The Psychology of Halloween: 3 Reasons We Crave the Scare - Deepstash

deepstash

Beta

Deepstash brings you key ideas from the most inspiring articles like this one:

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

The Psychology of Halloween: 3 Reasons We Crave the Scare

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/halloween-fright-night-3-_b_8412574

huffpost.com

The Psychology of Halloween: 3 Reasons We Crave the Scare
Do you love scaring and being scared? Do you cherish the memories of Halloweens past? Do you collect decorations and costumes all year, waiting for the chance to trick or be tricked? You're not alone. Many of us can't resist a good fright. There are three main reasons we crave the scare.

3

Key Ideas

Save all ideas

Power

Power
The very idea of "tricking" has the implicit idea of getting one over on another and therefore being triumphant.

Our hearts race, we sweat, and blood rushes to our faces in anticipation. The same happens to the person on the other side of the trick.

52 SAVES

56 READS

VIEW

We love to expect the unexpected

We love to expect the unexpected

We crave the adrenalin and excitement that goes along with being scared and in scaring.

Horror movies and hide-and-seek have a similar sensorial experience.

59 SAVES

47 READS

Matching the experience we feel inside

Matching the experience we feel inside

Halloween is an opportunity to align ourselves from the inside out with our own psychological feeling.

It makes us feel completely alive in a split second -- like a wake-up call.

66 SAVES

53 READS

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The 'dark factor'

A love of horror movies is associated with an underlying dimension of entertainment preferences, dubbed "the dark factor".

Those with dark tastes value intensity, edginess and rebellion. Thei...

The pleasure paradox

Some derive enjoyment from negative emotional states, as when enjoying a "good cry", for instance.

A study found that people who liked sad films enjoyed a scene relative to how much sadness it elicited. The stronger the sadness, the higher the enjoyment.

Trick or treat

Halloween seems to bring out excesses in costumed children and adults.

Several studies revealed that costumed children who were anonymous — by wearing masks for instance — were more likely to take extra candies. In adults, costumed Halloween celebrators tend to have higher blood alcohol readings than people in plain clothes.

The Horror Movie

Horror is a genre that has a reputation of being a low, somewhat trashy, titillating genre that appeals to our basest instincts. 
"Its also a wonderful, popular art form through which...

For a work to be classified as horror...

... it has to have a monster, which has to be threatening in some way. The monster is often otherworldly or violates the laws of nature, as in Alien or Jaws—but some argue that a human character can be a monster, as in Psycho, Silence of the Lambs, and Halloween.

The monster generally is otherworldly or violates the laws of nature and is designed to elicit disgust as an emotion.

"The beast within"

This is the most popular theory explaining the genre’s popularity and it argues that an unconscious, repressed part of every human is actually savage; that the veneer of civility is very thin, and beneath that is essentially a monster.

Although we consciously disapprove of what the monster is doing, deep down part of us enjoys seeing the murder and mayhem the monster unleashes—because if we could, we would do that.

one more idea

Fear as a defense mechanism

Fear as a defense mechanism

Fear protects organisms against a perceived threat to their integrity or existence. Fear can be as simple as moving away from a negative stimulus, or as complex as existential anxi...

Getting a “rush” vs. feeling terrorized

The main factor in how we experience fear has to do with the context.

When the "thinking" part of the brain gives feedback to the "emotional" brain, and we know it isn't really a threat, we can quickly shift from fear to enjoyment or excitement, such as in a haunted house during Halloween season. However, if you were walking in a dark alley at night and a stranger started following you, both your emotional and thinking areas of the brain would agree that the situation is dangerous and that it's time to escape.

The fear reaction

The fear reaction starts in the brain's amygdala region and spreads through the body to prepare the body for the best defense or flight reaction. Fear also triggers the release of stress hormones and the sympathetic nervous system.

During a dangerous situation, the brain becomes hyperalert, pupils dilate, the bronchi dilate, breathing accelerates, heart rate and blood pressure rise, blood flow and a stream of glucose to the skeletal muscles increase, and organs not vital in survival slow down, such as the gastrointestinal system.