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Know Jack #428 Want To See Something Really Scary?

Horror fans will recognize the question taken from the opening scene of Twilight Zone The Movie. One definition says horror is a monster, villain or threat that plays on the fears currently being experienced by society. There is some validity to that. After all, what could be more frightening than four more years of Joe Biden and his cronies?

I write horror stories, among other things, and so I am often asked about the scariest book that I’ve ever read. My answer without a hesitation to weigh the possibilities has been the same for about forty years. I have read everything by Stephen King up to Mr. Mercedes. I’ve read Shirley Jackson, Anne Rice, Peter Straub, Dean Koontz, Clive Barker, Lovecraft, Poe and Robert Bloch. They are all excellent horror writers. However, none of these have written anything that scared me.

The scariest book I ever read was written by a former White House correspondent by the name of Allen Drury in 1973. The name of the book is—drum roll please—Come Nineveh, Come Tyre.

Set against the Cold War, it examines the fate of America when one political party, the media, and activists join forces to have peace at any price. No crime, including infanticide, is evil if it is done for the “right” cause by the “right” people.

Freedom, justice, and truth are among the things sacrificed to the cause of peace. Neville Chamberlain was a rank amateur at appeasement compared to Drury’s politicians. I won’t give away the ending—it’s just too good.

Horror must be plausible to truly frighten. Now, I do find rougarous, vampires, voodoo curses, and the like plausible. What keeps them from frightening me is that they can all be defeated by an ordinary person forced into taking action against them. What makes Come Nineveh, Come Tyre so frightening is that we can look out our window and not only see it happening, but good people cheering it on. Even extraordinary people have no chance of defeating the demand of the masses for peace and safety.

St. Paul told us long ago: “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.”

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