How Media Scares Us

Ani Kreegar, Staff Writer

During the month of October, to many, nothing is better than snuggling up under a blanket on the couch and turning on your favorite scary movie in the dead of night on Halloween Eve. 

Books or comics typically aren’t the first go-to when it comes to Halloween night, but if you take the time to explore the genre, you may be shocked at what you find. 

As it turns out, there are some pretty good horror novels out there that can scare you to your core. While they don’t have the same effect as a jumpscare would in a psycho killer movie, they do have some aspects of their own that can make you squeam. 

Books incite feelings of horror, disgust, shock or the sense of uncanny; books play on the heightened sense of the unknown or supernatural. 

A great example of someone who puts this idea to real use is comic artist Junji Ito. He writes short comics that are bone-chillingly creepy. Some of his most popular pieces are: “Uzumaki,” a three-volume set of a town driven to madness by spirals; “Tomie,” a novel of an immortal girl who drives admirers insane; and “Gyo,” a two-volume series about fish who are controlled by a strain of bacteria called “the death stench.”

These stories, when put simplistically, don’t sound too scary, but that’s where the element of art comes into play. 

Ito is a magnificent artist in the way that he can make something as harmless and loving as a housecat look scary and devious. While his art is beautiful, he also specializes in getting und er the reader’s skin through realistic settings and scenes. 



Uzumaki is a story that takes place in a small Japanese town, and focuses on two main characters: Kirie and Shuichi. These two start to discover the horrors of the spiral ridden town, one monstrosity at a time. They begin to see how this spiral curse affects those around them, as the citizens begin to come both obsessed and fearful of the pattern. When they attempt to escape, their efforts were unsuccessful as they find that several years have passed since their attempt. It’s revealed that time slows the further you go away from the town, and that time stops at the center. What would happen if you reach the center, perhaps?



This thriller is centered around one main character-a beautiful girl named Tomie, who can be recognized by her long, dark hair, as well as a beauty mark below her left eye. She acts as a succubus of sorts, making men fall for her with just a look, or even going as far to drive some women crazy with jealousy. Tomie is killed over and over, but regenerates within a day. Later in the story, it’s revealed that there are multiple Tomie’s, all spawning from something as small as a drop of blood. There is, however, one way to kill a Tomie, and that’s to completely scorch the body by fire.


The story of Gyo takes place in Okinawa, starting with a group of fisherman staring in awe at a strange, small fish that seem to have scuttling legs. Just as they were about to examine further, the fish scuttled away in the blink of an eye, diving back into the waters. Problems begin to escalate as the fish begin to get bigger, even as big as a whale, terrorizing the citizens. It’s later found out that these animals were made by Japan during WWII in an effort to turn the tides of the war, but failed miserably.