Indie Horror Underground

Everyone’s buzzing about the “indie horror underground,” though no one’s quite sure what it is.

Okay, full disclosure: We literally made this term up just now. Still, we think it identifies a very real phenomenon in the horror fiction scene.

“Underground” has been used to describe creative new music scenes that haven’t quite caught on with the normies. Think of psychedelic rock in the mid 60s, punk in the late 70s, and hip hop in the early 80s. Or as Frank Zappa put it, “Mainstream comes to you, but you have to go to the underground.”

So, why can’t the same apply to horror fiction? Underground horror isn’t getting the reviews in big publications. It’s rarely chosen for awards. And it’s probably weeded out by your social media algorithm.

Despite falling under the radar—or perhaps because of it—it’s the cutting edge of the genre, boundary-breaking art that doesn’t quite fit the mold.

Sometimes it’s about embracing tradition, the way 60s psychedelia did with old-time folk music. It might intentionally spit in the face of the status quo, à la 70s punk. Or, like hip hop artists, it may share some uncomfortable truths from a long-ignored subculture.

Regardless, we think it’s safe to say that Denver Horror Collective is front and center in the indie horror underground. What with more and more of our members getting published across a spectrum of indie presses. Our anthologies quietly selling around the world. And, coming soon, long fiction and collections from individual authors whose work simply must be unleashed upon the world.

But the essence of an “underground” is that what’s at the peak of evolution can at any moment disappear forever. That, or become so widely accepted it becomes the mainstream.

Whatever happens, we’re excited to be in the thick of it all. And if you’re reading this right now, you should be, too!