N. Paul Williams is the author of several Christian horror books. He is a brilliant fiction author and is going where many are unwilling to go to reach the lost for Jesus.It’s not an obvious choice for the Christian Booksellers Association, and the genre is so dearly misunderstood. Even it’s most passionate purveyors get it wrong in many ways. Yet, the ministry potential it presents is staggering.
Author, Chuck Palahniuk put it this way in his marvelous book, Haunted: “There are stories we consume in the telling. And there are stories, that in the not telling, consume us.” Notice that every bogeyman in history serves as a bite sized portion of a much larger fear—a fear too great to face in its raw form. The B-movies of the fifties and sixties? You know: Attack of the Radioactive, Horribly Mutated, Larger-than-life Everything? These campy films helped a generation cope with atomic weapons guaranteed to wipe us off the map.
Likewise, horror stories can help us face our own personal demons; the ones too terrifying to confess, even to ourselves. And like the threat of atomic war, or science finally having gone too far, these fears, if not properly dealt with, are guaranteed to deal with us.
In my novel, Ripper Grimm (aff link) —about a vampire puppet that manipulates it’s masters—I gave voice to my fears regarding the spirit world, and my fears for those deceived enough to believe they can control it. Unpublishable allowed me to vent my frustrations with the blatant pornification of my beloved genre. Burlesque—currently being considered for publication—allowed me to face the issue of disappointment with God, and the fear of falling away from the faith. As a friend of mine pointed out recently, horror is the most pure genre available to Christian authors. It is, after all by its very nature, the most honest.
So, why do I write Christian Horror? Ask me again some time when I don’t have to keep it under 500 words. I’d love to tell you. But for now, suffice to say I know what it’s like to be lost in the shadows. I know what it’s like to be raised in the church, yet find oneself so turned around in the dark that no amount of platitudes could help me, “Come into the light.” I know firsthand the vitriolic damage caused by untold stories. I know what it’s like to feel like the only freak on the planet who deals with asinine issue X. In short, I write Christian Horror because sometimes calling people out of the darkness means going in after them. After all, isn’t that what Christ did for us?
— N. Paul Williams
Image By: Josef.Stuefe