The shriveled soul of the God-hater
C. S. Lewis describes the curious itch that rankles in the shriveled soul of the God-hater in his Great Divorce. In that novella, the damned are offered a chance at heaven if they will only just get on a bus, go there, and stay. Instead, almost none of the damned do. They prefer to be what they are. And they love talking about hell and themselves (which really comes down to the same thing). Lewis continues:
This curious wish to describe Hell turned out, however, to be only the mildest form of a desire very common among the Ghosts -- the desire to extend Hell, to bring it bodily, if they could, into Heaven. There were tub-thumping Ghosts who in thin, bat-like voices urged the blessed spirits [already in Heaven] to shake off their fetters, to escape from their imprisonment in happiness, to tear down the mountains with their hands, to seize Heaven "for their own good": Hell offered her co-operation. There were planning Ghosts who implored them to dam the river, cut down the trees, kill the animals, build a mountain railway, smooth out the horrible grass and moss and heather with asphalt. There were materialistic Ghosts who informed the immortals that they were deluded: there was no life after death, and this whole country was a hallucination. There were Ghosts, plain and simple: mere bogies, fully conscious of their own decay, who had accepted the traditional role of the spectre, and seemed to hope they could frighten someone. I had had no idea that this desire was possible. But my Teacher reminded me that the pleasure of frightening is by no means unknown on earth, and also of Tacitus' saying: "They terrify lest they should fear." When the debris of a decayed human soul finds itself crumbled into ghosthood and realises "I myself am now that which all humanity has feared, I am just that cold churchyard shadow, that horrible thing which cannot be, yet somehow is," then to terrify others appears to it an escape from the doom of being a Ghost yet still fearing Ghosts -- fearing even the Ghost it is. For to be afraid of oneself is the last horror.