Nightmare Fetishist

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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Sgt Donovan: Are these human eyes?
Sherlock: Put those back!
Sgt Donovan: They were in the microwave.
Sherlock: It's an experiment.

Do you really want to know? Of course you do!

Basically, this character is living proof that Nightmare Fuel is subjective. He or she, usually in marked contrast to other characters, is happily intrigued by whatever is strange, dangerous, disturbing, and/or frightening. If this character is the hero or at least "part of the team," his or her fellows will regard him or her somewhat oddly. Indeed, what's Nightmare Fuel or Squick to other characters could very well be Fetish Fuel or Squee to this character. For example, a Nightmare Fetishist may consider Halloween his or her favorite holiday, harbor an obscure or oddly specific kink, think that the monsters he or she's supposed to be fighting are cute, or simply be born with this trait as part of his or her species or family.

If the character is evil, this is a case of Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad.

This kind of person is very difficult to coerce or break through the usual methods; as they can be Too Kinky to Torture or Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth. Note that this trope is a sliding scale; Nightmare Fetishism can range from a harmless fondness for morbid stories to a literal sexual fascination with the life-threatening.

Chances are good that you are familiar with such a person, whether you know it or not. You may even be one.

See also Nightmare Fuel, Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant, Freaky Is Cool, Fluffy Tamer, Admiring the Abomination, My Species Doth Protest Too Much, Selective Squick, Vampires Are Sex Gods, You Sexy Beast, Creepy Awesome.

Examples of Nightmare Fetishist include:

