A “Haven” In The Storm

I think that we’re all mentally ill; those of us outside the asylums only hide it a little better – and maybe not all that much better, after all. We’ve all known people who talk to themselves, people who sometimes squinch their faces into horrible grimaces when they believe no one is watching, people who have some hysterical fear – of snakes, the dark, the tight place, the long drop . . . and, of course, those final worms and grubs that are waiting so patiently underground.

When we pay our four or five bucks and seat ourselves at tenth-row center in a theater showing a horror movie, we are daring the nightmare. …

Stephen King: Why We Crave Horror Movies

I ran across the above while searching for something Stephen King once said in the forward to one of his books. While it does help set up what I want to say, it’s not what I was looking for. I know I’m mangling it rather badly, but here’s my best recollection of the quote I was looking for:

Everyone fears death to some extent, and horror stories give them a way of ‘rehearsing their deaths’ so to speak, while being entertained, and without actually risking their lives.

Anyway, back when I actually had real live people to talk to, some of them would ask me how someone who professes such a complete disdain for belief in the supernatural could still be such a big fan of horror stories. Not wanting to offend, I always offered up that Stephen King quote as an answer. The truth, however, is a bit more complicated. Too complicated, in fact, to be fully explained here. So I’ll go with the short version:

I’ve been a skeptic for as long as I can remember. When I was growing up there were lots of people around me that I thought of as dangerously crazy. The one thing they all had in common was the belief in the supernatural. As I got older, and the number of people I knew grew, I saw that this pattern continued – to the point where I was able to extrapolate it across the entire planet. That’s when I started thinking of our world as a Global Asylum.

Then, through research, I learned that the worst man-made atrocities in history have had belief in the supernatural, in one form or another, as the driving force behind them. It wasn’t much of a stretch to foresee a time when people with that same kind of twisted thinking would get their hands on some weapons of mass destruction – which they would use to literally create Hell on Earth, killing everyone including those I cared about.

So yes, I like being entertained by a good supernatural thriller. But beyond that, I’m hoping for insights into why it is that people believe in the supernatural, and how they could let those beliefs inspire them to do such crazy things. And yes, I admit to doing a little “rehearsing” too. But it’s not my own death I’m rehearsing. It’s everyone’s.


Anyway, I was thinking of all this while watching a marathon of Haven, based on Stephen King’s The Colorado Kid, that the Syfy Channel is running today ahead that show’s Season 3 premiere tonight. If you’ve never seen it, then you’ve been missing a really good one. You can check out these videos if you’d like to get an idea of what you’ve missed:

Haven: The Complete First Season Trailer

125 Reasons You Should be Watching Syfy’s Haven

Syfy – Haven – Returns Friday Sept 21 at 10/9c

Haven Season 3 (SyFy)

Besides all the incredible weirdness and great drama, the show also includes plenty of that beautifully haunting music I can never get enough of. It was hearing a couple of those songs again today, and knowing that I had collected the links for them long ago but never got around to posting them, that actually inspired me to write this post now…

Full version by Ellie Goulding

I searched for “in context” videos for that last two but I couldn’t find them. Sorry.

I want ice water.

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11 thoughts on “A “Haven” In The Storm

  1. I don’t really believe people are sane or insane, normal or abnormal. I think there’s a spectrum from one extreme to the other and people fall at various places on the spectrum. And if that’s true, then who can say what’s “normal”?

    Not sure where that came from but anyway, I do share your curiosity about why people believe in the supernatural and/or religion. Pretty much the same thing in my book. Ignorant, illiterate, uneducated people; I can sort of understand that. But educated people believing in the supernatural? Go figure.

    As for “rehearsing” my own death by watching horror movies … I don’t like them and rarely watch them. Fear is not an emotion I enjoy.

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    • I agree with you on the “sanity spectrum” thing PT, though there are most definitely people on its extreme ends. And I’m also surprised at the number of educated people who still believe in the supernatural. The very idea of a religious scientist seems like a contradiction in terms to me, and yet there are renowned scientists who are also priests and ministers!

      Frankly, I was uncomfortable using the “horror” word all through putting this post together, but I was kinda stuck with it when I decided to go with the Stephen King quotes. The weird thing is that I’ve never actually thought of his work as “horror stories” in the classic sense. I grew out of the “scare me to death” stuff when I was a kid, as I did with the “true account” tales of the supernatural. Way too many nightmares!

      What has really held my fascination over the years are the “crime thriller” type stories – mainly in “supernatural” shows like Haven, “psychological” shows like Criminal Minds and Perception, or “super-science” shows like Fringe.

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  2. I can’t watch horror movies but I love Haven. I might have to watch the last Ep again to refresh myself. I thought it had been cancelled actually. For some reason with horror movies generally I have to skim to the end. I think House On Haunted Hill in ’99 finihsed me off. The door slicing the man in half made me feel quite ill. So, I think Stephen King is wrong, we don’t all like being scared:)

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    • I don’t think Stephen King meant that everyone likes to be scared, and as I said to PT above, I’m not much for the “scare me to death” stuff either. I’m more into what happens between the characters in the story when faced with someone they can’t explain.

      I also feared that Haven had been canceled. Both Warehouse 13 and Alphas started their new seasons more than a month ago. I’m definitely looking forward to this new season! 😀

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  3. Pingback: Damn – No “Haven” in that Storm! | I Want Ice Water

  4. I love Sci-Fi and Horror. Read it and watch it. But I don’t like gore fests, that isn’t horror at least in my book. I suspect the continued religious belief, even after education is both the need to believe in something beyond ones self, to make death not quite so scary but also partly an ego issue; the need to believe something of ourselves will continue beyond our death.

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    • There’s nothing like a well written book to me Valentine. But I do love special effects. When done right, they can add “reality” to a story beyond what my imagination can conjure up when reading a book. Movie makers tend to get carried away with the gore however, and those “slasher” films all too often leave me rooting, uncomfortably, for the bad guy to put all the stupid, screaming, totally-lacking-in-common-sense “victims” out of my misery!

      Personally, I think we all need to believe in something beyond ourselves and that something of ourselves will continue beyond our death. And it’s definitely an ego issue for me, in the sense that I want to know that my species will continue and prosper beyond my death and the my time here was in some way helpful to that cause…

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  5. ahhh, a non-believer… kinda hard to explain this but I do believe in the supernatural to an extent but I don’t believe in a god, doesn’t really make sense does it but I think there is another dimension out there which things (ghost or whatever) can come through briefly… hopefully this dimension involves plenty of girls in bikinis for my sake… 😀

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    • The thing I believe more than anything else is that what I know is tiny in comparison to what I don’t know. However, being visited by bikini clad girls from another dimension is a great thing to hope for! 😀

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  6. Pingback: And Here We Go Again! | I Want Ice Water

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