The Frighteners is a bizarrely compelling, laugh-out-loud exploration of societies’ fascination with the dark, spooky, and downright terrifying side of life. The author--self proclaimed “sinister minister”--opens the book by reflecting on how he went from a horror-obsessed atheist to a God-fearing Christian and then reconciled his love of the macabre with his new faith. In the chapters that follow, Laws takes us on a worldwide romp to shine light on the dark corners of our own minds. An American hell house--controversial Christian “haunted houses” that act out the horrors of abortion, drug use, etc.—hosts his reflection on the use of horror in religion. A party in London with real life “vampires” exemplifies modern sexual fascination with the parasitic undead. He goes ghost hunting in an underground barbershop where a murderer used to cut hair. A professor in Denmark who is an expert on the recent Slenderman court case helps him explore the link between technology and the supernatural.
In accessible and light-hearted prose, Peter Laws takes us from the dark corners of his mind to the underbelly of various macabre cultures to illuminate society’s preoccupation with death and horror. The Frighteners combines psychology, religious theory, and personal memoir to create a dynamic and fascinating read that is informative and entertaining.
Skyhorse; September 2018
- ISBN: 9781510726772
- Read online, or download in secure ePub format
- Title: The Frighteners
- Author: Peter Laws
In The Press
"This is not simply a defense of a genre that routinely comes under fire for its graphic violence; it’s an intelligent, perceptive, and very well written successor to Stephen King’s 1981 classic, Danse Macabre." -- Booklist
"...a unique blend of personal experience, research, and humor...as entertaining, informative, and insightful as it is hilarious." -- Foreword
"Phrases like page-turner and tour-de-force are slapped on any old tome these days, but in this case, it is fully deserved. Truly the Bill Bryson of the horror think-piece, in literary terms, the highest honor this writer can bestow upon another." -- Starburst magazine
“Full of blood and guts and brains and heart, Peter Laws’s work is a fearless and ultimately emotional exploration for anyone who’s ever wondered why they were drawn to the macabre, and what it says about them.” -- Mike Bockoven, author of Fantasticland and Pack
About The Author
Reverend Peter Laws is an ordained Baptist minister with a diploma in theology and a degree in sociology and applied social science from Lancaster University. His thesis, Preaching in the Dark: The Homiletics and Hermeneutics of Horror was shortlisted for a BIAPT--The British and Irish Association for Practical Theology Award. He writes articles for the online magazine The Fortean Times and hosts a YouTube show and podcast called Flicks the Church Forgot. He lives in Liverpool, United Kingdom.