10 Horror Stories You Can Find In the Bible
10 Horror Stories You Can Find In the Bible
The Bible is the bestselling book of all time. The scriptures in it allegedly date back to 1500 b.c., and the knowledge in them is even older. We are used to viewing the Bible as a source of moral education and ethics. But people usually omit the fact that Biblical scriptures also contain horror episodes that could make even the least unsusceptible person feel overwhelmed.
No matter what you believe in, it is hard to deny that the Scriptures are a literary masterpiece. From catastrophes of planetary-scale to horrifying personal stories the narrative leaves a deep impression on any reader. And the genius Author of these stories can be a great teacher to any writer who attempts to reach his audience. So, let’s delve deeper into these terrible moments that claim to be real episodes of human history.
- Noah’s Flood
Most of us used to see pictures of a happy old man with his family, a bunch of animals, and a hefty belly swimming on a boat. But people rarely imagine what the Great Flood could have actually been. The narrative in Genesis 6 implies that every breathing creature on Earth, barring those in the Ark, was destroyed in the extent of 40 days.
The Scripture mentions people who were wedding and doing all sorts of other humane activities. And in the next moment starts a disaster that completely obliterates all their lives and hopes. The most horrifying part is that it happened not immediately. Imagine the picture of people and animals clinging to the cliffs. Carnivorous creatures forget their instincts and share the spot with herbivores. All trying to save their young in view of crumbling mountains and inevitably approaching waves of deadly water. It was their Judgement Day.
Horror element: characters of the story observe gradual destruction of everything with no way out.
- The Levite and his Concubine
This story in Judges 19 is somewhat opposite in terms of scale, but it could strike the same level of horror in its reader. The main characters of the narrative visit a city to find shelter. While they’ve been taken to a house of one elder it turns out that other inhabitants of Geba are not that hospitable. A band of citizens besieges the house and demands the owner to hand them over to his guests so they may do violence to them.
The Levite makes a strikingly horrifying move by giving them his concubine, so he himself could be spared. What the crowd did to her was so atrocious, it was enough to start a civil war and almost destroy one of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Horror element: the sheer situation where a man has to let go of the woman who has been under his protection to save himself is horrible.
- Jesus and the Legion of Demons
This story is written in several parallel places of the New Testament (for ex. Mark 5). Jesus has come by boat with his disciples to a foreign country across the lake. He then was greeted by two possessed men renowned for being fierce like wild animals. Society was unable to restrain their destructive sickness and drove them out of towns. Now, after living in the tombs for some time they came to Jesus as he was landing on their shore.
What follows is a dialogue between the horde of demons that control them and the Son of God. For whoever saw the scene it should’ve been unnerving and surprising at the same time. “My name is Legion, for we are many” – answered the possessed to Jesus. After submitting themselves the demons ask to not drive them out completely but instead allow them to enter into pigs who were nearby. And Jesus, showing how much he cares about an individual human soul allowed them to enter the pigs who instantly ran off the cliff.
Horror element: a dialogue with otherwordly evil spirits must have been a terrible sight for Jesus’s disciples.
- The end of Sodom, and Lot’s wife
This is a very famous story from Genesis 19, but its horror is not emphasized enough. The cities have become too sinful, and God decided to destroy them but sent a warning to Lot, the righteous man in the city. Lot got his family out as the city started to burn with the rain of fire and brimstone. That’s enough horror, but it is not all. Lot’s wife nostalgically looked back (against God’s warning) and became a pillar of salt. Imagine your wife becoming a pillar of salt right beside you, and you could not even look back at her. The children could not look back at their mother either to not suffer the same fate.
Horror element: a gruesome metamorphosis of your close one.
- The Book of Revelations
Apocalypse is the name of the book of Revelations in Greek. Being written by apostle John at the end of the first century it is a coded message to all disciples across the Roman empire. His goal was to strengthen them in the face of persecution by the government. The book contains a lot of images that are easily understood by the students of the Old Testament. But for everybody else, the images were confusing or terrifying. The book has spawned a myriad of debates on whether it speaks about the end of times or just the end of Romans. But notwithstanding the answer, it has got some horrific scenes worthy of a nightmare.
