Greetings all! In celebration of Women In Horror Month, today I’m turning Realm of the Reaper over to author Wendy Howard, as she discusses the use of torture in dark fiction. Enjoy!
A Fascination with Torture
How many out there pre-Internet remember going to the library as a kid and looking at books containing medieval torture devices? There was always at least one kid who pulled these books from the shelves, and then paraded the pictures around to shock classmates. Today, a quick Google search on ‘medieval torture’ returns hundreds of thousands of the same results.
Why are we so captivated with the images of torture devices?
While I wasn’t the kid who paraded the books about torture, I was one of the ones who crowded around the images. The fact that the devices were actually used set my heart racing. Even more disturbing were the illustrations with the devices in use. You know the ones.
Reading the descriptions of the devices out loud, in a group setting, always led to disgusting comments and nervous laughter. We seem to need to make light of the fact that we humans are capable of such horrific acts against each others. Shocking that we learn this at a young age.
Today, in certain parts of the world, we consider ourselves too humane to use medieval forms of torture to control humanity. Instead, we’ve invented new methods of getting what we want, still sure the ends justify the means.
Things we fear draw us in, but I question if it’s the torture devices that fascinate us as much as it’s those who use them and inflict the pain.
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Wendy Howard writes dark stories mixed with comedy. Her main focus is creating fast-paced, action-packed stories that keep the interest of young and new adults, although readers of all ages enjoy her work. She lives in Colorado with her husband and two boisterous beagles, and wine is an important part of her diet.