In my horror, I prefer the domestic over the exotic.
I go spelunking when I can. I’ve gotten lost in the woods more than I should have, especially after dark. I enjoy urban exploration when I get the chance. Those settings don’t scare me as much as the house you live in or the place you go to work.
When you go out to do something dangerous– hiking, spelunking, urban exploring, deep sea diving, whatever– you do it willingly, and you do it with the clear understanding that you could die. You have to respect your environment, and the things in it. You take the appropriate precautions so that you don’t die, but if you failed to take those precautions… well, that’s not horror, that’s a tragedy.
Meanwhile, home and school and work– those places have rules of their own, but you know them all already. You’re so used to those rules that you don’t even think about it. Instinctively you know the number of steps to the bathroom, where to reach to find the light switch, where the light will come on when you do. You know the give of the floor under your feet as you move, the shifting smells as you cross from room to room.
What scares me is what happens when those rules no longer apply.
Maybe there’s a stranger there that Does Not Belong– not the kind that can be stopped by doormen or security, but something more sinister. Maybe the hallway is longer than it used to be. Maybe it goes to places that it should not go. Maybe the smell is just a little bit off, and you can’t place it. Maybe there’s something in the window where you know no human can reach. Maybe you know you’re being watched when you should be alone.
The rules have changed, and you are not prepared.
You can tell yourself that you would just quit your job, change schools, move to a different place– but really? In this economy? When you have student loans breathing down your neck? No, you tell yourself you’re probably just imagining it. You’re probably overreacting. It’s probably nothing.
And just like that, it’s won.