Why Do Some People Like To Be Scared?

From scary movies to extreme roller coasters, some people enjoy being scared. But why? What is appealing about being frightened?

Halloween has some traditions that are fun, but there are also some that are legitimately scary. While some costumes, for example, are pop-culture references, or animals. Others though, are intended to be legitimately frightening, like zombies or vampires.

Some people actually enjoy being scared. Horror movies are often quite successful at the box office, for instance. Similarly, in the days and weeks leading up to Halloween, haunted houses, with jump scares and fake blood, have long lines.

Why should this be? Most people spend their lives trying to avoid fear, or at least trying to be comfortable. They might move away from a neighborhood that has a lot of crime, or carry a flashlight on a dark road.

So then, why court fear? What is it about being scared that is so enjoyable?

Perhaps it is a matter of facing your fears so that they no longer have a hold over you. Maybe some enjoy the adrenaline rush that accompanies a jump scare. Perhaps there is some subtle difference between a truly scary situation, and one that is only imagined or acted out.

Do you have any theories on why fear plays a big role in the lives of some people? Are you one of those people? If so, what do you get out of the act of being frightened?

Related questions: What is your favorite scary movie? Are you scared of the dark? What is your favorite holiday? Vampires or zombies? Trick or treat?


1 thought on “Why Do Some People Like To Be Scared?”

  1. I can only share the reasons I like being scared under certain circumstances. I love a good thriller movie. I’ve once parachuted out of an airplane. In the case of a thriller, it’s about the adrenaline rush, pure and simple. I’m “on the edge of my seat,” just waiting for the frightful surprises to give me a good scare. In the case of parachuting out of an airplane, it was partially about the adrenaline rush. But mainly, I wanted to overcome my fear of heights. While I loved and got the rush from the jump, regrettably, in most cases, I am still afraid of not having my feet planted securely on the ground.

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