Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Anatomy of a Horror Setting #2-18: Something Came Over Me

No matter what setting it happens in one of the most frightening things that can happen to a person is for them to be possessed. People innately need to feel in control, if of nothing more, than at least their own bodies and their actions. This is merely the first level of this insidious invasion. Invasion is actually the next level. Not only do the possessed have the vital loss of control, but also it is lost to something else, some invader--making it worse than mere mind control. At the next level there is a divergence that happens with two different kinds of torment possible. On the one hand the possessed person blacks out and does not know what happened when the invading force is in control. The other hand is that the possessed person helplessly watches everything that the invader is doing.

Fear of the unknown is one of the greatest fears. The imagination comes up with all sorts of vivid, frightening images. It sees endless actions and consequences as terrible, depraved, and terrifying as the imaginer is capable of thinking. The blacked out possessed suffers not only the indignity and shame of their uncontrolled actions, and the inability to stop it. They learn piece by horrible piece what happened, and have the looming dread of what is yet unlearned. By contrast the suffering is immediate for the possessed that witnesses it all. That awareness brings with it greater guilt that they cannot stop it. These aware ones may even know what will happen just before it does. Either they are tapped into the consciousness of their possessor or it gleefully tells them what horrors await.

There are two ways that possessions happen in a magical horror setting. Possession spells allow someone’s consciousness to inhabit and control the body of another person. The tightest control comes form the magic being the possessor so that they can make sure everything goes as planned. A trusted bodyguard is required while the caster’s body is bereft of its intelligence. If the needs are less stringent the magic user may use an agent to be the controlling force of the possession. These agents can be other humans or summoned beings willing to entrust their bodies to others. The other way to possession comes from incorporeal beings that are naturally able to possess other beings. Brushes with the mind of an unnatural possessor are always an added terror.

Mood: impulsive.
Music: Public Animal #9 by Alice Cooper and Mr. Brownstone by Guns N' Roses.

Alice Cooper: School's Out
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Guns N' Roses: Appetite For Destruction

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