Today one of the leading news stories is that of Lam Luong, a 37-year-old shrimp fisherman who threw his four children off a bridge, to their deaths.
Compared to that, any evil that I have read or tried to imagine in fiction seems small. What are ghosts and vampires and voodoo dolls compared to this? What is "The Exorcist" compared to this? Edgar Allan Poe was perhaps my first favorite author; Stephen King held sway with me in the 1980s and early 90s - until March of 1993, when I read that a young Amish man named Edward Gingerich had eviscerated his wife.
I concluded then that Stephen King could never write anything more frightening than the newspaper; that nothing any author ever conjured could exceed what some person, somewhere, would actually do.
That chills me.