You are likely to be eaten by a grue.
If this predicament seems particularly cruel,
consider whose fault it could be:
not a torch or a match in your inventory.

From It Is Pitch Dark by MC Frontalot.

Despite the variety of the races we play in World of Warcraft, ultimately beyond the flickering screen and the whirl of pixels we are, at log off time, human. As such we have a spectrum of feelings towards our life experiences and the people and events that happen along the way, there are things we love, like, dislike, fear and dread. Dread goes beyond being disturbed by something, or avoiding something because it makes you feel ill at ease. Frank Herbert, in his novel Dune, wrote that "fear is the mind killer", dread goes way beyond that, dread is the everything killer.

TVtropes, one of my favourite websites, defines Nightmare Fuel as "...the stuff so horrifying that it can give people the creeps for years. This scares the pants off of just about anyone to the author/creator's delight. This makes you shrink in the back of your chair, look over your shoulder, and remind yourself that what's going on is (usually) only fictional." And I am certain that each and every one of us has encountered this at some point in our lives. The above article goes on to explain thus, "Experiences may vary from person to person. Some people, for example, may find the invasion of monstrosities which are treated as benign to be a far more terrifying prospect than things which we need to explicitly fear." Meaning some people will find bats terrifying, and some will find bats as squeaky flying mice.

Looking back over the time I have played WoW, I have never encountered anything that could be called nightmare fuel, the cartoony look and feel of game does tend to betray the fear angle, but consider what your character does in the game, specifically in combat, and realise where the true horror is. Not just what your character receives while in PVP or PVE combat, but what you can dish out to the mobs/enemy players as well. My Shaman can spit gigavolts of electric death from her hands any time she wills it, ever seen anyone electrocuted either by accident or by design? That scene in The Green Mile where the guy got a less than merciful execution by electric chair because the guard did not follow proper procedure? That, so I am told, is gruesomely accurate, and to me, a classic example of nightmare fuel.

It goes beyond World of Warcraft of course, movies and books and other entertainment mediums present their fair share of horror, and said horror can manifest itself in so many different ways. The article quoted above, which I shall link, gives page after page of archetypes and examples that make for enthralling reading, and a small sense of gratitude that this is all made up, mashed into a format and presented to a willing audience for consumption and critique.


So does anything in WoW give you the willies? What is the most nightmare fueling thing you have ever seen or read?

Tell us your story.