Here we are and it’s the last Friday of July and been a heat wave where I live in the triple digits for this past week, and I just finished a scary read and thinking of another to read.
Why do we read stories and novels to scare us silly; to give us nightmares at night? It’s not October or close to Halloween. No excuse to read anything spooky. And yet, many of us will choose a book that we know on the pages are monsters or serial killers. Any excuse to be scared to death.
Fear is an emotional response to a perceived threat. It's a basic reaction to a stimulus, such as pain or dangerous threat. Fear is separate from anxiety, which occurs without external threat. It means to terrify, or to frighten.
Physical reactions from fear are:
Rapid heart rate
Increased blood pressure
Tightening of muscles
Sharpened or redirected senses
Dilation of the pupils
So why would a person get a scary book when these symptoms of fear take over them? For the imagination is the greatest bringer of fear--you read a few pages and suddenly, you thought you saw a shadow in the corner move or heard a sound.
But being frightened is good for you. Just as laughter is. Fear is that rush that brings out the prey in all of us, from our caveman days.
So go ahead. Pick up that book and buy it, or check it out. Read it. You know that shadow in the corner of the room didn't more and the sound was the house settling. Nothing more.
Or is it?