The reasoning behind the scream

Haunted houses and scary movies are very popular around Halloween, but there must be a reason people live for the fright.


Katie Quirke

The thrill of being scared is real, whether it come from haunted houses or scary movies.

‘Tis the season for haunted houses and being scared. October is a month people refer to as “Spooky Season” because it is the time when people get dressed up in their favorite costumes, go trick-or-treating and tell scary stories, but speculation surrounds why people love scary things around this time of year.  

According to National Post, people tend to get a bit of excitement from this fear. Some feel fear when walking through haunted houses or when watching scary movies, but the great thing about getting scared this time of year is knowing nothing bad will actually happen. Some people may call this a “safe” fright.

Come fall, it becomes chilly, the sun goes down earlier and people stay at home to watch scary movies and get festive for the holiday. The characters in the scary movies people watch and the haunted houses that people go to are all actors or actresses. This thought can sometimes give people a slight sense of relief and make watching something or being somewhere more comforting.

“People are probably less scared this time of year because it’s a scary holiday,” junior Ryan Scott says. “People are more prepared for what may happen and [they] know it’s not real.”

Being scared can have a positive outcome that people actually enjoy this time of year for so many reasons.

National Post also mentions that the feeling people receive after exiting a haunted house is a sense of feeling better or of relief; this is actually similar to how many people feel after meditating.

Some may associate the feeling of fear as being a “negative” feeling; however, this time of year may be a very exciting time for many people because of how nostalgic it feels.

“People love Halloween time because it reminds them of their childhood,” social studies teacher Jaycee Ruley said. “People feel nostalgic and think of a time when they were really happy.”

There are many ways to feel the spirit of the season. Junior Brant Becker believes that doing assorted activities, such as haunted houses, can create that feeling.

“I think people enjoy being in the Halloween spirit through these activities,” Becker said. “I think the main exciting part of getting scared comes from it being an intense experience you don’t encounter a lot, which makes it unique.”

Being scared can be fun, unique and clarifying; fear can allow people to have a different feeling of closeness to others and a sense of self-satisfaction for themselves.

According to Psychology Today, people get a sense of self-satisfaction when they get scared because they were able to make it through the fear. People also feel closer to others in these scary situations because a flood of biochemicals in the brain is released. This can create a closer connection with others due to a shared experience. 

Halloween is a fun and exciting time of year that is very different from the rest of the holidays. For some, Halloween may be the worst holiday because of the scare factor; however, it may be the favorite for others for that same reason. Being scared might not be the most enjoyable, but never forget that nostalgic feeling or that sense of self-satisfaction after overcoming the fear.