Horror stories can get our blood pumping and our hearts racing, but what is the social benefit of scary tales? In a roundtable on horror fiction for Mind Meld, Pretty Little Dead Girls author Mercedes M. Yardley shares an oddly sweet take on the positive side of fear.

I love to use fear as a bonding experience. I often say that fear brings us all together. There are people who don’t understand joy, love, or camaraderie, but everybody knows what it’s like to be afraid. It’s the most basic, primal emotion there is. When you have a group of people who just watched a scary movie together, for example, they walk out of that theater as a connected group who just shared something. I adore that.

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Read the whole piece for more thoughts on fear by top horror writers, along with the books that scare them the most.

Cover image from Pretty Little Dead Girls.