There are many avenues to express your horror social propensities, and I wager, some of them, are yet to be discovered. The following ones are just a small sample of what is already available.
Old-school Horror Social Networking
Digital Old-school Horror Social Networking
Now, I don’t like too much to focus on the negative side of things, but let’s be honest. Social media killed the community forums, and the ones that survive are either because they are a very good fit for the subject they cover (i.e., the forum format is the best format for the kind of subject matter), or the owners are bad losers that refused to move with the times.
I may have participated too much in that kind of social engagement, since the mid-nineties up to the mid-2000s, I don’t know really, but if I can get by without having to join a forum, I gladly do it.
While I don’t use them, I certainly lurk through forum threads, and sometimes from deeply necro threads of almost two decades old. If those that posted to the threads posted something evergreen, I don’t see why one shouldn’t give importance to forums.
Still, they aren’t as active as they used to be. It can be very depressing to find out that the community of your dreams is forum-based, and that they aren’t active at all.
Analog Horror Social Networking: The Horror Convention
An old-school social networking channel for horror fans is the horror convention scene. The horror convention is a mainstay since a long time ago.
A horror convention is a get-together of the horror nation of fanatics of different niches of horror including horror movies, goth way of life, and infrequently fantasy and science fiction.
Generally, the emphasis has been on the horror movie scene, instead of horror writing or horror craftsmanship, yet this has widened to include all the horror verticals.
Individuals in participation at a horror event are customarily known as convention members; welcomed VIPs including movie horror directors and horror genre actors are ordinarily known as guests, however, numerous horror experts and professionals, including film directors will join the show as individuals.
Generic Schedule and Content of a Horror Convention
Beginning of a Horror Convention
During the first days of most events, in the “Opening Ceremony”, coordinators and celebrity visitors are presented and may talk for the audience.
Program of a Horror Convention
Panels, workshops, discussions, and similar sub-events, with commonly one-hour conversations about horror subjects.
Evening diversions frequently incorporate a blend of official and informal sub-event, like talent shows, bid parties, and the like.
Horror Convention Areas
Vendors offer products important to fans in a so-called horror huckster area or alternately dealers’ area.
The dealers’ area incorporates books, collectibles, prop reproductions, and other types of horror merchandise.
More modest shows may have a casual Dealer’s Row, a part of the convention’s lodgings in which vendors engage attendees to sell merchandise, while bigger shows might have both an official seller’s section and an informal vendor’s area.
Numerous shows have projection rooms, in which the attendees enjoy horror-related audiovisual entertainment.
Finishing the Convention
Frequently the “Closing Ceremony” on the event’s last day is not held. This exclusion is because such functions would conflict with the necessity of dismantling everything and packing to leave.
Sometimes a “dead-dog party” is scheduled on the last day to give attendees a chance to ease themselves down to the real world and in this way mitigate the depression that may ensue due to the happy days of the convention ending.
New-School Horror Social Networking
The following section of this page is an abridged case study about the horror social media application Slasher.
Slasher is worthy of having its separate head on this page because there is nothing like it yet.
As soon as I learned that Slasher existed I needed to have it. To be able to run it wasn’t easy, maybe because my smartphone is outdated, and (like Instagram) one can’t access it from a desktop computer.
Horror fans, if the need to network with fellow fans of horror arises, can resort to interest groups in regular social media.
Take for instance the case on Facebook. There are lots of Facebook horror groups, and I mean LOTS. What’s more amazing about it, is that most of the ones that pop up at random, while searching (or not, mind you, they sometimes appear as ads) for horror groups have member bases averaging 5000 to 10000 members. The strength of these groups is in their narrow topics and orientation.
Slasher: Abridged Case Study
Enter Slasher, a different animal, in the sense that it’s a social network portal solely for horror fans.
In my experience, it’s a very different reality than joining a Facebook group. FB groups are niche, and Slasher is an integrated horror social portal with hundreds (maybe thousands?) of different horror niches.
Even the community has a very dissimilar, tight-knit, familiar feeling that I haven’t found in any Facebook horror group.
Besides, in FB horror groups a lot of silliness and idle talk goes on, while Slasher feels more like a social network that, if the user wants, can mutate from an idle banter social media modality to relax with friends, into a networking platform more akin to LinkedIn or even Ning, instead of Facebook.
I know by my own experience that for some it may be hard to access Slasher and to be honest I think the software side of the app has quite a few noticeable rough edges that need to be fixed.
But other than that, Slasher ended up being more interesting for me than other types of horror social media.
