So when I was messing around with duotrope, looking for submissions options, I came across my favorite term.
I discovered this awesome term a few years ago. Loved it immediately. Then promptly forgot all about it.
heimlich means roughly "familiar" so unheimlich is the unfamiliar, uncanny.
BUT heimlich can also mean "concealed" or "obscure" so unheimlich can also mean "the revealed".
In horror unheimlich is that moment we experience as being uncanny - akin to seeing something unseen. When we’re forced to reinterpret everything we understood in light of new knowledge.
Freud comments that a sense of the unheimlich is “often and easily produced when the distinction between imagination and reality is effaced, as when something that we have hitherto regarded as imaginary appears before us in reality, or when a symbol takes over the full functions of the thing it symbolizes"
I love dealing with the unheimlich in my short stories. I think short stories are the perfect medium to explore things that normally aren't unusual or frightening, but with a little twist can be scary.
So what about you? Do you have any favorite terms? Or favorite themes you like to explore in your writing?