Blog, Horror, Personal Notes

On Being a Weirdo Christian who Loves Horror and Dark Thrillers

I don’t fit in anywhere. I like dark, macabre things which, if you haven’t noticed, most Christians don’t. I also have an incredibly deep faith in God…which most horror-lovers don’t. Most of the time I feel like the proverbial fish out of water. Not only here online, but in my real life too.

“How can you write such dark stuff?” a family member asked me at a barbecue.

“Have you ever read the Bible?” I asked in return. It’s full of love, hope, light and goodness…and also lots and lots of brutality, killing, rape, murder, pillaging, torture, kidnapping, slavery and more horrors.

Photo by Michael D Beckwith on Unsplash

Some of those closest to me made tsking sounds when I first started writing thriller and suspense books. I knew they’d be much happier if I wrote, “good, Christian stories”. And some of my friends who like darker, scary stuff couldn’t understand why I spent so much time worrying about what other people thought of me and my writing. Why was I having a spiritual conundrum over writing stories?

I dream of a place where people of faith can come together and share wholeheartedly in their love of dark, creepy stories. We’d swap bits of macabre trivia, visit graveyards and chat about the old Victorian practice of post-mortem photography. We’d read Edgar Allen Poe and take field trips to see the latest horror movie on its release night. We’d go all-out on Halloween, dressing up like Frankenstein’s bride and Michael Myers and any other dark character we wanted…all without feeling ashamed or embarrassed or like we had something to hide.

Likewise, I’d love to build a community of horror and dark thriller lovers who don’t “poo-poo” my faith and Christian beliefs. Those who wouldn’t, after learning I’m believer, act as though I’d just admitted I have some catch-able disease and extract themselves from the conversation immediately with a little chuckle and a pained expression.

Resources for Christian Horror Lovers

Until I find or build that community, I’m working on finding more people out there “like me” (and maybe you). My resource list is small at present. But I’ve been searching religiously (pun intended) for other believers who are also interested in the darker side of life. And those who see a correlation between the supernatural and the darker side of fiction, whether expressed through books, film, plays or other mediums.

Here are a few:

  • Christian Horror: On the Compatibility of a Biblical Worldview and the Horror Genre, by Mike Duran. Explores the myth that horror shouldn’t be a genre Christians are interested in. The author explores the Christian roots of much contemporary horror and how a biblical worldview frames the vision of terror in many works by today’s popular horror authors.
  • “What is it Like to be a Christian Who’s Obsessed with Horror?” by Shannon McGrew. A personal account of someone with a deep Christian faith who is also fascinated by horror and has been for life. (McCrew also runs the popular Nightmarish Conjurings on Instagram.)
  • “6 Tips for Christian Artists to Redeem Horror,” by Alex Alli. I think this article would better be titled, “Why Horror Isn’t Something to be Ashamed Of,” as the author does a great job of summing up the many reasons why and how the horror genre and the Bible/Christianity intersect and how they influence each other.
  • “Horrors Most Influential Filmmaker is a Christian,” by Jesse Carey. This article in Relevant magazine features Scott Derrickson, known for producing films like, Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, and Hellraiser: Inferno. Derrickson is also a devout Christian who doesn’t shy away from delving into the darker sides of life.
  • The Frighteners, by Peter Laws. This is a book I’ve just found and am looking forward to reading soon. From Laws’ website, “The Frighteners follows the quest of Peter Laws, a Baptist minister with a penchant for the macabre, to understand why so many people love things that are spooky, morbid and downright repellent.”

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. If you’re a believer who’s also drawn to the dark and mysterious or a horror-fan who doesn’t see the relation between one’s faith and what one likes to read, please speak up. This post is meant to be a conversation starter and I’d love it if you joined in and shared your thoughts.

Note: I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website. I would never recommend something that I didn’t enjoy.

Published by jpchoquette

I am an author and lover of Gothic books and movies. I enjoy reading, spending time in old cemeteries, visiting junk shops and drinking hot beverages...just not all at the same time.

7 thoughts on “On Being a Weirdo Christian who Loves Horror and Dark Thrillers”

  1. Deb says:

    Love this! I’m a believer who also enjoys reading (and writing) dark/paranormal fiction. Lately I’ve been using my writing as a way to explore questions about the paranormal and how it relates to, or more often clashes with my faith.

    1. jpchoquette says:

      Hi Deb, Thanks so much for your comment. I love that you are using fiction to explore questions about the relation/clashes with your faith. I find it mystifying that so many of us shy away from this exploration process as the Bible is filled with the supernatural. I will definitely be checking out your books–they sound right up my (dark and creepy) alley!

  2. Kayla James says:

    You are a Christian Goth. I am, too.
    I have some Facebook groups that I am a part of that might help you. I can send them to you if you want. I came here for writing help, but stayed because I found out you like the darker side of things.

    1. jpchoquette says:

      Hi Kayla, thanks for stopping by (hope you found some helpful writing info) and for your comment. Christian Goth: love it! Sure, please send me any info at scaredecatbooks (at) gmail (dot) com. Thank you again.

      1. Brandy says:

        I am a believer and I have grown up reading and watching the horror genre. I am also a writer who can’t quite veer in a different direction, even though I know my peers would have a lot to say about my stories. None of it positive.

        I am in a leadership role in church. So I have to keep any mention of my enjoyment of Horror, Halloween, and Fantasy quiet because I have found myself in trouble on more than one occasion.

        It is so refreshing to come across others with a similar penchant for the macabre, yet also firm in faith.

        1. jpchoquette says:

          Sorry to hear that, Brandy, but understand it must be a tightrope walk for you. I highly recommend a nonfiction book by Rev. Peter Laws called, “The Frighteners,” which explores people’s curiosity about the macabre and how it ties in with our faith. There’s also a great book by Mike Duran called, “Christian Horror,” which is an excellent read. Hope these help you feel less alone. Thanks for stopping by and weighing in here.

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