Halloween Fear Factor




A day devoted to being frightened, but WHY does our brain *like* to be scared?


New Scare Study Findings

  • Surveyed those *voluntarily* visiting an “extreme” haunted house.
  • Afterwards, about half reported being in a better mood.
  • Those who wore brain sensors had decreased brain activity, suggesting “being scared interrupts their thinking.”

Why It Matters

That interruption in thinking may mean people were processing info more efficiently or that they were in a relaxed “zen” state.

Important to note: this research is for *voluntarily* scary situations and one where there was no real threat to begin with.


“It is a reprioritizing of energy, of focus into the body. You’re grounded, not being caught up in thinking.”

Margie Kerr, a sociologist at the University of Pittsburgh and co-author of the study, likening the feeling to a runner's experience in which you push yourself and then feel-good endorphins rush through the body.

Science: Control is Key

Our “thinking” brain communicates with our “emotional” brain when we are in a safe space, changing our feeling from fear to enjoyment (i.e. seeing a lion at the zoo vs. a lion in wild.)

If we are able to overcome the initial “fight or flight” rush, we feel satisfied and more confident to confront things that initially scared us.




Why do some loved to be scared & others hate it? Science says if the "emotional" brain is too frightened it makes "thinking" brain feel helpless (not fun). Conversely, if the "emotional brain" is bored & "thinking" brain is too overpowering, scary experiences might not be enjoyable.

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