Monday, October 24, 2016
Reader's Diary #1402- Julius Long: The Pale Man
When it comes to delivering up real chills in horror, pacing is everything. Which is really silly when you think about it. Why do ghosts and demons and other spooks take so long getting the job done? Nonetheless, if you want your readers, viewers, listeners, filled with a sense of dread you've got to nurse that baby along.
Julius Long's "The Pale Man" is a great example of this. Set in a quiet, nearly vacant hotel, the narrator, who is staying at one end of a long floor, becomes obsessed with the strange and off-putting pale man staying in a room at the opposite end. It doesn't help (but it does, of course), that the pale man switches rooms every day, inching slower and slower to the narrator's own.
As with most horror, the fear goes away once you analyze it, but it was certainly fun to let myself play along while reading "The Pale Man."