• Why Do People Enjoy Horror?

    by  • October 25, 2013 • Features • 0 Comments


    American Horror Story, The Walking Dead and Carrie. These are three of the most anticipated shows to watch in the gory month of October. But why are people so fascinated with horror?

    American Horror Story is FX hit TV horror series. Every season is based on a new plot telling the gruesome story throughout the season. “Coven,” the title of this season, premiered earlier this month. It’s based on a variety of witches living among society competing against each other.  The first episodes started off with a number of slaughtering and torcher scenes.  The Huffingtonpost said Coven broke FX records with over 5.5 million viewers tuning in to watch the premiere.

    The Walking Dead is a series based on a small group of surviving humans living in a world over-taken by zombies. The characters try to survive day by day constantly having to slay and escape zombies. The series premiered in October of 2010 and now has grown to one of the most watched series. According to AMCTV, the most recent season, broke records with 16.1 million viewers tuning in for the premiere.

    Carrie is a horror film that first came out in 1976. Sony Pictures has decided to release a new updated version of the classic film. The story, based in a novel by Stephen King, is about a girl bullied and outcast her whole life releasing terror on her town after finally being pushed past her limit. The film’s highly anticipated release date of Oct. 18 has become one of the most talked about movies of the month.

    All these are filled with gory scenes of blood guts and killings, yet our society loves it. So why is it that we love what scares us?

    According to WedMD, Horror shows and movies give people the ability to explore the “dark side” without having to actually experience it.

    In a study done by Jeffrey Goldstein, a professor of social and organizational psychology at the University of Utrecht said, “People go to horror films because they want to be frightened or they wouldn’t do it twice.”

    According to LiveScience, even though horror scares us, there is a connection with happy at the same time. The frightening experience we get also releases a burst of excitement. The excitement causes adrenaline giving us the feeling of wanting more.

    Prof. Goldstein suggests that some watch horror for other reasons as well.  He says some watch for distraction whiles others may watch just to be able to view horrific acts and situations from a safe distance.

    Russell Jenkins, a communications arts major at Ramapo College, said he couldn’t wait to see the new Carrie. “I remember seeing the older one when I was younger and it was so scary! I hope this one is even scarier, I’m excited.” When asked why he wanted to be scared he said, “I don’t know it’s like a rush. Even though you’re scared to see what’s next, it’s like you can’t wait to see at the same time.”

    The month of October makes it exceptional for this curiosity. Filled with blood, guts and monsters Halloween gives people that room for exploring this dark side without it seeming out of the ordinary.


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