Anime and Manga

  • Berserk
    • Slan, an Apostle, and one of the members of the God Hand. As if her creepy lack-of-outfit wasn't clue enough, during the Eclipse when Casca is being raped by Griffith Slan watches on and cries tears of joy.
    • A later less-sadistic, but still quite disturbing, example would be Sonia, a little girl and member of Griffith's new Band of the Hawk who is, unlike the rest of the world's populace, unafraid of the Eldritich Abominations known as Apostles.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura had the Meganekko Naoko Yanagisawa who, during a conversation about a haunted house, mentioned that she "like[d] that sort of thing." The manga included visual aid of "that sort of thing" (UFOs, ghosts, monsters, unusual temples and shrines). Of course, this tends to creep the living hell out of poor Sakura.
  • Magical Pokémon Journey's Hazel likes cute Pokemon, but her definition of "cute" extends to species that aren't generally considered such, including Gengar and Tangela. She's so friendly toward Pokemon that she'll help them with whatever their problems are, no matter what said Pokemon look like, even to the point of facilitating an Interspecies Romance between a Wigglytuff and an Arbok.
    • And yes, you can pull this off in the actual games. can't make them have a relationship, but you can make them have casual sex and create an egg of the same species the female is.
  • Baccano!
    • The series has a lot of characters who are involved in Dirty Business and are willing to play jump rope with the Moral Event Horizon. Then you get Omnicidal Maniac Ladd who literally dances in blood and considers "I'm gonna kill you last" as an endearing term to use with his girlfriend. She is completely accepting of this.
    • On the darker side of this trope you have the immortal Fermet and Huey who only see other people as human components For Science!. This leads to them doing some rather despicable things as a means of enjoyment. Fermet in particular had a grand old ball torturing and killing immortal child Czeslaw Meyer repeatedly for upwards of 200 years.
  • The Pokémon anime rendition of Misty considers Tentacool and Tentacruel to be cute... In fact, Misty considers all water pokemon cute no matter what. The only reason she didn't find Gyarados cute was because one scared her when she was very young, and even then she later got over it. Whereas bug pokemon, who are usually cuter than water types, are considered scary by Misty because she has a phobia of them.
  • Ranma ½'s Gosunkugi apparently harbors a fetish for voodoo dolls in the manga. In the anime, it's amped up to more of an obsession with magic in general- particularly the creepier side of things. In one episode, he falls in love with Cute Ghost Girl Kogane, not being even the slightest fazed when he discovers her undead nature (though he does flip out when he realizes that starting a real relationship with her means abandoning his creepy obsession with Akane). His ideas of dates also include showing off his collection of occult lore (which happens to fixate on curses) and a romantic rendezvous in a purportedly haunted graveyard.
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
    • Rena spends her afternoons in the local scrap yard collecting whatever she finds cute, including her trademark cleaver and a statue of Colonel Sanders.
    • Also, droopy nurse Takano Miyo, who is a Fan Girl for the dark legends about Hinamizawa's dark past.
  • Rei Takashima from Deadman Wonderland, a twisted doctor who is not merely a sadist, but actually aroused by human suffering and mutilation.
  • From The Wallflower / Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge: female lead Sunako Nakahara is a lover of solitude, gore movies, banned gore movies, anatomical dolls and objects that reflect "the ugly side of life," as she puts it. Not to mention that she tends to be pretty creepy herself.
  • Full Metal Panic!
  • Dio from Last Exile. "Aren't dead bodies fascinating?" The boy isn't entirely sane, but that's part of what makes him adorable.
  • One Piece
    • Nico Robin finds three-headed zombie dogs "cute." When introducing herself to the Straw Hats after the Alabasta arc, she smiles while mentioning her specialization is assassination. Throughout the whole series, Nico Robin is able to talk about disturbing topics like death, dying, blood, etc., as casually and cheerfully as most people talk about the weather.
    • From the same arc as the three-headed zombie dog is Elegant Gothic Lolita "Ghost Princess" Perona, who describes her ideal vacation as going to a "dark, dank, haunted, ancient castle, singing songs of curses and having a miserable old time." Kuma then sends her to one of these; she realizes that it really is miserable without servants tending to her every need.
  • In Yes! Pretty Cure 5, Komachi is the only one not particularly frightened by the haunted house they encounter in one episode, not even when they discover a painting of someone who looks exactly like Rin. In fact, she thinks it's exciting. This is part of an ongoing tendency of hers to get excited about things (like becoming a Runaway Bride) that nobody else would see as positive.
  • Minori from Toradora!, who goes so far as to trick people into scaring her.
    • And gets a nosebleed (complete with spurting blood) from the possibility of her class setting up a haunted house for the school festival.
  • When Taeko of Ai Yori Aoshi was given the breaking-in task of the photography club (going out into the woods and photographing a ghost), she leaped at the chance, much to everyone else's confusion. What's worse, she apparently succeeds. Later on, in a hanuted house, she is seen laughing at all the things and calling them cute. For effect, the other two girls are completely freaked out and clinging, in tears, to poor Kaoru.
  • Ouran High School Host Club has Nekozawa and his friends from the Black Magic Club, who are obsessed with curses and all kinds of creepy things. They're quite a happy bunch, too.
  • In Nightwalker, after becoming a vampire, Riho discovers a love for dreary, rainy days because that's the only time it's safe to be outside during the day.
  • In Chrono Crusade, upon discovering that Chrono is a bona fide demon, Joshua doesn't freak out so much as he jumps for joy and eagerly asks him if ghosts exist, too.
  • In Daily Life with Monster Girl, Mero, picture above, wants to be a victim of tragic love. She especially wants to be a Unrequited Tragic Maiden.
    • Queen Lorelei, Mero's Mom, was later reveal to be an amp up version of this. It's to the point where she makes trouble for her subjects and almost murders Kimihito.
  • Princess Tutu
    • Drosselmeyer delights in tragic stories and gets excited whenever things begin to take a dark turn.
    • Autor, being a Drosselmeyer fanboy, is implied to be like this as well—he finds the powerful ability to manipulate people by writing stories to be "thrilling".
    • And then, in season 2, there's Mytho after his heart is tainted with Raven's blood. When another character is about to cut out his heart, he requests they "kiss it and dye your lips red with its blood".
  • The Baku in Nightmare Inspector fit the name of this trope almost literally.
  • The eponymous character of Hell Teacher Nube is absolutely fascinated with the occult—what with being called to exorcise objects, places, or people every now and then—and it took him a very, very, very long time to acknowledge that Miss Ritsuko isn't exactly thrilled to listen to his encyclopedic knowledge of it (terrified into either catatonia or the well-placed Megaton Punch, yes. But not thrilled.) His student, Miki Hosokawa, isn't just fascinated, she'll willingly go and poke it just to see what happens.
  • Kujyou Himeka of Kamichama Karin thinks bugs are cute. All types of bugs. This includes cockroaches and termites.
  • Ryou Bakura from Yu-Gi-Oh, the manga, likes collecting weird and occult things. Jonouchi was terrified.
  • Mari Illustrious Makanami from Rebuild of Evangelion really, really likes the smell of LCL - a really sticky, orangeish-red liquid which, according to the protagonist (who was seriously creeped out by that stuff on a few occasions), smells like blood. It gets even more disturbing if you know that it actually IS blood - from an giant, featureless white monster with tons of little, moving human legs sticking out of where the lower body should be. Squick.
  • In GetBackers, there's Takuma Fudou... who seems to get turned on by some pretty messed up things. Like the idea of "slurping up" Ban's blood, as well as him "feeling incredible chills rising throughout his body" when he kept his maggot-infested arm with him to remind himself of Ban.
  • Furuya from the manga Sankarea is pretty much all about this trope. His nightmare fetish for zombies is pretty much what catapults the entire plot, since he decided (for his own ego's sake) to try to resurrect his pet cat Babu into a zombie. Just to see if he could.
  • Hidan, one of the Akatsuki members from Naruto, enjoys pain, be it his own or his enemy's.
  • Mayuri Kurotsuchi from Bleach goes as far as to watch his own lieutenant/daughter get the life sucked out of her by his enemy resurecting himself, and then proceeds to tell his enemy how interesting that particular technique is.
  • Ada of Pandora Hearts is into the occult and medieval torture devices. Who knew?
  • Shinra of Durarara!! makes it known that he thinks Celty is beautiful without a head. He also spent most of grade school and high school fanboying Shizuo's crazy rage fits.
  • Emotionless Girl Anju of Karin habitually carries around Boogie-Kun, a doll possessed by a serial killer with a knife in its hand. Angu tells Karin Boogie-Kun's past history with a cheerful smile on her face and later mentions that she collects other creepy dolls that all have interesting histories. She then asks Karin if she wants to hear about them but Karin quickly leaves in fear.
  • Ryuuko of Wolf Guy Wolfen Crest gets turned on by violence of any kind (though not done to her it seems) to the point where she masturbates on top of a school rooftop after a few students had been gunned down there. And she also wants to bang the strongest guy alive.
  • Karate Shoukoushi Kohinata Minoru: During their fight Kevin gets excited at seeing Minoru's fearful eyes, grabs him by the throat and squeezes hard enough so as to make him cough up blood. He then drinks the blood while saying "Mmm...Delicious flavor...LET ME DRINK MORE!"
  • Black Butler
    • Maylene goes into fangirl mode upon seeing a mummy in episode 4.
    • And Grell gets really excited at the thought of both cutting Sebastian into pieces and having his babies.
    • Undertaker enjoys the feeling of having the water sucked out of his body while being buried neck-deep in salt.
  • Aki Hinata from Keroro Gunsou finds slimy, squishy things adorable and squees at the thought of Keroro's race secretly being hideous pudding monsters or something. This is explained by her being the editor of a manga for boys. Yet there's a lot of scenes of her being molested by weird, slimy monsters for some reason... and enjoying it.
  • Boku and Morino from Goth are a pair of nightmare fetishists who investigate murders in hopes of uncovering the evil that lurks within their society. Boku doesn't flinch when the remains of a murder victim is found, as he wants nothing more than to see someone die in such a fashion even if that person is Morino. Morino even went to the extent of wearing the clothes they found near a mutilated and decayed body, just to see what it feels like.
  • Detective Conan
    • Conan (aka Shinichi), Heiji, and occasionally the Shounen Tantei often see bloody and violent crime scenes as exciting or interesting challenges.
    • Right at the beginning of the series, when Ran is crying after seeing a man get messily decapitated on a roller coaster ride (with the resultant fountain of blood), Shinichi is cheerful and assures her that "this kind of thing happens all the time".
    • Made even more creepy by the fact that Shinichi's behaviour is apparently the direct result of his dad Yuusaku, who not only is one of these as well but constantly brought him along to crime scenes when he was a kid.
  • Franken Fran has a smattering of these on occasion. First off is Fran herself, whose reaction to a giant humanoid sea monster is "It sure is cute. I want one." Then there's the "People Of Unusual Taste" who wound themselves to get Fran to operate on them. And then the extras give us a little boy who responds to a toothy spirit by sticking his head in her mouth.
  • Mariko Shinobu from Oniisama E seems to be this. She tells Nanako and Tomoko the story of two Star-Crossed Lovers who got into a Suicide Pact almost with glee, apparently thinking it's the most romantic love story ever.
  • Death Note
    • Light Yagami, to an extent. He thinks shinigami are cute, makes 'jokes' about how being a shinigami might be interesting and his fascination with the Death Note is a little...eerie.
    • Not that Misa is much better. She tells Rem that a Shinigami dying in an Heroic Sacrifice is "a beautiful way to die."
  • Romania from Axis Powers Hetalia, who is a little too gleeful when he explains to his friend Bulgaria the legends of his most famous leader... Vlad Tepes.

