign that you'll ever be free. Years go by like this, the bleach white walls are all you see when you wake and in your dreams, you don't even look out the window anymore, you accept your fate, and all for what... a mistake, a breach of power? Everything has been taken away from you, everything you value, your freedom. You see White conjures the fear in us of being placed somewhere just because the system says so, a place where our humanity is stripped away. It is not horror forged from some dark being but rather the horrors of an uncaring system.
The horror of Blue, to no ones surprise, is one based in psychological torment, but the reason for this is not solely based on the themes of this colour. Once again it is routed in the fears of that which both of its enemies share, that of Green and Red. With the basis of the psychological theme in place this fear becomes apparent. In the case of Red it would be that of a loss of identity in self or that of identity delusion. As if who it is is slipping through its fingers like a fine sand. This would follow in neatly with Green and its own fear in the loss of its grip on reality, or the warping of its perceptions of what it has come to know as the truth of the world around it.
Both these colours look at life from similar but different lenses, and both colours are based in a sort of truth or understanding of ones self and ones place. Losing grip on such fundamental aspects of identity and perception would indeed create a downward spiral into madness. Taken from these abstract terms it might look something like this. Imagine a person, who lived a normal life up until this point, one where they had a stable home and people that loved them.
That is until they began to notice little things that weren't quite right. A voice in their ear, a hand in the shadows, a twisting of their perception of peoples faces and of their memories. Nothing major at first, enough to warrant disbelief, but nothing that they couldn't chalk up to being tired or a little stressed. This of course begins to get worse and worse. They start seeing full on creatures hiding in corners and grinning over the shoulders of their family. The sky twists into colours unnatural, the voices booming now. They feel themselves questioning everything they see and hear as nothing is as it seems.
What's maddening is that it feels all to real, as real as anything else and yet no one seems to notice but them. Now they can't sleep, can't think, can't be themselves. Every sound, every interaction, and every memory becomes a torturous exercise in self reassurance. Their relationships begin to fall apart as their mental state further spirals down into darkness. Soon they are always living in a state of fear, nothing they experience can be trusted. Who am I, what happened to me, has my life always been this way? In many ways the horror of blue is one that puts into question reality, our own understanding of it and of ourselves. It is madness through and through.
Black is a color that in many ways transcends this discussion as its representation of horror has more room to breath, in that it's a color who steps along forbidden paths and dark corridors, and in this way it showcases horror in many forms. That said it does not escape this discussion, because as you will find the horror of black still is based in the context of instigating fear in its enemies, of twisting what they see as good into something dark. When looking for the fear in between these colors, both White and Green, we come to one idea, and that is a reaction to that which is overtly wicked or unnatural.
A perversion of that which is understood to be the right, or good. In this way White's fear in the context of Black, would be that which is purely vile and wicked. The antithesis of good. On the other side of it Green shares whites perception of how things should be, how they are. It fears that which takes the perfection of nature and morphs it into something that spits in the face of this design. The image that I conjure forth in my mind, is that of beings who gain pleasure from pain, or those whose hellish existence goes against everything that we would understand to be true about our world and experience of it.
In many ways it's the twisting of our expectations of humanity and nature. Imagine if you will beings from a hellish realm who prey on humanity. Not for some grander purpose or some end design but rather for the simple pleasure that producing fear and bringing forth pain would elicit. Their figures twisted mockeries of the human form, their voices the projection of a nightmarish human tongue.
If you are unlucky enough to be dragged down to their realm then death will be the only outcome you can hope for, as the torture will be dragged out, your body on display. All light, all hope drained from you until you are not more than a husk of your former self. In many ways it is horror in its purest form, something beyond even the most elaborate human suffering, and for what? Nothing more than the sounds of your screams, the taste of your blood. This goes beyond demons and devil, it is something far more vile, that which can only be dreamed up in hell and set against the world.
The horror of Red, like most expressions of the color, is far more straight to the point than anything we have discussed so far, it is a striking of fear which is visceral and direct. Nothing borne of wild imagination or abstract ideas but rather something very real. In this way the horror of Red is reminiscent of the slasher, a being of extreme violence who deals in death because of the dark impulses that drive them. To understand why the slasher would be the core representation of horror in Red we must then look to the enemies of this color to uncover their fears.
Both White and Blue are colors reliant on the structures they have put in place which situate them above the other colors, at least from their perspective. They would then fear the sort of horror that is the antithesis of their way of life. The slasher in many ways is the great equalizer, it doesn't matter how morally good you believe yourself to be, how vastly intelligent you are, or how many constructs of safety you have placed within your society.
The slasher kills indiscriminate from any of these factors. What's more is that they are just a person, any person, one who has broken humanities contract of civility. There is no understanding or restrictions that can be placed to prevent their actions from taking shape. Of course the greatest examples of this horror comes from the many slashers of the seventies and eighties, both in media and of those born in the time. Oft times these people are given far to much credit for being clever killers when in reality they were simple people who had impulses they could not control, ones that grew more macabre and vicious as time progressed.
This fear of White and Blue is one we may share as well, as we assume the society we have built up around ourselves will keep us safe, but nothing can save you when the killer can be your neighbor. Its easy to dismiss monsters and ghosts but the fear of the other is all to real. The horror of Red in this way is one that taps into the visceral and violent side of humanity, not one borne of metaphysical imagination.
Now we come to the horror of Green, a curious case indeed, in that Green is the one color who doesn't go out of its way to conjure fear in others, but rather instills fear due to its very existence and how that applies to what it comes into contact with. It is also the kind of horror that is very natural even if its existence goes against what we would deem as natural, simply due to our lack of greater perspective. This is best represented by an entity that has always been a part of our fabric of space but perhaps is hidden or unreachable, one who exists within and outside of our perception of reality.
It is ancient and unfeeling, grand and yet rarely seen. It take many forms, such as the soul of an ancient wood, a being who resides on the dark side of the moon, or a god as old as time whom when laid sight upon brings nothing but madness. By their definition they strike fear but do not do so by any decision that is their own, simply put we fear what it outside of our normal experience. Now this horror isn't borne simply from the themes of green, but like with everything we have discussed so far, has to do with bringing forth fear in its enemies, both Black and Blue.
You see such entities are beyond both understanding and control. They are not like demons who can be subdued or or riddles that can be solved, they are the ancient ones outside of understanding and whose influence is all encompassing yet unreachable. They do not perceive or interact with us in any way they can turn to their our own advantage, and that is saying a lot because these two colors, when combined, find very little outside of their limits and in that way they fear these entities.
Ones that play by rules outside of our own. The simplest parallels cannot be ignored and so I will draw a line to one of the old masters of Horror HP Lovecraft and his menagerie of old gods. In many of his stories, men who are intelligent and have a strong grasp on reality are brought to their knees from that which is beyond understanding. It is true fear that cannot be bargained with or reasoned away. It speaks in languages forgotten, moves in manners not understood and whose intentions are beyond reason. An entity that was present when the first flame was lit and lurked in the shadows it cast.
Horror goes beyond fear, it is the unflinching and visceral emotion that cripples our very perception of the world around us. Each person has their own horrors that act as a grip on their mind and heart but what each of us fears is different. Much of it is based on the person we are or experiences that shaped us. To truly dig deep into ourselves and find what we fear is an exercise in understanding ourselves. In that way we can look to our colors and pull forth the horrors that hide in our own shadows. So tell me friend, what do you fear?
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