The Psychology of Halloween: 3 Reasons We Crave the Scare
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.
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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.
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.
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We build a special closeness with those we are with when we're in an excited or scared state.
The fun of Halloween is that you can experience the thrill of fear without any real threat.
It's all about triggering the fight-or-flight response to experience the flood of adrenaline, endorphins, and dopamine, but in a completely safe space.
A love of horror movies is associated with an underlying dimension of entertainment preferences, dubbed "the dark factor".
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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.
Horror is a genre that has a reputation of being a low, somewhat trashy, titillating genre that appeals to our basest instincts.
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... 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.
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.
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