Women in Horror 2019: Paula D. Ashe

Paula D. Ashe is a writer of dark fiction and a scholar of popular culture. She lives with her family in the Midwest.

1) what is horror?

That moment when un/certainty becomes inevitability. My favorite example of this is the last few minutes of the film, A Tale of Two Sisters. It’s that moment that reframes everything we’ve seen up until that point, and what was an already sorrowful tale becomes an examination of the simultaneity of sadism and cosmic pessimism. The urge to hurt someone who hurt us is so terribly easy and the universe conspires to make it so. A masterful — though less sadistic — literary example of this is Ramsey Campbell’s “The Pattern”.

2) why horror?

Because we’re thinking meat. We are literally, ‘a thinking horror’ or ‘a horror that thinks’. Personally, that anomalousness (at least in art/aesthetics), gives me a sense of power that I like to inflict on other people through story. I am otherwise a relatively nice person.

3) where do you see horror going?

We’re in a renaissance right now and it’s beautiful. I really just want to watch it unfold forever. But it won’t. And that’s okay. Horror always manages to adapt.

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