Why We Love Scary Stuff
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Why We Love Scary Stuff

An attacker comes at you in your own home, instead of going out the front door you choose to run upstairs and secure yourself in a bathroom with a lock a small child could break.

Before you know it a knife (if you’re in the city), an axe (if you’re in the country), or smoke (if you’re in a vamp movie) comes through the door.

Why do we love watching scary movies? What is it about Halloween that gets our juices going?

Shelley Duvall in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining.

Shelley Duvall in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.

“The obvious answer is that you know that what’s happening on the screen isn’t real. That knowledge starts in the visual cortex, an area at the back of the brain that processes what we see and helps link those images to personal and cultural events that put them in a context.” Says Andreas Keil, a professor of psychology at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Experts believe that it’s not uncommon for individuals to push the envelope, seeing how much fear they can tolerate, and ultimately feeling a sense of satisfaction when they’re able to endure the anxiety.

“There’s a long history of people being intensely curious about the ‘dark side,’ and trying to make sense of it. Through movies, we’re able to see horror in front of our eyes, and some people are extremely fascinated by it. They’re interested in the unusual and the bizarre because they don’t understand it and it’s so different from our everyday lives.” Says Frank Farley, PhD, psychologist at Temple University.

Freddy Krueger from Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Freddy Krueger from Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street.

 

Several studies have shown that males like scary films much more than females do – go figure.

“We can imagine the satisfaction of living without accountability, casting off humanity and turning into machines without morals. Zombies overcome death, vampires rule time, ghosts vanquish space and vampires and other shape-shifters transcend a stable identity.” Says Eric Wilson, English Professor at Wake Forest College.

Andrew Lincoln as AMC's The Walking Dead protagonist Rick Grimes.

Andrew Lincoln as AMC’s The Walking Dead protagonist Rick Grimes. Photo: Frank Ockenfels

 

Still not sure this makes me want to join The Walking Dead best dressed crew…

Top Ten Scary Movies

Here are ten scary movies that will definitely get your adrenaline pumping for next week.

Love Halloween? See what we’ve got going on at Gibbons this gory season.

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Gibbons has been celebrating with people since 1979. We operate venues, run festivals, brew beer, talk travel and throw parties.