Take for example locusts – symbolic creatures that consist of humanoid, insectoid, and horse parts. These images of sin are said to hunt down everyone who hadn’t overcome his sinful nature. Or the Horsemen of Apocalypse who bring plague, famine, and war to the earth. Or the great dragon who seeks to devour the faithful. This book alone became an inspiration for countless stories, movies, and franchises and could become a big source of ideas for a horror writer.
Horror element: symbolic images of monsters and beasts are used to illustrate the powers of the sinful world.
- Herod’s Life
King Herod has become a common name for any evil ruler. His character is despicable in the narrative and his actions are horrifying. History says that this cruel ruler has killed his own wife and sons. He sent his soldiers to slaughter innocent babies in Bethlehem to hunt down Jesus (Matthew 2). And when he himself was ready to die he allegedly assembled all the nobles in a stadium with orders to kill them whenever he dies. Because he knew that nobody would grief his demise. It was probably a horror to live under this ruler.
Horror element: living under a paranoid ruler who doesn’t think twice before executing anyone.
- Herod’s Death
But there is not one Herod in the Bible. His descendants also bore this name and committed similar atrocities. One of them has caught and executed apostle James making him the first martyr among the apostles. The end of this Herod came when he was basking in the lights of vanity hearing praises of himself. According to Acts 12, when the admiring crowd called him a god he was suddenly struck by sickness and died a horrible death. Like his grandfather Herod the Great, this Herod was eaten by worms.
Horror element: a body that is gradually eaten alive by worms.
- An Invisible Hand
A similar situation with vanity happened several centuries before when the king of Babylon was having a feast. This allegedly young king decided that everything in the world was subject to his whims. Daniel 5 says, how sitting in the capital of the greatest empire at the time he orders to bring in the vessels from the Jerusalem temple. These vessels were stolen by Babylonians when they have burned Jerusalem to the ground one generation ago. So, king Belshazzar wants to humiliate Israel and their God one more time by using the sacred vessels for drinking wine.
But a miracle occurs. Someone’s invisible hand starts writing a text on a wall in front of his eyes. The text was translated for him from Hebrew and condemned Belshazzar to an untimely demise. The moment itself was so terrifying that it is written that his knees began to shake.
Horror element: ghostly writing appears and makes drunk people sober.
This time it’s not a story and not a symbol. Leviathan is a creature described in the book of Job 41 – allegedly, the most ancient book of the Bible. The monster is used as an argument to humble the man who dared to question God’s motives. Leviathan is described as a giant beast with sharp teeth and invulnerable plates on his body. No man with his weaponry can tame it or even kill. And since God has created this complex and mighty creature nobody can question God’s competence.
Horror element: a giant dinosaur-like beast that fights men with their useless swords and spears.
- The Crucifixion
While the leviathan is an example of God’s might, Jesus’s death on the cross has a totally different message. An almighty Ruler of the universe has humbled himself so much that allowed sinful people to torture him and execute. This story may be in children’s books but it is not an easy story to follow. When my younger brother accidentally saw a scene of Christ’s crucifixion in the movie he immediately broke into tears and ran away. Even though Jesus has been resurrected you can’t avoid the fact that his tortures were horrible. And it was even more difficult for Jesus since he expected these tortures ahead of time.
Horror element: unavoidable torture, pierced limbs, and death on a wooden cross.
Bible has taught and became an inspiration to many people during history. While it certainly can teach us a lot in the moral area, the Scriptures are also an example of great literary mastery. Any author should take advantage of this book. Even if his sphere of interest is writing horror stories.
Leon Collier is a blogger and academic writer who calls Edinburgh his home. Leon works with https://www.bestessayservicereviews.com/ where he provides essay writing service. He likes trying new subjects and is always focused on proving his worth in new and challenging writing areas. His hobbies are reading books and playing pen and paper games with his friends.
You can reach him via Twitter @LeonCollier12.
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