Comic Books

  • The eponymous Sam and Max.
  • Ragdoll of the Secret Six. He happily accepts the description "the bent little castrated horndog" and delights in his ability to make absolutely any word or phrase sound unsavory, from "to my batpole!" to "cheese-stuffed manicotti".
    • And then there's Black Alice, the first person in-universe to find Ragdoll hot. Even Ragdoll was squicked out by this.
  • The Joker of Batman.
    • Especially in the 2011 "New 52" release of Detective Comics (Issue #1).
  • Another member of Batman's rogues, the Scarecrow, might also qualify.
    • Scarecrow pretty much IS this trope.
  • Willie Pete of Empowered lives this trope. His name may be another name for White Phosphorus, the other implictation from the name is in full effect, and often introduced to the skulls of his victims, particularly the eyesocket.
  • Kid Gladiator, the son of X-Men foe/ally Gladiator. His reaction being turned into a Brood? He thought it was awesome, and protested being transformed back to normal.


  • In Hellraiser, Frank Cotton's sadomasochistic love/hate relationship with the Cenobites and the Lemarchand Box makes him almost a textbook example of this type. He also at times appears to get a bizarre kick out of occupying the attic as a skinless, flesh-consuming monster which might suggest that there is a sadistic as well as masochistic side to his tastes.
    • And then there are the Cenobites themselves.

Pinhead: We have such sights to show you...

  • Especially in The Movie, The Addams Family considered their macabre surroundings normal. Gomez was implicitly a necrophile, and both parents were explicitly into bondage.
    • Along with S&M. "Ropes, red hot pokers..." "Later, my darling." Even the concept of dying doesn't seem to frighten them and when Debbie attempts to kill them in Addams Family Values they act sympathetic.
      • This may also be because they're now somewhat remorseful about trying to get her out of the family, since it turns out she fits right in.
    • Morticia searches the impostor Fester's bag and remarks "Crowbar? Dynamite? Cyanide? Fester, as if we'd run out." Also the children are shown playing with weapons and even a working electric chair. Their parents aren't even particularly annoyed at the resulting brownouts.
      • "Aren't even particularly annoyed" is an understatement. In one scene, Morticia sees her daughter Wednesday toting around a large knife and asks her if she plans on using it on her brother. Wednesday replies in the affirmative so Morticia scolds her, takes the knife away, and hands her an even bigger one.
    • Some found the handling of the characters in the movies took the series back to its macabre comic strip roots.
      • It does have strong precedents in the TV series, in which they use a dungeon full of torture implements as a playroom. They cured headaches with a headvice, backaches with a bed of nails or the rack and claimed that an iron maiden was "relaxing". They even regularly wield medieval weaponry or, in Uncle Fester's case, a blunderbuss.
      • The TV series also had mentions of Gomez and Morticia going on several honeymoons, even long after the children are born, to such delightful places as Death Valley. This very romantic relationship was very much ahead of it's time. The show has, ironically, become known as depicting the most psychologically healthy marriage of any twentieth century television. (Although this probably says more about Sitcom couples than the Addams Family.)
  • Lydia Deetz from Beetlejuice had no problem living in a Haunted House, though the eponymous character was a considerable nuisance. She even became his friend in the spinoff cartoon.
  • Ray Stantz of the Ghostbusters, especially in the animated series.
  • Willy Wonka (at least the 1971 film version) gleefully remarking: "The suspense is terrible! I hope it lasts..."
  • In Dark Angel: The Ascent, Noble Demon Veronica adores old porno films: "Humans mating... so beautiful."
  • Harlen "The Reporter" Maguire in Road to Perdition. Not only is he a news photographer who specializes in crime scenes, he also moonlights as a assassin and takes a certain professional pride in his work.
    • To the extent that he considers a murder victim being Only Mostly Dead to be an unfortunate obstacle to a good photograph...
  • Elvira, Mistress of the Dark plays her reputation for laughs:

(asked if she worships Satan): I dated him once, but I wouldn't exactly call it worshipping....
(her trademark goodbye): Unpleasant Dreams!

  • The Jack Nicholson version of The Joker certainly is one of these when he meets Vicki Vale at the museum, reacting with bored indifference to (if not actually being turned off by) Vicki's modeling photographs, but being visibly impressed with (if not actually aroused by) her gruesome war photos.
  • Although it's somewhat justified by the fact that he defuses bombs for a living, Sargent William James of The Hurt Locker seems to enjoy playing with high explosives a bit more than can be considered strictly professional. And even the other bomb techs are a bit creeped out upon learning that he keeps souvenirs of every bomb he's ever handled in a box under his bed.
  • Bella Swan (or even the author herself) from Twilight, though this leans more towards Vampires Are Sex Gods. Depending on who you ask, Your Mileage may vary between this and Nightmare/FetishRetardant.
  • There are two twin characters from The House of Yes, Marty and Jackie, who like to have sex while reenacting the JFK assassination.
  • Jinya Yanase from Teito Monogatari Gaiden is a young hospital worker who's obsessed with the stories about Taira no Masakado and his Dragon, the Evil Sorcerer Yasunori Kato. He also happens to work in a mental hospital located near to the grave of Taira no Masakado himself, which fuels his imagination. Little did the guy know that he would end up as Kato's Soul Jar, though.
  • That punk kid in the 1989 dark comedy The Burbs, who actually invites all his high-school buddies over to the neighborhood to witness the quirky, outlandish, and sometimes downright grotesque activities of his neighbors, which include everything from "spy missions" carried out by a deranged Vietnam vet to a family of Eastern European subhumans who murder intruders and apparently eat them. At the end of the movie, amidst all the commotion, he gestures at everything around him and shouts: "God, I love this street!"
  • Raven in Cecil B. Demented. Drinks goat urine, enjoys getting branded, and at one point says, "I haven't had this much fun since my last livestock mutilation!"
  • You Bastard may find this out about yourself after watching the Hostel movies, especially the infamous Mrs. Bathory scene.
  • In The Human Centipede Part 2, the original movie is a Show Within a Show. Martin, the Villain Protagonist, actually finds it erotic.
  • In Return of the Living Dead, we have Trash, who thinks a picnic in a cemetery is a fantastic way to spend an evening, and who becomes visibly aroused when talking about her idea of her worst way to die, to the points that she tears all her clothes off and dances naked in said cemetery.


