Does the image above make you uncomfortable?
It does me. Or at least it did when I took it. But I was in a dentist’s office, next to someone who had just had her wisdom teeth pulled. These are them. Fresh with blood and bits of gum still attached.
But does it horrify? Probably not. It’s gross, but even if you’re disgusted, you’re probably not horrified. I bet you would be if it were human eyes, however. It’s just another body part, but the eyes are frightening to look at in a way that wisdom teeth aren’t: they aren’t supposed to be there.
It probably occurs to you when you see the teeth that they are supposed to be there. They are there with benign intent. But excised eyes on a tray carry horror with them because the backstory of how they got there would likely be at the very least gruesome, if not terrifying.
The story that we attach to images makes all the difference. The microhorror section of this site trades in that currency. I allow myself 500 words to give a backstory to a random picture that I may have taken or been given, rooted in the horror genre. Some of them are not so easy. Others, like these teeth, are too easy and need a story that throws the reader off.
Head over to Mistfortune 500 and check out the tale I spun to go with this image. I timed it, they take about two minutes to read. If you like it, there are more.