“All things therefore seemed to point to this: that I was slowly losing hold of my original and better self, and becoming slowly incorporated with my second and worse.”
-Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886)
“I sought only to amuse myself and the little child who sleeps in all our hearts— the child who hides her head under the bed-covers and begs, ‘Daddy, Daddy, frighten me!”
-Clouzot, on directing Diabolique
The Zone is a very complicated system of traps, and they’re all deadly. I don’t know what’s going on here in the absence of people, but the moment someone shows up, everything comes into motion. Old traps disappear and new ones emerge. Safe spots become impassable. Now your path is easy, now it’s hopelessly involved. That’s the Zone. It may even seem capricious. But it is what we’ve made it with our condition. It happened that people had to stop halfway and go back. Some of them even died on the very threshold of the room. But everything that’s going on here depends not on the Zone, but on us! [..] I think it lets those pass who… have lost all hope. Not good or bad, but wretched people. But even the most wretched will die if they don’t know how to behave. -Stalker (1979)
“Oh God! what could I do? I foamed —I raved —I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder —louder —louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! —no, no! They heard! —they suspected! —they knew! —they were making a mockery of my horror!-This I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! and now —again! —hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!
‘Villains!’ I shrieked, ‘dissemble no more! I admit the deed! —tear up the planks! here, here! —It is the beating of his hideous heart!’”
-Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart