The Horror of Yore

A column article by: Ace Masters

What happened to the horror comics of the days of yore, replace by modern hack and slash bore? Do you remember the time when one would enter vaults where the atmosphere was grim and full of dread, every shadow creepy, all sounds eerie, and where there was stored not money, but tales of terrors. In these vaults were not teenage tellers stumbling through their jobs, but the Crypt Keeper or Boris Karloff there to scare you to your core, or possible to steal your soul away.

 

Most modern horror comics have followed the path blazed by lackluster movies - where horror is no longer about horrifying an audience. Instead it is about blood and gore. Jason and Freddy, watered down sparkly vampires, zombies eating flesh. These are the staples of modern horror comics. And, just like in their movie counter parts, the point of the genre has not became the scares, but instead the kills.

 

Long gone is the idea of trying to scare a reader on a psychological level. Where are the Poe like stories, where the atmosphere alone was more terrifying then Jason? For all who love Freddy, he pales in comparison to the mind-bending tales of Lovercraft, which always threaten to send readers insane.

 

Vault of Horror, Creepy, Eerie, Tales from the Crypt, Boris Karloff’s Tales of Terror, these horror titles were once a staple of the comic book medium. They were filled with stories of ghosts, the long since dead returning to life, stranger visitors in the night and yes, even vampire and zombies, but of a different type.

 

Yet, no gore was there to be found in these tales. No masked killers with knives chasing teenagers, nor teenage vampires fighting over schoolgirls.

 

Instead they were designed to frighten, to send chills tingling down your spine. Stories that were meant to stay with you in the dark recess of your mind till the end of your days. They were designed to make you question: is that really just the house settling, or is something there? What did you see out of the corner of your eye? Was that simple a black cat that crossed your path, or a witch that cursed you for life?

 

I long for the days of the horror comic where the stories would sink their teeth into your very soul, and would drain from you your courage. The stories that would chill you to the point where you would dare not finish them, but that were so hypnotic you seemed forced to continue by a will stronger than your own.

 

Alas, these days are long since gone. Today, horror is more about making one flinch at blood and gore, not about making one huddle in the corner, a frighten mass, too scared to want to know just what scratches at the door.

 

 

Ace Masters.

 

 

Charley Moore

By

Ace Masters

It was a dour day

A dark and dreary witches’ hour

When there came a pounding on the door

Pounding that threatened to tear apart

Pull from hinges and throw to the nevermore

 

Charley Moore climbed out of his bed

Walked down the stairs

Cocked his head, then, he opened the door –

It was clear, no one was there

There was naught pounding at the door

He shook his head, locked the door

Returned to bed

 

It was a dour day

A dark and dreary witches’ hour

Not as strong as the pounding from before

But it was there

Waking him up as it had once before

Charley crept down the stairs

Opened the door

To find it clear once more

“Odd,” he thought

Two nights in a row

Pounding and knocking at his door

Yet no one was there for him to see

He thought, “Children in the neighborhood

Running wild at night, pulling pranks”

 

Once more on the third night

There came a noise at the door

A rapping

Not a pounding or a knock like before

But a rapping

Like fingers tapping

A rap, rapping at his door

Charley Moore threw his door open with inhuman strength

His ire up, he thought,

“This is now three times

Twice before

And this night, again!”

There was naught as far as he could see

Save the lights from a neighbor’s house

He closed the door, went back to bed to snore

Forever more the night away.

 

The next night he was awake and wild

Waiting for ‘them’ to come to his door

On this, what would be night number four

No sound came.

There was nothing.

He waited until before

Just seconds before the witches’ hour

At this time he threw open the door

And screamed!

For there they were:

The Witches

And forever more, all his neighbors would swear

That on that night, for every year

They heard old Charley scream

But since that night

No man, no woman, no child has seen once again Charley Moore

And no one lived in that house forever more.

Community Discussion