As a teenager, I loved the macabre - from books to movies, if it had anything to do with monsters, ghosts, and other assorted creeps, I was there for it. I also suffered from night terrors - go figure.
Anyway, I remember being about 8 or 9 years old, my sister and I spent a summer with my fraternal grandmother in Los Angeles. While out riding in the car with my cousins, I heard this song for the first time.
(lyrics at the bottom of the post)
It was the first song I'd heard that gave me nightmares. My brain took the lyrics, combined them with my life experiences to that point, and gave me nightmarish imagery of someone extra high on some potent narcotic, experiencing a drug dream from which they would never wake up. I have no doubt this is where my aversion to any type of drugs (prescribed or otherwise) began.
Since I began my writing journey in earnest years back, this song has come to mind almost every October. I see it as the perfect backdrop to what could be a most unsettling story about someone either on actual drugs or on a road trip who accidentally finds themselves in a Twilight Zone-type scenario when they check into the wrong Motel 6.
I haven't written it yet because I don't think I have horror writing chops; the micro-fiction I've posted these past two weeks is about as creepy as I can get and that's only in short bursts. Not sure I know how to build the proper tension or deliver the epic scares in longer-form fiction. With my horror heroes being Stephen King, James Matheson, Edgar Allen Poe, and H.P. Lovecraft, I feel I'd have too big a shoe to fill.
But now, what about you? Do you have a song that gives you the creeps that you think would make a great plot for a horror novel or movie? Share it in the comments. And if not, then what do you think of this one? Do you agree that a skilled author could take this and deliver the scares?
Sending light and inspiration,
Performed by The Eagles, 1976
Written by Glenn Lewis Frey / Don Felder / Donald Hugh Henley
On a dark desert highway Cool wind in my hair Warm smell of colitas Rising up through the air Up ahead in the distance I saw a shimmering light My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim I had to stop for the night
There she stood in the doorway I heard the mission bell And I was thinking to myself "This could be Heaven or this could be Hell" Then she lit up a candle And she showed me the way There were voices down the corridor I thought I heard them say
"Welcome to the Hotel California Such a lovely place (such a lovely place) Such a lovely face Plenty of room at the Hotel California Any time of year (any time of year) You can find it here"
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted She got the Mercedes Benz She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys She calls friends How they dance in the courtyard Sweet summer sweat Some dance to remember Some dance to forget
So I called up the Captain Please bring me my wine He said, "We haven't had that spirit here Since 1969" And still those voices are calling from far away Wake you up in the middle of the night Just to hear them say
"Welcome to the Hotel California Such a lovely place (such a lovely place) Such a lovely face They livin' it up at the Hotel California What a nice surprise (what a nice surprise) Bring your alibis"
Mirrors on the ceiling The pink champagne on ice And she said, "We are all just prisoners here Of our own device" And in the master's chambers They gathered for the feast They stab it with their steely knives But they just can't kill the beast (*this is the line that got me, ugh! lol)
Last thing I remember, I was Running for the door I had to find the passage back To the place I was before "Relax, " said the night man "We are programmed to receive You can check-out any time you like But you can never leave!" (* this is the line that pushed me over the edge, lol)