  • Harry Potter's Hagrid is perhaps the most famous example. Hogwarts's Care of Magical Creatures teacher has a clear preference for dangerous beasts, including a Cerberus Captain Ersatz and possible descendant (Fluffy), a Norwegian ridgeback dragon (Norbert who's really a Norberta), a hippogriff (Buckbeak), and a giant fracking spider (Aragog).
    • Ollivander is another possible example; when Harry is fitted for his wand, Ollivander remarks with what seems to be almost pleasure that Harry has been selected by a wand which was made using the same materials as those used to fashion Voldemort's. Harry is understandably a little weirded out by this, and by Ollivander's next comment that he expects Harry to do great things, because so did Voldemort. "Terrible, yes - but great."
  • The H.P. Lovecraft story "The Hound" stars two Asexual Life Partners who spend their days collecting whatever ghastly things they can find, from Tomes of Eldritch Lore to corpses.
  • Most of the characters, in Andrew Boland’s novel Hell's Children, are definitely Nightmare Fetishists. Going on the author’s biography, it would seem that he is one of these to, which would explain a lot.
  • Tommy in Bloodsucking Fiends. His first words after learning his girlfriend was a vampire? "That is the most awesome thing I've ever heard. Let's have sex with our socks off." The sequel gives us Abby Normal, a Perky Goth who didn't jump at the call to be a vampire's minion but hunted it down and demanded the job.
  • Vaughn, Ballard, Helen, and Gabrielle from J. G. Ballard's Crash. More so in the movie than the book, the whole plot seems to revolve around sexual fetishism involving grievous injury and automobile accidents.
  • Kiera Graves from Mindy Mackay's Peacebreakers fits this trope for her erotic fascination with scar tissue.
  • The Southern Vampire Mysteries make frequent mention of the vampire-obsessed "fang bangers" who get off on having their blood drained, having sex with vampires, or just being around them.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe has the Yuuzhan Vong, a species of genetic engineers who fetishize Body Horror, both on themselves and on others.
  • Beth from the old Phyllis Reynolds Naylor books "Boys vs. Girls" was constantly reading horror books, but it made her a nervous wreck, while her drama queen little sister Caroline loved everything bloody and disgusting as long as it was dramatic.
  • In American Psycho, Patrick Bateman, a sociopathic serial killer mentions that he masturbates to a scene from the thriller film Body Double where a woman is drilled to death with a power drill. (Over the course of the book, he also tortures a woman with a power drill and does things that are even worse.)
  • Perdido Street Station gives us Mister Motley, a crime lord who spends a lot of time in the shadows. In the city of New Crobuzon, those who commit petty crimes are often turned into Re-Made by bio-thaumaturges, given animal or mechanical features that fit their crime. Motley has undergone this process voluntarily, hundreds of times, and now not only looks like a rolling mass of disjointed features, but has hired the main character's girlfriend to create a sculpture to his "glory."
  • Discussed Trope in A Song of Ice and Fire. The Mad King, Aerys Targaryen, had a fetish for burning people to death. His guard Jaime Lannister noted that it was only after doing so that he would visit his wife's chambers. And to add to it, he was so violent in bed with her that Jaime wondered if he was obligated to intervene.

Live Action TV

  • iCarly: The "Neck Infection" video elicits a Two Girls, One Cup reaction from Carly, Freddie and two other kids Sam shows it to, but she genuinely seems to get a kick out of it.
  • The Munsters were much the same as the Addams family, though they were actual monsters rather than morbid people. They even pitied their normal-looking extremely attractive relative for being "ugly."
  • Dr. House often entertains horrifying cases; his response to a particularly disturbing symptom is often "Cool!"
  • Woody the coroner from Psych goes to extremes with this. He often eats lunch over corpses and once even shocked himself by DRAWING on a body.
    • Shawn can also be this way around the deceased
    • Lassiter can be this way around women:
      • (After Lassiter flirts, painfully, with a woman suspected of murdering previous lovers):
      • Juliet: You disturb me. And your theory on this murder disturbs me. And you disturb me.
      • Lassiter: You said that twice.
      • Juliet: Yes.
  • Although not exactly a fetishist, The Doctor has a tendency at times to happily wander into situations which horrify and disgust those around him and then, much to the confusion and bewilderment of his friends, cheerfully start pointing out things that he finds particularly interesting.
    • Good example from The Girl in the Fireplace:

(The Doctor pulls the mask off a Clockwork Robot to reveal the inhuman workings underneath - everyone else recoils)
The Doctor: Oh, you are beautiful. No, you are, you're gorgeous!

    • When the Doctor encounters a werewolf and it begins to break out of its cage, the look on his face is of obscene curiosity, even when everyone else is running in terror.
      • Actually, it's implied the transformation has a hypnotic effect on anyone watching it, thus providing the werewolf with easy prey. Just before the Doctor appears, Rose tells her fellow prisoners not to look at the werewolf, as they all seemed to have slipped into a trance. Queen Victoria does, however, berate the Doctor and Rose for their light-hearted attitude to horrifying situations.
      • In fact, Rose and the Doctor grin and hug over the novelty of being attacked by a werewolf when they get a moment to breathe in the midst of being chased by said werewolf.
    • See also: The academic interest that the Doctor takes in the Midnight Entity in the episode Midnight. Which is one of the reasons the humans on the bus turn against him. Possibly a subversion, as the Doctor is still scared of the thing, but he's not scared out of his head.
    • In the Big Finish audio Caerdroia, Eight develops a Literal Split Personality. His Cloudcuckoolander side inexplicably thinks death by stampeding cows, the threat of which is worrying most of the other characters, is pretty funny:

(nearly laughing) They get together, they run you over...

