Portal:Horror fiction

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The Horror fiction Portal

Introduction

Welcome to Wikipedia's portal of horror fiction and horror film. Horror fiction is, broadly, fiction in any medium intended to scare, unsettle, or horrify the audience. Historically, the cause of the "horror" experience has often been the intrusion of an evil or occasionally misunderstood supernatural element into everyday human experience. Since the 1960s, any work of fiction with a morbid, gruesome, surreal, exceptionally suspenseful or frightening theme has come to be called "horror." Horror fiction often overlaps with science fiction and/or fantasy, all of which have sometimes been placed under the umbrella category speculative fiction.

In film, the horror genre is characterized by the attempt to make the viewer experience dread, fear, terror, disgust, or horror. Its plots often involve the intrusion of an evil force, event, or personage, sometimes of supernatural origin, into the mundane world.

Selected Article

The Vampire, by Philip Burne-Jones, 1897
Vampires are mythological or folkloric revenants who subsist by feeding on the blood of the living. In folkloric tales, the undead vampires often visited loved ones and caused mischief or deaths in the neighbourhoods they inhabited when they were alive. They wore shrouds and were often described as bloated and of ruddy or dark countenance, markedly different from today's gaunt, pale vampire which dates from the early Nineteenth Century. Although vampiric entities have been recorded in most cultures, the term vampire was not popularised until the early 18th century, after an influx of vampire superstition into Western Europe from areas where vampire legends were frequent, such as the Balkans and Eastern Europe, although local variants were also known by different names, such as vrykolakas in Greece and strigoi in Romania. This increased level of vampire superstition in Europe led to what can only be called mass hysteria and in some cases resulted in corpses actually being staked and people being accused of vampirism.

In modern times, however, the vampire is generally held to be a fictitious entity, although belief in similar vampiric creatures such as the chupacabra still persists in some cultures. Early folkloric belief in vampires has been ascribed to the ignorance of the body's process of decomposition after death and how people in pre-industrial societies tried to rationalise this, creating the figure of the vampire to explain the mysteries of death. Porphyria was also linked with legends of vampirism in 1985 and received much media exposure, but has since been largely discredited.

The charismatic and sophisticated vampire of modern fiction was born in 1819 with the publication of The Vampyre by John Polidori; the story was highly successful and arguably the most influential vampire work of the early 19th century. However, it is Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula which is remembered as the quintessential vampire novel and provided the basis of the modern vampire legend. The success of this book spawned a distinctive vampire genre, still popular in the 21st century, with books, films, and television shows. The vampire has since become a dominant figure in the horror genre.

Selected Picture

Girl zombie eating her victim Night of the Living Dead bw.jpg
Credit: George A. Romero

A screenshot from George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968) -- a young zombie (Kyra Schon) and her victim (Karl Hardman). Due to the filmmakers' neglect of the (former) requirement to put proper notice on copies of their work, this image and the film it is from are in the public domain.

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Little-vampire.svg You are invited to participate in WikiProject Horror, a WikiProject dedicated to developing and improving articles about horror fiction and films.
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Selected Biography

Richard Rothwell's portrait of Mary Shelley was shown at the Royal Academy in 1840, accompanied by lines from Percy Shelley's poem The Revolt of Islam calling her a "child of love and light".
Mary Shelley (1797–1851) was a British novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus. She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin, and her mother was the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. In 1814, Mary Godwin fell in love with one of her father's political followers, the married Percy Bysshe Shelley. Together with Mary's stepsister, Claire Clairmont, they left for France and travelled through Europe; upon their return to England, Mary was pregnant. Over the next two years, she and Percy faced ostracism, constant debt, and the death of their prematurely born daughter. In 1822, her husband drowned when his sailing boat sank during a storm in the Bay of La Spezia. A year later, Mary Shelley returned to England and from then on devoted herself to the upbringing of her son and a career as a professional author. The last decade of her life was dogged by illness, probably caused by the brain tumour that was to kill her at the age of 53.

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