I enjoy reading a multitude of fear evoking tales. I find now, after having taken in many a story, that I have a taste for certain aspects of them that I wish to convey.
1. First person accounts - Terror taken first hand and conveyed as if it were being enacted again or currently. I wish to be immersed. The words to take a grip on the reader and pull them in, causing concern for not just the narrator but for ourselves. If narrated by that which should be feared then they way things are worded should be unsettling, the outlook on events.. disturbing.
2. Dark entities - It does not have to speak. If it does, then short and to the point or through elaborate messages that show a horrifying level of control or knowledge. Lurk just out of sight, create doubt while allowing the fear to set in. Leave just enough for the true terror of your reality to unravel slowly.
3. Setting - Any where is fine, no where is safe. Intimate is the best though, no one to help and no one to hear a scream. This place is the dark one's play ground and the characters are their play thing.
4. Human behavior - Humans can be extraordinary, but when it comes to fear and surviving people can be quite simple in how they would act. If they are deranged however, anything goes. Keep it simple till the madness sets in.
5. Time frame - No need to draw things out unless there is purpose in doing so. The darkness can be very patient, but let's assume the story takes place in a time that the darkness has already laid in wait.
6. Ending - Leave the reader with something to think about. Being inconclusive leaves the reader with something to think about, which is the truly horrifying thing. Darkness never really disappears.
I hope to review some well known stories soon in order to display what I feel gives the best impression.