There are horrors beyond life’s edge that we do not suspect, and once in a while man’s evil prying calls them just within our range.
The basis of all true cosmic horror is violation of the order of nature, and the profoundest violations are always the least concrete and describable.
Ourself behind ourself, concealed —
Should startle most —
Assassin hid in our Apartment
Be Horror’s least.
One can’t write a weird story of real power without perfect psychological detachment from the human scene, and a magic prism of imagination which suffuses them and style alike with that grotesquerie and disquieting distortion characteristic of morbid vision. Only a cynic can create horror—for behind every masterpiece of the sort must reside a driving daemonic force that despises the human race and its illusions, and longs to pull them to pieces and mock them.
It is a mistake to fancy that horror is associated inextricably with darkness, silence, and solitude.
In my actual imaginative contact with life, I am vastly more responsive to beauty than to horror—indeed, I never experience real cosmic horror except in infrequent nightmares. However, when I come to record my various imaginative experiences, I generally find that only the horror items have any uniqueness or originality. Others have seen the same beautiful things that I have seen, & have sung them more nobly.
Horrors, I believe, should be original — the use of common myths and legends being a weakening influence.
Horror and the unknown or the strange are always closely connected, so that it is hard to create a convincing picture of shattered natural law or cosmic alienage or “outsideness” without laying stress on the emotion of fear.