Why Do We Love to Be Scared?

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With Halloween fast approaching, many people revel in the season. It’s also the time of year when movie studios, streaming companies and television stations drag out all of the scary and campy movies that audiences seem to crave. So, what is behind the fascination we have with all things scary, especially this time of year?

Horror books have been written for more than a hundred years and as soon as movies became available to the public, they cranked out these genera as fast as they could write scripts. In the beginning, many of these movies relied on suspense and fade-outs in order to up the scare for audiences. Over time, actors and special effects technicians strived to come up with as realistic props as possible in an effort to up the macabre factor. Now, with the use of technology and computers, studios are unlimited in their ability to produce truly horrifying movies.

So this begs the question, why do we love to be scared? From scary movies and television shows, to books and haunted hayrides, the public seems to have an endless appetite to be scared. The rush of anticipation and the build-up in hair-raising suspense are one thing, but why do we also seem to revel in what can only be described as pure evil? Movie studios seem to want to push the envelope even further with every new production. They experiment with occult themes and rob real-life headlines to produce the most realistic and disturbing movies that early producers could only dream about.

From Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, written in the 1800’s, to movies such as the Omen and Rosemary’s Baby, moviegoers have been fascinated with being scared. However, with the real-world monsters that currently walk the earth; the preoccupation with evil seems questionable at best. People are willing to pay out millions of dollars for a scare that leaves them looking forward to the next big rush. It can as addictive as any other intoxicating substance. Movies that rely only on suspense and implied horror usually don’t fare as well at the theaters as those that go for full-blown horror and gore.

Is it possible that the proliferation of horror movies has lead to an increase in crimes in society? Being immersed in a culture of murder, revenge, gore and senseless violence cannot possibly leave a positive impression on young minds. While many people can simply bush off the effects of these movies, there may be those who are so drawn to the darkness and suspense that they seek to recreate those feelings for themselves.

While censorship is never to be condoned, would it be a terrible thing if movie studios took a step back and decided to dial back the violence and gore? It can be fun to enjoy a spooky scare that is harmless and does not leave a lingering feeling of terror, but do we need images on the screen that depict the worst things a human mind can conceive?


Writer Bio:  Angela Mose

I am a mom of 7 who has successfully homeschooled for 20 years.  I was married for more than 25 years and have recently started my life over. I have a passion for writing and music and when the two can be combined, it is utopia.  A Maryland native, I am planning to relocate north in the near future and will continue to strive to learn and experience new things on a regular basis. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home while exploring new ways to increase my knowledge and skills and help improve the lives of those around me.

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