Fear is terrible and wonderful

When there was no TV to scare us from time to time, people did it themselves. They huddled around the fireplace, listening to whoever could tell the scariest ghost story. Why do they like to be frightened so much by horror films and scary fairground attractions? What’s the fun in fear?


We all know fear. It is a very useful thing because it warns you when danger is imminent. Your body immediately responds by mobilizing all its forces: adrenaline enters your blood, which makes your heart beat faster, you breathe deeper and faster, your palms and soles of your feet become moist so that they are less slippery and provide better grip (when grabbing or running away). ), you are ready to defend or flee.
But there is not only fear of direct bed cleaning. There are all kinds of fear. Such as the fear of a threat that you are not yet sure about. For example: you have seriously failed at work and are afraid of the reactions of your superiors, although you are not sure how they will react.

Fears in your life

We all live with certain fears about our lives, rather, about death, we all fear the threat and everyone has some special fears on top of that. But there’s nowhere to go with those fears. What good is it to be afraid that your life is constantly threatened by war, terror, rapists and robbers. If you think about it carefully, you may no longer dare to get out of bed.
So people are looking for something different, something smaller, something that is clearer and more manageable, and they are afraid of that. So that they no longer have to see their bigger, deeper fears. We still have feelings of fear, it is easiest to focus them on something small, such as a scary animal. If you have to, you can whack it to death, or have it crushed by someone else. War cannot flatten you and the threat that people will no longer love you, which everyone feels at one time or another, cannot be tackled with a spray can.

Horror movies

But this is still not real fear for fun, although it is starting to look a bit more like it. A horror film is a real vicarious fear, you can really have fun with it. The best thing about a horror movie is that you can just turn it off or look the other way. That gives you a feeling of power, you can be afraid as long as it suits you, you can also stop looking afraid if you want to.
That feeling is a bit like what you have when you go to a zoo to look at the tarantulas and say: You can’t do anything to me, creep! It gives an even better feeling of power when you really throw yourself into something scary and come out unscathed, like the roller coaster.
Some people find the physical response to fear, the rush of adrenaline that puts everything on edge, a good feeling, comparable to the effect of alcohol or drugs. Mountain climbers sometimes openly admit that they are ‘addicted’ to fear. And it also gives them an enormous sense of power to emerge victorious in a direct confrontation with the threat of death. Like you’re immortal.
Now, hardly anyone will have the feeling of being immortal when looking at those scary snakes in the zoo. But anyone who is creeped out by spiders knows how proud you feel when you have personally squashed one.

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