Please introduce yourself, where you are from and what you do.
I’m Scott Smith. I’m an author/blogger, attorney, and theologian from southern Louisiana, where I live with my wife and four wild-eyed children.
Can you tell us a little about your site?
I run ChristianHorror.com, H2OlyWaterBooks.com, and some other sites. ChristianHorror.com is a community founded to promote the Christian horror subgenre. The site consists of Christian horror reviews, books for sale, and blog posts. H2OlyWaterBooks.com is the home of my publishing imprint Holy Water Books.
Can you explain “Christian Horror” and your interpretation of it?
Good question! I would explain “Christian Horror” as any portrayal of the horrific aspects of a Christian worldview, such as the evils of sin or the demonic. But, more than that, it’s a diagnosis of the horror in society from a Christian worldview, which is an essential work of the Christian.
Some say that being a Christian and liking horror are 2 things that don't mix. How do you respond to that?
Haha, yes! I often see that. Contemporary culture seems to have erected a false divide between Christianity and horror novels, which is as much a result of the current state of Christianity as it is the current state of horror novels, both of which, I think, could benefit from some “Cross” pollination.
More specifically, though, I would respond to the perceived distaste between horror and Christianity from an historical perspective. The entire genre of horror, much like the rest of western civilization, has its origins in Christianity. For example, the morality plays of the Medieval period and onward were as much a “theatre of the grotesque” as any Saw or Texas Chainsaw or Hellraiser movie is today. Just take a look at Hieronymus Bosch’s depiction of Purgatory:
Yikes!! This isn’t even Hell – it’s Purgatory! We can’t forget about Dante’s writing, either? Not just his Purgatorio, but the Inferno, as well. You want to see or read about the truly grotesque? Dante, an indisputably Christian author, can truly curl your toenails.
But what’s the difference? What’s the difference between Dante and Stephen King? (And I love Stephen King) From morality plays to Dante, this horror is told for a Christian purpose: to save souls.
Obviously, Christian horror maintains a completely different metaphysical philosophy than other kinds of horror, whether other horror creators are conscious of it or not. Again, what’s the basic difference?
I think it started with either Poe or Lovecraft, but they created a new kind of horror in which anarchy, not order, is the foundation for all things. Insanity and the void lies just beneath everything – they are the “rats in the walls.”
Do you find that you face some convictions from both the Christian and Horror community because of writing a horror novel and series?
Definitely – well, sort of. I’m not sure how many people have really, consciously thought about the differences I spelled out above. These convictions are encountered, instead on the subconscious level. They’re not convictions, therefore, so much as vague misgivings.