Are you afraid when you are alone or in a dark room?
Do you feel spooky when you are exploring any old unknown place?
Do you really think someone is lurking at the bend of the corner like a shapeless shadow to grab you from behind?
Well, we all have felt these at some point of time in our lives or other except for few brave hearts. Despite such fears growing deep inside our hearts and minds every day, we love to read ghost stories, watch horror movies and discuss paranormal activities. That is human nature.
What is Fear?
Fear is an emotion that grows with curiosity of the unexplored and unknown. Being a blend of biochemical and emotional response, fear resides in human beings as an age old powerful and natural emotion. Real threats and harming probabilities are definitely the primary causes of fear but imagined dangers can also give birth to different kinds of fears in humans.
Major Symptoms of Fear:
It is not necessary that a fear will be physical only. It can be of psychological nature as well. Depending on the personality and the potential of the person, fear can affect each of us differently but certain symptoms are most common when a person is in fear. This includes chest pains, dry mouths, nausea, chills, sweating, trembling, rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath. Some of the psychological symptoms include phobia, depression, feeling out of control and the strong sense of impending death.
Why we like to get Scared?
No matter how weird it sounds but the truth is that we prefer to listen to scary stories and incidents and invite the feeling of getting scared.
A cognitive neuroscience specialist, Irving Biederman has once remarked that humans often feel excited and addicted towards frightful ordeals which is why they are attracted towards the new experiences and the unknown. This deviation from the conventional draws them closer to the feeling of being scared. Many of you gets bored with everyday experiences and to deviate from that you prefer to step into the fascinating and exhilarating world of fear.
Why we Love Reading Ghost and Monster Stories?
Over the years, different cultures have used various types of ghost and monster tales to build their systems of morality as well as personal identities. In many of the primitive societies such stories also helped to impart lessons to children about the fearful natural predators that lived around. Gradually, the stories started to change and reflections of human selves and their struggles became more prominent.
Tok Thompson, a renowned associate professor of anthropology and communication at USC Dornsife has said “The mosters are us, in a sense. They are that very dangerous part of us. And it’s good to recognize and be afraid of those evil parts of yourself.” May be that is why we feel so inclined towards reading ghost or monster stories. Then again, some of the major life lessons are also learnt out of fear developed by reading such stories.
The Latin American story of La Llorona is one such horrific tale. In a moment of uncontrollable rage a mother had killed her own children by drowning. Later her spirit was heard by the people of the locality sobbing for her loss and regretting her mistake. Anybody who listened to her wails was drowned into misfortune.
Mother figures are always considered to be protective and loving but the mother in this story acted beyond the expectation and not only suffered forever but also caused harm to others in her vicinity. This can be an important life lesson to you and me that even in the fit of rage one should not forget the role he/she is destined to serve. It is due to globalization and the cross-cultural influences that the folklores about different types of monsters are changing “and people are constantly reinventing these stories to talk about what they fear and are haunted by.”
Why We Crave for Horror Movies?
Have you ever experienced an adrenaline rush while watching a horror movie?
That is quite normal because horror movies are created to evoke fear in the viewers and fright is very much capable of triggering the release of adrenaline. It also causes heightened sensations followed by surging energy. Experiencing stimulation is a major factor behind the eagerness to watch horror movies over others. Directors of horror movies take all these processes into consideration while making the movie and the loud and sudden sounds and music effects are their deliberate attempts to satiate your heightened sensations at that moment.
There are different types of horror movies where zombie attacks and alien infestations are shown. Those topics are way beyond our every day realities. As a result, we get to live in an alternative reality while watching those movies. Even if they instigate fear in us, we love to grab the opportunities to live in this alternative reality and watch the horror movies till the end.
While some of you feel stimulated negatively while getting exposed to tarrying acts, there are many others who feel stimulated positively when anticipating of those horrific acts. Tension, unrealism and relevance are the three most found out reasons behind the pull towards horror movies. The unrealistic horrific acts often give some of the viewers the sense of safety and security because they knew it is unreal or fake. So, be it good or bad, positive or negative, we all enjoy watching them till the end.