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Fight or Flight?

Last night, I went to the Hollywood Horror Nights at Universal Studios.  I have to say that I am more amused by how people react than I am by what’s going on in a haunted house.

When confronted with something that scares/terrifies them, people react in many amusing ways.  Some scream.  Some cower.  Some flail around like there’s a bee.

I’m not generally scared by the people leaping out at me.  Occasionally I will be startled but not scared after the initial shock wears off.  I wonder if the people who get all worked up at haunted houses and also those riding not that terrifying (in my opinion) amusement park rides are just suspending their disbelief and actually think some harm can come to them.  Or maybe they are just using it as an excuse/opportunity for a little scream therapy.

In a haunted house or something like it, the actors are not allowed to touch you except maybe a tap on the shoulder.  And although accidents do occur, rollercoasters are designed with safety in mind.  There is no apparent danger so where does the fear come from?  Are we so far removed from actual life and death situations (like being eaten by a wild animal or a warring tribe) that we have to manufacture some in order to get something we need?  Do we need to be scared once in a while?

I don’t know the answer to any of this but it always comes to mind at Halloween time.  What actually scares you?



One response »

  1. I like to scream back at the actors in haunted houses. I have a fabulous B-movie-scream-queen scream. I am surprised people still get scared by those internet vids that usually start off with something like, “You have to see this amazing Michael Jackson video.” Honestly, who *isn’t* expecting something scary to pop up? Even if it really *is* Michael Jackson?

    I am frightened (in a bad way) by most horror movies. I don’t like them, except for the Evil Dead trilogy, which I love. For me, I think it is my own imagination, spurred by the content, that I find more frightening than the pictures themselves. I start imagining all kinds of real-life scenarios that freak me out.


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