To all you writers out there. Tell us about a scene you wrote, attempted to write, or perhaps even a whole story that scared the crap out of ya, made you very emotional, or took you to a place in your head you'd rather not visit again.
I'm asking because I just freaked myself out working on a scene for a story that may or may not ever get finished now. Why, you ask? Well... Oh gosh, how do I put it? I really don't want to wade back into that operating room to describe a doctor basically panicking and splitting a dead woman open in a last ditch effort to save her child. No, I've yet to research if it's even possible.
I know, nobody expects a guy on a CP site who named himself after a fictional horse to be the emotional type, but yeah, I go there sometimes. And boy, did I ever go there today. Heck, I may have to redirect the story or change an important element in it, so I can stay out of that operating room.
My main goal when writing is to make empathetic (empy-thetic?) characters so I tend to include personal experiences, research topics/case studies, or incorporate experiences related to me by friends (with their permission) to try and create characters that are either relatable (or at least understandable in their mindset, actions, philosophy).
My experience: Fleshgait has a scene (the door scene) based off of an experience I had as a college kid. Desperate to make friends, but terrified of making a mis-step. Driven to be sociable, but paralyzed by the thought of navigating am unfamiliar social situation (hanging out/getting drunk with a bunch of randos). I didn't like going back to that mindset, but it was a part of me and I felt like I needed to confront it.
Locked also almost found its way to the trash bin because I based it off of a friend's experience and their difficulty with certain forms of intimacy after a traumatic experience they had at a young age. I spent a long time reading case studies and chatting with them to clear what I wrote. I wrote others based off of my own harassment while in the Peace Corps, but it was nowhere near as bad as theirs (it coincidentally involved a supermarket which coincidentally has been featured in at least three of my stories). Writing "Locked" led to me almost deleting the story due to how uncomfortable it made me describing analogous abuse.
I think the scene that disturbed me the most was basically the whole Twitching and Convulsing short story. One of the things that creeps me out the most is abnormal human motion. Like the horror movie trope of the girl going down a stairace on all fours upside down (can't really find a better way to describe it, whoops). I remember it was late at night when I was writing this, and I got the hibbie jibbies.
Wow, some great answers. My nerves are on end from checkin' out these stories. Somebody get me an Empy-dural. d:
A wise young lass with over a hundred stories on the site once told me (paraphrasing here) to figure out what scares me and the odds are good it will scare others. That's been hit or miss for me, but I don't think the advise is flawed, perhaps just my execution on occasion.
I'm still figuring out how to scare others, but I'm getting better at freakin' myself out.
I'm unsure if any of my works made me particularly skeeved out but they're definitely inspired by in-real-life things that traumatized me/really stuck with my sensibilities for a while.
Tonight, You was inspired by a running gag from ATHF in which one of the characters is molested by a dog named Hand Banana. Yes, I’m aware the bit probably runs it close, but it is genuinely funny...at least until you remember its about an animal with very sapient, malicious intent. Geh.
Dissociation is a metaphorical piece regarding my own struggleS with depression and other troubles. The events described in it, while cathartic for me to write about, made my throat tight the whole time I wrote it.
And The Ecstasy of the Pen has a scene which was inspired by several liveleak videos involving lathe machine accidents. Needless to say, a repressed memory of a certain killer Martian tornado came back to haunt me when I came up with the concept.
They Remind Me of Hell - This one still gets me whenever the I think of the scene where the hundred "dead men" make their appearance. It's based on a real life WW1 battle where a lethally injured 100 men regiment fought off 7000 enemies after being gased with a lung destroying gas.
Mr Gopo The Sad Clown - This one is based on a dream I had had; the worst part for me was when I wrote the scene where Gopo the Clown ends up committing suicide. It happens off screen, and took part out of my field of vision in the dream too but felt really vivid and revisiting it was not very pleasant.
Aythideos - The scene where the titular hero ends up suffering from a fever dream in which his guilt takes the form of a hell where he is violated by a monsterous dog monster whose head is that of his deceased brother. Kind of stole the dog monster part from Hellblazer, but it's an effective scene nontheless.
