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Horror is ubiquitous in popular culture, with zombies, vampires, ghosts, and other supernatural figures saturating books, television, and films. These stories provide excitement by activating ancient fight-or-flight responses while perhaps more subtly serving as metaphors for suppressed fears and anxieties. Vampires are not merely blood-sucking villains but also symbols of sexual repression; zombies are not just shambling monsters but also reminders of the alienating effects of consumerism and fear of global contagion; ghosts not only haunt but also raise questions about existence of an afterlife and consequences of earthly actions. In this way, horror stories are a means through which artists implicitly comment on the state of human affairs at a particular moment. As Stephen King has written, “We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.”1
George DR, Green MJ. Lessons Learned From Comics Produced by Medical Students: Art of Darkness. JAMA. 2015;314(22):2345–2346. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.13652
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