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What Horror Means to Me: Yolando Sfetsos

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

I’d like to thank Otranto House for hosting this very cool series of blog posts about why horror is loved as a genre, and look forward to reading all the entries.

Personally, I’ve always found horror very easy to love. Being a product of the 1980s, I started watching and reading horror when I was very young. I was a kid when the video store was all the range and VHS movies were way too easy to get your hands on. I was also a teenager when video nights were the most popular way to spend time with friends.

In fact, this foundation made me the horror-loving freak that I am today. The kind of person who can’t get enough of this fascinating genre. I find it exciting and always get giddy when I’m about to watch or read something that might possibly scare the hell out of me. It’s comforting, makes me feel a certain kind of cosy.

As far as horror goes, I’m hard to scare. I read The Exorcist last year and kept waiting to get freaked out... but sadly, wasn’t. I’m forever searching for a story that’ll scare me enough to give me nightmares. Though, if I’m honest, I don’t need help with nightmares because I have plenty of my own. I’ll settle for being creeped out. There’s just something about horror that I find very appealing.

Anyone who doesn’t like or understand the genre only sees what’s on the surface: the obvious violence, blood and gore. They get scared too easily, or find things too creepy. They don’t see the most important thing about this wonderful genre. They fail to see how well horror delves into our minds and examines our psyche. Don’t see how through fear and monsters, the study of the human condition is so well explored. How it can be used as a metaphor for the pressures of motherhood, friendship, relationships, or loneliness. The way people’s strangeness can affect so many lives in both positive and negative ways, and how feeling like an outsider can alter someone so deeply, it’s able to shatter their mind. And all of this before adding the wonderful world of monsters to the mix. Not just what they can represent psychologically, but what happens when they invade the real world. There are so many different ways to tell a horror story that will make you cry, while simultaneously grossing you out, and make you form an attachment to characters who are stolen away before you’re ready to let them go. Or how sometimes, it’s hard to tell who the real monster is.

I’m fascinated by the monstrous. Not only do I love reading/watching as many monster features as I can, but I also like to spend hours researching how they fit into legends, folklore and campfire stories. Writing in this genre is awesome and I love tumbling into the darkness of creepy things every time I sit down to write.

All of this and so much more is what captures my imagination and captivates my heart every time I choose horror. No matter what the format, this wondrous genre has become a part of who I am. Actually, I think I’m going to watch or read or write something dark right now.

Yolanda Sfetsos lives in Sydney, Australia with her awesome, supportive gamer husband and neurotic, photogenic kitty. When she’s not writing or thinking about new dark ideas, she’s reading, walking or thrifting for books.

You can visit her website:, or find her on Twitter:

Her published work appears in:

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