    • The Doctor and his companions have a general tendency to completely weird out anyone not used to their lifestyle, case in point being Rory in Vampires in Venice- particularly when they squee over the alien vampires on meeting up.
  • On Supernatural, Sam and Dean Winchester treat creepy, unnatural murders and monsters as ordinary occurrences. Every once in a while, one of them with Lampshade how weird their attitude and their lives are. Justified in three words "The Family Business", they were raised knowing what was out there and how to fight it.
    • Dean in particular is shown as being very excited when they get to hunt a werewolf, and at one point Sam gets him to come on a personal mission by promising that there will be zombies. There aren't.
  • Fringe has Dr. Walter Bishop, who doesn't bat an eye at events that disgust his teammates, and often displays genuine fascination and excitement when dealing with downright grotesque situations.
  • Count von Count from Sesame Street. Also, Oscar the Grouch, and the other Grouches by extention, in a different sense from the Count's.
  • Abby on NCIS. Given that she's a forensic analyst, this makes sense.
    • Also, Jimmy Palmer sometimes shows inappropriate enthusiasm for gory details. One example includes him cheerfully saying "At first we thought it was a serial killer!", another referring to the shapeliness of cut-off human legs. It's more disturbing in him then it is in Abby - in fact, in McGee's book the character "Pimmy Jalmer" was a necrophiliac.
  • Gonzo of the Muppets. One episode of The Muppet Show (the one with Alice Cooper) had him trying to make a Deal with the Devil - not for the power, but just because he thought it was a neat idea.
  • Similar to the Doctor mentioned above, Firefly's River Tam is....well, curious about a lot of things. Like taking a nap on top of a coffin containing a corpse that wasn't really a corpse. Or watching her brother and the ship's mechanic have sex in the engine room.
    • Kaylee and Simon getting it on inspire entirely different kinds of dreams in many...
      • Very true, but most of us are not his sister.
      • Are we forgetting that it's heavily implied that she's partially psychic and might actually be able to actually feel them having sex, like she did with Wash and Zoe?
  • Buffy and Angel: Darla and Angelus and Drusilla and Spike.
    • Giles' academic interest sometimes seems a bit too enthusiastic to others.

Giles: Grave robbing. That's new...interesting!
Buffy: I know you meant to say "gross and disturbing.
Giles: Yes, yes, of course. Terrible thing; must, must put a stop to it. ...ermh, dammit!

  • Chloe in Harper's Island has a very enthusiastic interest in serial killers, especially John Wakefield. In one episode she chose to go search through a forest to find a murderer's gravestone over partying at an open bar.
  • The BBC version of Sherlock Holmes is sometimes portrayed this way. A self-proclaimed "high-functioning sociopath," he is genuinely fascinated and excited by morbid or disturbing cases, causing Watson to be occasionally horrified by how callous he can be. Unlike many of the other examples, this one is not Played for Laughs.
    • Really? You don't think Watson missing the action of a violent war might qualify?
  • The protagonist of Dexter is serial killer who works for the police and gets fascinated with gruesome murders, especially in the first season.


  • The song "Only Happy When It Rains" by Garbage is a combination of this and a parody of Alternative Rock Wangst.
  • "Maxwell's Silver Hammer"
  • Tom Lehrer's "The Irish Ballad" (AKA "Sing Rickety-Tickety-Tin")
  • Emilie Autumn is probably one of these, considering the subjects of most of her songs and the stories she creates in her concerts, songs and now a book about a Victorian Bedlam House for little girls.
  • Gore-related lyrics in Death Metal or goregrind. Most of us find the idea of knives being repeatedly inserted into human vaginas and used as sexual aids deeply distressing: Cannibal Corpse apparently find it amusing.
  • The Gothic Archies' "Walking My Gargoyle" is about an eccentric man's love for his pet gargoyle.
  • Crystal Castles. Oh god, Crystal Castles.
  • Many of The Misfits' songs fit into this category, especially "Last Caress" (about killing babies and raping mothers) and "Bullet" (about JFK's assassination and treating his widow as a sex object).
  • A good number of Rasputina's songs treat dark subject matter, but most aren't treated in this fashion. However, the glee that is expressed at the idea of pumping holy water into the anus of a possessed man in "Christian Soldiers" and at the idea of cannibalism among the Donner Party and colonial Pilgrims in "The Donner Party" do delve into this territory.
  • Evanescence: Opinions differ but they put some sexy riffs behind songs about death and and horrific circumstances. Just check out Tourniquet and The Other Side.
  • Buckethead is one himself. Big time. Much of his music also sounds like a horror movie soundtrack.
  • The singer of the Creature Feature song Buried Alive wants to be Buried Alive.

Newspaper Comics

  • To describe Lio as one of these would be a bit mild. He thinks a zombie eating someone's face is absolutely hilarious. (His father has been seen reading a book entitled Is My Kid a Psycho?)
  • Calvin, anyone?

Calvin: My mandate also includes weird bugs.

    • Perhaps the most chilling of all Calvin's fantasies had his parents clucking over him delightedly as he plays with his Tinkertoys ("He's creating whole worlds over there") - without knowing that their son is imagining that he is the god of his own private universe and enjoys sending mortals to Hell. Bill Watterson's lurid drawings do not help.
  • A classic Charles Addams cartoon shows a movie audience all with somber, teary-eyed faces... except for Uncle Fester, who's grinning delightedly.