There's also one story off site that has my take on what ghosts would look like through adult eyes (I guess specifically in my mind). It was the imagery of a somewhat transparent'ish being that looks like a partially decayed corpse in full glory; I looked up the terrible details of that amazing and fun process. The scene where the being finally makes his appearance and reveals that he was not an imaginary friend of the protagonist, but rather, a very real friend is still kind of hard to process.
There're some others too but I don't feel like posting all of em' here.
Unfortunately I don't really write things I feel like I would like people to see anymore. However if I do ever actually finish it there was a story I was writing based on my own emotional and physical pain years ago thanks to an accident at work combined with just generally being sick a lot thanks to the heat of the factory I worked in. I wouldn't say it scared me really but the scene that got me was describing the feeling of your stomach acid bubbling like a boiling pot of water while wretching pure bile into an oil drum, which actually happened to me thanks to me misreading a bottle of caffine pills I had gotten and giving myself caffine poisoning in a hot auto parts factory. Not a fun experience.
The grossest story I ever wrote was The Miracle of Life. I mean sure, it weirded me out at times when I was writing it, but it didn't really have any lasting effect on me. I slapped a NSFW tag on it mainly for the scene where Annie gives birth, but as far as NSFW content goes, it's pretty tame. I could've taken that part in particular in a lot of different directions, none of them pretty, but the basic premise wasn't even my idea and I didn't want to deviate too drastically from the 'source material'.
But yeah, I don't really have a 'that scene' as far as my writing goes. I don't tend to write based on past experiences, and if I do, then it's completely subconscious. Maybe as I write more stories, I'll get one eventually, but for now, there's nothing, really.
Not a creepypasta, but one of my comics. I had a scene in which a recovering gambling addict was having flashbacks to past trauma. The main source of his trauma was his abusive father. I had a scene in which the character, as a child, was being screamed at and threatened by his father over some minor thing (I never revealed what) while they were in the kitchen. Partway during the tirade, the father stopped to look at a pot of water that was boiling on the stove. He filled a measuring cup with the hot water while telling the child that he was going to make him pay. It then cut to one of the character's brothers huddling and cringing in fear in another room while the audience heard a splash and a scream. I hated doing that scene. I noted that no one should ever enjoy depicting child abuse. If you're going to do a scene like that, it should have meaning (like explaining factors that led to addiction) and not for lurid shock value.
As I typed this, I remembered a scene that I did adapt into a creepypasta called "The Needle". It had a heroin addict take a needle wet with someone else's blood and use it to inject drugs into his neck. It's disturbing, but using dirty needles, injecting drugs anywhere they can find a vein, etc. are things actual heroin addicts have done.
Edit- Here’s the abuse scene if anyone wanted to see it. In case you’re wondering why a gambling addict is suffering from physical symptoms, it’s because some gambling addicts actually do go through physical withdrawal symptoms similar to heroin addicts. It can range from simply feeling restless and shaky to experiencing severe headaches and even diarrhea (I note elsewhere in the issue that the character has an extreme case so people don’t mistakenly think this is something that happens to all gambling addicts). The scene is worse than I remembered because I’d forgotten that I had the abuser crack the character’s wrist.
Bonus scene unlocked- Here the character talks about being brain damaged. Even though I don’t consider it as disturbing as the abuse scene, I nearly left this part out of the issue because of its unsettling nature.
I don't think I have anything like that. Usually, an idea or a moment will really scare me first, and then I'll incorporate it into a story. Tower of Souls is an example of that. One of the things that really scares me is Hell (a very reasonable fear, in my opinion) and the idea of enduring horrific, grotesque tortures both physical and emotional for eternity makes a lump crawl up my throat.
Another thing that really messes with me in general that I've been playing with a lot in my newer stories is bad things happening in cities or urban enviroments. Crime, drugs, rape, discrimination and general violence, all happen on the cover of darkness on city streets people walk and interact in every day. The fact that so many horrible things happen every single day so close to home and they often get lost in the shuffle because cities are so big and its hard to maintain everything -- it's a very real, very serious fear I have. My newest story, Murder, Live! plays with that, as well as Cold Storage.
Although, this is less "scary" and more "disgusting" but the line in Finger-lickin good about how the uncle is starting to develop Pica-like symptoms and is deep-frying rotten food really gets under my skin, specifically my stomach. Gross.