GUEST POST: Robert Herold

Why We Need Horror

Horror fulfills an important part of human culture. Ancient societies were full of examples: The Chaos Monster in Mesopotamia, the Greek’s Minotaur and Gorgon, the tale of Beowulf, the Gumiho from Korea, and many others.

Confronting fearful mythic figures have been used to inspire, explain the unknowable, and to entertain. But they do more than that. Many times, a monster is pitiable, getting us to confront societal prejudices and unfair practices. For example, while Frankenstein’s monster is depicted differently in book and film, both are victims and cause us to question what is just and fair. So too with many of the figures of horror fiction and film.

While some contend that horror is inherently conservative, as the goal is to return to how things used to be, many times the reader or viewer of horror is actually asked to question the norms of society. When done well, horror can enlighten.

Ultimately, we need horror. Stephen King perhaps said it best: “We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.”

(This piece originally appeared in the author’s newsletter, The Haunted House of Herold. If interested in subscribing, contact the author at

The supernatural has always had the allure of a forbidden fruit, ever since my mother refused to allow me, as a boy, to watch creature features on late night TV. She caved in. (Well, not literally!)

While other kids my age wanted to grow up to be doctors, firefighters, spacemen, and the like, I wanted to be a werewolf.

I have pursued my interests over the years (including playing the sax and flute, and teaching middle school history for 36 years), but supernatural writing always called to me. You could say that I was haunted. Ultimately, I hope my books give you the creeps, and I mean that in the best way possible!


The Eidola Project – The Eidola Project is a 19th century team of ghost hunters who become ensnared in a deadly investigation of a haunted house. They are a psychology professor, his assistant, an African-American physicist, a young sideshow medium, and a traumatized Civil War veteran, each possessing unique strengths and weaknesses. Will any of them survive?

Moonlight Becomes You – The Eidola Project travels to Petersburg, Virginia, to investigate a series of murders in the Black community—rumored to be caused by a werewolf. Once there, danger comes from all quarters. Not only do they face threats from the supernatural, the KKK objects to the team’s activities, and the group is falling apart. Can they overcome their human frailties to defeat the evil that surrounds them?

Totem of Terror – The Eidola Project, a team of 19th Century ghost hunters, have been tasked with trying to stop a deadly shapeshifting demon attacking the native people of La Push, on the Washington Coast. The team brings their own demons with them, in the form of drug addiction, a werewolf’s curse, and being in mourning from the death of a loved one. Can they rise to this new challenge, or will they face the same grisly end as the shapeshifter’s other victims?

Witch Ever Way You Go
When an ill-fated graduate student and his girlfriend are lured into a terrifying world of witchcraft and murder, they become targets for human sacrifice. Is there a chance they can escape a bloodthirsty coven of witches and certain death until the curse is lifted? A spellbinding story of modern horror.

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