Tabletop RPG

  • Exalted players have a joke. Everyone Is Bi, to the point that considering a homosexual relation to a god made of goo is commonplace. If he's hot enough.
  • GURPS has 'xenophilia' as a Disadvantage, which is described as being anything from offering to buy drinks to enemy soldiers in a bar to shaking tentacles with things man was not meant to know.
  • Slaanesh followers. That is all.
    • To summarise, if it exists, they will find a way to derive pleasure from it. It isn't necessarily sexual pleasure, but that tends to be the most common. They take this trope very literally.
    • For bonus points, try picturing what would happen if Slaanesh managed to get ahold of a Tyranid Hiveship.
      • Done. Not Safe For Work and/or Sanity.
        • AAAAAAAAARGH! WHY didn't I LISTEN?!
    • Dark Eldar are almost as bad as Slaaneshi cultists, revolving their entire society (if it can be called that) around inflicting extensive and painful tortures on anyone they can capture. While they're essentially forced to do this, otherwise they have their souls eaten by Slaanesh, they make no illusions as to how much they enjoy it.
  • Creatures like dragons, demons and the like are often repulsive, but, as have been proved repeatedly, humans will screw or be screwed by practically any kind of monster at one point or another.
    • Well, considering that in some games dragons can change form and certain demons are either shape-shifters or have the appearance of humans, it's not as squicky as one would think. Especially in the case of demons and devils. I mean, would you honestly think that a succubus/incubus would be ugly?
      • Succubus no, Incubus; depends on the interpretation. Some descriptions of incubus are that they are more like rape-ghosts than the sultry seduction of a succubus; of course succubus are sometimes accompanied by a violent ghost who beats the hell out of whoever fucked said succubus.
    • Pffft, even angels and fairies get in on the action, and a large number of them are far more beautiful than a mortal could ever be. That fits them quite neatly here.
    • And it goes the other way too. "'Half-dragon' is an inherited template that can be added to any living, corporeal creature." This includes oozes, plants, and aberrations.
  • The Tzimisce from Vampire: The Masquerade.
  • The Ashwood Abbey in Hunter: The Vigil. Especially the Libertines.
  • In Genius: The Transgression, the Staunen breed of Mad Scientist tend towards this. In fact, the page quote comes from the Staunen section of the rulebook.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, Yawgmoth's goal is to turn the multiverse into Phyrexia, his idea of paradise. This would be fine, except for the fact that Yawgmoth has a very warped idea of paradise.
    • With Yawgmoth and Phyrexia destroyed once and for all, the Glistening Oil left in Karn has taken over his beloved Mirrodin. And his mind. With the five suns of Mirrodin, the previously Monoblack (and Artifact) Phyrexia is now split into the five colours. White Phyrexia's stated goal is to bring the glory of New Phyrexia to the rest of the Multiverse. They have a severe dermatophobia, emphasized by taking the new recruits, flaying their skin, and stitching them together.
      • White Phyrexia is also known for wearing cracked porcelain masks and carapaces, said to be stronger than steel. These bits of porcelain are made from dead Mirran that didn't make the cut.
  • More than one Prestige Class from Dungeons & Dragons tends to attract these types. Complete Arcane has the blood magus, who really enjoyed the sound of his blood flowing when he came back to life, and can do things like store spells in his scars and blood or teleport between two living creatures through their blood. It also includes the alienist, who's made contact with Things Man Was Not Meant to Know. The fleshwarper from Lords of Madness does the alienist one better, deliberately altering himself with Mad Artist glee, and eventually turning into an aberration. Sea witches from Stormwrack delight in the power of the storm. The best part? All of those classes are open to good characters.
    • Bad Powers, Bad People examples include the walker in the waste from Sandstorm, who loves the clean beauty of the desert and works to share it with the world. The Book of Vile Darkness, unsurprisingly, has several: the cancer mage with his tumor familiar, the vermin lord with his armor made of living bugs, and various flavors of demon- and devil-worshippers.


  • In The Mikado, Ko-Ko and Katisha bond over mutual nightmare fetishism and end up falling in love.

Video Games

  • Depraved Omnisexual Admiral ZEX is attracted to "vile, wretched" creatures... especially humans, whom his species considers nauseating. He has similarly inclined fans, who also tend to be Genki Girls.
  • Vincent, one of the supporting characters in Silent Hill 3, eagerly describes the rusted, blood-splattered nightmare world around him as "fascinating", and briefly claims to be confused that the grotesque creatures the protagonist has been fighting throughout the game "look like monsters" to her. But then again, we never quite know if he and the heroine/player are seeing the same thing.
    • Vincent has nothing on Claudia, who explicitly refers to aforementioned rust-and-blood-stained nightmare as a "paradise" and endeavours to have it spread over the entire planet.
    • Heather also voices an interest in things that deeply horrify normal people. Then again, she is Alessa Gillespie, so a bit of an interest in the dark and disturbing is pretty much mandatory.
  • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl has an NPC in Hearthome City complaining about Amity Park, a park which allows only "cute" Pokemon, discriminating against his Steelix and Gyarados.
    • Several Gym Leaders in the franchise qualify, such as the shamelessly sadistic ninja master Koga.
  • In Jagged Alliance 2, you might end up doing battle with nightmarish insectoid monsters that spit acid and bite you. Each of your mercenaries views them from a wildly different perspective. Just for one: The merc, "Grunty", will refer to the monsters as "cuddly creatures", and openly wonders if they can be domesticated.
  • As a child, Kelda from Overlord 2 thinks the sinister Creepy Child Witch Boy is cute and interesting, and gleefully helps him hunt down and destroy the children who tormented and bullied him, then destroy the Winter's Eve festivities, despite not being particularly evil herself. Her attitudes don't change much once she grows up, even talking about how she hates her town for their treatment of her childhood friend, now an Evil Overlord and her lover.
  • Metal Gear Solid brings us Volgin, Vamp and Ocelot, all of whom could probably orgasm purely through the act of hurting someone. Raikov, Volgin's bitch (for lack of a better word) probably also counts.
    • Volgin's fangirls might count as well, at least as far as their taste in large, scary fictional men is concerned.
  • In both Dissidia Final Fantasy games, Penelo declares that the Cloud of Darkness' snake attachments (who have no eyeballs and really sharp teeth) are "soooo CUTE!"
  • Princess Agitha from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess who is absolutely obsessed with bugs.
  • In Dead Rising, Kent the photographer has an edge of this plus Mad Artist - the first time he runs into Frank and shows off his photography, he sounds absolutely riveted while showing off his "most violent shot!", and from there, it only gets worse and worse. The next time Frank encounters him, depending on his arrival's timing, he'll be keen on either photographing a human transforming into a zombie or stripping Frank down to his briefs, slapping a spiked collar and chain on him, and watching him get torn limb from limb by the undead and seem really excited about it. Of course, he ends up being one of the game's Psychopaths.
    • Both Kent and Frank are literal examples, as the game rates your zombie photographs for "eroticism" and Frank will lecherously cheer if you manage to get a Panty Shot of a dead woman.
  • Leanne was raised by a Torture Technician who kept her isolated from other people. Consequently, she loves the smell of blood and sound of screaming as reminders of her only parental figure. Unusually for this trope, she's neither comical nor monstrous, but psychologically damaged to the point of being a borderline Woobie.
  • The Maiden in Black, a creepy and powerful demon who has wax permanently fused over her eyes. This hasn't stopped the questionable fanart, though..
  • Leon Powalski has a rather distinct fascination with very specific aspects of Star Wolf, given the Smash Taunt in Super Smash Bros Brawl. Panther Caroso practically calls out on him. The voiceover gives far more impact than plain text..
    • Leon: Star Wolf is really giving it his all out there. I'm more than a bit envious of him. Those razor-sharp claws. Those keen fangs. He moves wildly and fights with the spirit of a warrior possessed. Any prey he sets his eye on is doomed to be shredded to pieces.
      • Honestly, that just looks like the commentary subtitles from Ninja Warrior (except, obviously, they're talking about an obstacle course rather than a death match).
  • Tira from the Soul Calibur series is literally a Nightmare Fetishist. She is absolutely devoted to Big Bad Nightmare, the monstrous embodiment of Soul Edge itself, whom she sees as a kindred spirit. In the fourth game she doesn't even really mind that Nightmare will likely eventually consume her soul; she is that loyal to him. In her ending, she is distraught when she realizes that Nightmare's body can no longer withstand his own power and clings to him while desperately begging him not to leave her alone. She gets her wish in a way when the remnants of Soul Edge's power joins with her.
  • Corpse Party: Blood Covered has a particularly creepy example in Sakutaro Morishige, who seems completely normal before The Reveal. Said reveal comes about when you discover him blushing and gushing over the smeared remains of his best friend's corpse, filming it on his cell phone. Of course, he doesn't know it's her at the time and does not take it well when he finds out. Ayumi Shinozaki is a subversion. She loves telling scary stories. Being in a scary story? Not so much.
  • Knowledge Aspiration sims in The Sims 2 often want to be abducted by aliens, have near-death experiences, become vampires or go through other paranormal experiences other sims dread.
  • You can be this in Hatoful Boyfriend by pursuing a romance with Dr. Iwamine Shuu all the way to the bitter end.
  • In Touhou: Phantasmagoria of Dim. Dream, a scientist from another universe travels to Gensokyo to capture one of the magical denizens to prove the existence of magic to her peers back home. As a player character, her victory quotes are often delighted by the supernatural entities she's encountered.

