Halloween is right around the corner. While parents are helping the little ones find the perfect costume so they can go trick or treating, other people are creating thrills in other ways. Along with Halloween come haunted houses and horror movies. While some haunted establishments may seem a bit timid, others can be a bit more extreme. What is it though that makes us wait in anticipation of what gruesome, scary thing will bound around the corner? Why do we enjoy being scared and afraid? Even though none of it’s real, some of us just can’t grasp that inside our heads.
The number of horror movies seems to be endless. You can find just about anything going on in horror movies these days, whether they’re probable (or loosely based off a true story) or completely unrealistic. People have their scare preferences. Some may find them funny and entertaining (like me for the most part), while other people can’t be in the same room as one. The feelings you get from these films are a mixture of thrill, excitement, fright and even relief.
Most people have had their run in of haunted houses, graveyards and even a corn field or two. Whether it’s the revving of a chainsaw somewhere behind you or a loud blood-curdling scream being heard through the thick fog, some people just can’t seem to satisfy their obsession. From the timid to the extreme, from monsters and imaginary creatures to axe murders and chainsaws, you can’t get your fright served any way you want it. Why though do we put ourselves through such things? Unlike a movie, you’re there, things are more vivid and quite realistic at times, the sounds, the smells, the physical. Some haunted houses are a walkthrough, while others allow for physical contact. With hair on edge, you make your way through, unexpecting of what’s lurking. A chainsaw revs – it’s literally right behind your head, something grabs you and you scream in fear, grabbing onto the closest person near you. The chainsaw fades off and you realize it’s not real. You then proceed to whatever comes next. People love it, but why?
There are a few reasons why people seem to enjoy the feeling of being scared and afraid. For some people (like me), I’m hardly ever scared by a horror movie or even a haunted house. If I go with friends, I tend to be the person leading the group. I may be startled at times, but never scared. I always know it’s staged and never real or harmful; it’s entertaining and exciting. The real reason people can’t seem to get enough is a little more chemical. There’s a rush and a euphoria that can come from being scared and then recovering from the panic and fear. You survived the moment and feel relieved your life is intact. Sometimes you feel relief for the surviving character in the movie or sympathy for the ones that died. Similar feelings arise from activities like sky diving and riding roller coasters. Here’s a link to the scariest in the country. If you find yourself lucky enough to live near one of these haunted experiences, check it out here.