Why We Love Being Scared
Thrill Seekers. Adrenaline Junkies. Call them what you like, there are many people who enjoy the rush of being scared. It isn’t at all uncommon, but why do some people voluntarily crave fear? The answers are really quite simple. Both real danger and fabricated fright trigger the same fight or flight response in our brains. When a person is afraid, the amygdala, a set of neurons in the brain, alerts us of danger and triggers the fight or flight response. This causes palms to sweat, pupils to dilate, and pumps the body with dopamine and adrenaline. Our bodies have almost the exact same response to excitement and pleasure, and this is why many people find the two to coincide. However, some people lose the subconscious knowledge that they are actually safe, and so their brains do not enjoy the fear.
Another reason people indulge in self-induced fright is because of a curiosity with the forbidden. Whether that’s witchcraft, supernatural occurrences, or walking into a “haunted” house, there are many things that we are brought up to stay away from. Particularly around Halloween, the myth, mystery, and darkness surrounding these taboos are lifted and people are more likely to indulge in their curiosities. By detouring from their everyday life, some might feel a sense of accomplishment, or even a rush of pride for trying something new.