The Horror of Grief

Looking back on my work over the years, I’ve discovered there’s a recurring theme in all of my novellas – a child going through grief.

Torment features a girl whose mother died during an exorcism.

The Noctuary is about a man who is given the chance to go back and change a horrible moment in his childhood.

Vaudeville deals with a boy coming to terms with his father’s passing and finally…

The Last Night of October is about two children whose lives are changed forever on Halloween.

Can you judge a book by its cover?...

I know this is my sub-conscious at work here because grief and close personal loss defined my early teenage years.

"The Noctuary" cover revealed!

When I was about 15 my best friend died suddenly at school. He’d had a history of heart problems and one day while playing sport his heart stopped and he never regained consciousness. When it happened I wasn’t at school because I had to go home and collect a piece of homework I’d left behind. When I got back to school I was told what happened. I was devastated and even more so when I went up to hospital to say my goodbyes. This moment, naturally stuck with me. I’d lost relatives; grandparents, uncles and aunts when I was younger, but then I never really understood the finality of death.


These feelings were reinforced when I lost my mother to breast cancer five years ago, when Rocky Wood passed away in December last year and a few months ago when my mother-in-law died.


Grief is a powerful force and I conjure the feelings I experienced all those years ago in my writing. Perhaps my writing is my mind trying to come to terms with the loss of all the loved ones I’ve lost over the years.

The Last Night Of October

Horror, to me, is more about the human condition than monsters under the bed or gore for gore’s sake. Horror is when someone is taken from life before their time and I think all of us can relate to that in some way or another.




About darkscrybe

Two-time international Bram Stoker Award-nominee®*, Greg Chapman is a horror author and artist based in Queensland, Australia. Greg is the author of several novels, novellas and short stories, including his award-nominated debut novel, Hollow House (Omnium Gatherum) and collections, Vaudeville and Other Nightmares (Specul8 Publishing) and This Sublime Darkness and Other Dark Stories (Things in the Well Publications). He is also a horror artist and his first graphic novel Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times, (McFarland & Company) written by authors Rocky Wood and Lisa Morton, won the Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel category at the Bram Stoker Awards® in 2013. He is also the current President of the Australasian Horror Writers Association. Greg lives in Rockhampton with his wife and their two daughters. * Superior Achievement in a First Novel for Hollow House (2016) and Superior Achievement in Short Fiction, for “The Book of Last Words” (2019)
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2 Responses to The Horror of Grief

  1. I so want to say this is a great post, and it is, but the losses you’ve endured breaks my heart. Transferring that into your writing gives the stories a grounding in belief and understanding that sets them apart from others.

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