The paper considers Heart of Darkness as an example of rhetorical counter-terrorism. Conrad’s language partly relies of that of the Gothic discourse of horror, especially when horror manifests itself as an entity with teeth -- a zone of contact between the individual and the horror which can consume, absorb the individual. In Gothic horror fiction the sites where “terror” and “horror” reached their climax were frequently related to the practice of cannibalism. In Heart of Darkness, Conrad’s Marlow points out that the so-called cannibals, identified as such by their fanged teeth, are neither terrifying nor horrifying. The real cannibal, in the figurative sense, is Kurtz, perpetrator and victim of the Belgian colonial terror, whose image, complete with a toothless but voracious mouth, is associated with human heads on posts surrounding his bungalow – a psychological substitute for the severed hands collected by the basketful by Belgian agents. By translating “hands” into “heads,” by using the motifs from the well-known discourse of cannibalism to represent the Belgian terror tactic, Conrad provided his readers with an already valorized language, a semiotics for comprehending this particular horror, and a stimulus for a response to it.