This weekend I am featuring a series by author H.G. Ferguson, author of New Blood.
By H.G. Ferguson, Author
It was college. We were in the TV room watching a movie about modern-day gargoyles marauding in the New Mexico desert. It wasn’t a great movie, but the makeup was cutting edge, especially the Head Gargoyle with his classic Satanic visage and horns. He was seated on a throne, king over all he surveyed. Another student happened to pass by, took one single look at the monstrosity on the small screen and imperiously declared: “DEMONIC!” And walked out.
Would it have made any difference to this young man that the movie was loosely based upon Paradise Lost, with a narrator at the beginning explicitly establishing the gargoyles’ hatred of humanity as but another expression of their father Satan’s hatred for the Lord?
I doubt it, because this is the prevailing attitude the overall Christian community has toward…that. The Horror Story. And those few, such as myself, who actually dare to write…that. All Horror Stories are by definition of the Devil, demonic, evil, Satanic, unholy and to be avoided like the veritable plague. Those who espouse this sentiment typically justify it via appeal to I Thessalonians 5:22 – “Shun every form of evil!” And since evil abounds in the Horror Story, we must shun them, for they are of the Devil, demonic, evil, Satanic, unholy and to be avoided like the veritable plague.
If you repeat something loud and often enough, people will choose to believe it, whether it is true or not. And if you rip a single verse out of its context and repeat that loud and often enough, people will choose to accept that interpretation, whether it is true or not.
I Thessalonians 5:22 has nothing to do with the Horror Story. It has everything to do with false prophecies. Taken in its context, it becomes a simple but direct warning: Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not count as nothing prophetic utterances; judge all things, hold fast what is good, shun every form of evil. As in don’t listen to false prophets. That is what this passage is all about, not an indictment of the Horror Story.
The objection immediately arises well then, what about the flood of horror book and movie filth we’ve witnessed in the last 40 years? Should we not judge those and reject them, according to the Word of God? Should we not test the spirits? Absolutely! Some things need to be shunned. Some doors need to be kept closed. But not because they are Horror Stories. But because of what these books and movies are actually about and what they teach us. If they exalt evil and glorify the Enemy, if evil wins, if good dies, if God is mocked – amen, let them be anathema.
But to insist that all Horror Stories are of the Devil regardless of the story they tell is like saying all romance novels are pornographic. Just because some most certainly are does not condemn the entire genre.
So too, the Horror Story.
Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker are, respectively, the mother and father of the Horror Story. Both deal with monsters – Frankenstein and Dracula. The one is an unnatural, soulless, murderous creation of one man’s obsession with science gone, to coin a phrase, horribly wrong. The other is a supernatural undead soldier of Satan who drinks the blood of the living and seeks to expand his accursed empire. Both of these stories were written out of a biblical worldview and seek to honor God and Truth. Mary Shelley herself said that she wrote her story to show what happens when a man tries to be God and mock God’s supreme creation. Frankenstein therefore is an illustration of Galatians 6:7. Bram Stoker in Dracula again and again shows the triumph of the Cross, of the Blood of Christ, over the vampires.
Dracula therefore is an illustration of I John 3:8. It is most telling that while in general the Christian community thinks Dracula glorifies Satan just because it has a vampire in it, the secular community has bent heaven and earth to “discredit” Stoker by claiming Stoker invented almost everything about vampires in the story, especially their dread of the Cross. This is because what they really want to discredit is Stoker’s Christian faith, his worldview, not Stoker himself.
In point of fact, Dracula was one of the most meticulously researched novels of its day. And whereas Stoker did dream up some aspects of the vampire, he did not fabricate the vampire’s dread of the Holy. In rural Romania, they still take precautions even to this day against the nosferatu by means of the Cross.
The secular community understands precisely what the worldview of Dracula is, and wants to have Stoker’s vampire without Stoker’s God! This is why most modern vampire stories reject the Cross as power over the undead – because they reject the God Who bled there. At the very least, the secular community “gets” it and does everything it can to de-Christianize their vampires, while all the Christian community says is, “DEMONIC!” I do not know whether to laugh or cry.
No, Gentle Reader. The Horror Story is not (necessarily) of the Devil. If written from a biblical perspective, such a tale takes us into Truth – the triumph of the Light over the darkness, the judgment of God upon folly, and the knowledge that Jesus Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Darkness Falls is not Hostel. Brides of Dracula is not A Nightmare on Elm Street.
But…but Horror Stories like these have… have monsters in them…how can monsters serve God’s Truth?
Because the Bible is full of monsters.
And next time, let me show you.