Yumemi: Oh, a real evil spirit/ghost/witch/shrine maiden? How marvelous!

Web Comics

  • Shuinji Watanabe from Sexy Losers. In the beginning, he was "just" a necrophile, but he was flanderized into being a fan of zombies, amputees and flesh wounds. Other characters of the webcomic apply too.
  • Bugbears in Skin Deep basically exist to find people wherever they are and scare them. A character even describes that some of the the reallife examples here are bugbears inuniverse.
  • Yuki from Megatokyo. She has her very own pet zombie godzilla (Zom Zom-chan) which she tries her very best to make as Kawaii as possible.
  • Tsukiko from Order of the Stick. The first time she met the lich Xykon, she hit on him. (Later, she's seen carrying around a Xykon doll.) She also acted like a mother to a group of wights she had raised, stating that 'a pulse is not a prerequisite for being loved.'
    • Not to mention Nale and Sabine.
  • Zimmy from Gunnerkrigg Court is happiest in the rain, because it somehow gives her a brief respite from her out-of-control powers.
  • In Drowtales, Mel creeps out even other drow with her love for spiders.
  • Rose Lalonde from Homestuck studies the zoologically dubious in her spare time, preferably in her trusty grimoire. Not to mention her chumhandle, "tentacleTherapist". Given her penchant for psychoanalysis, it's most likely that it's intended to be read as "tentacle Therapist", not "tentacle The rapist", but either is pretty Nightmare Fetishistic.
    • Feferi really doesn't understand why Jade (along with most of the readers) was so freaked out by the Gods of the Furthest Ring. Although this is justified, seeing as her guardian lusus (parental figure) was their emissary, so she's quite used to seeing mind-warpingly bizarre Cosmic Horrors by this point.
    • Also Aradia, after her ascension to God Tier. She honestly doesn't see why others are creeped out by her eagerness to throw a "corpse party" (read: funeral) and sees death as something worth celebrating.
  • Sparks in Girl Genius have a disturbing tendency to get fired up when discussing any kind of experiments. The more gruesome, twisted, dangerous, or unusual the experiment the better! Also, this:

"Not a bad idea, but d'Omas' taste in women was... well... let's just say it was lucky for him he could build his own. There'll be no d'Omas heirs showing up... except in glass jars."

Web Original

Ralph: When I know there's going to be violence involved, I always, always make sure I have a bottle of lubricant and some paper towel on hand.

  • Anna Chase of Survival of the Fittest v4. She is a complete and utter aversion of Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies. She seems particularly fond of psychological horror and slasher movies, and can be described as a bit obsessed over them at times. It has been shown that on a couple of occasions, if something reminds her of a horror movie she could easily have a "Cool!" type reaction, though not always. Occasionally, this, combined with her normal personality, sides into Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant tendencies, as you might expect.
    • In another example, the Big Bad, Danya, also appears to be an example of this trope, as although he has an agenda to his actions, he seems to genuinely enjoy watching teenagers killing each other, for the most part. In fact, a good portion of the time he is cackling over how so-and-so died that day whenever announcements come up, often poking fun at the victims. He also reads SOTF fanwork for fun. Speaking of which, the program in-universe does have people who watch the show, even if a Guilty Pleasure interest in it, including a number of characters that appear on the island.
  • Carmilla of the Whateley Universe. Hawthorne dorm residents were horrified when she went down to the dorm's deepest level into a room you aren't supposed to enter and faced the unnameable horrors inside. She treated it like a big party. But then, she is an Eldritch Abomination herself.
  • CSupernova's Modern Thief, as seen here.
  • Mizue Atta from Mitadake Saga is shown to be extremely interested in the dead body in the school. She even mentions how silly she thinks morals are. She's utterly adorable despite this.
  • XIX is a more ... literal example, but writes amazing serial killer POV's.