If you have any trouble installing it, like I had, like for instance when you search for it on the Play Store you can’t find it, the best I can recommend is that you download it from a third party website, like APKPure (which is from where I downloaded it if I remember correctly).
So discounting that trouble of inaccessibility and its sister shortcoming of lack of web browser support (you can only access it with the Slasher app), it’s a great social network for all types of horror persons, that you as a horror fan, horror employee, horror entrepreneur or any other horror capacity you’re involved with, should check out and join if you haven’t already.
Where not to Look: Online Games for Horror Fans
If you never played online games and if, against my advice, you decide to try them, do it, but try to become friends with the community, because the other players are, as I see these games, along with the art, their only redeeming quality.
I was in the online game scene for 7+ years, and the bottom line for me, as concerning horror online games, is this: those that make online video games don’t give two pieces of fecal matter about horror fans.
They just develop and publish what is guaranteed to open profit venues for them. Namely, games falling inside the medieval fantasy and CRPG genres.
Those kinds of games are the type that the majority of online video gamers prefer to play, and screw most of the other niches, including horror.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many sword and sorcery CRPGs that have extensive portions of horror content. But it’s not the same; having to accept a fantasy universe in its entirety, just to be thrown a few horror crumbs here and there. That isn’t livable.
An example of what I wrote in the previous paragraph would be D&D Online. Probably the medieval fantasy game of all the ones I played that has the most quantity and quality of content that may appeal to horror fans.
It’s funny because the horror parts only come after one invests a very large portion of time in the game. And they may make you laugh because they don’t blend that well with all you have to go through before reaching those parts.
Of course, I’m talking only about MMORPGs here. But what else would I be talking about? The gold standard of online games is MMORPGs, and it’s a game mechanic that should be agnostic when it comes to the game’s narrative genre.
This, Horror? Really?
Don’t forget that horror (Ravenloft, Call of Cthulhu) went hand-in-hand with RPG when RPG began as pen-and-paper games.
Still, I think horror online gaming is best served by all the other (not MMO or RPG) genres of online games. Like tactical shooters, survival horror, and the like.
I don’t have a lot of experience in this area (non-MMO online games), save for some hours of online horror spent playing to Killing Floor, just around a dozen, most of a Left for Dead campaign, with a friend, and just two or three sessions of getting my rear end handed to me by players with better computers and internet connections, playing to Nosgoth, a multiplayer take on the Legacy of Kain saga.
What I did experience, for a longer period, were two of the MMORPGs that tout themselves as being of the horror genre: Requiem and The Secret World.
For me, Requiem was just a scam. Its hype calls a medieval/steampunk fantasy game horror when it is not. The idea sounded so good in the brochure, but for me, the experience was neighboring with the annoying.
The Secret World was a horrible experience. It was one of the last online games that I played, and one of the ones that made me see that I had had enough.
What The Secret World taught me, barely six or so hours into the game, was that it was going to be a long and rough ride. That I wouldn’t be able to enjoy my gameplay unless I became a co-dependent twitch that needs the help of the community at each step of the journey.
Examples of Horror Lifestyle Verticals
They are big spenders in horror entertainment and aren’t afraid to patronize a horror venture if it benefits in some way.
Horror workers that innovate based on a market dissonance. This means they exploit a loophole in the way horror fans are served and come up with a new way of doing things.
The most cautious kind of horror enthusiasts. Scrappers pursue stability and security. Even if most all horror fans are open to new things, horror scrappers are more likely to purchase products or services that are guaranteed to deliver what they’re looking for.
The most educated, informed, and systematic type of horror enthusiast. They need to get all the facts of a product or service straight before they decide to commit their money to anything.
In the intellectual sphere, a horror scholar will not approach the creation of horror-related content in a slipshod manner.
A horror scholar will do all the preliminary research the content requires, and on top of it additional sophisticated, deep-diving research before getting any word on paper. An example of a horror scholar would be W. Scott Poole.
The horror aspirant has established views on horror communities, horror niches, and the horror genre in general. They are kind of predictable and will favor classic, popular, and well-loved horror products and services over the ones that are newer or more innovative.
Those who craft horror products or services are guaranteed to have a passion for the horror genre that surpasses the average level of interest most horror fans have.
Horror enthusiasts first, and entrepreneurs second, they have an intimate knowledge of the horror markets and verticals. They may like a set of narrow horror niches.
Still, horror entrepreneurs, most of the time will be working on, and thinking and talking about, the niches that they are engaged in (for work, research, study, etc), instead of any other horror niches that interest them.
Participators love fun most of all and know what means to be successful as a horror enthusiast in any given niche of their interest. They may not have the economic resources to