Why Is it Fun to Be Frightened? - Deepstash
Why people want to intentionally scare themselves

People enjoy being scared out of their skin in a controlled environment. They will flock to attractions that can guarantee that they will get a fright.

  • Participants in a study reported a significantly higher mood and feeling less anxious and tired directly after their trip through a haunted attraction.
  • They also reported feeling that they challenged their personal fears and learned more about themselves.


  • Research suggests that going through an extreme haunted attraction provides gains similar to tackling a difficult challenge. There's a sense of uncertainty, physical exertion, and an obstacle to overcome. On the other side, there is a sense of achievement.
  • Scary experiences could serve as a recalibration of what should cause stress. After a planned scary experience, difficulties may seem like no big deal in comparison.
  • Because you're not in real danger, you can choose to observe your reaction and gain greater insight into yourself.


Haunted attractions, horror movies and other forms of scary entertainment all share the same components that help to have a fun scary time.

  • First, you have to choose to engage.
  • Try to gather some friends to engage with you in the activities. This will intensify your own emotional experience and make it more fun. It can also create rewarding social bonds.


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