Western Animation

  • Not even Disney shies away from this trope. Lilo and Stitch's Lilo practices voodoo, owns a handmade doll that she pretends has a bug-infested skull, and is generally considered a freak by her peers. Her only true friends turn out to be from outer space.
    • In the Recycled: the Series, she did make friends with another, similar human girl. Lilo gave the girl a pet alien experiment shaped like a bat who ate snot to help her with her sinus problems. Really.
  • As mentioned in Film, Lydia in the 'toon version Beetlejuice not only became friends with the gentler (but still revolting) Beej, she's been shown to own spiders, and everything she does from starting a band ("The Brides of Frankenstein") to designing Shakespearean costumes (which got Ol' Will's thumbs up of approval) have strong Gothic undertones. Nevermind that she does happily shunt off to the Neitherworld.
  • In the Where's Waldo cartoon, actually called Where's Wally?, the title character will constantly and cheerfully remark on their current plight; for example, falling hundreds of feet "to certain doom!"
    • He also smiles constantly while watching others get pummeled or is in danger of a pummeling himself (said eagerly: "Who's the menacing fellow who looks as if he'd like to twist me into a knot and throw me off a cliff?"), is excited to be standing in front of an angry stampede, be attacked by monsters, be tied up in chains, be taken prisoner ("Wow, Woof, didjya hear that? We're official prisoners!"), hop into a dangerous pit of doom (shaking bag and smiling: "Well, Woof, apparently I didn't bring my parachute."), and is nothing short of thrilled to be in a cave-in. ("Wow, Woof! It's a real cave-in! And we've only been here just a few minutes! (elated sigh) How lucky can you get?") Seriously, how did Woof survive being around this guy?
  • In Growing Up Creepie, Creepie Chreecher falls in love with a boy working at a carnival who she believes is half-tarantula, but loses interest when she finds out it was just a costume. In a later episode her interest in him returns once she finds out his adoptive mother is a giant spider.
  • Most of the cast of Superjail seems to be this trope. Even Jared, occasionally.
  • Raven of the Teen Titans displays some morbid inclinations, has been described as "way creepy" and... should the world get turned into gothic ruins and blood red sky? "Cool." Of course, in this case it's hard for her to help it, since she is the daughter of a demon after all.
  • Very, very little fazes The Magic School Bus' Ms. Frizzle if it can be used as a teaching moment. Moments like getting ensnared by a giant spider, getting eaten by a student, and falling into a volcano.
  • Dr. Potterswheel from Moral Orel is sexually aroused by lacerations, scars and disfiguration. He accidentally killed his wife by loading her full of painkillers after an accident rather than actually treating her wounds. It's possible that this could still happen to Bloberta, who spent entire days mutilating her own vagina to seduce him. Keep in mind, absolutely none of this is Played for Laughs.
    • Well, it's Played for Laughs a little bit. After all, she does use a jackhammer... They just make up for it by emphasizing how unhappy she is.
  • Cheryl, the secretary from Archer:

Cheryl: You seriously don't think that's hot?
Pam: I seriously think you're scary.
Cheryl: No, nononono. Like, a big sweaty fireman carries you out of a burning building, lays you on the sidewalk and you think "OK, he's gonna give me mouth to mouth," but instead, he just starts choking the shit out of you, and the last sensation you feel before you die is that he's squeezing your throat so hard that a big glob of drool slips right off his teeth and -* blurp* - lands right on your popped out eyeball.
Pam: Jesus Christ!
Cheryl: I know, right?
Lana: What the hell?!
Cheryl: I'm wet just thinking about it.

  • Edith from Despicable Me. Her bedtime prayers include the request to not let bugs go into their ears and lay eggs in their skulls/brains, she finds it "cooool!" that she and her sisters are sleeping in old, inactive bombs after Gru adopts them, and she is extremely excited to see that her pancake is shaped like a "dead guy."
  • Heloise from Jimmy Two-Shoes actually becomes depressed when there's destruction and she's not the one causing it.
    • Then in Bend It Like Wreckem; after Jimmy and Beezy accidentally knocked the pro soccer player Wreckem out, she takes his brain out and takes care of it, then hugs it while baby-talking it!
  • Everyone in Halloween Town.
    • There's a moment when Jack roars at Lock, Shock and Barrel to scare them into shutting up. Shock almost looks like she's going to faint...and not with fear.
  • Fern Walters from Arthur often reads and tells scary stories with absolute glee.
  • Batman Beyond's villainess Inque. Oh good, god...
  • Rico from The Penguins of Madagascar finds things that would freak out the other penguins a little too interesting.

Real Life

  • Just check out the Bogleech website for some excellent examples of a guy waxing poetic about hagfish. It's much Better Than It Sounds.
  • Ugly Overload. 'Nuff said.
  • David Lynch
  • Tim Burton, big time.
  • Guillermo del Toro
  • H. R. Giger, the architect and artist who created the eponymous xenomorph of the Alien franchise, as well as the creature from Species seems to be quite one of these. Many of his works feature strange melds of organic and mechanic, horrific geometries, and copious amounts of sexual imagery. He even has a portfolio collection entitled Xenoerotica.
    • Actually a bit of a subversion. Giger has mentioned before that he's terrified of his own artwork and uses them as therapy for his night terrors. Apparently, they don't work very well.
  • John Waters, although he's always quick to point out the difference between being one of these and a plain old Jerkass
  • Goth, and Juggalo, and some subgenres of Punk, are what happens when an entire subculture decides to adopt Freaky Is Cool as a philosophy.
  • Voice actress Yuu Kobayashi isn't just attracted to this; her hobby is creating Nightmare Fuel in picture form.
  • Robert Pelton Young has made a career because he loves going to the most miserable places on earth and living there. Most of this favorite vacation spots can be found by looking at list of the most violent conflicts of the last couple decades.
  • Teratophilia is the sexual attraction to deformed or monstrous people.
  • Anybody who studies/is fascinated by things that cause phobias in most people - like spiders, snakes, sharks, bees etc.
    • This is most often because of the fact that said people realize something: most of these animals aren't actually harmful, and are often quite beneficial (at the very least, at population control). Without bees pollinating crops, for example, the world would be without a huge fraction of its food.
  • Junji Ito, the disturbingly enthusiastic horror mangaka.
  • Go to a movie theater to see a horror movie and chances are that at least half the people there to see it are there (at least partially) for the Nightmare Fuel aspect of it.